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Oriflamme

The ancient banner which originally belonged to the Abbey of Saint Denis, and was borne by the Counts of Vezin, patrons of that church but which, after the country of Vezin fell into the hands of the French crown, became the principal banner of the kingdom. In heraldic language it is described as charged with a saltire wavy or, with rays issuing from the center crossways; Seccee into points, each bearing a tassel of green silk.

The banner is also described as a red flag or gonfalon divided on the lower edge into points, as three or five, each having a tassel of green silk, the banner carried on a gilded staff or gold spear. In heraldry the term, oriflamme, has been applied to a red banner charged or decorated on the surface with fleurs-de-lys of gold, the fleurs-delys being a conventional design of some obscurity as to origin but probably meant for repetitions of sets of three leaves or lobes representing a flower, as a lily for example, such as were on the royal arms of France from the reign of Charles VII (see Gonfaloat)

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