The Chinese Armorial
last update: October 29, 2015
1. Eligibility for Registration of Coats of Arms, Badges, and Heraldic Devices
If the Editor of the Chinese Armorial has not solicited your coat of arms, badge, or heraldic device for registration and publication in the Chinese Armorial, you may apply to have it registered and published.
The coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices (for example, banners) of persons of Chinese descent living in or with citizenship of any country are eligible to be registered and published in the Chinese Armorial.
The Chinese Armorial is for coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices in the Western or European sense, that is, they conform to the Western or European principles of heraldry and can be blazoned using heraldic terminology.
At present, the Chinese Armorial registers and publishes arms, badges, and devices of persons, royalty (i.e., royal arms), corporations, not-for-profit organizations, plus selected government and state arms that conform to Western heraldic tradition.
For purposes of the Chinese Armorial, persons of Chinese descent include any person with a Chinese ancestor. The Armorial is open to persons descended from any of the recognized national minorities of China, for example, Tibetans, Mongolians, Taiwanese, etc.
There are areas that were once under Chinese rule but have either gained independence or come under the rule of another country, for example, independent Mongolia (Outer Mongolia) and the Russian Republic of Tuva. Due to their historical connection to China, coats of arms of persons from these states may also be eligible for registration and publication in the Chinese Armorial.
The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau have long had ethnic groups, for example, Indians and Portuguese, who are not recognized as national minorities by the People's Republic of China or the Republic of China. Nonetheless, these groups have lived in Hong Kong and Macau for generations. In addition, there are some Chinese citizens of non-Chinese ancestry. The Editor will consider coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices from armigers of non-Chinese descent on a case-by-case basis, depending on the strength of the individual's or his/her family's ties to China, Hong Kong, or Macau.
Persons without Chinese ancestry who have only a transient or temporary residency in China, for example, tourists, diplomatic staff, and scholars and business people in China for fixed terms, do not qualify as being "Chinese" for purposes of the Armorial.
2. Registration Requirements and Consent to Publish Heraldic, Personal, and Family Information
Applicants must provide the following information at minimum:
The Editor encourages applicants to also provide background information about the symbolism and significance of the charges and colours and relevant personal or family history and permit the Chinese Armorial to publish this information online and in book form, including electronic book form. Such information enhances the readers' enjoyment of heraldry as a form of art, culture, and history.
By applying for the registration and publication of his or her coat of arms, badge, or heraldic device on the Chinese Armorial, the applicant agrees that:
3. Types of Arms, Badges, and Heraldic Devices
Granted, Recorded, and Matriculated Arms
The Chinese Armorial will register and publish coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices that have been granted, recorded, or matriculated by a state heraldic authority, that is: the College of Arms, the Court of the Lord Lyon, the Cronista Rey des Armas (Spain), the Chief Herald of Ireland, the Canadian Heraldic Authority, the South African Bureau of Heraldry, or the Kenyan Bureau of Heraldry.
When applying for to register his or her arms, badge, or heraldic device in the Chinese Armorial, the applicant should provide information about the grant, including its date and heraldic authority. The Editor may, at his discretion, request evidence of the grant, registration, or matriculation, or that the applicant is the rightful bearer of the arms, badge, or heraldic device.
If the applicant's coat of arms has been claimed or used by "ancient usage," the Editor may, at his discretion, request evidence of recent matriculation or exemplification of the arms.
Assumed or Burgher Arms
Given that the majority of countries do not have heraldic authorities or have no laws preventing the use of assumed arms, and given that most Chinese in the world live in such countries, the Chinese Armorial will register and publish coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices that have been assumed and used by individuals without grant or registration by a state heraldic authority. However, the applicant must attest that his or her arms, etc., are of original design and are not usurped, that is, used without permission or valid claim, from another person. The Editor may, at his discretion, ask questions or ask for proof regarding the originality of the arms and the history of their use.
If the arms, badge, or device has been registered with a private registry, for example, the American College of Heraldry, the International Register of Arms, the Russian College of Heraldry, or Deutsch Wappenrolle, please send information about the registration.
If later research shows that the applicant did not have the right to bear the arms, badge, or device, the entry will be deleted from the Chinese Armorial. The Editor's decision on such deletions will be final.
Heraldic Accessories and Symbols and Titles of Rank
Heraldic accessories indicating rank, such as supporters, coronets of rank, pavilions, and ecclesiastical hats, will be accepted at the Chinese Armorial if their use conforms to the customs of heraldry of the applicant's country; if they have been granted or registered by a heraldic authority; or if they have been registered by a competent private armorial registry.
4. Use of Military Ranks, Titles of Nobility, and Ranks of Orders of Chivalry
Use of military ranks, titles of nobility, and ranks of orders of chivalry in conjunction with the applicant's name and history will be assessed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the Editor. The Editor may, at his discretion, ask for proof of rank and title.
5. Items Ineligible for Registration or Publication in the Chinese Armorial
The following items are not eligible for registration or publication in the Chinese Armorial:
Coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices used in conjunction with the Society of Creative Anachronism or similar role-playing organizations and activities: these are used by the person's role-playing persona, not by the actual person.
Coats of arms of your family name: these are coats of arms obtained from businesses that sell coats of arms or "crests" of a family name, often on a document or scroll that includes an explanation of the name's origin and a family history that was not specifically researched for the purchaser. These businesses use coats of arms from ancient and legitimate rolls of arms, but there is no guarantee that the coat of arms that you purchased was actually used by one of your direct descendants or anyone related to you. It may merely be the coat of arms of an unrelated person who happens to share your family name.
Coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices usurped from another person: by "usurped," we mean that the coat of arms rightfully belongs to another person and that the applicant is using it without legitimate claim or right.
Coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices of fictional characters: only the coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices of actual persons, living or dead, may be included in the Chinese Armorial.
Newly-created coats of arms, badges, and heraldic devices for a deceased person without a grant or registration from a heraldic authority: the Chinese Armorial will not register or publish a newly-created coat of arms, badge, or heraldic device for a deceased person unless that person has received a posthumous grant or registration from a heraldic authority.