They usually occur on a scroll normally placed beneath the shield or over the crest.

A word or short sentence inserted in a scroll, which is generally placed beneath the escutcheon; in some instances it is placed above the crest. The motto frequently alludes to the name of the bearer of the arms, as the motto of the Right Honourable Lord Fortescue-FORTE SCUTUM SALUS DUCUM, a strong shield is the safety of commanders. Sometimes the motto is the watchword or war-cry in the battle where the original bearer won the honours that are retained by his descendants. Generally the motto is founded upon the piety, loyalty, valour, fortitude, &c. of the persons to whom arms were granted.