A Bit About Heraldic Flags

Heraldic flags display coats of arms, badges, or other images for the purpose of personal identification. Each color and symbol represented something specific. Bright colors tended to be a sign of nobility, since dyes were expensive. Think of a school’s colors and mascot. Heraldic flags did the same thing. They identified people with a certain country, location, and/or family. They were carried or flown with a great deal of pride.

The images on these flags were sometimes used on shields as well. Flags hung around the castle and were carried in processions and battles. Imagine fighting on the ground in such a battle and seeing your flag waving in the air. The hope and camaraderie it would bring. But if you looked up and didn’t see it, you might become worried that your side was losing or that you were in the wrong place. That’s likely why a flag bearer’s job was so important.

Here is a quick list of what some of the colors stood for:

Gold: Generosity
Silver: Peace
Red: Warrior
Blue: Truth
Green: Hope
Purple: Royalty
Black: Grief

www.FleurDeLis.com is a website with tons of information on heraldry. I used this site when I designed the banners for the cities in my Blood of Kings trilogy. This page in particular gives meanings of colors, shapes, and images. http://www.fleurdelis.com/meanings.htm

There are different types of flags. Here are a few styles:

Gonfalon: A long flag suspended from a crossbar.

Gonfanon: A flag flown from a vertical staff.

Pennon: A triangular flag often flown from a lance.

 

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I designed flags for each city in my books. You can see them by exploring the map or Er’Rets. I also created a few for gifts. Click on the picture to read that post.

2 Responses to “A Bit About Heraldic Flags”

  1. How fascinating 😀 I wouldn’t have guessed that the colors meant all those different things. Beautiful, beautiful work, Jill! It looks so medieval! =)

    ~Adele

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