Guidelines for creating a standard

Heraldry in the United States
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Nicholas Hutchinson
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Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Nicholas Hutchinson » 23 Jul 2012, 06:36

I am most interested in the guidelines for creating a standard next. I am not sure what the order, or preferred designs are. I plan on using the male griffin for my badge. Really not sure how to separate the standard. I do know that the arms usually come first, next to the pole, but after that, not sure what things really should go where.
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Chris Green
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Chris Green » 23 Jul 2012, 10:17

Taking a standard at random from Wiki:

Image

(this is a Scottish baronet's standard - Macdonald of Sleat)

The CoA, as you say, comes first (reading from the staff).

The field of the banner is either of the principal colours of the CoA, or the livery colour(s). It is often, as here, party per fess, but may be of a single tincture or, very rarely, barry of four (which begins to look messy when coupled with the next element.

The field is divided into three by two bendlets bearing the motto. (I have seen one standard where this element did not contain the motto (presumably the armiger did not have one) and an embroidered pattern was substituted.)

In each of the three compartments created by the "motto bendlets" is placed the badge, or (as in my forthcoming standard) badge/crest/badge, or some alternative arrangement (the example apparently has crest+torse/crest+torse/badge).

The standard these days has the end pictured above (which can hardly be called "swallow-tailed") if one is a knight or of higher rank, or rounded for esquires and gentlemen. (As corrected following a later post.)

The whole concoction is fringed in the colours of the field.

There are minor differences of practice between the College of Arms and Lord Lyon, and significant differences in entitlement (which need not concern a citizen of the US). No doubt other jurisdictions have their own variations, but this should get you started I hope.
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Arthur Radburn » 23 Jul 2012, 10:26

There are many variations when it comes to designing a standard. A basic pattern, as used e.g. in England, Ireland, Canada, South Africa is :
- long and tapering, with a rounded end
- your personal arms in a rectangular panel against the hoist
- the rest of the standard divided into three panels by means of two diagonal (bendwise) stripes
- crest or badge on each of the three panels
- motto on the two bendwise stripes
- a fringe, in alternating blocks of metal and colour, around the edge of the standard.

The background colour is, traditionally, your livery colour(s), i.e. the colour(s) of the uniforms which your retainers wear. If you don't have livery colours, the tinctures of your arms or mantling can be used. The background can be a single colour, or it can be two or more, arranged in horizontal stripes (tracts).

You'll find examples of standards in the Heraldry Society of GB's members' arms gallery:
http://www.theheraldrysociety.com/membe ... sarmsA.htm

There are also some examples on the Canadian Heraldry Authority's website, e.g. :
http://archive.gg.ca/heraldry/pub-reg/p ... entID=6879
http://archive.gg.ca/heraldry/pub-reg/p ... entID=7322
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 23 Jul 2012, 12:05

If it is of any help (or indeed relevance) The College of Arms states that in regard to Standards "The pole which supports the standard is topped by the appropriate coronet if that of a peer, and by a carved red hand if that of a baronet. Knights, esquires and gentlemen have plain tops to the pole. The standards of esquires and gentlemen have a curved, undivided end, whereas those of the rank of knight and above have split, swallow-tailed ends."

For Scotland, the appropriate Lyon Court leaflet says this of Standards:
THE STANDARD

This is a long, narrow tapering flag, granted by the Lord Lyon only to those who have a "following", such as Clan Chiefs, because it is a "Headquarters" flag. It is used to mark the assembly point or Headquarters of the Clan or following, and does not necessarily denote the presence of the Standard’s owner as his personal banner does. Ancient standards usually showed the national Saltire in the hoist, next to the pole, but nowadays usually show the owner’s personal arms. The remainder of the flag is horizontally divided into two tracts of his "livery colours" for Chiefs of Clans or families, three tracts for very major branch-Chieftains, and four for others. Those of peers and barons have the end split into two and rounded. Upon this background are usually displayed the owner’s crest and heraldic badges, separated by transverse bands bearing the owner’s motto or slogan. The standard is fringed with the alternating livery colours. The height of the standard is not fixed, but it is usually about 4 feet at the pole tapering to about 24 inches at the end. The length of the standard varies according to the rank of its owner, as follows:

The Sovereign : 8 yards
Dukes : 7 yards
Marquises : 6 1/2 yards
Earls : 6 yards
Viscounts : 5 1/2 yards
Lords : 5 yards
Baronets : 4 1/2 yards
Knights and Barons : 4 yards

The standards of non-baronial chiefs, or others who for special reasons get standards, have round unsplit ends.

The height of the flagpole should take account of the length of the standard when hanging slack.

On rare occasions a uniform length of standard for a decorative display may be laid down by the Lord Lyon.

Where it is desired to display other matter along with the National Flag the Standard is the appropriate form of flag. It should show the Saltire Flag or the Union Jack in the hoist, and the remainder of the flag may contain lettering appropriate to the user’s purpose, for example the name of an exhibition or site of a gathering.

Martin Goldstraw
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http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk

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Chris Green
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Chris Green » 23 Jul 2012, 12:14

The standards of esquires and gentlemen have a curved, undivided end, whereas those of the rank of knight and above have split, swallow-tailed ends."


As ever I will take the College's statement as gospel. I am not sure where I got the idea that only royalty used the undivided end, but we can strike that frommy earlier post (and I have done so!).
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JMcMillan
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby JMcMillan » 23 Jul 2012, 13:36

Too much can be made of these rules. There are numerous examples of medieval standards that don't follow them, e.g. with regard to the placement of the motto on the diagonal bands running across the fly. And of course in pre-modern times in Great Britain (both England and Scotland) the cross of St. George or St. Andrew generally occupied the hoist rather than the personal arms.

Even at present there are standards recognized by Lyon Office that don't conform to the stated norms. For example, the Lyon Office leaflet says "The remainder of the flag is horizontally divided into two tracts of his 'livery colours' for Chiefs of Clans or families, three tracts for very major branch-Chieftains, and four for others." Yet as I reported in the thread on badges, the 13th Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell, has solid black in the fly (and no transverse bands).

Image

Note also that His Grace's standard has a simple unsplit end even though his is both a peer and a baron. ("Those of peers and barons have the end split into two and rounded.")

Meanwhile the 20th Earl of Caithness, chief of Clan Sinclair, has this standard with four horizontal tracts and a split end:

Image

According to the leaflet that should be the pattern for someone less than a major branch chieftain.
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Chris Green
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Chris Green » 23 Jul 2012, 13:47

JMcMillan wrote:... in pre-modern times in Great Britain (both England and Scotland) the cross of St. George or St. Andrew generally occupied the hoist rather than the personal arms.


All true, but Nicholas is seeking advice about how to design a standard today (or perhaps next week). While he could revert to mediaeval norms, this might lead to difficulties. As he is a US citizen neither the cross of St George nor that of St Andrew would suit, and a miniature stars and stripes might be (would be?) considered presumptuous.
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JMcMillan
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby JMcMillan » 23 Jul 2012, 13:52

By the way, see http://society.8k.com/flags.htm for pictures of two historic Scottish standards, neither of which would pass muster with the Lyon Office leaflet.
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby JMcMillan » 23 Jul 2012, 14:07

Chris Green wrote:
JMcMillan wrote:... in pre-modern times in Great Britain (both England and Scotland) the cross of St. George or St. Andrew generally occupied the hoist rather than the personal arms.


All true, but Nicholas is seeking advice about how to design a standard today (or perhaps next week). While he could revert to mediaeval norms, this might lead to difficulties. As he is a US citizen neither the cross of St George nor that of St Andrew would suit, and a miniature stars and stripes might be (would be?) considered presumptuous.


We talked about this in the AHS forum a few years ago. There's not really a need to have anything in the hoist; there are medieval precedents (from France and the Low Countries, for example). Some would say that this makes the flag a guidon or pennon rather than a standard, in which case I would say fine, adopt a guidon or pennon instead of a standard.

On alternative things for an American to put in the hoist, one might use a state symbol of some sort (not the state arms, please), or maybe 13 white stars on blue, or perhaps the emblem of a personal patron saint. For Catholics, the patron saint of the United States is Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, which presents various possibilities.
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Nicholas Hutchinson
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Re: Guidelines for creating a standard

Postby Nicholas Hutchinson » 23 Jul 2012, 18:50

As a general question, do the rules of tincture apply when building flags, pennions, standards??
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