Germanic Heraldry is the form of coat of arms and other heraldic bearings found in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but its influence can also be found in the former territories of Austria-Hungary, and the German Empire.
One of the most prominent differences to the surrounding heraldic traditions is the approach to crests. Compared to other traditions, germanic heraldry sees a higher usage of wings, horns, and hats as parts of the crest. Wings and helmet plates are also sometimes used as a “Hilfskleinod”, repetition of the entire (or large parts) of the shield design on top of the crest figure.
Sometimes the use of a torse is seen as optional, especially in the case of animal crests. Here, it is not uncommon to have the fur of the crest transition seamlessly into the mantling.
In regards to tinctures, furs and the colour purpure are rarely used. This last one mostly limited to details on crowns, hats or the insides of a helmet. Germanic Heraldry also tends to approach proper as hinting toward using the closest traditional tincture rather than the actual natural colour.
None of this system have a system of cadency, all descendent of the armiger inherit his arms equally and quartering is a fairly limited practice.
Coat of arms of Kärnten
Coat of arms of Robert Krätschmar
Coat of arms of Styria
Due to the political situation in the german lands, the germanic tradition never developed a central authority. Instead, there is a plenitude of heraldic associations, assisting with the creation and assumption of new arms, as well as the documentation of arms via periodically publishing roll of arms.