means a piece of cloth. (Anglor-Saxon, fana; Latin, pannus; Welsh, baner; Italian, bandiera; French, bannière.)
“An emperor's banner should be sixe foote longe, and the same in breath; a king's banner five foote; a prince's and a duke's banner, four foote; a marquy's, an erle's, a viscount's, a baron's, and a banneret's banner shall be but three foote square.” —Park.
The banner of the Prophet is called Sanjek-sherif, and is kept in the Eyab mosque of Constantinople.
The two black banners borne before the Califs of the house of Abbas were called Night and Shadow.
The sacred banner of France is the Oriflamme (q.v.).
Banners in churches. These are suspended as thank-offerings to God. Those in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster, etc., are to indicate that the knight whose banner is hung up, avows himself devoted to God's service.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894