Ancient and medieval wargaming offers myriad opportunities to indulge in all sorts of graphic arts, including the creation of historical, quasi-historical, or even entirely speculative flags or banners to use with your figures. Using heraldric or other symbols, you can connote nationality or even signal the identity of the flag/banner bearer.
You can buy very attractive flags and banners for your armies from various commercial sources. Little Big Man Studios is one source that comes immediately to mind. Or you can make your own, which is cheaper and pretty easy. All you need is Internet access to do your research, a paint or graphics editing program to create and manipulate images, and access to a color printer to print out your creations. Printed on good quality paper, you can cut them out with sissors and adhere them around your miniature flagpole by applying a thin coat of white glue (PVA) to the backside and then bringing the mirrored sides together back to back. If you wringle the paper slightly as you press the edges together, you can create the impression of a flag flapping in the breeze. To protect the flag, you can use the same spray or brush sealant you use to protect your miniatures.
Here are links to printable files featuring paper flags and banners I’ve created over the years, and featured previously at Fanaticus. I won’t vouch for their historical accuracy, but will say they are designed to be evocative of the period, army or personage they were created for, and based on hours of research using the best available information I had access to. Feel free to download and use them. I expect to add more from time to time.
- Generic Dark Ages (enhanced by Mats Elzina)
- Dark Age/Celtic
- Dark Ages/Celtic
- Dark Ages Britain
- Persian/Islamic-inspired banners (1)
- Persian/Islamic-inspired banners (2)
- Persian/Islamic-inspired banners (3)
- Al Andasus (Andalusian) banners
- Crusader Flags
- Crusader Personalities (as suggested by W. Hanson)
- Eastern Franks
- Medieval Georgia
- Medieval Cilician Armenian
- Medieval Iberian
- Medieval Lance
- Medieval (Swallow-Tail)
- More Medieval
- Russian Iconic Banners
- Chinese Dragon Banners
There are a number of other sources for down-loadable flags and banners where you can find a wide variety of offerings in different styles, many of very high quality. Check out, for example:
- Warflag (by Ian Croxall)
- Dansk Figurspilsforening offers flags for the Medieval/Renaissance Period, Hundred Years War, and the Baltic Crusades.
- Matthew Heywood’s Teutonic and Polish Standards at Tannenberg and Medieval Serbs
- The Don’t Roll a 1 site features Vikings and WoTR flags, plus Medieval Scots and English banners for Flodden.