Coats of Arms and Flags/Banners - Relationship?

Heraldic flags such as banners, badge banners, standards, pennons, pincels ... Feel free to discuss and compare the flying heraldy used in any country here.
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Chris Green
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Coats of Arms and Flags/Banners - Relationship?

Postby Chris Green » 30 Nov 2013, 20:16

Ton: Perhaps you can tell me why the CoA of Amsterdam has a pale while its flag is the same design but with the crosses on a fess.

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I can see that there is a better fit on flag to use a fess and three crosses rather than a pale and three crosses, but is there another reason?
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Re: heraldry on the central station in Amsterdam

Postby Ton de Witte » 30 Nov 2013, 21:23

Not to my knowledge, it is also very old but only official since the 70's. Before that the official flag was per fess black, white and red with on the white the coat of arms of the city. There must have been banners with a pale as you can see in this picture, the building where it is on is from the 16th century.
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Re: heraldry on the central station in Amsterdam

Postby Chris Green » 01 Dec 2013, 06:56

Thank you. From what you say, it seems that the City Fathers may not have had the best heraldic advice in the 1970s. The square banner depicted on the old building would have been more accurate. The current flag is though more striking than the earlier version you describe.

I note that even back in the 16th century the flag makers (or the carver of the medallion) made the ship's pennant/vimpel a fess rather than a pale. The design really only works that way.
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Re: heraldry on the central station in Amsterdam

Postby Chris Green » 01 Dec 2013, 12:32

The CoA of Antwerp relates to the legend of the origin of the city's name:

(From Wiki) According to folklore, the city got its name from a legend involving a mythical giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river. He exacted a toll from those crossing the river, and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. Eventually, the giant was slain by a young hero named Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan (to throw)

Antwerp's flag however has no relationship to its CoA:

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Re: heraldry on the central station in Amsterdam

Postby JMcMillan » 02 Dec 2013, 02:12

Chris Green wrote:Antwerp's flag however has no relationship to its CoA:



Not to be pedantic, but in fact it does--the colors. It is very traditional and still common in the Low Countries and Germany for the flags of cities, provinces, etc., to consist simply of two or three vertical or horizontal stripes (sometimes even more) in the tinctures of the arms.

See a historical, legal and statistical discussion of municipal flag designs in Belgium on the Flags of the World site, http://www.fotw.us/flags/be-muncp.html.
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Re: heraldry on the central station in Amsterdam

Postby Chris Green » 02 Dec 2013, 05:21

JMcMillan wrote:
Chris Green wrote:Antwerp's flag however has no relationship to its CoA:


Not to be pedantic, but in fact it does--the colors. It is very traditional and still common in the Low Countries and Germany for the flags of cities, provinces, etc., to consist simply of two or three vertical or horizontal stripes (sometimes even more) in the tinctures of the arms.


True. But then Antwerp's flag could be said to have a relationship to the CoA of, say, the City of London, or any other CoA that is red/white. I note from the FOTW page you mention that no less than 57 of Belgians municipalities have red and white flags.

This flag, apparently controversial in Antwerp because of its use without permission of the Mayor, has an obvious relationship to the CoA:

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Re: heraldry on the central station in Amsterdam

Postby JMcMillan » 02 Dec 2013, 14:26

Chris Green wrote:
JMcMillan wrote:
Chris Green wrote:Antwerp's flag however has no relationship to its CoA:


Not to be pedantic, but in fact it does--the colors. It is very traditional and still common in the Low Countries and Germany for the flags of cities, provinces, etc., to consist simply of two or three vertical or horizontal stripes (sometimes even more) in the tinctures of the arms.


True. But then Antwerp's flag could be said to have a relationship to the CoA of, say, the City of London, or any other CoA that is red/white.


The same could be said of mantling and torses. But we all know that the mantling on the coat of arms of the City of London derives from ("has a relationship to") the CoA of the arms of London, not those of Hamburg or Lille. For that matter, the standard (no pun intended) format of an English or Scottish heraldic standard also draws the tinctures of the field from the primary metal and color of the arms. But we don't suppose that the standard of the Earl of Perth takes its tinctures from the arms of Cameron of Lochiel, do we?
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Re: Coats of Arms and Flags/Banners - Relationship?

Postby Chris Green » 02 Dec 2013, 15:33

The same could be said of mantling and torses.


I agree. My point however is that a red and white flag in isolation has no relationship to a CoA. Mantling and torses are never seen in isolation from the CoA to which they are related.

the standard (no pun intended) format of an English or Scottish heraldic standard also draws the tinctures of the field from the primary metal and color of the arms


Can't speak for Scottish standards, but an English standard uses the livery colours, which may not be the primary metal and colour of the arms. My standard, for example, is gold/green, both the secondary tinctures. The standard of Sir Henry de Stafford (1475) illustrated in Wiki, is black/red, his livery tinctures:

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Re: Coats of Arms and Flags/Banners - Relationship?

Postby Chris Green » 02 Dec 2013, 16:00

As Forum Moderator I have taken the liberty of opening a new thread in Flying Heraldry for this interesting by-way from Ton's earlier thread about the CoAs at Amsterdam Railway Station.
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Re: Coats of Arms and Flags/Banners - Relationship?

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 03 Dec 2013, 20:32

A pale is not uncommon in the Netherlands for many cities, and the practice is often to turn the horizontal into the vertical. Sometimes other changes are made as well. Such as removal of charges. I think the reason, is that especially with modern rectangle flags, it looks better.

Using the seal as an example, the square banners have the pale, but the flag on the ship has the fess. In the Amsterdam Museum, they have, a crude and possible the earliest depiction of the Amsterdam crosses. They were on a ships pennant, and were horizontal. The museum suggested the arms originated as a way of marking ships from Amsterdam.


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