LONDON (AP) — Britain's gay couples have taken a step forward — into the Middle Ages. Like blue-blooded families down the centuries, they can now have their own coats of arms.

The College of Arms, which has overseen noble titles and insignia since the 15th century, has ruled that same-sex married couples may join their heraldic symbols in the same way as heterosexual spouses.

The change follows the legalization of same-sex marriage, which took effect March 29.

The college's ruling says a man "may impale the arms of his husband with his own on a shield or banner." A woman "may bear arms on a shield or banner, impaling the arms of her wife with her own."

Lancaster Herald Robert Noel said Friday that the change "seemed natural and logical."