Coats of arms are hereditary insignia of persons, families and corporations. They originated in the 12th century from identification signs and seal images. At first, coats of arms were only used by the nobility. In the 12th century the tournament developed in France, a combat game, which spread in the courtly knight culture from France over whole Europe. In the tournament, two knights (single combatants) equipped with lance and shield went at each other. The herald ensured that the strict rules were observed. He also checked the authenticity of the coat of arms on the shield. The shield was a protective weapon, therefore the word "coat of arms" originated from the word "Waffen", English "weapon". From the word herald then the term "heraldry" has emerged. Heraldry = heraldry.
The heraldic shield was divided according to certain rules. In the 14th century, burghers and peasants also introduced this noble custom. Since the Confederation was never a monarchy, there were also no nobles, but only merit nobles. After citizens and peasants were given public offices in the communes and in the countryside and official documents had to be signed and sealed, they had a coat of arms with a personal symbol made by heraldists in order to comply with the obligation to seal.
Around the 16th century, the coat of arms was joined by the figuratively designed and magnificently decorated helmet. The overall image of a coat of arms consists of shield, helmet, crest and helmet cover.
Of greater importance for the citizens and peasants, however, were the so-called house signs. The house signs consisted of letters and monograms with salvation or magic signs. By including these symbolic signs to real heraldic figures in a shield and by a corresponding.
30: Familiengeschichte Kunfermann, Roland Kunfermann, 1999
31: Wappenbrief Bernhard Köhl, Bischof Ulrich de Mont, 1684, StAGR
Since the naturalization of 1564, the Köhl of Chur used a coat of arms with a white Easter lamb carrying an Easter flag. This coat of arms can be seen today in Chur on the facade of the Prixinenhaus at Arcas 3. Also this coat of arms can be seen on 2 of the grave slabs in the Chur city garden.
Coat of arms of the noble family Köhl: "Geviert; 1 split of black and silver; 2 and 3 in blue a white Easter lamb carrying an Easter flag, striding towards the center, 4 split of silver and black." This improved Köhl coat of arms can be seen today in Chur on the house facade at Casinoplatz 1. Also this coat of arms can be found in the coat of arms gallery in the town hall of Chur. And of course on the coat of arms letter of 1684 and its copies.
This improved coat of arms was used by the hereditary descendants of the mayor Bernhard von Köhl until the 19th century.