The Fighting Man

The 'Fighting Man' was King Harold and the house of Godwin's own personal banner. It was described as a large golden banner, woven in the purest gold, with an armed warrior upon it, embroidered in black thread. This banner, the golden Dragon, the ensign of Cuthred and Aelfred was later sent by Duke William as a gift to Pope Alexander II. William, according to his promise, built Battle abbey on the site where Harold was killed. The high altar of the church marking the very spot where the banner of the 'Fighting Man' finally fell.

Dead and dying men were heaped around, and nowhere were they heaped so thickly as around the fallen Standard of England. There, where the flower of England's nobility and soldiery lay stretched in death, there, where the banner of the Fighting Man now lay beaten to the ground, the Conqueror knelt, he gave his thanks to God, and bade his own banner be planted as the sign of the victory which he had won. He bade the dead be swept aside; the ducal tent was pitched in this, as it were, the innermost sanctuary of the Conquest, and meat and drink were brought for his repast in the midst of the ghastly trophies of his prowess. --Freeman

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