FAQ Posts

Serbian heraldry FAQ

1. Does my family have a coat of arms?
No, most families in Serbia and the region were not armigerous due to the fact that the Ottoman Empire ruled the area. However certain families did get arms granted in service of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In general most families don’t have a coat of arms because it was a privilege held in medieval times by noble families.

2. How do I make sure my family does or doesn’t have a coat of arms?
The only way to make sure is to do genealogical research. Genealogy is a science based on facts so by doing research you will be able to discover if your family did or didn’t have a coat of arms. So before you start looking to get a coat of arms designed by someone make sure to do your genealogical research.

3. My name is Brankovic, am I an heir to the medieval house of Brankovic?
No, of the Serbian medieval nobility there are no documented direct heirs. It is possible that you are in some way related to medieval nobility, but as we have mentioned several times, thurough genealogical research must be done to be able to bring any such conclusion. Your name probably derived from an ancestor who adopted a surname. In this case, it would be Branko.

4. I did my genealogy and found out that I am related to someone who had a coat of arms, can I adopt and use these arms?
No you cannot. You can contact us for more information.

5. What is the use of a coat of arms today?
Today there is no use of it. Heraldry is a system that originated from medieval times and used on a practical way on the battlefield for families to distinguish themselves. It gives no extra status to your family because we don’t live in a feudal society. There are a lot of noble European families that never had arms.

6. Does my clan/brotherhood have a coat of arms?
Traditionally in Serbia clans and brotherhoods do not have coat of arms.

7. I want someone to design a coat of arms for me, who should I contact?
The Serbian Heraldic Society the White Eagle is the only party that has the appropriate know how and skill to design arms for you. Besides that the organization has already designed most of the civic and new family arms in Serbia.

8. Does Serbian Heraldry use marks of cadency?
No, Serbian heraldry like other European mainland heraldry doesn’t use marks of cadency.
This is mainly a English system and is foreign to Serbian heraldry.

9. What is a good source to review traditional arms?
Siebmachers is one of the most respected sources one should consult. The edition is online on our site but not available yet to the public. Requests can be made however but costs are attached.

10. What is the meaning of this coat of arms in question?
Most likely the meaning is obscure without the original grant. There are people that claim they can interpret a coat of arms by its design but this is speculative.

11. I read that colours on the arms have meanings, is this true?
No, this is a fairytale. As mentioned in the previous point the designer of an arms might appoint a special meaning to a colour but there is no such thing as a general way to interpret the colour to e.g. a quality.

12. So do I need a coat of arms?
No, your genealogy is more important then a coat of arms. If you have traditionally inherited a coat of arms it is a beautiful thing but there is no need for you to design a new coat of arms. As stated before 99% of the families in Serbia have no arms. It would be wise to spend money and efforts on collecting other items of value for your heritage such as photos, documents and other items.