Flags and Banners
What better way to add personality to your DBA army than with colorful flags and banners. Imagine for example a Viking army rallied beneath its Raven banner. There are the ever popular pennons streaming from the lances of medieval Knights. Samarui and their retainers signified their loyalties by wearing sashimano banners bearing the devices of their clans on their backs. And what Late Roman or Dark Ages army would be complete without a draco standard. You can use flags and banners to designate command stands. With many armies, it is even possible to identify specific units or elements with a historically appropriate banner, not to mention specific historical personages.
Flags and banners can be painted on paper, metal, plastic or any surface that is pliable and that will hold paint. Some gamers use tinfoil or the heavy foil used to make toothpaste tubes. Whatever material you use, the process is simple. Cut out a square or rectangle a little more than twice the size of your desired banner. Divide the area into two equal sizes/shapes. Then paint or draw a mirror image of your design on each half, coat the unpainted inner side with a thin coat of white glue, and then wrap your flag around the lance or flagstaff, being sure to align the edges evenly. Before the glue sets, you can work the flag with your fingers to create waves or ripples that simulate the flapping of the flag in the wind. A sharp knife or pair of sissors can be used to place "rents" or tears in the flag if so desired. When it is set and dried, then you can coat the flag with a sealant such as a spray matte finish, to protect your art work.
With the advent of graphical software and high quality color printers, it is relatively easy to create your own flags on the computer either by scanning pictures of the originals or by drawing your own on-line, which allows you to correct errors as you go and avoid the pain-staking work associated with painting a detailed flag in miniature. You can also purchase flags from a wide range of commercial sources (see the De Bellis Bazaar's directory of Wargaming Accessories).
Finally, and fortunately there are folks who are willing to share their own artwork. All you need is a good color printer and you're in business.
Chris Brantley has fashioned the following banners:
Mats Elzinga has contributed a whole gallery of nicely drawn and highly useful flags and banners for various armies:
Permission is given to download and copy these images for personal, non-commercial use.
Other Banner Sites
Ian Croxall's Warflag site features a large collection of flags, pennons and banners created for different periods in both 15mm and 25mm scale, including a nice assortment of Burgundian and other medieval banners.
Ray Rousell's Don't Roll a 1 blogsite includes several great sets of "Viking flags, flags for both sides at the Battle of Flodden, a few English flags for the Battle of the Spurs and some flags for the League of Augsburg period, including English, Dutch and Danish."
Wargames Foundry offers a sheet of Viking banners done by Kevin Dallimore.
Alex Pil's offers up Flags for DBx.
If you've created flags or banners for ancient/medieval armies that you are willing to share, drop a note to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com with the image file attached.
Last Updated: 18 August 2015
Image of King James IV of Scotland at Flodden Field (above) borrowed from League of Augsberg website is an excellent illustration of the use of a banner to liven up an element. Comments, suggested additions, and/or critiques welcome. Direct them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.