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Re: More heraldry questions
Poster: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy@abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
Greetings from Tibor.
On Standards, and their contents.
>From Heraldic Display by Kim Ann Innes, 1989, pages 16-17.
"Though the word 'standard' was still in use by the early thirteenth
century, the shape of the flag we now call a standard was not known
until the fourteenth century and originated in England. The standard
is a long, narrow, tapering flag, usually with a split or rounded
tail, that is used to display the badge or badges, crest, and motto,
on a field of the livery colors. Optionally, the arms of the bearer
can appear in the hoist." [Section on selection of livery colors
deleted. -- Tibor]
The standard usually, but not always, has the arms of the bearer in
the hoist (the section right next to the flag pole). In Great
Britain (in period), this was, alternatively, the cross of St. George
(for England), the cross of St. Andrew (for Scotland) or the cross of
St. Patrick (for Ireland). On the Continent, the hoist section was
not used and the standard contained only the badges. The hoist can
also contain the badge of your Kingdom, if you desire (do not use the
arms - they are the prerogative of the King.)
The portion of the standard below the hoist is called the fly. This
is usually split into two (sometimes three) lengthwise sections of
the livery colors. The usual arrangement is to put the primary badge
next to the arms, a motto ribbon (containing all or the first part of
the motto, as appropriate), a secondary badge (or repeat of the
primary badge), another motto strip (ending or repeating the motto),
and another badge if desired. The whole standard is usually finished
around the edges with fringe or a band that alternates the livery
Standards were known, in period, to have only the arms of the bearer
on them rather than badges and mottos, but this is extremely rare
from the sixteenth century on. Standards were also known to have a
single sharp point, a single blunt point, and two sharp points. The
depth of the split varied as well, from the shallow ones to ones that
split the standards almost to the hoist.
On the Continent, standards were arranged somewhat differently. As
already mentioned, they did not bear the arms in the hoist, but
instead had the figure of a saint or eliminated the hoist all
together. Mottos were shown running along the seam of the fly, where
the livery colors met (or, if the standard was only one tincture,
where they would have met.
Occasionally, the tail of the standard was divided from the fly by a
piece of braid. It could be of different tinctures than the fly;
split if the fly was of one color; or one color if the fly was
split. It often had a badge on it.
[Sections on examples from period, and usage, deleted. -- Tibor]
The standard does not seem to have been used in the Germanic
countries in the Middle Ages. The gonfannon was used instead."
A "motto ribbon" is a bendlike slash across the standard, with the motto
written it in.
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