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Flags in Battle of Najera illustration

Last modified: 2012-01-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: art |
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[flags at the Battle of Najera] image contributed by Jorge Candeias


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The Pública magazine published a while ago a review of eight battles that according to the article inspired the Aljubarrota battle, a huge Anglo-Portuguese victory against Franco-Castillan troops, which guaranteed the independence of Portugal in 1383.

The article came illustrated by a reproduction of an illustration that, according to the caption, is found in a 15th century French manuscript and illustrates the battle of Nájera, of 1367.

This picture is full of flags, [which include the flags shown below.]
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005


The image shows more clearly (and in brighter colours) here: http://tinyurl.com/6dv8h

The Battle of Nájera, also known as Battle of Navarette (Spanish Navarrete, a nearby village on the road to Nájera), took place between the English troops led by Edward the Black Prince (of Wales) and the Spaniards led by Henry of Trastamara (who had deposed Edward's ally Pedro the Cruel), during the Hundred Years' War. Both Nájera and Navarrete are in nowadays' La Rioja Community, Spain.

More information on the Battle of Navarette-Nájera here: http://es.geocities.com/endovelico2001/med/najera.html

By the way, there are dozens of similar manuscript scans, some with flags, linked from here: http://www.kulmbach.net/~MGF-Gymnasium/bilderdaten/mittelalter%204/index.htm (caution, big page!)
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005

[flags at the Battle of Najera] image contributed by Jorge Candeias

Seems to be grey with a brown band from upper hoist to lower fly. May also include a wimpel.
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005

This flag appears on the English side. I wonder if it is the armorial banner of a (prominent) English knight. I believe the "wimpel", is actually a "lance pennon."
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005


[flags at the Battle of Najera] image contributed by Jorge Candeias

A long, red, swallow-tailed streamer with some yellow writing I can't understand.Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005

It looks like "ENGLE[TERRE]" for England. Possibly a "label" added by the artist to help heraldically ignorant readers...
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005


[flags at the Battle of Najera] image contributed by Jorge Candeias

Another long, swallow-tailed streamer. The colour seems to be some sort of pinkish tan, and it seems to show a knight slaying some fat animal (a bear?)Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005


Once more, maybe the standard of an English knight.
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005


[flags at the Battle of Najera] image contributed by Jorge Candeias

A quartered flag. The 1st and 4th quarters are blue with 3 fleurs-de-lis each; the 2nd and 3rd are red with something very similar to the English trio of lions passant.
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005


The royal banner of England (1399) (quarterly France Modern and England):
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005


[flags at the Battle of Najera]contributed by Jorge Candeias

The last of the long, swallow-tailed streamers, and this one is, again, red and, again, includes some kind of yellow inscription.
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005


Once more this looks like an (imaginary) label. Actually it reads exactly "CASTILE" -- upside-down!
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005


[flags at the Battle of Najera] image contributed by Jorge Candeias

Another quartered flag. The 1st and 4th quarters are red with a yellow castle; the 2nd and 3rd are apparently blue with some animal in it in a colour hard to define.
Jorge Candeias, 8 March 2005


The royal banner of Castile (quarterly Castile and Leon):

Note how silver pigments tend to degenerate into blue, as has been sometimes discussed. This suggests that the illustration in the magazine reported by Jorge comes from a different copy of the manuscript than the one shown in the above mentioned German webpage.
Santiago Dotor, 11 March 2005


Is it interesting that the Black Prince's flag at Najera is England and France Modern quartered? It was not until Henry IV (1399-1413) that the English crown began to use France Modern in their heraldic display (i.e. 3 lillies as opposed to 7 lillies). Edward III used 7 lillies and so did all of his sons (Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince; Lionel, Duke of Clarence; John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; Edmund of Langley, Duke of York; and Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester).
Doug Biggs, 22 June 2007


 
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