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Monty Python and the quest for The Holy Grail (movie)

Last modified: 2016-03-19 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: bedivere (sir) | galahad (sir) | lancelot (sir) | robin (sir) | arthur (king) | monty python and the quest for the holy grail | movie | film |
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Introduction

Monty Python and the quest for The Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy, 91 minutes long.
In this movie there are only six kinghts (and no horses — just coconuts!): Lancelot, Robin, Bors, Bevedere, Galahad, and Arthur, each with its own personal banner.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


There are actually dozens if not hundreds of knights. I believe Gawain, Hector, and Bors are mentioned briefly in one scene, but the only knights actually portrayed are Bedevere, Lancelot, Galahad, and Robin.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


About the banners' historicity

Yesterday I watched "Monty Python and the quest for The Holy Grail" (again) but this time I noticed the flags King Arthur and the knights of the round table were carrying with them on their quest. To any members who have seen the movie: Are they 'real' flags or did Monty Python create them?
Martin Hawkins, 27 July 1998


The "flags" are presumably supposed to be armorial banners. As a scholar of "attributed" arms, I can say they appear to be invented off the top-of-the-head (Especialy Sir Robin's) I also note sloppiness, where, e.g., Sir Robin's shield, banner, and caparison have three different versions of what are supposed to be his arms.
Will Linden, 27 July 1998


On the site «The Knights of the round table», the attributed arms mentioned by Will are shown (as banners, or as square shields), and none of them coincides with those used in the movie.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


King Arthur

[Flag of King Arthur]
by Martin Hawkins

The white flag with grinning Sun is King Arthur's.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


Sir Bedivere

[Flag of Sir Bedivere]
by Martin Hawkins

The white and blue per bend with counterchanged tree flag is Sir Bedivere's.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


I believe that the tree might be black on the blue portion of the shield.
Nathan Lamm, 27 December 2004


Looking at a snippet from the movie , from the French Taunters' castle scene: The shield is plain azure and argent counterchanged.
As for the flag, I couldn't catch it very clearly, but is seems to be just like the shield, designwise, from the beggining of the same scene.
Nothing black on it.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


Sir Galahad

[Banner of Sir Galahad]
by António Martins-Tuválkin

Argent a Cross latin gules (as shown in the banner — in the shield it is a cross fichy issuant). The banner is vertical, hanging from a crossbar.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


Sir Lancelot

[Banner of Sir Lancelot]
by António Martins-Tuválkin

The tabard (worn upon his mailcoat) is party, argent and sable, a gryphon combattant counterchanged; the banner is identical, but rotated to be a black over white horizontal bicolor; on the banner the design is apparently reversed (gryphon's head black on white, while the livery has it white on black).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


Sir Robin

[Banner of Sir Robin]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin

The livery (worn upon his mailcoat) is party, Argent, a Chicken sable, and chequy vert and argent; on his shield it is quartely chequy, of vert and argent, and argent; the banner (or is it a pennon?) is very long, not tappering, divided verically in three parts: chequy, chicken, chequy. Being this «Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Launcelot», these attributed arms are somewhat canting.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2004


 
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