Of Troubadours and Crest Flags

In times of war, troubadours need to inform commanders about the statistics, qualities and other facts about the enemy army. They would be required to move between the two places where the battle will ensue to learn about battle formations, the size of the opposing army and the types of troops available. Troubadours were also able to point out dead soldiers and the crest flags that have been captured. Many noblemen who have been subdued would try to make it seem as if they are ordinary soldiers to avoid being held for ransom. However, troubadours were able to point them out. These special men were usually given the position of deputy commander-in-chief, because they are important in the battle plan. From troubadours, three new positions came out – the herald, army staff officer and ambassador.

The word “coat of arms” originated from a huge coat that was worn by a knight over his armor. During hot days, the armor can be unbearable and in the winter months, the armor would be stiff because of the ice. The coat would be very effective in maintaining the right temperature of the armor. The colors of the knight were also featured on the coat to identify him easily.

A crest was also shown on the helmet of the warrior. Crest flags may feature animal parts and other items that will make the carrier easy to identify on the battlefield. These also had aesthetic purposes.

The oldest known heraldic shield of Norman origin was discovered on a tombstone in France, dating back 1010.

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