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Design a Coat of Arms

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Heraldry: Design Your Own Coat of Arms

When creating a coat of arms, English heralds in Shakespeare's day used certain designs to tell a particular family's story. A family famous for its courage might choose a lion to represent it; a hard-working family might choose an industrious bee as its symbol.

These designs could reflect the family's lineage, homeland, traditions—whatever the family members wanted other people to know about them.

As part of the Folger's exhibition on heraldry and family history, the Folger invited students in grades 2 through 6 to participate in the “All About Me: Identity and Design” contest.

Students who entered the contest used heraldry principles to create their own coat of arms to represent their family. See the winning entries below, then give a try at designing your own coat of arms.


All About Me: Identity and Design Contest Winners

First Place
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Second Place
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Third Place
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Honorable Mention
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Honorable Mention
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Honorable Mention
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Honorable Mention
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Create Your Own
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The Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England exhibition is open Jul 1–Oct 26. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to create their own coat of arms at a special activity table in the exhibition hall.

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