Origins of Pennants
Have you ever wondered where these three sided pieces of fabric originate? Well Pennon is actually from the Latin penna meaning a “wing” or “a feather.” These pieces of fabric were sometimes pointed, but more often than not they were forked or swallow tailed at the end. Around the 11th century the pennon was generally square, one end being decorated with the addition of decorations such as streamers. When Henry III ruled England, the pennon took on the shape we see it in today, distinctively triangular.
While today you may see pennants adorning many porches and floats in parades, there was a time where it was used to signify the importance of a knight. It would be carried on a knight’s lance and display his personal coat of arms. Pennants would also commonly be found at special occasions such as funerals and feasts.
These days pennants are referred to commonly in athletic events as a prize to win from other teams, or they can be seen adorning and decorating homes, boats, and in all sorts of different locations during holidays and celebrations.
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