"The tiger sat still as a heraldic beast"

Heraldic Beast
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHeraldic Beast - Credit: Sarah Charlesworth
A number of animals frequently featured in heraldic imagery.  Most
Heraldic Tiger
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHeraldic Tiger - Credit: Shadowxfox
common are beasts such as lions, wolves, tigers, horses and stags; eagles and unicorns also appeared regularly.  A tiger was said to symbolise courage and ferocity.  Heraldry as we would recognise it became common practice in England by the end of the 12th Century, and developed greatly throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  Originally designed as emblems to go on shields in battle, they were eventually used on flags, seals, embroidery and in jousting.  Many strict rules governed the uses of colour, shapes and images which went into heraldic design; complex yet fascinating, it reveals a great deal about historical perceptions of identity.