You might have noticed over past updates that each picture’s caption has been accompanied by three shields. They depict the country, province, and shire that we’re in, and give a small taste of the rich traditions that underpin the countryside and become embedded in national and regional flags. So as we head northeast from Mearcgræf, I’ll give you a quick run-down of the national flags and arms of Æscgeard, which you may see flying from buildings on our trip, and you will definitely see at our destination!
In its basic form, the Coat of Arms of Æscgeard was adopted upon the creation of the unified Kingdom in 1350. Over time, and particularly during the Middle Ages, the arms became more and more elaborate until they reached their current form sometime in the 17th century.
The Coat of Arms is blazoned as follows:
Quartered by a cross pattée argent fimbrated or, I gules three seaxes fesswise in pale proper (for Æsccynn); II azure a cross flory or (for Middansætna); III quartered gules and azure four roundels argent in lozenge (for the Sicambri); IV paly in eight or and gules (for Norðengria); overall an escutcheon gules, in the chief two coronets or, in the base a wyvern or (for the Royal House of Æsc).
The escutcheon is surrounded first by the chain of the Order of Saint Michael and then by the chain of the Order of Saint Cerdic, together known as the Cynelic Háda, flanked by the medallions of the Order of Wihthelm and Order of Saint Meurig.
Atop the escutcheon is the Sigor Cynehelm.
The supporters are two angels, acting as heralds to St. Cerdic, carrying a standard with the arms of St. Cerdic, and wearing a tabard with the same arms, standing on puffs of cloud.
Above is a pavilion armoyé with the Sigor Cynehelm. From it is a royal red mantle with a semis of crosses argent.
The motto “FORÞRYNE TÓ WULDOR" (“Onward to Glory”) is written in white on a red ribbon.
- The Sigor Cynehelm (Victory Crown) was commissioned for the coronation of Þeodræd Sigoriend after the Væstrríjka was conquered in 1350. After the death of his father Þeodric in the decisive Battle of Anlaf’s Fold, Þeodræd rapidly moved to legally merge the three kingdoms of Æsccynn, Middansætna, and Emnet he had inherited, commissioning the new crown as the symbol of royal authority in the newly united Kingdom of Æscgeard.
- St. Cerdic Martír, the patron saint of Æscgeard, was King of Æsccynn from 863-868. The son of the illustrious Cyneberht Mære, the popular young King’s murder at Godcunsell was described in the Annals of Arthuria as "no worse deed than this was ever done in the Cimbric nations since they first sought the land of Arthuria." His body was later recovered to Eanceaster, and he was eventually buried in the Æscing capital of Marceaster with his forefathers. His veneration was promoted by his nephew, Eadueard Ealdor, during his long reign and Cerdic was later canonised and became the patron saint of the House of Æsc and their realms.
Royal Standard of the House of Æsc
The Royal Standard is the flag form of the shield of the coat of arms. It may only be flown from palaces and royal ships when the King or his near family are in residence, and from the Witan when the King is addressing the gemot.
Æscgearding National Flag & Ensign
The national flag of Æscgeard features a gold wyvern on red, which has been a symbol of the ruling House of Æsc since its foundation, together with a red crusader cross. The flag was first flown in 1350 after the formation of Æscgeard as a unified Kingdom and has remained unchanged since. It can be flown pretty much anywhere by anyone, and is also used as a jack on King’s Navy ships.
Æscgearding State Flag & Ensign
The state flag is derived from the national flag, with the Lesser Arms of Æscgeard replacing the wyvern. Representing the Witan, it may only be flown from non-military government buildings and ships.
Æscgearding War Flag
The war flag of Æscgeard is a gold saltire on red, and is restricted to use by the army. A variation of St. Cerdic’s Cross (a gold cross on red is the accepted flag of St. Cerdic, which can be flown by the general populace), the shade of red used is also much darker than that used on civil flags. This darker red is also used in other military flags and insignia, and has become widely known as ‘fierding réod’ (‘military red’). The flag is also flown inferior to the state flag on non-military government buildings when the country is in a state of war.
Æscgearding Naval Ensign
The naval ensign is a combination of the Crusader Cross and the army variant of St. Cerdic’s Cross, indicating its original role as both a fighting force in its own right and transport abroad for the army. Its use is restricted to King's Navy ships and shore establishments of the Admiralty. The ensign is also used by King’s Navy ships nominally belonging to the other four Arthurian nations1, although these ships fly their respective national flags as jacks.
- The Arthurian Naval Defense Treaty vests responsibility for the protection of territorial waters and other naval operations of the five Arthurian nations in the King's Navy (Æscgeard). In return, the four smaller nations provide funding, manpower, and ships to the King's Navy.
Æscgearding Air Force Ensign & Roundel
The Air Force roundel features St. Cerdic’s Cross within a gold-bordered ‘fierding réod’ disc, and is used to identify Æscgearding military aircraft. The Air Force Ensign is a ‘fierding réod’ version of the national flag, with the roundel in place of the wyvern. It may only be flown from Air Force establishments.
Wes þu hál fram forhwær in Wesdonscír!