The Unappreciated Salamander in Heraldry

Salamanders may seem unlikely creatures to be found on coats of arms but they appear on the arms of many families, both Royal and noble, throughout Europe. Salamanders were generally shown as in flames and sometimes with a human head. A green salamander surrounded by fire appears on the Douglass crest.

Salamanders were used as symbols in heraldry representing mastery of passion passing through its fires unblemished. They represent the virtues of courage, loyalty, chastity, virginity, impartiality. They are symbolic of Jesus, who baptised with the fire of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary, and the devotion of Christians who keep the faith.

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