A coat of arms is, strictly speaking, a distinctive heraldic design on a tunic used to cover and protect armour, but the term is more broadly applied to mean a full heraldic achievement which consists of a shield and certain accessories.
T he design is a symbol unique to a person, family, corporation, or state.
motto crest Mantling helm supporter supporter shield field coronet motto Common charges A charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of a shield. This may be a geometric design or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device. A compartment is a design placed under the shield , usually rocks, a grassy mount, or some sort of other landscape upon which the supporters are depicted as standing . compartment An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house or international organization to an individual, usually in recognition of distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. order
In the 21st century, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals; for example, universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, and protect their use as trademarks .