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During the Middle Ages, knights used a coat of arms to identify who was inside the armor. One man in armor looked much the same as another, so the coat of arms was used to identify a knight in battle. In a society where many people couldn't read or write, pictures were essential. A coat of arms was more like a label for instant identification than it was like a painting. You wanted to know instantly who was coming toward you, so you could know which side he was on. Coats of arms later took on further significance and meanings. Coats of Arms were also a way of showing that you were a member of the aristocracy, after they lost their significance in warfare.
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