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"[I loved] better, forty times better,
my banner than my sword!"
-Joan, February 27, 1431, at Rouen Castle

 

Joan's battle standard was the rallying point which men could come to in the midst of battle. It often led the attacks made by Joan. At times, she designated a standard-bearer to take charge of it.  At other times she did it herself. This banner would also be the subject of many questions at her condemnation trial. Whatever descriptions of it still exist today, it is one of the most recognizable symbols of Joan. She had two other flags made for her - a Pennon, which marked Joan's own position in the field, and a Banner, which was a gathering point for her men to say daily prayer. Her standard and pennon made by Hamish Powers(Hauves Poulnoir), a Scotsman then living in Tours. The banner was made by Jean Pasquerel, Joan's chaplain.

The Standard:
The standard was about 3' wide and 12" long. It was made of buckram with golden fringes. The end of the flag was swallowtailed. On the first side was an illustration of God the Father holding the world (an orb) in His hands, and two angels, presumably Michael and Gabriel, presenting a lily to Him. The background was a field of lilies, or fleur-du-lis, and printed closer to the end of the flag were either "IHS-Maria" or "Jhesus-Maria". On the other side of the banner was a azure shield in which was a dove bearing a ribbon in its beak with the words, "Di par le Roy di Ciel", which translated from the old French means "From the King of Heaven". It was also set against a backdrop of fleur-du-lis.

Joan said that she carried this banner so she would not use her sword in battle: "It was I myself who bore this banner, when I attacked the enemy, to save killing anyone, for I have never killed anyone." Her sword, at most, was only used in self defense and even more so it was a mere symbol and dress item.

The Pennon
As already mentioned, this flag marked Joan's position in the field. Upon it was an illustration of the Annunciation - the Archangel Gabriel presenting a lily to Mary. The pennon was a right triangle, and Gabriel's back, or wings, were presumably facing the hypotenuse of the flag.

The Banner
As already mentioned, this banner was used as a gathering point for Joan's men for daily prayer. Upon it was an image of Christ crucified. The banner was square shaped.
 
Michael Smith's Replica of Joan's Battle Standard
 
A big thank you to Mike Smith, who donated these pictures of a replica of Joan's battle standard that he made. He did a great job on this replica; its VERY authentic looking as you can see! This 1/2 scale replica is on display at Swords and Armour by Millenium in Fremantle, Perth, Australia. Enjoy! To see the full size photo, double-click on the image.