An introduction to heraldry for the layman. It begins with the history, which touches on crucial moments and figures in the past such as the Crusaders, the Black Prince, Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth , Henry VIII and his wives and children. It describes the colourful medieval tournaments, the orders of chivalry such as the Garter and the Bath and peerage. Also examined are the distinctive Scottish, Welsh and Irish systems of heraldry, some Continental examples and the American inheritance. There is also an informed analysis of the elements in a coat of arms: the shield, tinctures, charges, helm and crest. All this is complemented with drawings which cover every aspect and period of the subject from a Roman standard to the coat of arms of President Eisenhower.