The Austin Crest

Coat armor was completely unknown in Europe before the 12th century. Its sudden rise was primarily due to the use of body armor, in turn brought on by the Crusades, and by the growing use of seals on personal documents. First used on shields and other pieces of armor for identification purposes, they were soon appearing on surcoats, horse trappings, and personal possessions. These early insignia, included bends (diagonal stripes), fesses (horizontal stripes), chevrons, crosses and charges or representations of animals or natural objects, were chosen because they were conspicuous, even in the bloody chaos of battle.  For the same reason, bright colors were used.

Research of the Austin arms has proven to be very difficult because of the various spellings of the name, and because some Austin families of both England and Scotland bear similar arms, yet no indication can be found as to the origin to these, or the respective dates the arms came into use. The crest to the left is but an example of one of the Austin crests.