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To: alt.legend.king-arthur
From: Sigurd Towrie 
Subject: Re: The Dragon Standard (was Dragons)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 09:44:32 +0000

In article <>, writes
>This confuses me.  I thought Arthur used the Dragon Standard until I
>looked it up in the new "Lacy" Arthurian Enc.  There nothing is mentioned
>of the Dragon Standard, but much is said about 3 gold crowns with a

>background of red and/or thirteen such crowns, one for each of the lords
>who followed him.  

The Lacy Encyclopaedia deals primarily with reference to Arthur in
literature, hence it's description of the 3 Gold Crowns - the complex
heraldry used in the Middle Ages and therefore included in the Arthurian
Tales written at this time. This advanced form of Heraldry definitely
did not exist in the Dark Ages.

>Then Linda Malcor, a well read and published English
>professor said that no one during the actual time of Arthur (450-527AD?)
>had standards, so any and all are taken from Literature.  I would really
>like to have some more opinions on this.  

I don't agree with this and suspect that Ms Malcor was referring to the
heraldic devices (a system of hereditary identification using visual
symbols) ascribed to Arthur and the Knights in the medieval literature
rather than a banner. The Roman Legions carried banners before Arthur as
did the Viking Invaders after. The use of these banners were symbols of
identification and was (and still is) common in "primitive" societies,
where a high proportion of the population was illiterate.

It is possible and indeed highly probable that any warlord at that time
would carry a banner of some sort, and may even have used a crude form
of Heraldry (shield markings etc). As has already been said in this
post, the Sarmation cavalry units carried a windsock type dragon banner
that may or may not have been adopted by other Cavalry units (there is
an relief cariving of one such Roman Warrior carrying the Dragon banner
verifying it's existence).

>I personally like the idea of a
>Dragon as Merlin saw the fight between the white and red dragon, which was
>suppose to predict the coming of Arthur.  Also, it stands to reason that
>Pendragon or DragonHead should carry the standard of dragon.  Also, if
>Arthur, as some believe was born of Celtic/Roman blood, then the dragon of
>the romans would apply.  Help!!!

The White Dragon was symbolic of the encroaching Saxons, the Red being
the native British. The Red Dragon is still the symbol of Wales today.
To summarise, it is very probable that Arthur (or Arturus, or Artorius -
whatever you want to call him) carried a banner - possible with the
symbol of the Dragon - very possibly the Windsock banner as used by the
Roman Cataphracti.
Sigurd Towrie          |
Kirkwall, Orkney Isles |                e-mail:
SCOTLAND               |        Orkney Website:

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