Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank and genealogy, pedigree. Armory, the best ...
, the background of the
A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from melee weapon, close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by ...
is called the '' field''. The field is usually composed of one or more tincture
s ( colour
A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts Electrical resistivity and conductivity, ele ...
s) or fur
s. The field may be divided
or may consist of a variegated pattern
In rare modern cases, the field or a subdivision thereof is not a tincture but is shown as a scene from a
A landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landform
A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement ...
, or, in the case of the 329th Fighter Group of the
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Atmosphere of Earth, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as ...
, blazoned as ''the sky proper''.
[''Air Force Combat Units of World War II'', p.210]
Landscape fields are regarded by many heralds as unheraldic and debased, as they defy the heraldic ideal of simple, boldly-coloured images, and they cannot be consistently drawn from
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image. The verb ''to blazon'' means to create such a description. The visual ...
The arms of the Inveraray and District Community Council in Scotland have as a field ''In waves of the sea''. The correct language of heraldry is very flexible and virtually any image may be blazoned in a correct manner, for example "sky proper" might be blazoned simply ''Azure'' or '' bleu celeste
'', whilst "waves of the sea" might be blazoned correctly as ''Azure, 3 bars argent'' which would provide 3 wavy thick white lines on a blue field.
Division of the field
Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank and genealogy, pedigree. Armo ...
* Variation of the field