Differing from other heraldry, Ecclesiastical heraldry varies notably in the use of distinctive insignia around the shield to indicate the bearer’s rank in the church. The most notable of these decorations is the hat with a low crown and wide brim, generally the Roman galero. The color and embellishment of this hat indicates rank. Red indicates a Cardinal’s hat, black denotes regular clergy and green is for Bishops. The quantity of tassels increases with rank.

In this video, Bishop Barron comments on his episcopal coat of arms, explaining the rich meaning and symbolism behind each detail.


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