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"Standard bearers & shields" Topic

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Korvessa28 Mar 2022 2:32 p.m. PST

Would a standard barer of the time of the 3rd Crusade us a shield?
I would think he would need right arm free to use sword and left hand free to hold onto the standard, but maybe they could do both?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2022 5:13 p.m. PST

You can do what you want. Leave it off, or put it on the knight's arm or the back.

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2022 7:38 p.m. PST

It's unlikely that you find a definitive historical record

You might also want to check how often banners were carried


Druzhina29 Mar 2022 2:54 a.m. PST
Swampster29 Mar 2022 9:46 a.m. PST

I can only remember seeing one picture of a standard bearer with standard in his left hand while he uses a sword in his right. That is on the Haigerloch illustration in the Manesse Codex (so a century or so after your date).

Korvessa29 Mar 2022 10:08 a.m. PST


So how do they defend it?

Swampster29 Mar 2022 12:44 p.m. PST

There aren't many pictures I can think off where the standard bearer is actually fighting. The Manesse picture is an exception. It might be that this is what happened when they did need to fight. From a figure-on-the-table perspective, it looks cool and I have a few standard bearers in that pose.

One way of defending it is to have lots of others defending it – the Templar rule says up to ten men. In such a circumstance, it is more important to be wielding a shield against missiles while carrying the banner – using shield and standard both in the left hand would be difficult, to say the least. [Edit: I have found one from c 1280 with sword in right, banner in left and shield on left arm. The character in question is a centaur, so make of it what you will. link has a couple of hundred images of standard bearers from period sources, including the two sword wielders I've mentioned. You may find some others but the vast majority are shield and lance]

In Joinville, it seems at one point that his banner is defended by a squire running off with it – either under orders or out of fear. He later returns with it and it sounds like Joinville fights with it. This is likely to be an emergency usage as the French are in dire straits. (The Templars were prohibited from using the Beauseant to fight with).

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

I agree with Swampster. I believe the primary defense was conducted by a "color guard" whose job was to protect the standard.

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