POLAND NATIONAL ARMS
French Monarchs granted augmentations to Coats of Arms very rarely. They made one notable exception when they had to acknowledge the part played by Joan of Arc in the eventual eviction of the English. In 1429, Charles VII granted to the family of Joan of Arc a simple but very elegant shield displaying a blue field charged with a sword supporting the French crown and two fleur de lis in fess. The Coat of Arms are symbolic of the account by the writer, Holinshed, that Joan of Arc had wielded a sword “with five floure delicees graven on both sides”, and although there is little evidence to suggest Joan of Arc used these Coat of Arms herself, they were used by her brothers descendants upon whom Charles VII conferred the name Du Lys. French Monarchs also made an exception for two notable Italian families granted augmentations to their Arms, the Viscontis of Milan and the Medicis of Florence. Both of these Italian families could be said to have been awarded augmentations “of grace” by French monarchs. In 1395 Charles VI conceded by special diploma to Gian Galeaza Visconti the right to quarter the ancient Coat of Arms of France within a double border the internal silver and the external red. The Medici Arms are thought to include a pun on their name, the red roundels in the shield possibly being pills handed out by doctors (medici). In 1465 Louis XI granted the Medicis the right to replace the top roundel in their Coat of Arms with a blue one charged with three gold fleur de lis.
There are examples of augmentation elsewhere in Europe. In Poland the Coats of Arms of many notable families evolved on the battlefield and they offer some unusual examples of augmentation. In 1386 the two bordering states of Poland and Lithuania were joined through the marriage of the last Polish King of the Piast dynasty to Grand Duke Jagiello of Lithuania. The Polish National Coat of Arms, a white eagle on a red field, were afterward quartered with Lithuania’s charging Knight. Under the Jagiellon dynasty, if a man was raised to nobility through valor on the battlefield, it became the custom to give him a shield charged with an arm in armor brandishing a sword. This Coat was known as the “Pogonia”. Later Polish Kings, mainly those of the Vasa dynasty, would grant foreigners, such as ambassadors, who had offered good service to the state, part of the Polish eagle as an augmentation. The Coat of Arms of Moravia, Azure an eagle displayed chequy Argent and Gules ( A blue field with an eagle in gold and red checkers with wings spread), have long been considered one of the most beautiful in medieval heraldry. When the Moravians came to the aid of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III (1440-1493) he granted them the right to change the silver checkers of the eagle to gold. In 1848, the year of revolution, Moravians supporting the Czech Independence movement pledged support to the ancient eagle with silver and red checkers, while German-speaking Moravians used the augmented gold and red checkered eagle as their symbol