Dutch heraldry and Belgian heraldry is the form of coats of arms and other heraldic bearings and insignia used in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Dutch and Belgian colonial empire but also in the historical territories that make up the Lowlands (or Nederlands).
The different traditions in the lowlands are the result of mixed influences, especially German and French. It is thanks to the work of people such as J. B. Rietstap in the XIX th century that the lowland really developed a distinct and codified tradition. Due to the history of the lowlands as a trading hub, it's not uncommon to encounter arms originating from other tradition especially Portuguese arms.
The main feature of this tradition is the use of the barred helmet (often with a golden trim and a collar) and that for all individual they be from nobility or not. The use of a belt to attach the shield to the helm is also prominent, especially in Belgian heraldry. Traditionally, the torses of Nederlandse coat of arms also have five twists contrary to the six often seen in the British isles.
Crest in the lowlands usually features typically Germanic charges such as wings or horns but many also feature demi-human figures, especially those that date back to after the Dutch Revolt (1566).
Belgian Heraldry is also known for blazoning not only the motto but the scroll, indicating the colours of the letters and of the scroll itself.
Both system do not have a system of cadency, all descendent of the armiger inherit his arms equally. In the late Middle Ages arms were often distinguished by changing one of its feature (usually tinctures or number of charges) but this is no longer the case for modern grants.
Hoge Raad van Adel
High council of Nobility (Municipalities and Nobility)
Jonannes Baptista Rietstap, Handboek der Wapenkunde, G. B. van Goor Zonen, 1857
Honoré Rottier & Marc Van De Cruys, Heraldiek, Davidsfonds Uitgeverij, 2004
Benoit Kervyn de Volkaersbeke, Wapen-schilden in Brugse straten, Uitgaven West-vlaamse Gidsenkring, 2020
WAZAMAR, Heraldische Wapens in de Nederlanden, 'Wapenrecht', 1995
Jonannes Baptista Rietstap, Armorial général: précédé d'un dictionnaire des Termes du blason, 'Vol.I', G. B. van Goor Zonen, 1884
Jonannes Baptista Rietstap, Armorial général: précédé d'un dictionnaire des Termes du blason, 'Vol.II', G. B. van Goor Zonen, 1884
Contact of the Vlaamse Heraldische Raad
Website of the Nederlands Genootschap Voor Heraldiek
Lecture - The Heraldries of the Netherlands and Belgium