Sunday, October 25, 2015

We Band Of Brothers

Today I have something different. Six hundred years ago today, on St. Crispin's Day, October 25th, 1415, Henry V personally led an outnumbered English army against the French at Agincourt, winning the battle and the day. The Union Jack seems appropriate for the occasion, and it hangs from a downtown hotel alongside other flags. The English flag of St. George is taken from my archives; I photographed it in the Glebe during the last World Cup.

William Shakespeare incorporated the battle into his play Henry V. You can see Kenneth Branagh give his version of the Crispin's Day speech here. And if you've never seen Branagh's film adaptation, you should. For a more irreverent  take on that speech, check out Leslie Nielsen giving the Eleventh Of March speech from Due South.


  1. so many battles. walking a fine line to allied forces. :)

  2. The flags are flying high! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  3. Beautiful photos of the flags. They look glorious flying under the blue sky!

  4. What intense times it must have been back then. Greetings.

  5. I do love that speech (the real one!).
    Jane x

  6. Love the way the photos come together to tell a story.


  7. The first shot is wonderful with the flags in front of those glass walls.

  8. No wonder we know so much about Agincourt. I've never seen the movie but seen the play and took the play in an English class. I like the way you put the various photos together to tell about the battle.

  9. Gosh Kenneth Branagh looks so young here.. Such a good actor, especially in historical roles.

  10. @Tex: indeed!

    @Nancy: thank you!

    @Tamago: they do.

    @Blogoratti: indeed.

    @Jane and Chris: I'd have followed both King Henry and Buck Frobisher into battle!

    @Janis: thanks!

    @Jan: I thought of the British high commission, but this seemed better.

    @Red: we had Shakespeare in each year of English class, but not this one. I've seen it on stage once, but in three different movies.

    @Grace: he definitely is!

    @Whisk: Christian Bale was in that movie, playing a boy in the army. At the end of the battle, there's a single take sequence, the Non Nobis Domine scene, where the camera tracks over the battleground and Branagh is carrying the dead boy on his shoulder throughout. It's an amazing scene.

  11. One of the boldest flag designs out there.

  12. Agincourt? Again? Great pictures, love the last one!

  13. For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile... I forget the rest but I once knew it and I happen to like Batman too, lol. Sorry, a bit tired this evening. Ahhhhh Branagh in Henry V, brilliant.

  14. Oh yeah... so vile, this day shall gentle his condition, and gentlemen in England now abed, shall think themselves accursed they were not here... Man, sometimes my memory surprises even me!!!!

  15. Love the flags...and I love Due South!

  16. @Hilary: they were quite appropriate for today!

    @Revrunner: the Union Jack's one of the few flags I have no problem with identifying.

    @VP: thanks!

    @Ciel: I know the Crispin's Day speech quite well!

    @RedPat: I agree!

    @Norma: so do I!

  17. I love the flags! And I have always loved Leslie Nielsen! :)

  18. Strangely very little mention of this disaster to medieval French nobility over here, I think we need to keep them on our side these days.

  19. Ah, the original band of brothers....

  20. We are all English! Western history dictates. I hope we keep the Magna Carta and Band of Brothers ethos.

    ALOHA, Friend


  21. Now there's a gap in my cultural literacy!

  22. @Linda: he was quite a character.

    @William: that's true... there's been no real dustup between the British and the French since the 19th century.

    @Geoff: a great line by the Bard.

    @Cloudia: quite so!

    @Kay: Shakespeare definitely always appealed to me.

    @Linda: thank you!

  23. St. Crispin's Day . . . the UK and Canada have very different holidays to celebrate than we down here. Interesting to read your post and learn about this day. Well done, Henry V.

  24. love all the different flag together ( ;