A brief history
In the 12th century Coats of arms came into general use by feudal lords and knights in battle. By the 13th century, the coat of arms had spread beyond just the battlefield and became a emblem or flag for families in the higher social classes of Europe, inheriting them from generation to generation.
King Alfonso VII started using a personal emblem with the lion in 1148. Possibly the first documented coat of arms in the UK was King Richard the Lionheart in 1189.
Click on the links above to learn more about each topic.