Banners, Introduction

3 November 2011

The ‘lavaron’ is a kind of flag. It consists of a square or oblong piece of material which hangs stretched from the top of a pole and falls along it. It is used on certain festivals in churches, in religious processions, and in the celebrations of various associations, societies and guilds. The first Christian lavaron which we know of was that raised by Constantine the Great when he set out to battle against Maxentius in 312. Another famous lavaron was the ‘Holy Mandelion of Edessa’, the icon not made with hands which Heraclius had as a banner in his campaign against the Persians. The banner sacred to modern Greeks is that on which Germanos, Bishop of Old Patras, swore the leaders of Achaia. Such banners are also used in monasteries as podeas.