(The). The badge of the royal banner of England till those of St. Patrick and St. Andrew were added.
“The fall of Rouen (1419) was the fall of the whole province ... and
the red cross of England waved on all the towers of Normandy.” —
Red Cross Knight in Spenser's Faërie Queene, is the impersonation of holiness, or rather the spirit of Christianity. Politically he typifies the Church of England. The knight is sent forth by the queen to slay a dragon which ravaged the kingdom of Una's father. Having achieved this feat, he marries Una (q.v.). (Book i.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894