I was reading a historical novel by Bernard Cornwell (The Pagan Lord), when I came to this:

Eohric, who had been King of East Anglia before we killed him, had a lion on his banner and his animal had only four legs and one horn, but I doubted Eohric had ever seen a lion so I suppose Mehrasa was right.

Eohric of East Anglia was a real person, so I was curious to know if this is true, that is, if he really used a lion on his banner, if the lion on the banner had a horn and what's the history behind lions with horns.

It would be nice to see Eohric's banner, too bad that Cornwell doesn't put illustrations on his books for this kind of things.

  • 1
    Yorick is a one-liner of history. The only thing it says in the chronicle is that he was the successor of Guthrum and that he was killed with Ethelwald. Jul 23, 2014 at 6:45
  • 2
    Check the references in the Wikipedia article. Then try the authors. When you find the answer, answer here or update Wikipedia.
    – andy256
    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:56
  • @TylerDurden I didn't know that. Was Eohric the gensis of Shakesperean Yorick?
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:51
  • @CGCampbell Yorick was a common name in ancient Denmark. Jul 23, 2014 at 14:31
  • Also, to correct the "historical novel", Yorick was not the king of East Anglia, he was the king of the Danes in Britain, or king of the Danelaw as it is sometimes said. You can get an idea of who he was by reading the article on Guthrum (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guthrum). Jul 23, 2014 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


Eohric probably didn't have a banner but he probably did have a flag of some type. A banner is a heraldic flag with a coat of arms.




Since Eohric lived before heraldry he couldn't have had a heraldic banner, so it would be more correct and less anachronistic to speak about his flag or flags.

A shield of three golden crowns, placed two above one, on a blue background has been used as a symbol of East Anglia for centuries. The coat of arms was ascribed by medieval heralds to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and the Wuffingas dynasty which ruled it. The arms are effectively identical to the coat of arms of Sweden.






Since that symbol dates to centuries after Eohric's era novelist Bernard Cornwell probably didn't see any reason to use it. And he probably based the description of Eohrics's flag only on his imagination with no evidence.

[1]: https://www.google.com/search?q=banner%20of%20the%20holy%20roman%20emperor&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjw74Cj7bbUAhXFbD4KHbYwCoAQ_AUICigB&biw=1280&bih=894#imgrc=eauU78zZuA2YkM:

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