Let me say this, that this coat-armor being Barry, is interpreted by some learned in blazon, to represent to the bearer, force, valour, courage, or wisdom, whereby he hath repelled any peril or danger imminent to his country or sovereign; the Barre… is taken in the like signification.

– From the Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586) p243

Like most early attempts to assign some kind of symbolism to heraldic charges (especially the ordinaries), this assertion does not seem to be supported by more reliable sources.

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