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The Royal Band of Castile

The Royal Bend of Castile (Banda Real de Castilla), was the positional ensign, “guión” of the Castilian monarch. It was created in 1332 by Alfonso XI, King of Castile and León, he also instituted the Knights of the Band, a military order. Charles I (1500 – 1558), king of Spain, also Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor, was the last monarch that used this standard.

The Bend of Castile description from Henry I reign was: “Gules, a or bend engouled into dragantes, dragon or wolf's heads”. Before, the bend and the dragon’s heads were different colours.

The Castilian Bend origin was the old Count of Castile’s coat of arms - "Gules a bend Or" - , after "Gules, a three towered castle Or"[1]

  • The Catholic Monarchs used the Castilian Bend between a yoke with ribbons Or (on obverse side) and a sheaf of arrows with ribbons Or (on reverse side) and their motto: “Tanto Monta, Monta Tanto” ("cutting as untying") an explanation of the equality of the monarchs.[2]

Later use of the Royal Bend of Castile

  • Francisco Franco, dictator and Head of State of Spain, used from 1940 to 1975 the Castilian Bend (like the version of Charles I) as Head of State’s Standard and Guidon: The Bend between the Pillars of Hercules, crowned with an imperial crown and open (old) royal crown.[3] The Bend between the Pillars of Hercules also were depicting in the personal coat of arms used by Franco as Head of Spanish State.[4][5]

See also



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