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IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.

No. XXV. MARCH, 1857.

ART. I.-ODD PHASES IN LITERATURE.

THIRD PAPER.*

1. Mémoire sur l'ancienne Chevalerie.

2. Essais d'Honneur.

3. Histoire du Drapeau.

According to usage preserved during many ages amongst the greater number of modern nations, kings have taken for their chief standard the religious banner of the Saint in whose intercession they had most faith. Saint Martin, one of the first Apostles of the Gauls, and the first patron of its dawning monarchy, was consequently chosen by the kings of the Franks as their patron, and his cope formed their standard.

This cope, which was less, without doubt, the garment of the Saint than the banner of his Abbey, was painted blue, a color which, according to the rites of the Church, was specially adopted by Saints who were confessors. The standard being thus consecrated, the kings considered it a duty of religion to carry it at the head of their armies; blue became therefore the national color of France under the first race. It continued thus up to the accession of the new dynasty of the Carlovingians, when a change was considered necessary both in the national standard and in its color.

For the Cope of Saint Martin, the color of which was always preserved in the royal arms, they substituted the Banner of Saint Denis, a patron chosen through the devotion of the new kings. This standard of the Carlovingians is no other than that which has been so celebrated in history under the name of the Oriflamme. This banner, to which historians for a long time gave the title of Vexillum Sancti Dyonisii, was, as we know,

For the First and Second Papers of this series, see IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. VI., No. 23. p. 439; No. 24. p. 647.

VOL. VII. No. xxv.

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