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Examples of heraldic eagles of the 13th to 16th centuries, from Hugo Gerard Ströhl's Heraldischer Atlas

The eagle is used in heraldry as a charge, as a supporter, and as a crest. Heraldic eagles can be found throughout world history like in the Achaemenid Empire or in the contemporary Republic of Indonesia. The European post-classical symbolism of the heraldic eagle is connected with the Roman Empire on one hand (especially in the case of the double-headed eagle), and with Saint John the Evangelist on the other.

  • late 14th century

    late 14th century: curved wing edges (vertical remiges), curved tail feathers, legs at an acute angle

  • 15th century: wing edges pointing upward (radiating remiges), more ornate tail feathers, legs at a right angle

  • Depiction