Standards of Scotland, Ireland and England
The story of St. George has been known in England since the 8th century. During the Crusades he was said to have appeared to the Christian army at the Battle of Antioch in 1098. He subsequently became the patron saint of soldiers. When Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199) fought in Palestine he placed his army under the protection of St. George and adopted the saint's banner - the red cross of a martyr against a white background - for the soldiers' uniforms.
When the military Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III (1327-1377) in 1348, St. George was adopted as its patron saint. It was also Edward III who declared St. George patron saint of England and his banner the English flag.
In 1818 the Prince Regent, later George IV, created the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George in recognition of diplomatic services.
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