CHEVRON (Fr. from chévre, a goat), in architecture, the beams or rafters in the roofs of a building, meeting in an angle with a fancied resemblance to the horns of a butting goat; in heraldry a bent bar on a shield, used also as a distinguishing badge of rank on the sleeves of non-commissioned officers in most armies and navies and by police and other organized bodies wearing uniform, and as a mark of good conduct in the army and navy. Chevron is also an architectural term for an inflected ornament, called also "zig-zag," found largely in romanesque architecture in France, England and Sicily. It is one of the most common decorations found in the voussoirs of the Norman arch, and was employed also on shafts, as in the cloisters of Monreale near Palermo, those of St Paul outside Rome, and many churches in Germany. Its earliest appearance was in the tomb of Agamemnon at Mycenae, where the shafts flanking the entrance doorway have nine decorative chevron bands; in this case there is no doubt it was derived from the metal casing of the early wood columns.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)