In heraldry, a fess or fesse (from Middle English fesse, Old French faisse,  and Latin fasciacode: lat promoted to code: la , "band")  is a charge on a coat of arms (or flag) that takes the form of a band running horizontally across the centre of the shield.  Writers disagree in how much of the shield's surface is to be covered by a fess or other ordinary, ranging from one-fifth to one-third. The Oxford Guide to Heraldry states that earlier writers including Leigh, Holme, and Guillim favour one-third, while later writers such as Edmondson favour one-fifth "on the grounds that a bend, pale, or chevron occupying one-third of the field makes the coat look clumsy and disagreeable."  A fess is likely to be shown narrower if it is uncharged, that is, if it does not have other charges placed on it, and/or if it is to be shown with charges above and below it; and shown wider if charged. The fess or bar, termed fascecode: fra promoted to code: fr in French heraldry, should not be confused with fasces .
In English heraldry, two or more such charges appearing together on a shield are termed bars, though there are no definitive rules setting the width of the fess, the bar, nor their comparative width.  A shield of (often six or eight) horizontal stripes of alternating colour is called barry. Narrower versions of the bar are called barrulets ("little bars"), and when a shield of horizontal stripes alternating colour is composed of ten or more stripes, it is called barruly or burely instead of barry.  A cotise, defined as half the width of a barrulet, may be borne alongside a fess, and often two of these appear, one on either side of the fess.  This is often termed "a fess cotised" (also cottised, coticed or cotticed).  Another diminutive of the fess called a closet is said to be between a bar and barrulet, but this is seldom found. 
A shield party per fess (or simply per fess) is divided in half horizontally (in the manner of a fess). A charge placed horizontally may be termed fesswise or fessways, and two or more charges arranged in a horizontal row are blazoned in fess or in bar.
A mural fess, that is a fess embattled and masoned of the field, can be seen in the arms of Suzanne Elizabeth Altvater. 
The arms of Rennie Fritchie, Baroness Fritchie provide an example of three Barrulets fracted and there conjoined to a Chevronel. 
A flag which has a central horizontal stripe that is half the height of the flag is sometimes said to have a Spanish fess. The name is based on the most well-known example of this style of flag, the flag of Spain.
Heraldry is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement. The achievement, or armorial bearings usually includes a coat of arms on a shield, helmet and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners and mottoes.
In heraldry, tenné is a "stain", or non-standard tincture, of orange, light brown or orange-tawny colour.
In heraldry, the field (background) of a shield can be divided into more than one area, or subdivision, of different tinctures, usually following the lines of one of the ordinaries and carrying its name. Shields may be divided this way for differencing or for purposes of marshalling, or simply for style. The lines that divide a shield may not always be straight, and there is a system of terminology for describing patterned lines, which is also shared with the heraldic ordinaries.
The lines of partition used to divide and vary fields and charges in heraldry are by default straight, but may have many different shapes. Care must sometimes be taken to distinguish these types of lines from the extremely unusual and non-traditional use of lines as charges, and to distinguish these shapes from actual charges, such as "a mount [or triple mount] in base," or, particularly in German heraldry, different kinds of embattled from castle walls.
In heraldry, variations of the field are any of a number of ways that a field may be covered with a pattern, rather than a flat tincture or a simple division of the field.
Ordinaries in heraldry are sometimes embellished with stripes of colour alongside them, have lumps added to them, shown with their edges arciform instead of straight, have their peaks and tops chopped off, pushed up and down out of the usual positions, or even broken apart.
In heraldry, an ordinary is a simple geometrical figure, bounded by straight lines and running from side to side or top to bottom of the shield. There are also some geometric charges known as subordinaries, which have been given lesser status by some heraldic writers, though most have been in use as long as the traditional ordinaries. Diminutives of ordinaries and some subordinaries are charges of the same shape, though thinner. Most of the ordinaries are theoretically said to occupy one-third of the shield; but this is rarely observed in practice, except when the ordinary is the only charge.
In heraldry, a bend is a band or strap running from the upper dexter corner of the shield to the lower sinister. Authorities differ as to how much of the field it should cover, ranging from one-fifth up to one-third. The supposed rule that a bend should occupy a maximum of one-third of the field appears to exclude the possibility of three bends being shown together, but contrary examples exist.
In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms. The word can be used in two related senses. In the first sense, an escutcheon is the shield upon which a coat of arms is displayed. In the second sense, an escutcheon can itself be a charge within a coat of arms.
In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon (shield). That may be a geometric design or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object, building, or other device. In French blazon, the ordinaries are called pièces, and other charges are called meubles.
In classical heraldry, vert is the tincture equivalent to the colour "green". It is one of the five dark tinctures (colours). The word vert is simply the French word for "green". It is used in English in the sense of a heraldic tincture since the early 16th century. In Modern French, vert is not used as a heraldic term. Instead, the French heraldic term for green tincture is sinople. This has been the case since c. the 16th century. In medieval French heraldry, vert also meant "green" while sinople was a shade of red. Vert is portrayed by the conventions of heraldic "hatching" by lines at a 45-degree angle from upper left to lower right, or indicated by the abbreviation vt. when a coat of arms is tricked.
The lion is a common charge in heraldry. It traditionally symbolises courage, nobility, royalty, strength, stateliness and valour, because historically the lion has been regarded as the "king of beasts". The lion also carries Judeo-Christian symbolism. The Lion of Judah stands in the coat of arms of Jerusalem. Similar-looking lions can be found elsewhere, such as in the coat of arms of the Swedish royal House of Bjelbo, from there in turn derived into the coat of arms of Finland, formerly belonging to Sweden.
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image. The verb to blazon means to create such a description. The visual depiction of a coat of arms or flag has traditionally had considerable latitude in design, but a verbal blazon specifies the essentially distinctive elements. A coat of arms or flag is therefore primarily defined not by a picture but rather by the wording of its blazon. Blazon is also the specialized language in which a blazon is written, and, as a verb, the act of writing such a description. Blazonry is the art, craft or practice of creating a blazon. The language employed in blazonry has its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax, which becomes essential for comprehension when blazoning a complex coat of arms.
A pall in heraldry and vexillology is a Y-shaped charge, normally having its arms in the three corners of the shield. An example of a pall placed horizontally (fesswise) is the green portion of the South African national flag.
In heraldry and vexillology, a heraldic flag is a flag containing coats of arms, heraldic badges, or other devices used for personal identification.
In heraldry and architecture, a line which is drawn nebuly is made up of a series of bulbous protrusions, which are supposed to resemble clouds. The term is derived from the Latin word nebula, "a mist, vapor, or cloud" (OED). A nebuly line meanders in one direction describing the shape of three-quarters of a circle, then similarly in the other direction, maintaining a straight overall trajectory. A fess nebuly is a fess where the two horizontal lines of the fess are nebuly. A shield formed of several such fesses, termed bars where in excess of one, is barry nebuly.
The wolf has been widely used in many forms in heraldry during the Middle Ages. Though commonly reviled as a livestock predator and man-eater, the wolf was also considered a noble and courageous animal, and frequently appeared on the arms and crests of numerous noble families. It typically symbolised the rewards of perseverance in long sieges or hard industry.
In heraldry, a pile is a charge usually counted as one of the ordinaries. It consists of a wedge emerging from the upper edge of the shield and converging to a point near the base. If it touches the base, it is blazoned throughout.
In heraldry, a bar is an ordinary consisting of a horizontal band across the shield. If only one bar appears across the middle of the shield, it is termed a fess; if two or more appear, they can only be called bars. Calling the bar a diminutive of the fess is inaccurate, however, because two bars may each be no smaller than a fess. Like the fess, bars too may bear complex lines. The diminutive form of the bar is the barrulet, though these frequently appear in pairs, the pair termed a "bar gemel" rather than "two barrulets".
A roundel is a circular charge in heraldry. Roundels are among the oldest charges used in coats of arms, dating from the start of the age of heraldry in Europe, circa 1200–1215. Roundels are typically a solid colour but may be charged with an item or be any of the furs used in heraldry. Roundels are similar to the annulet, which some heralds would refer to as a false roundel.