A system of identifying people and institutions by means of devices placed upon a SHIELD. This is often accompanied by the symbolic use of other components of the armour of a medieval knight, to make the complete ACHIEVEMENT of ARMS. Although the use of flags predates heraldry by millennia, modern flag design has been strongly influenced by heraldry.
1) the history, art and study of coats of arms; armory (sense 1). 2) in a general sense, those activities undertaken by heralds, esp. relating to coats of arms, titles of nobility and court ceremonies.
Heraldry in its most general sense encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of officers of arms.Stephen Friar, Ed. A Dictionary of Heraldry. (Harmony Books, New York: 1987), 183.