The Serpentine Line

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Arthur Radburn
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The Serpentine Line

Postby Arthur Radburn » 30 Jul 2017, 16:13

The "serpentine" line has been used in South Africa since the early 1980s, and is also found in Germany and Canada. It can be used, among other things, to represent a river (as an alternative to "wavy"), the coastline of a bay, or an undulating landscape.

Here are examples from each country. As we can see, there is no uniformity in blazoning this line. The South African heralds leave nothing to chance and specify which way the curves face. The Canadian heralds and the German heraldic designers (or some of them, at least) do not. As a result, we see "per fess serpentine" curving one way in Germany and the opposite way in Canada.

SOUTH AFRICA :

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- Boggoms Bay local council (1990) : "per pale serpentine to sinister in chief and to dexter in base ..." *

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- Blaauwberg municipality (1998) : "a fess serpentine ... dexter to base and sinister to chief ...".

GERMANY :

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- Geschendorf municipality : "Schrägbalken im Schlangenschnitt ..." ["a bend serpentine ..." ]

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- Nienborstel (2007) municipality : "im Schlangenschnitt leicht gesenkt geteilt ..." ["per fess abaissé serpentine ..."].

CANADA :

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- Gemini Power Corporation (2014) : "per fess serpentine ..."

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- Michael G. Peacock (2016) : "a saltire serpentine ...".
Regards
Arthur Radburn
IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

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