Today’s world is full of symbols. They are everywhere, for example on road signs, toilet doors, and computer desktops. Our speaker Bro David Mooney took us back in time to a period when the symbols of heraldry were more prominent.
He took us back to the War of the Roses when the royal House of York fought the House of Lancaster and the throne switched back and forth between them. The white and red roses were recognisable symbols on the battlefield flags. These roses are linked to royal dynasties and not the counties.
Edward IV also had the falcon and the “sun in splendour” on his flag. Unfortunately the sun was similar to an enemy’s symbol and once caused casualties as soldiers on the same side fought each other.
George, the Duke of Clarence and the brother of Richard III and Edward IV, had the sun and a bull as his emblems. He visited Bridlington, and the “Bull and Sun” pub is named in his honour. Bro David claims it is the only pub in England with this name.
Edward IV bestowed honours on the Bridlington Priory and Bro David showed a tile found there which displayed a stylised falcon, a symbol of this king.
Bro David looked in more depth at the symbol of the white rose. Is it the symbol of the royal House of York, is it the symbol for Yorkshire, or is it both? Bro David explained all.
The rose has five petals with a leaf point between each petal. The white rose with the point down is the symbol of the House of York. If the point is up, it is the Yorkshire Rose.
Strangely the prestigious Flag Institute don’t seem to understand this. The Yorkshire flag they approved has the rose upside down. Maybe you should fly the flag upside down so the rose is the right way up!
As Bro David showed, others are unaware of this difference. He showed many correct and incorrect examples. They included the arms and badges of councils, police forces, and army regiments.
The Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club has a rose point down. This symbolises the House of York and not Yorkshire. But maybe this can be explained as it was the Duke of York who founded the club.
Oh, and don’t put a white rose on the label of a bottle of beer. The Sam Smith brewery won a legal exclusive right to this privilege.
Val Walker gave the vote of thanks. She thanked Bro David for an enjoyable and informative presentation.