It is a misconception that it is just Kingdoms which have their own Heraldic Institutions.  Several republics also have their own state-appointed heraldic offices.  These include, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation and Slovakia in Europe, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda in Africa and Azerbaijan and the Philippines in Asia.

Another common misconception is that heraldry is the prerogative of the nobility.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  All citizens of Malta are  entitled to apply for a grant of Arms, although such a grant should be considered as a singular honour, granted on the basis  on a number of  criteria, including involvement of the applicant in public life together participation in charitable or similar works, the applicant’s life successes which can be educational, professional or business together with honours that have been received.

All Arms are, however, granted at the discretion of the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta.

Existing Personal Arms

If it can be proven that certain personal Arms have been in uninterrupted use in Malta for at least three generations by the applicant’s ancestors, those Arms would be considered as part of Malta’s intangible cultural heritage and would be registered as they stand.  In other cases, the Chief Herald would use his discretion.

Arms already formally granted and/or registered by other recognised heraldic authorities are registrable at the Office of The Chief Herald of Arms, subject naturally to the rights of others.  “Recognised” refers to heraldic institutions recognised by the State in which they are situated e.g. The College of Arms (England, Wales and other territories), Court of the Lord Lyon (Scotland), Office of the Chronicler King of Arms of Castile and Léon (Spain), The Chief Herald of Ireland (Eire), The Chief Herald of Canada, The Bureau of Heraldry of South Africa and so forth.

Should you wish to apply for a grant of Arms or to register existing Arms, please contact the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta on chiefherald@gov.mt

It shall be the sole decision of the Chief Herald of Arms to determine whether any particular institution is to be “recognised” and such recognition is normally on a mutual basis.

Impersonal Arms

When considering an application by entities (impersonal Arms) from any institution such as a company, club or society the Chief Herald of Arms would need to consider, among other things, the nature of that institution, so as to ensure that it is non- controversial and generally socially acceptable, the time scale during which that institution has been in existence, the number of members that institution possesses or in the case of a business, the financial position of that company.

X