Vexillology (from the Latin vexillum, a flag or banner) is the scholarly study of flags, including the creation and development of a body of knowledge about flags of all types, their forms and functions, and of scientific theories and principles based on that knowledge. Flags were originally used to assist military coordination on the battlefield, and have evolved into a general tool for signalling and identification, particularly identification of countries.
Heraldry encompasses all of the duties of a herald, including the science and art of designing, displaying, describing and recording coats of arms and badges, as well as the formal ceremonies and laws that regulate the use and inheritance of arms. The origins of heraldry lie in the medieval need to distinguish participants in battles or jousts, whose faces were hidden by steel helmets.
The Coat of arms of Hungary was adopted in July 1990, after the end of the Socialist regime, although it has been used before, both with and without the crown, sometimes as part of a larger, more complex coat of arms, and many of its elements date back to the Middle Ages. It is usually said that the silver stripes represent four rivers (Duna, Tisza, Dráva, Száva) and the hills represent three mountain ranges (Mátra, Tátra, Fátra), but this theory is historically unfounded. (more...)
The current national flag of Belarus was formally adopted on June 7, 1995, following the result of a referendum voted on by the Belarusian people in the previous month. This new design replaced a historical white and red flag used by the Belarusian People's Republic of 1918, before Belarus became a Soviet Republic, and again after it regained its independence in 1991. A few groups have continued to use the white and red flag, though its display in Belarus has been restricted by the government of President Alexander Lukashenko.
The current flag is a modification of the 1951 flag used while the country was a republic of the Soviet Union, mainly in the removal of the hammer and sickle and the red star, and the reversal of red and white in the hoist pattern. The Standard of the President of Republic of Belarus is identical to the national flag with a 5:6 ratio with the addition of the National emblem of Belarus. (more...)
In Sweden today, the official coats of arms of corporations and government offices are protected by Swedish law, if the coat of arms is registered with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office. Heraldic arms of common citizens (burgher arms), however, are less strictly controlled; these are recognised by inclusion in the annually published Scandinavian Roll of Arms. (more...)