Heraldry - More Divisions of the field

The following divisions form part of the group of designs called sub-ordinaries. More ordinaries and sub-ordinaries will be covered in later sections but these sub-ordinaries are similar to the main shield divisions and so will be covered here first. Barry, Paly, Gyronny and Bendy all shown below indicate that the shield is divided into an even number of divisions. When describing the shield the number of divisions is usually specified as shown in the examples below.

When specifying the colours or tinctures for these divisions it is normal to state the top most (in the case of Barry) or the left most (in the case of Paly and Bendy) first.

Barry of six or and azure

Barry indicates that the field is divided with an even number of bars. It is best to specify the number of bars to use.

Paly is used to divide the field vertically with an even number of pales. Again the number of pales should be specified.

Paly of six argent and gules


Gyronny azure and purpure

The Gyron is a single segment (a half of a square) but the shield is usually covered with eight gyrons as shown and is called Gyronny. Specify the number if more than eight.

Bendy indicates that the shield is divided by diagonal bands.

Bendy sable and gules



The Medieval Shield Designer

You can choose to add one of the additional divisions shown above to your shield. These can be found on the 'Set Field Division' popup. At the bottom of the popup is a 'More' button that will give you these extra division styles.

To view the interactive shield designer you need to install Microsoft Silverlight.

Please click on the link below to install Silverlight from the Microsoft website.

Get Microsoft Silverlight


Points of the shield

A: Dexter Chief
B: Middle Chief
C: Sinister Chief
D: Honour Point
E: Fess-point (middle of shield)
F: Nombril / Naval point
G: Dexter Base
H: Middle Base
I: Sinister Base