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Last updated 13 May, 2006
Ordinaries

Ordinaries

Ordinaries are one of the main types of charge, it is thought that some of them were derived from strips placed across the shield to strengthen it.
One side of the shield is marked dexter and the other side sinister, two Latin words for right and left. They are in used from the point of view of the person holding the shield, so dexter is for the left hand as you view it, and sinister for the right.

Bend

A bend is a broad band which runs diagonally from top dexter to bottom sinister of the shield. A bend going across the shield the other way is called a bend sinister but it is quite rare.

Heraldry - Bend

Chief

A chief is a horizontal band across the top third of the shield.

Heraldry - Chief

Pale

A pale is is a vertical band down the centre of the shield.

Heraldry - Pale

Fess

A fess is a horizontal band across the centre third of the shield. A fess cotised is a fess with two outlying thinner bands

Heraldry - Fess

Pall or Pairle

A pall is a Y shaped band on the shield.

Heraldry - Pall

Chevron

A chevron is an inverted V shaped band on the shield.

Heraldry - Chevron

Pile

A pile is a wedge shape at the top of the shield.

Cross

A cross is horizontal and vertical bands across the shield (fess and pall).

Heraldry - Cross

Saltire

A saltire is a diagonal cross (bend and bend sinister).

Heraldry - Saltire

Comble

A chief made narrow is called a comble

Chevronel

A chevron made narrow is called a chevronel.

Bar

A fess made a narrow is called a bar .

Barrulet

A narrower bar

Pallet

A narrow pale is called a pallet

Bendlet

A narrow bend is called a bendlet

Riband

A narrower bendlet

Bordure

A bordure is a border around the edge of the shield

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