Medieval European coats of arms tend to be so grandiose, so colorful, so full of reverse mermaids it’s hard to know what to look at first. But if its animal charge doesn’t immediately draw your eyes towards its massive penis, odds are you’re not looking at an original coat of arms.

To pizzle, aside from what Snoop Dogg calls going to the bathroom, is the heraldic term signifying that a feudal cartoon mascot has been depicted “with its sex,” a polite way of saying these noble crests feature a massive swinging animal dong. The heraldic tradition of pizzling has a complicated series of forms and rules. Over time, beasts were even endowed with signature schlong styles. Like the stallion who, unlike in real life, was drawn with a surprisingly modest tackle ...

That tongue makes up for a lot, though.

Instead, the charge with the most impressive growth was the stag, having their large Bambi-makers on proud display.

A stag smug on a field obscured.

But the size of the pizzle wasn’t the only factor. Those marching under headstrong herbivores like the bull and the ram preferred to show just how ballsy they were ...

It does take some balls to choose a bull that sweet looking.

And the noblest lions and bears, while bestowed with sophisticatedly small members, compensated by being posing rampant (avec un hihosilver), a stance so aggressive it only made anatomic sense to draw them with a raging hard-on. 

It's not the size of the pizzle, it's how well you use it to ravish the countryside.

Of course, pizzling was only part of the patois puzzle denoting the delicate art of drawing dicks. In the Holy Roman Empire, which so loved its all-black motifs, beastly hogs were also “besmirched” (vilené) in a bright accent color. Which, in keeping with the rules for highlighting body parts like claws and tongues, were given the heraldic tincture of gules -- blood red. 

Nothing more honorable than marching under the banner of a dog with a rock-hard lipstick dick. 

And that bloody boner better be extra eye-catching because if there’s one thing worse than your crest implying you’re a violent rapist, it’s implying you’re a woman. A beast that did not have its junk visible was described as éviré (emasculated). This was especially insulting in the more gothic-y parts of Central Europe, where bears were the most macho thing you could hang on your walls until Fast and Furious posters.

What do Medieval nobles and Dom Toretto have in common? It's all about family.

So insinuating someone marches under the banner of a she-bear? Them’s warrin’ words. The Swiss canton of Appenzell, not known for being big on gender equality (women only got the vote in 1991), almost went to war with the neighboring St. Gallen when it ‘forgot’ to give ein grosser barenschwanz to the Appenzell bear in its 1579 calendar.

The official symbol of fragile masculinity.

Not just a schoolyard taunt, having a dickless beast could legitimately strip you of honor. With éviré literally meaning "castrated" in French, heraldic lions often had their roaring erections removed to label their bannermen as renegades. So when Swedish female soldiers successfully campaigned in 2005 to Photoshop out the lion erection on their unit badge, it caused a minor national outrage with heralds accusing the military of making these soldiers traitors of the realm.

So now we can't even celebrate the Scandinavian warrior tradition of raping and pillaging? 

Long before PR disasters, the decline of the pizzle had been caused by the same puritanical prudishness that started slapping fig leaves on Greek statues. After the Middle Ages, coats of arms were stripped of their swinging dicks, replaced by the most underwhelmingly suggestive tufts of fur. 

It's cruel, but they're so much more well-behaved this way.

Yet some places clung to their cocks by turning to another Medieval tradition: sneaking schlongs into everything from book margins to civic symbols to paintings of the baby Jesus. The city of Schaffhausen, instead of lopping off its ram’s glorious golden globes …

How else were they going to distract people from that giant weird crown?

Redesigned their coat of arms to literally house the sheep’s balls in a phallic tower. 

His balls are stuck in there in more ways than one. 

Likewise, the rebellious Swiss capital Bern compromised by hiding its ursine genitals behind a parapet -- which just happens to look like a black and red bear cock. 

You'd look distressed, too, if you were one phallic symbol away from getting snipped.

Much more subtle is Berlin’s bear, who is now drawn looking as smooth as a Ken doll -- until you notice that the line connecting its leg and stomach makes a suggestive stop along the way. 

Is that a sloppy drawing, or are you just happy to see me?

But the real geniuses had to be the feudal lords of Styria, whose foresight allowed their coat of arms’ panther to not just keep, but more prominently feature its pizzle … 

Yes, that's a pizzle. And yes, that's a panther.

Because compared to their Medieval version shooting flames out of both its front and back holes.

House Taco Bell sends its regards

A monochrome erection looks downright tasteful. 

For more tangents disjoint on a field of azure birds argent, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

 

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