Heraldry is the system by which coats of arms and other armorial bearings are devised, described and regulated. Coats of arms and armorial bearings first emerged in the 12th century for purely practical reasons. Knights in full armour with closed helmets only had limited vision and the similarities between their armour made it difficult to distinguish one from the other. They, therefore, adopted clear markings to distinguish between friends and enemies; designs that eventually developed into coats of arms. Later on in the 12th century, these distinguishing marks went from being only identification for knightly arms bearers to becoming symbols for the bearers’ families.
Lorsch Abbey was closely linked to the nobility, even in the High Middle Ages. Many monks came from noble families within the abbey’s sphere of influence. Their family coats of arms are still known to us today.