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Re: Flags

When using paper flags I always used to run a black fine-line fibre tip along the edge to take away the whiteness of the cut, unpainted paper. Now I use one of the sepia coloured pens you can get. Still a fine-liner, but the colour is less jarring/obvious than the black.

As an observer of military standards, yes taffeta has a sheen but from a hundred yards away or even less that sheen is less obvious, pretty much not at all.

When I first joined the Sealed Knot - forty years ago - standards were generally made of anything people could get their hands on. It was also common to applique the designs onto them using other materials. Some of those early colours weighed a ton! In a strong wind it was all a standard bearer could do to hold them up and not take off. The move over to taffeta (or a man-made equivalent) meant that not only did colours fly in the proper manner in even just a slight breeze. Devices are painted on and the weight saved is immense. Once this was widely adopted throughout the society, flourishing the colours - standing out in front of the battle line and waving the colours in circular or figure eight motions to taunt the enemy and display the colours of the units involved - this became something that was much more do-able, you didn't have to be Conan the Barbarian to do it. (It's also why staves for stnndards are short, and with a counter weight on the bottom. So much easier to fling about)