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40 41 Below Left The dragon in this heraldic drawing is not devouring its prey the image instead represents enlightenment coming out of wisdom. Centre From A.C. FoxDaviess A Complete Guide to Heraldry, a German dragon which is known as the Lindwurm, of the same kind as the Red Dragon of Wales. Right Another heraldic dragon. The heraldic dragon is one of the most artistic of all heraldic creations and the one with which we are most familiar today. Its four legs, neck and back are covered with scales, while the under part of its body is scaled in rolls of a much larger size. Its tongue and tail are barbed and its wings are those of a bat. Although heraldry is essentially medieval in origin, the use of the dragon as a personal device was in use from much earlier timesMarduk, slayer of Tiamat see page 4, had a dragon as his emblem and Heracles bore a dragon effigy on his shield. The legend of the Welsh flag describes how King Vortigern designed a fortress at Dinas Emrys which proved impossible to build for as soon as a wall was raised, it collapsed. A lad named Merlin said that beneath the foundations two dragons were battling in an underground lake, shaking the walls and causing them to fall. This proved to be true, for a red dragon and a white dragon were seen there fighting, and the red dragon eventually obtained suzerainty. The legend is based on history, and probably describes an actual battle, as when armies rode out it was the custom for each side to group beneath a dragon standard of an identifying colour. In this particular instance the red dragon, the British or Welsh, overcame the white dragon, the Saxons or English. A red dragon on a green and white ground, known as the Red Dragon of Cadwallader, later became the national flag of Wales. Merlin became adviser to King Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon who had a vision of a flaming dragon which was interpreted as a sign that he would become king. Uther took the name Pendragon Head Dragon, and both he and Arthur used the dragon as their heraldic symbols on their arms and helmets. heraldIc and War dragons Left A dragon war machine from Roberto Valtrios De Re Militari. Dragons on banners, standards and shields are signs of valour and courage and represent the power of a ruler. The draco windsock banner was widely used in the Roman Empire, and the Persians and Scythians also bore dragons on their standards. A windsock consisted of a pole, held by a soldier called a Dragonarius, which had a carved wooden Dragons head mounted on top of it. A tube of cloth was attached to the head and, when the banner was held aloft, it filled with wind, writhing and billowing like a living creature. This scared the enemy and assisted the archers by showing them the strength and direction of the wind. Even today there is a regiment of English guards called Dragoons.
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