A Heraldic Primer: Charges on Charges

We have seen how charges on the field are blazoned. It is also possible to have charges that lie completely on other charges, and do not meet the field at all. Such charges form a third layer of the design.

Such charges are blazoned after the charges on which they lie. There are two forms:

  1. "... on an X, some Y's ..."
  2. "... some X's (each) charged with some Y's ..."
Form (1) is usually preferred, because it is shorter. But when there are multiple underlying charges, form (2) must be used.

The following picture may help clarify what is meant by charges on charges:
The illustration shows how "Sable, on a pale argent a mullet sable." might look if viewed obliquely from below.

Here is a summary of the syntax rules so far:


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