Scottish heraldry is the form of heraldic visual identity utilised in Scotland, as well as by its diaspora. It is distinct from the tradition of the rest of the United Kingdom.
A distinctive feature of this tradition is the bearing of mottos above the crest in achievements (with slogans or war cries placed beneath the escutcheon).
The Scottish tradition is characterised by a strict enforcement of cadency and differencing, as well as the uniqueness of each entity's armorial bearing.
The idea of a societal clan structure survives in the legal fiction that every individual bearing the same surname is related, and therefore new grants to petitioners may difference the senior arms of their name.
Heraldic compartments originate in Scotland, and are frequently used where supporters are borne.
While conventional heraldic badges are granted for individuals of certain statuses, all armigers are entitled to bear a Scottish crest badge, in which their crest is depicted surrounded by a circlet bearing their motto, with a varying quantity of eagle feathers behind. All those nominally 'following' the armiger may use a crest badge with no feathers, and the circlet replaced with a strap and buckle. Some armiger are also granted more 'classical' heraldic badges similar to those seen , for instance, in England
It is one of the few traditions actively regulated in the present-day.
Coat of arms of Alexander Charles Richards Maitland
Coat of arms of the duke of Argyll
Crest Badge of the Clan Mac Donald