The consecrated banner of the Normans. When William invaded England, his gonfanon was presented to him by the Pope. It was made of purple silk, divided at the end like the banner attached to the “Cross of the Resurrection.” When Harold was wounded in the eye, he was borne to the foot of this sacred standard, and the English rallied round him; but his death gave victory to the invaders. The high altar of Battle Abbey marked the spot where the gonfanon stood, but the only traces now left are a few stones, recently uncovered, to show the site of this memorable place.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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