E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
means a piece of cloth. (Anglo-Saxon, fana; Latin, pannus; Welsh, baner; Italian, bandiera; French, bannière.)
An emperors banner should be sixe foote longe, and the same in breadth; a kings banner five foote; a princes and a dukes banner, four foote; a marquyss, an erles, a viscounts, a barons, and a bannerets 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. Georges Chapel, Windsor, Henry VII.s Chapel, Westminster, etc., are to indicate that the knight whose banner is hung up, avows himself devoted to Gods service.