Bendy coat of arms
bendy of six, blue and gold, with the black eagle on the first bend of gold
The Montefeltro family, a branch of the family of the counts of Carpegna, adopted its coat of arms with the brisures of tincture, that is, by variations in color: both are banded, but one of them, with blue and silver (Carpegna), the other with blue and gold (Montefeltro). Present in the first bend of gold, the eagle present (with wings “abaisé”, i.e. lowered, with the head facing towards the right side of the field, the limbs and claws open, tail tucked in) represents the imperial emblem par excellence. This constitutes the Ghibelline symbol of investiture for counts that the Montefeltro family received from the emperors from the Duchy of Hohenstaufen. According to some, its existence dates back to the time of Frederick I Barbarossa (1125-1190; see Lombardi, I simboli, p. 135; Ceccarelli, “Non mai”, p. 20; Caldari, Emblemi, imprese, onorificenze, p. 102). Others believe that it was introduced after surrender of the city of Urbino and the appointment of Buonconte (d. 1241), count of Montefeltro, to count of Urbino by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194-1250; see Cappellini, Araldica Feretrana, p. 70). The presence of the imperial eagle was clearly manifest on the Montefeltro coat of arms between 1312 and 1340 (see Conti, I Montefeltro, p. 133 nt. 40; Id., Il sigillo, pp. 329, 336). Nardini formed a different hypothesis, claiming that the eagle present in the first bend of gold was that of the city of Urbino, and that “the feudal lords and their subjects thus possessed a common coat of arms” (original text: Nardini, Le imprese, p. 5).
Urb. lat. 1221, f. 2r - Urb. lat. 1324, f. 2r
This coat of arms was used by Count Federico (1444-1474) during the first decades of his rule, and was often flanked by the letters FC (for Federicus Comes), as for example in Urb. lat. 281, on f. 5r. Notwithstanding the use of different coats of arms as time went on, the bendy coat of arms continued to be used and to maintain a special place in the heraldic apparatus of the family (see Conti, Osservazioni araldiche, p. 66 nt. 11) and is frequently found to embellish the manuscripts, next to the coats of arms subsequently adopted (see quarterly coat of arms, ducal coat of arms).