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With this in mind, the encoded language emblazoned on stemmi is represented by: a single column (often times surmounted by a crown) for the Colonna family (1); an oak tree for the della Rovere family (2); six balls or spheres for the Medici family (3); six fleur-de-lis for the Farnese family (4); thunderbolts and stars, Aldobrandini family (5); dragons and eagle, Borghese family (6). There is the triumvirate of three bees, Barberini family (7); there are doves holding laurel sprigs in their beaks, Pamphili family (8); mounds in pyramidal shapes — the six mounded representation is always crowned with a multi-pointed star for the Chigi family (9). Then there is the three-mounded representation also crowned by a star and divided in two by a horizontal band, Albani family (10), just  to mention some of the more prominent families and their stemmi. Almost all of the families I have just mentioned have one or more members that were elevated to the papacy.     

Furthermore, to decipher stemmi one must be a sort of haberdasher as well. This is because families with ecclesiastical connections combined their family crest with either a cardinal's hat or a papal miter.  A cardinal's hat is a brimmed hat with a very wide, flat rim with opulent tassels wrapped around and dangling from it. Sometimes a cardinal will elevate to Pope and sometimes not. There can be many cardinals and a pope simultaneously in a single family, or even a nobleman for that matter. Papal miters on stemmi come with crossed keys which seem to hold the ‘hat’ upright. The iconography here refers to Saint Peter: God said unto Peter, ‘to you I give these keys and upon this rock you will build my church.’

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Cardinals' template

Cardinal Albani

Papal template

Template w/ Clemente XI Albani