Hundreds of years ago, warriors identified themselves in battle by using certain colors and symbols on their shields. Later, these distinguishing marks also appeared on surcoats worn over armor. Thus, the term "coat of arms" was born. Now, with genealogist Rosemary Chorzempa's fascinating new book, anyone interested in the ancient and distinctive language of heraldry can create his or her own coat of arms. This easy-to-read, profusely illustrated guide to the history, symbolism, and construction of heraldic devices allows even a child to fashion authentic designs. Step-by-step directions tell how to trace the shape of the shield and its divisions and how to select symbols that reflect personal origins, traits, and achievements. (Forty-seven illustrations include human forms and manmade objects such as forearms, helmets, crowns, whips, books, crosses, bells, and much more. Celestial, plant, and animal shapes include suns, roses, trees, eagles, bars, dolphins, dragons, and serpents.) You'll find tips on necessary materials, how to color and outline your design, how to achieve professional results, and even how to register your coat of arms. You'll also find sample coats of arms belonging to some of the world's most famous people, corporations, and nations. Once you've finished your emblem, you may want to display your work on personal belongings such as a hooked rug, a wall hanging, or other needlecraft projects. Decorate a plate, mug, or other ceramic objects — or make sew-on patches, pin-on badges, and T-shirt decals. Rubber stamps, bookplates, stationery, and jewelry can be custom-made to depict your coat of arms. Here's a book for lovers of traditional design and for those interested in the study of family histories, relationships, and accomplishments — a veritable treasury of information for anyone wishing to display his or her family's roots in a long-cherished form.