[ANSTHRLD] Of Phoenixes
val_org at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 20 20:03:58 PDT 2011
Several people have already noted that you really can't get away with putting red on black.
They didn't do a good job explaining why you can't get away with outlining (heraldic term is "fimbriating") the red thing in gold. There is a good discussion about why at http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/lessons/lesson05.html
A good rule of thumb for fimbriation is that if you can take the image you want to fimbriate, shrink it, and place it over the full size info and it fits neatly inside, then you can fimbriate that item. To see how this works, take a look at http://ace.heraldry.ansteorra.org/uploads/201012/1291315635.jpg -- The big cross can't be fimbriated, because when you shrink it it doesn't fit inside the parent cross. The same thing applies to any "creature" charge.
As several folks have pointed out, a heraldic phoenix is not a bird made out of flame (this is how modern fantasy artists depict it), but instead is a bird that sets itself aflame and burns to death, only to be reborn from the ashes. You will find it depicted pretty much like an eagle roosting in a campfire.
A classic phoenix:
A phoenix appearing from the side in a crest:
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