The history of weaponry started with the rock and the stick. A rock or a stout stick could subdue dinner or dispatch an enemy. Later, walking sticks evolved into many martial arts disciplines. Other early weapons included the hammer and hand axe. At first they were made with stone heads and wooden handles. Later the heads were made of copper, bronze and iron.
Most early weapons were modifications of hunting weapons or common tools—pruning hooks became spears, for example. Wooden weapons were often used for training and mock combat in many societies.
The spirit or character of the ideal knight was marked by honor, courtesy and generosity. This code of behavior, all too seldom followed, evolved from the ancient Celtic virtues of bravery, honor and generosity tempered by the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity as promoted by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. Indeed the principles of chivalry being the code claimed by the noble and warrior class seemed closer to ancient virtues than the Christian ones.
We wish to promote an idealized version of chivalry encouraging our young friends to do battle with imaginary dragons and not with younger siblings or the family pet.
Download the full Virtues of Chivalry pdf here.
For many thousands of years, groups of people have been using designs as symbols to create a common identity for their clans. One group was the bear clan, another was the wolf clan. As there were more and more people and more complicated groupings and associations the symbols became more numerous and complex. The people of the bear clan didn't want to be confused with another bear clan so perhaps one became the flying blue bear clan and their symbol became a picture of a blue bear with wings.
During times when war and battles dominated one's life, it became important for the symbol to be visible from a distance so one could identify and locate others despite the confusion of battle. This was an age when most people did not know how to read or write, so the symbols had to be simple pictures. For example, the flying blue bear clan wanted to easily distinguish their symbol from that of the blue eagle clan and the flying blue horse clan.
Sometime between the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the First Crusade, the art and science of heraldry evolved into a system recognized throughout England and much of Europe. A family would have registered the flying blue bear symbol if they were deemed important enough to be allowed to do so. This allowed members of this family, and their soldiers and servants, to wear the symbol exclusively. These symbols were used on clothes, flags, shields, and many other ways.
The designs you see here at Burnt Mountain are what we call generic heraldry. The images we use are so simple and basic that we hope not to offend any individual or family by infringing on their design. Although our shields don't always follow all the rules of heraldry, we use the seven basic colors of traditional heraldry and our designs, or devices, are of traditional style.