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In the times of our ancestors, and indeed throughout military history, being a Standard Bearer has always been a high honor though often a short lived one. It was so in Viking times, when Standard Bearers who carried the Raven Banner forward in battle were given a larger share of booty than other warriors. Standard Bearers led the way in battle with the military leaders fighting beside, or behind them, to direct the attack. Those who saw the Standard carried high knew where the main effort of the attack was located.

King Frothi of Denmark made laws to reward and highlight courage in battle, that noted "Any people (does not specify man or woman) who advanced in battle before the Standard Bearer were rewarded; a slave became a freedman, a peasant a nobleman. If he were already of high birth he was appointed a jarl. These were the large honours once earned by the valiant, so much did men believe that distinction should be accorded to courage. It was not reckoned that bravery ought to be attributed to good luck, but vice versa." Saxo Grammaticus in "The History of the Danes."

Similarly though if a Standard Bearer fell with the flag or standard someone else had to pick it up immediately and carry it forward. Having your Standard captured brought great dishonor while capturing an enemies Standard or Colors brought the highest honor. At the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, Arminius and the Germanic Cherusci Tribe captured three Roman Eagles, which the Romans took great pains and lost many Legionnaires to recover it.

The picture is from the painting of the Battle of Stamford Bridge by Peter Nicolai Arbo. Like our ancestors, we fly the Raven. It is part of our coat of arms.

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