Bend (heraldry)

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A blue-and-white striped bend (a "bend barry wavy argent and azure"), in the arms of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
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A blue-and-white striped bend (a "bend barry wavy argent and azure"), in the arms of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

In heraldry, a bend is a colored band that runs from the upper left (as seen by the viewer) corner of the shield to the lower right. Writers differ in how much of the field they say it covers; most say approximately one-fifth, but some say it covers one-third if itself charged.

A bend sinister is a bend which runs from the upper right (as seen by the viewer) corner of the shield to the lower left.

The diminutives (the name of the charge if it is smaller) of the bend are (in descending order) the bendlet, the garter (which if charged can only be charged with flowers or foils), the cottice (which can only be borne on either side of a bend), and the ribband. The diminutive of the bend sinister (in England) is the skarpe or skarfe.

In bend refers to the appearance of several items on the shield being lined up in the direction of a bend. For example, if three or four of a particular item were lined up so as to run from the upper right to the lower left.

A charge bendwise is slanted like a bend. (When a charge is placed on a bend, by default it is bendwise.)

A shield party per bend is divided into two parts by a single line which runs from the upper left to the lower right.

The equivalent terms can be constructed for bends sinister.

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