Fantastic Crests of the Middle Ages :

The Unicorn

 

The unicorn is a very common fabulous animal. Itís a mythological monster and a biblical symbol. This chimerical beast is renowned as a gallant and unconquerable kind of game. Perhaps the hunters kill it, but they never catch it. The Christianity see in the unicorn a symbol of strength and purity. Medieval authors said that this extraordinary animal is the representation of Jesus-Christ Our Lord. Also, this idea looks the unicorn like the Virgoís fruit, reminding the mythological idea which means that a unicorn only shall be catch by a virgin.

But the true symbolic aspect of a crest is often hidden. Someone seams that the erected horn of the unicorn is a symbol of virility (as rhinoceros' horn in some Asiatic countries today).

Invincibility, virginity, virility... however symbolical theme will be seen by the knights, an unicorn is a very fine crest.

The Bastard of Orleans chose for his crest an unicornís head Argent mane and horn Or; wreath Or and Azure; mantling Azure doubled Or (arms : Azure, three Fleurs-de-lis Or under a Label Argent, a Baton sinister Sable over all).