Arms of Carlo Barberini

Carlo Barberini


Blazon: Azure three bees volant or, on a point in chief gules a poleaxe in pale surmounted by two keys in saltire argent

The addition of the point in chief came with Carlo Barberini’s appointment to the position of Gonfalonier of the Church (likely around 1623, when Pope Urban VIII was elected). This position gave the bearer the right to use the papal keys and the umbraculum on his personal coat of arms. It is possible that the poleaxe in this depiction ought to be an umbraculum.

Oh, Barberinis. You can fudge the blazon enough to pretend they’re really bees, and you can add all the Papal regalia you want, but your coat of arms still very possibly started out as horseflies. Personally, I’m never going to forget.

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