Banners of Arms...

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IDEEDEE
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Brighthelmstone-on-sea

Banners of Arms...

Post by IDEEDEE »

Hi, Hive Mind... I recently had my head snapped off re. the subject of the "reverse" side of Banners of Arms.....

Now.. That's Banners of Arms; basically the arms, as you would see from a shield, but on a banner....

Not military banners or standards or all the other post-medieval, Victorian -21stC definitions and folderols that I've had thrown at me to muddy the waters.... Not all the "respect the pole sometimes" livery badge-bearing bit and bobs... Just the banner that says "See this here.. This is Lord Watsit this is" ; i.e. the thing that shows that Lord Watsit is in town/castle/ready to get stuck in...

I've been told "mirror images" on the reverse of a Banner of Arms is "not a thing...".

I had always understood that matters relating to heraldic devices, including their use on Banners of Arms - like most matters medieval (alright, lets say 13th-15thC) can best be summed up as "It's complicated".... This was actually the phrase used in a recent conversation I had with the utterly charming Lancaster Herald at the College of Arms...

Furthermore... I have had it confirmed to me by College of Arms that (as on most modern banners/flags) the "obverse" of a Banner of Arms can indeed be a mirror image of the Arms, and that there is nothing to rule that it must (that's MUST always - not can be.. MUST) be a duplicate of what is on the "obverse" (i.e. the obverse of the banner is equivalent to the front of a shield. The image "back/reverse" of the banner is no more relevant, other than for convenience and clarity, than what's on the back of a shield").

That is why the Queen's Banner can have a mirror image on the back (and not just because she can't afford a double-sided flag or is following modern conventions. Like she slavishly does....).

Despite the above from the College, reinforcing suggestions from Lord Lyon King of Arms and that (I am told - but am awaiting confirmation from National Trust and the Flag Institute - bloody Covid) that there are extant banners to show mirror imaging here in UK (let alone Germany) I have been firmly put in my place and told by other re-enactors that ALL medieval Banners of Arms can ONLY have have exact replicas of the Arms on both sides.. Period..... Full stop.....

I'm told this will be down to rubbish medieval embroidery (Sorry..??? What..??), hard and fast rules (of which the colleges of heraldry are seemingly unaware) and some suspiciously renactorismy "lore" on heraldic insults..... I have had no actual sources for this rule thrown at me...

So Hive mind: What FORBIDS, formally, medieval Banners of Arms ever having a mirror image of the Arms on the reverse (not sometimes.. EVER...).....

All thoughts (in all directions) gladly received.....

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