This is my first time on the forum, so If there's any tips to get my question answered feel free to share.

I have been working on a Minecraft resource pack that changes the Latin setting, hopefully making it a little better. This project obviously has all sorts of difficulties from the beginning with regards to the authority of New Latin terms, but I think the banner design names could be checked.

Minecraft uses heraldic terms to describe the patterns of the banners, but the Latin uses translations of the English, sort of. It seems very unprecidented and strange because the Romance languages do not calque the English terms at all, but they're all rather similar to each other.

Did Latin, through the ages, have or gain a set of heraldic terms to describe flag patterns? Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Before about 1480 nearly all serious writing was either in French or in Latin. Before 1200, nearly all writing of any kind in Europe was in Latin. So, for this reason, all heraldric terms were originally conceived of either in French or Latin.

Originally, most heraldric terms were common French, hence were considered "barbaric" by writers such as Nicholas Upton who sought to create a Latin system for heraldry. His book was "Libellus de Officio Militari" (published before 1446). Other important books in Latin on Heraldry were written by William Camden and John Gibbon. Some other significant works and authors:

Bartolus de Saxoferrato (De insigniis et armis)
Chaffaneus (Carthago Gloria Mundi)
Gemme Onuphrius (1697-1757)
Olivarius Vredius (Sigilla Comitum Flandriae, 1639)

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