Author: Prof. Dr. Vitéz Nemes László T. Kóczy de Borgó et Nagysikárló, Staff Captain, Judge of the Seat
The Order of Vitéz is a Hungarian founded order and its heraldic regulations are identical with the rules of historical heraldic usage of Hungary.
Those members who descend legitimately and on the father’s side (agnatically) from a Hungarian or foreign noble ancestor, are entitled to use a nobiliary coat-of-arms, if such a coat-of-arms has been donated to the ancestor by a sovereign ruler, or if the usage of such a coat-of-arms in the family can be evidenced for multiple centuries, and thus the right of owning that coat based on the “usus” can be proved. Descendants of such families are entitled to decorate their family coat-of-arms with the insignia of the Order, each member according to their respective rank and state, independently from the fact whether the member belongs to the officer or troupe class, whether they are Vitéz of Justice, Vitéz of Grace, or Honorary Vitéz. Above the shield of the nobiliary coats-of-arms, usually, there is an open helmet, which is crowned by a nobiliary coronet (a golden coronet with alternatingly three leaves and two pearls (“old nobles”), or in the case of more recently nobilitated families (“new nobles”), five pearls.) Above the coronet, the crest (which has not been in use by all Hungarian families) may be displayed. Above the shield of nobles of higher rank, the coronet of the appropriate rank may be used (seven pearls for barons, nine pearls for counts, and eleven pearls or a closed princely coronet for princes), then, however, according to heraldic tradition, it is improper to apply any helmet above the coronet. Archdukes and royal princes use the crowns of their own dynasties above the shield.
Those lesser noblemen who do not own family coat-of-arms (families with so-called simplex nobilitatio), may follow the way described below, appropriate for non-nobles, or may apply their initials in a shield, with a nobiliary coronet above the shield.
Those who do not own a nobiliary family coat-of-arms may use their own inherited burgher arms, if they have any, or they may follow the tradition also known from the history of Hungary, and they may assume a new burgher coat-of-arms. The new arms should be tasteful, following the rules of heraldry, where above the shield; a closed helmet may be placed, with a torse on top. Such a new, personal coat-of-arms should never offend the rights of families which have such arms by a sovereign’s grant! (It should be not identical with or very similar to any of those, unless the member has a provable descendence by blood connection to the family owning that coat. In such case, however, the approval of the representative of the family in question should be obtained.)
Every member of the Order who does not own a coat-of-arms has the right to use the Badge of the Order, as his or her personal Vitéz coat-of-arms.
Officers of the Order decorate their coat-of-arms with the insignia indicating their respective officer’s rank and position, according to the Codex (one or two marshal’s batons, one or two swords, decorations of the appropriate class on a chain or ribbon surrounding or hanging from the shield). All members should apply the badge of the Order placed under their own personal coat-of-arms, as the sign of being a member of the Order of Vitéz.
The right to use and the correctness of a nobiliary coat-of-arms owned by a member of the Order is checked by the Genealogic and Heraldic Committee of the Order of Vitéz. Newly assumed burgher coats-of-arms will be checked and approved by the same committee.