“S” Terms

SABLE. The term used in Heraldry for black.

SALIENT. An animal springing forward. See LION SALIENT.

SALTIER. One of the honourable ordinaries, by Scottish heralds called St. Andrew’s Cross.

SANGUINE. One of the heraldic tinctures. It is a dark red or blood colour. By some armorists it is called murrey. The latter word is considered obsolete.

SAPPHIRE. The name of a precious stone, formerly used to express azure.

SARDONYX. A precious stone, formerly used to denote sanguine in emblazoning the arms of the English nobility.

SATURN. The name of a planet, used to denote sable in emblazoning the royal arms by ancient armorists.

SCEPTRE. A royal staff; an ensign of sovereignty borne in the hand. It was originally a javelin without a head. Sceptres of the present time are splendidly decorated with jewellery.

SCARPE. A diminutive of the bend sinister.

SCROLL. The riband below the escutcheon, on which the motto is inscribed.

SEEDED. When the seed of a rose or any other flower is of a different tint from the petal, it is called seeded. The heraldic colour of the seed in the centre of a flower is or, but, as in other proper names, the colour of the seed is not mentioned unless it is of a different tincture.

SET FOIL OR SIX FOIL. Six leaves conjoined in the centre.

SEGREANT. This term is used to describe a griffin displaying its wings as if about to fly.

SEJANT. French word for sitting. See LION SEJANT.

SEMÉ. A French word for strewed. A field powdered or strewed with any object is said to be semé: thus a shield may be semé of fleur-de-lis, semé of hearts, &c. [also SEMY in modern usage.]

SINISTER. A term used in Heraldry to signify the left side of any object. Thus a bend proceeding from the top of the left side of the shield is called a bend sinister.

SLIPPED. Torn from the stock or branch.

SOL. A planet, formerly used to denote or, in emblazoning royal arms. It is the Latin name for the sun.

SOL, or THE SUN IN ITS SPLENDOUR. The sun is said to be in its splendour when it is figured (that is, delineated with a human face) and surrounded with rays. Sometimes this figure is called a sun in its glory.

STANDARD. A large square flag bearing the whole of the achievements of the monarch or nobleman, as seen in the royal standard of England. The royal standard, when placed before the pavilion of the monarch either at a tournay or in an encampment, was eleven yards long and three yards broad.  The length of the standard when borne in the field denoted the rank of the leader: that of a duke was seven yards long; a peer of lower degree raised a standard five yards in length; that of a knight banneret was only four. In modern times standards of peers or knights banneret are seldom displayed but in funeral processions. The standard is then long and narrow, and pointed at the end; that of a duke is about fifteen feet in length, peers of lower degree about twelve.  The flag borne as the ensign of a regiment of cavalry is called a standard. The flags of foot soldiers are called colours.

STAR. This celestial figure is always represented as argent, and is supposed to have six rays or points; if they have more points the number must be named. See ETOILE.

STATANT. An animal standing still with all its legs on the ground. See LION STATANT.

SUPPORTERS are figures standing on the scroll, placed on each side of the shield as if to support it. Supporters in English Heraldry are granted only to persons included in the rank of nobility or to knights banneret by favour of the sovereign.  On the creation of a peer, the Heralds selected the supporters they deemed most appropriate, having some allusion either to the deeds, name, title, arms, or motto of the newly-created peer.

SURMOUNTED. A figure or bearing having another over it.

SURTOUT. The French word for “over all.” See ESCUTCHEON OF PRETENCE and OVER ALL.

SWORD. The usual form is a long straight blade, with a cross handle, and it is borne is a variety of ways, so that its position should be distinctly stated. The sword in the insignia of the city of London is sometimes called the sword of Saint Paul, that apostle being patron of the city. The blade may be waved, embowed, etc. A sword is often represented piercing an animal or a human heart.

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