St. George Slayeth the Dragon.
This Replica Medieval Shield Is Made in Spain and . . .
focuses on St. George who chosen as patron saint by The Black Prince for the Order of the Garter. Our St. George / Black Prince shield is made of wood with brass adornments and has an exquisite leather and embroidered center crest with nice detail. It measures 30" x 18" and weighs 10 pounds. Four squares of alternating red and black make up the background of this impressive shield. This shield has a center that is embellished with a depiction of St. George and the Dragon representing victory of goodness over evil in an epoch battle scene. Lions’ heads line the edges of the shield representing deathless courage. Griffins also represent a courageous soldier whose goodwill is such that he will dare all dangers rather than become captive.
St. George and The Black Prince
St. George & the Dragon (the
George) was chosen by The Black Prince as the patron Saint for the Knight of the
Garter, The Most Noble Order of the Garter. Prince Edward III, also known as The
Black Prince, established the Order of the Garter around 1348 (exact date unknown).
His motto for the garter is "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" which means "Evil
be to him who think evil."
St. George and the Dragon is one of the best-known stories in history. However, little information was documented during his time and little is known about this legendary hero. It is said that he was born sometime around 263-281AD in the city of Lydia near Jerusalem (Lydda - in stories). Sometime in his seventeenth year, George enlisted as a cavalry soldier in the army of the Roman emperor Diocletian. He rose through the rankings quickly because he was a proficient soldier and an able horseman.
Emperor Diocletian began his movement to persecute Christians during the service of George. George, however, was a devout Christian and requested an audience with the Emperor. At this conference, George pleaded with the Emperor to cease from this aggressive execution. Diocletian was so bittered and enraged that he commanded George to recant his religion. George refused and was arrested, tortured, and finally put to death on April 23, 303AD. This day is now known as St. George’s Day. Within a few years the Empire converted to Christianity.
Classic storytellers told the tale of a city called Selene where a terrifying dragon lived in a swamp nearby. There are numerous variations of the story of St. George slaying the dragon but most fit with the following:
A hungry dragon terrorized a city demanding sheep daily for food and then the town’s young when other resources ran low. Its breath poisoned those who came in close approach to the dragon. Eventually, it was the town’s young princess’s turn to be sacrificed to the dragon. George heard of this, rode into the village defeated the dragon and rescued the princess. Some accountings depict George killing the dragon immediately while others claim he subdued the dragon, delivered him into the city and then executed the dragon. Some stories portray that the injured dragon was brought back to the city to heel so that in the future it served the city it tormented. George told the people to have no fear, but to be baptized, and requested them to honor the clergy, pity the poor, and professed Christianity.
Many Christians still identify with and address the story of St. George because he represents victory of good over evil.
There are no known records of his epithet "The Black Prince." It is believed to refer to his black armor he may have worn, although other speculations attribute it to his dark temper. Early in life Edward III established an unyielding reputation as a soldier and was very occupied in upholding this claim. In doing so, the Black Prince provoked the long-running but intermittent battle between England and France, popularly known as the Hundred Years War.
Edward had a fascination with the legend of King Arthur and promised to renew the fraternity of the "Knights of the Round Table." Work even began, but was never completed, on a gigantic circular building two-hundred feet across within the upper sector of the castle to house this so-declared Order of the Round Table. Incidentally, the Order of the Garter came to play when founding the new college of St. George at Windsor. For the elite members of the order, twenty-five knights were provided with a stall in the chapel with the king at their head. Prince Edward III never became king, he died in 1376 before his father King Edward III. A year later the Black Prince’s ten year old son succeeded his grandfather and became King Richard II of England.
The institution of the Order of the Garter is an honor of knighthood going into battle. It is significant in comparison to other orders from the middle ages, fundamentally for prestige attached to the order and for its survival to present day.
Every June, members of the order meet at Windsor Castle for the annual Garter Service. Today Knights of the Garter wear what is the more distinctive of the various ensembles, the collar. This is worn on collar days with the George hanging from a collar composed of alternate gold knots and 26 blue garters enclosing red roses. In more than 500 years, little has changed in the current setting for the home of the Order. St. George’s Chapel and Windsor Castle continues to play a central role in the life of the Garter. Still, today, the Order of the Garter is the oldest surviving Order of chivalry in the world!
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