Marshalling of Arms

Shields divided into halfs and quarter refer to different people or associations. For instance, a shield divided vertically may represent husband and wife. In such cases, the dexter side (left) refers to the husband and the sinister (right) to the wife. A shield divided into quarters concerns four such associations and so forth. We consider several cases below.


Shields with two sections, divided vertically.

These often represent the coat of arms of a husband and wife. The shield (as well as the other shields on this entry) at the right can be found on the Notre Dame Heraldic site with a more complete narrative.

A vertical division is also used to marshall the arms of a person with arms of the position held (King, etc.).


Shields with four sections, divided quarterly (i.e., both vertically and horizontally.

Such shields display four distinct armorials. The material displayed in the upper left corner is the most consequential.


Shields with six or more sections.

Such shields are ofen used to trace the family history of the person displaying the coat of arms.