Cross of Burgundy
Cross of Burgundy

The Cross of Burgundy (French: Croix de Bourgogne; Spanish: Cruz de Borgoña/Aspa de Borgoña; German: Burgunderkreuz; Dutch: Bourgondisch kruis) is a saw-toothed (raguly) form of the Cross of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Burgundy, and a historical banner and battle flag used by holders of the title of Duke of Burgundy and their subjects.

It was first used in the 15th century by the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled a large part of eastern France and the Low Countries as an effectively independent state. At the extinction of the Valois ducal line in 1477, the Burgundian Low Countries were inherited by the Habsburgs, who retained the title of Dukes of Burgundy and adopted the flag as one of the many symbols of their dynasty. After the Burgundian Habsburgs ascended to the throne of Spain in 1506, their officials introduced this ensign in the Spanish Empire throughout the Castilian and Aragonese territories in Europe and in the Americas. In the 20th century, the Cross of Burgundy has been used as a far-right nationalist symbol by the Carlists in favor of Francisco Franco and by the Walloon Legion fighting for Nazi Germany.

Today the emblem can be found in various continents, where it may be used on regimental colours, badges, shoulder patches, and company guidons. Such widespread use in a variety of contexts, in several European countries and in nations of the Americas, reflects the historical reach of the Burgundian, Habsburg, and Spanish empires and territories.

History

Jeton of the Chamber of Accounts in Lille, 1545. Struck under Emperor Charles V, showing a Burgundian steel superimposed on Burgundian Cross.
Jeton of the Chamber of Accounts in Lille, 1545.
Struck under Emperor Charles V, showing a Burgundian steel superimposed on Burgundian Cross.

Burgundy

The banner strictly speaking dates to the early 15th century, when the supporters of the Duke of Burgundy adopted the badge to show allegiance in the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War. It represents the cross on which Andrew the Apostle was crucified. The design is a red saltire resembling two crossed, roughly-pruned, branches on a white field. In heraldic language, it may be blazoned argent, a saltire ragulée (or raguly) gules.

Pedro de Ayala, writing in the 1490s, claims a previous Duke of Burgundy first adopted this emblem to honour his Scottish soldiers. This must be a reference to the Scottish soldiers recruited by John the Fearless in the first years of the fifteenth century, led by the Earl of Mar and Earl of Douglas.[original research?] However, earlier chronicle accounts and archaeological finds of heraldic badges from Paris indicate widespread adoption dates from 1411 in the context of factional warfare in the city. It was more likely to have been adopted because St. Andrew was the patron saint of the dukes of Burgundy.[1]

Habsburgs and Spain

Coat of arms of Juan Carlos I, King of Spain (1975–2014), with the Cross of Burgundy as a supporter.
Coat of arms of Juan Carlos I, King of Spain (1975–2014), with the Cross of Burgundy as a supporter.

The year 1506 is the earliest use in Spain as it made appearance on the standards carried by Philip the Handsome's Burgundian life guards. Philip was Duke of Burgundy since 1482. After marrying Joanna of Castile, Philip became the first Habsburg King of Spain and used the Cross of Burgundy as an emblem. It was the symbol of the house of his mother, Mary of Burgundy.

From 1519 to 1556, during the reign of Philip and Joanna's son, Emperor Charles V, who was King Charles I of Spain since 1516 and Duke Charles II of Burgundy since 1506, various armies within his empire used the flag with the Cross of Burgundy over different fields. It was one of the many Habsburg symbols and the right to use it was inherited by Philip II of Spain together with the Burgundian territories. The official field was still white. The Spanish Habsburgs and their successors of the House of Bourbon continued to use the Cross of Burgundy in various forms, including as a supporter to the Royal Coat of Arms.[2] From the time of the Bourbon king Philip V (1700–1746), the Spanish naval ensign was white and bore a royal coat of arms in the centre. The Burgundian flag was reportedly still flown as a jack ensign, that is, as a secondary flag, until Charles III introduced his new red-yellow-red naval ensign in 1785. It also remained in use in Spain's overseas empire (see #Overseas Empire of Spain below).

The flag eventually came to be adopted by the Carlists, a traditionalist-legitimist movement which fought three wars of succession against Isabella II of Spain. They claimed the throne of Spain for Carlos, who would have been the legal heir under the Salic Law, which had been controversially abolished by Ferdinand VII. In the First Carlist War (1833–1840), however, the Burgundian banner was used as a banner of the Regent Queen's standing Army rather than that of the Carlist. After 1843 the red Burgundian saltire was repeatedly used the new red-yellow army flag under a four-quartered Castilian and Leonese coat of arms on the central yellow fess. During the 20th-century Spanish Civil War the Cross of Burgundy was used as a badge by the Carlists under the leadership of Manuel Fal Condé, who fought on the side of the nationalists led by Francisco Franco.

Examples of use of the emblem

Burgundian Cross of Burgundy, with crown, firesteel, and Golden Fleece
Burgundian Cross of Burgundy, with crown, firesteel, and Golden Fleece

Users mostly have some direct or indirect relation to the historical Burgundy, though such connection can be very vague and lost in the mists of time. Owing to the impact of the Spanish Empire as a global powerhouse across the world, numerous flags and coats of arms of bodies, in various colours and in combination with other symbols can be found in old Spanish domains. Most of them has direct link with the Spanish Empire where this symbol got a global impact.

In Spain

In France

In Belgium and the Austrian Netherlands

In the Netherlands

In North, Central and South America

See also: Historical colours, standards and guidons

Banner of the foot regiments of the Spanish army: "Coronela" (King's Colour) with the Royal Crest of Spain (carried by the first battalion), and "Ordenanza" or "Batallona" (Battalion's Colour) with the Burgundian cross (carried by the second and third battalions); with four little coats-of-arms of the place for which it is named. If the battalions were merged by any reason, the Coronela and Batallona flags could be joined in a sole flag with the Royal Crest over the saltire. The flags with the Royal Crest of Ferdinand VII were used by the Spaniards in the Peninsular War and in the Spanish American wars of independence.
Banner of the foot regiments of the Spanish army: "Coronela" (King's Colour) with the Royal Crest of Spain (carried by the first battalion), and "Ordenanza" or "Batallona" (Battalion's Colour) with the Burgundian cross (carried by the second and third battalions); with four little coats-of-arms of the place for which it is named. If the battalions were merged by any reason, the Coronela and Batallona flags could be joined in a sole flag with the Royal Crest over the saltire. The flags with the Royal Crest of Ferdinand VII were used by the Spaniards in the Peninsular War and in the Spanish American wars of independence.

During the Spanish colonization of the Americas the Cross of Burgundy served as the flag of the Viceroyalties of the New World (Bandera de Ultramar)[5] and as a recurrent symbol in the flags of the Spanish armed forces[6] and the Spanish Navy.[7] Nations that were once part of the Spanish Empire consider "las aspas de Borgoña" to be a historical flag, particularly appropriate for museum exhibits and the remains of the massive harbor-defense fortifications built in the 17th–18th centuries. At both San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico, and at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida, the Cross of Burgundy is daily flown over the historic forts, built by Spain to defend their lines of communication between the territories of their New World empire. The flying of this flag reminds people today of the impact Spain and its military had on world history for over 400 years. It was also used by Spanish military forces.

In the United States

Gallery

Royal Coat of arms of Spain (1700-1761)-Common Version of the Colours.svg
Royal Coat of arms of Spain (1761-1843) - Common Version of the Colours.svg
Royal Coat of arms of Spain
Common Version of the Standard Colours
(1700–1761)[2]
Royal Coat of arms of Spain
Common Version of the Standard Colours
(1761–1843)[2]
Lesser Coat of arms of Spain (1843-1868 and 1874-1931)-Version of the Colours.svg
Coat of arms of Spain (1871-1873)-Version of the Colours.svg
National Coat of arms of Spain (Until 1931)-Version of the Colours.svg
Coat of Arms of Juan Carlos I of Spain.svg
Coat of arms of Spain – Version of the Standard Colours
(1843–1868, 1874–1931)
Variant with the lesser royal arms quarters[2]
Coat of arms of Spain – Version of the Standard Colours
(1871/1873)
Reign of King Amadeo[2]
Coat of arms of Spain – Version of the Standard Colours
(1874–1931)
Variant with the national quarters[2]
Coat of arms of Spain
Royal Standard and the Royal Guard Colours
(1974–2014)
Reign of King Juan Carlos I[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Hutchinson, Emily (2007). "Partisan identity in the French civil war,1405–1418: reconsidering the evidence on liverybadges". Journal of Medieval History. 33 (3): 250–274. doi:10.1016/j.jmedhist.2007.07.006. S2CID 159513907.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g *Álvarez Abeilhé, Juan. La bandera de España. El origen militar de los símbolos de España. Revista de Historia Militar Año LIV (2010). Núm extraord. Madrid: Ministerio de Defensa. ISSN 0482-5748. PP. 37–69.
  3. ^ Royal Spanish Household website Archived July 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Spanish Air Force Website Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Luis Tinajero Portes (1994), Días Conmemorativos en la Historia de México, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, p. 39, ISBN 9789686194654, (...) atravesado diagonalmente por dos brazos que formaba la cruz de San Andrés, también de seda y de color morado. (...) Este estandarte virreinal duró como símbolo de la Nueva España hasta el ya citado 24 de agosto de 1821 (...) Translation: (...) Crossed diagonally by two arms forming the cross of St. Andrew, also of silk and purple. (...) This viceroyal banner lasted as a symbol of colonial New Spain to the aforementioned 24 August 1821 (...) "
  6. ^ Escudo, Ministerio de Defensa. Unidad Militar de Emergencias., Para darle el carácter militar al escudo se coloca en la parte posterior (acolada), la Cruz de Borgoña (aspas), que es el símbolo militar de más antiguedad y tradición en las Fuerzas Armadas españolas.
  7. ^ Historia de la Armada, Ministerio de Defensa. Armada Española
  8. ^ Moncada, Andrea (October 25, 2021). "What's With All the Imperial Spanish Flags in Peru (and Elsewhere)?". Americas Quarterly. Archived from the original on 2021-10-25. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  9. ^ Flags of the World (ed.):The Burgundy cross,... used by Spain, especially at sea, for many years. In much more recent times, it was a symbol of Carlism (Requetés) during the Spanish Civil War and afterwards, and by the Traditionalist Party (Partido Tradicionalista) during the post-Franco years crwflags.com google.es