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Ensign


Ensign (nês; in the Authorized Version generally “ensign,” sometimes “standard”; degel, “standard,” with the exception of Song. 2:4, “banner”; ôth, “ensign”). The distinction between these three Hebrew terms is sufficiently marked by their respective uses. Nês is a signal, and not a military standard. It is an occasional signal, which was exhibited on the top of a pole from a bare mountain-top, Isa. 13:2; 18:3; degel a military standard for a large division of an army; and ôth the same for a small one. Neither of them, however, expresses the idea which “standard” conveys to our minds, viz., a flag. The standards in use among the Hebrews probably resembled those of the Egyptians and Assyrians—a figure or device of some kind elevated on a pole; usually a sacred emblem, such as an animal, a boat, or the king’s name.

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Roman Standards.