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Word of the Day
Saturday, March 24, 2018

Definitions for oriflamme

  1. any flag, banner, or standard, especially one that serves as a rallying point or symbol.
  2. the red banner of St. Denis, near Paris, carried before the early kings of France as a military ensign.

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Citations for oriflamme
I was so afraid you might think we ought to sort of wave the oriflamme of our unfettered love. Mary Renault, Purposes of Love, 1939
... the huge and motley mass, throughout the Union, which marched under the oriflamme of the bank, had every where repeated and reiterated the same cry. Thomas Hart Benton, Thirty Years’ View, 1854
Origin of oriflamme
late Middle English
Originally an oriflamme was the banner or ensign that the French kings received before going into battle from the abbot of Saint-Denis, the site of a Benedictine abbey founded c626 in a city of the same name, located northeast of Paris, and named after Saint Denis, a martyr of the 3rd century who is venerated as a patron of the French people. Oriflamme means “golden flame” in Old French, from Latin aurea flamma “golden flame,” referring to the golden flames on the red background of the banner. Oriflamme entered English in the 15th century.