A family custom crest or coat of arms originated in Europe in the Middle Ages. They symbolized families or clans with elaborate illustrations and vivid colors. At tournaments, knights were only distinguishable by their armor, helmet, and shield. These tournaments and competitions, which were a popular source of entertainment, were a series of mounted and and armored combats. When the winning knight was announced as winner, they were typically awarded money as their prize. Spectators watching the sport could only identify each knight by the crest or coat of arms that they wore.
These heraldry symbols were associated with families and were in fact more commonly identifiable than a familys written surname. Each family, or clan, had a custom crest with illustrations that had deep meaning and significance. There are many family symbols as well as family crest symbols meanings. The color blue means truth and loyalty and a wavy line signifies water or the sea. A cala lily means magnificent beauty, and a bear signifies strength and cunning. A goat meant you were one who won through politics not battle, and a bunch of grapes symbolized peace and wine making (obviously)!
Today, your family surnames custom crest can be researched online. You can also have your own custom crest designed based on the many symbols and their meanings.