A Background To The Future
Egyptian warriors and Roman Centurions carried standards, or decorated shields, not unlike basic heraldic devices. Partly symbols of influence and serving the purpose they were adopted for in Europe, identifying friend from foe.
In the heat of battle, one knight in armour is hard to distinguish from another, as is a troop riding in from distance. This practical need was well met by colourful, distinctive emblems, although they soon attained more meaning.
An entire code developed, a language understood internationally despite a few variations. The complex coats of arms becoming as much symbolic as practical. A representation of family to be passed down, or of belonging to an order. This has been sustained for nine centuries, remains strong today and for years to come.