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A banner is a flag or other piece of cloth bearing a symbol, logo, slogan or other message. Banner-making is an ancient craft.

The word derives from late Latin bandum, a cloth out of which a flag is made (Latin banderia, Italian bandiera), (Spanish bandera). German developed the word to mean an official edict or proclamation and since such written orders often prohibited some form of human activity, bandum assumed the meaning of a ban, control, interdict or excommunication. Banns has the same origin meaning an official proclamation, and abandon means to change loyalty or disobey orders, semantically "to leave the cloth or flag".


Heraldic banners

A heraldic banner, also called banner of arms, displays the basic coat of arms only: i.e. it contains the design usually displayed on the shield and omits the crest, helmet or coronet, mantling, supporters, motto or any other elements associated with the coat of arms (for further details of these elements, see heraldry).

A heraldic banner is usually square or rectangular.

A distinction exists between the heraldic banner and the heraldic standard. The distinction, however, is often misunderstood or ignored. For example the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom is in fact a banner of the royal arms.

The full armorial achievement of the arms of the Kingdom of Scotland (pre-Union of the Crowns).

The principal charge of the arms as depicted on the escutcheon.

The heraldic banner of the King of Scots; the Royal Standard of Scotland, depicting the principal charge of the arms.

Heraldic banner of Cardinal Wolsey.

Banners in a religious context

The prophet Isaiah was commanded to raise a banner and exalt his voice (Isaiah 13:2 KJV). Habakkuk received a similar order to write a vision upon tables that could be read by one who runs past it (Habakkuk 2:2).

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