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Martello tower, photo by Erik Simpson

Heraldry in Ulysses


Ways to divide the field. Textual Occurrence of "ordinaries"
cross ordinary


pale ordinary


fess ordinary


bar ordinary

Bar(s): a narrower fess (said in theory to occupy one-fifth of the field), sometimes reckoned as an ordinary in its own right. It is rarely borne singly.

bend ordinary

Bend: Selected Textual Occurrence: Scylla and Charybdis (refers to Shakespeare's coat and crest)

chevron ordinary


saltire ordinary

Saltire or St Andrew's cross: diagonal cross as in the Scottish national banner—
Textual Occurrence

chief ordinary

Chief: horizontal band right across the top of the shield

bordure ordinary

Bordure: often used for cadency

pile ordinary

Pile: downward pointing triangle, issuing from the top of the shield


quarter subordinary

Quarter: the dexter chief quadrant of the shield

canton subordinary

Canton: smaller than the quarter, formally said to occupy one-ninth of the shield, though sometimes drawn smaller

flaunches subordinary

Flaunches, always borne in pairs: a circular arc emerging out of each flank of the shield

fret subordinary

Fret: interlacing bendlet, bendlet sinister and mascle. "Fret" is another word for the Greek key or "Meander" pattern found on old Greek artwork and sometimes thought to represent Daedalus' labyrinth. Molly's chamberpot is "orangekeyed," which may refer to this pattern. Textual Occurrences

gyronny subordinary


orle subordinary

Orle: a bordure separated from the outside of the shield

tressure subordinary

Tressure: a thinner version and hence diminutive of the orle
Depicted: Tressure Flory