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"Sails on Viking Longships Were They Really Red & White?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 12:35 p.m. PST

"It's a common enough scene from movies and TV shows: a seaside village on the English coast, sometime in the Dark Ages. Peasants, monks and merchants are all going about their business in peace when suddenly, a cry of alarm is raised. Sails have been spotted on the horizon. And not just any sails…but the red and white striped sails of Viking longships.

Red and white the colors of blood, of bone, of the carnage that is to come. Panic immediately sets in and pandemonium ensues, for the sight of those sails signifies the imminent arrival of a band of brutal, merciless warriors armed with spears, swords, and much-feared Dane axes. They are coming to kill, rape, pillage and plunder, and the only people they will leave alive are those they will take as slaves.

When watching historically-themed TV shows and movies, it's easy to get caught up in the on-screen drama and the (usually) magnificent historical costumes, settings, armor, weapons and mis-en-scene, and simply take for granted or outright forget about any notion of historical accuracy in the way the period is represented….."
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French Wargame Holidays02 Jan 2019 3:10 p.m. PST


Aethelflaeda was framed02 Jan 2019 3:39 p.m. PST

Shades/tints of brown and white.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2019 4:05 p.m. PST



Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2019 5:34 p.m. PST

I am always befuddled by questions like this. Is there *any* reason to believe they were all the same? Vikings were not exactly big on conformity. When someone is no more specific than "vikings" we're talking about half a continent and several hundred years. There was probably variety, there was probably a lot of constraints and improvisation.

Aethelflaeda was framed04 Jan 2019 11:09 a.m. PST

More likely the question should not be whether all of their sails were red and white, but whether any of them were ever red and white at all.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 11:58 a.m. PST

Good point!.


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