Banner, (old fr. ban, also baniere): a kind of flag painted or embroidered with arms, and of a size proportioned to the rank of the bearer. The banner of an emperor is prescribed to be six feet square, that of a king five feet, that of a prince or duke four feet, and that of a nobleman of any rank from marquess to baron three feet, that of a Knight banneret was still smaller. Whether these rules were at any time strictly observed is very doubtful. Banners were often(but not, it would seem, until a rather late period) fringed with the principal metal and colour of the arms.
The Funeral banner, or Banneroll, was a square flag whereon the arms of the deceased, and those of his ancestors, were painted, with crest of coronet, but without helmet, mantle, or supporters. The colour of the banner itself follows the same rules as that of the grounds of achievements. It was usually fringed with the principal metal and colour of the arms. The great banner, used at funerals, contained all the quarterings of the deceased, occupying the entire field, the edge being fringed. Funeral banners are not restricted to Knights banneret and persons of higher rank, but may be carried at the interment of gentleman bearing arms, and even at funerals of women.
The Beauseant, or Ancient, was the name of the banner of the Knights Templars in the thirteenth century, though it might be described as an oblong flag, per fess, sable and argent, one of the longer sides being affixed to the staff.
Le baucent del HOSPITALE, de goules a un croyz d'argent fourme.--Le baucent[another MS. Le Auncient] del TEMPLE, dargent, al chef de sable a un croyz de goules passant--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
The Military Banners most frequently borne in the English army during the middle ages(besides those of Knights bannerets and other noblemen) were those embroidered with the arms of the sovereign, or with the legendary arms of SS.George, Edmund, and Edward the Confessor, patrons of England. The military banner might contain quarterings, but not impaled arms.
A red banner, charged with the symbol of the Holy Trinity, was borne at the battle of Agincourt, A.D. 1415.
The banner of S.John of Beverley was borne in the English army 24 Edw. I. (1295) by one of the vicars of Beverley college.
S.Cuthbert's banner was carried in the English army by a monk of Durham in the wars with Scotland, about 1300; and again in 1513.
The Oriflamme was the military banner of the French army, being derived from a banner anciently belonging to the Abbey of S.Denis, near Paris. It was charged with a saltire wavy, with rays issuing from the centre crossways, and from these rays the name auriflamme was no doubt derived.
The oriflamme borne at Agincourt was(according to Sir N. H. Nicolas) an oblong red flag, split into five points.
Gules, on a banner or, an imperial eagle charged with an escutcheon argent, the staff held by a griffin segreant of the last--GARBETT.
Quarterly, first and fourth gules, a banner displayed argent; thereon a canton azure charged with a S.Andrew's cross of the second; second and third or, a cross moline azure within a bordure engrailed argent--BANNERMANN, Elsick.
Azure, three banners bendwise in pale flowing to the sinister or--KINGDOM.
Argent, on a cross gules a Paschal Lamb or, carrying a banner argent charged with a cross of the second--Hon. Society of the MIDDLE TEMPLE.