The Standard of Honor
The written record of the Herald's Visitation in 1634 shows both the seal and the arms. In 1925, during the mayoralty and on the initiative of Alderman Josiah Wren, JP, the Borough obtained a grant of a Badge in view of its having been designated an "Honor" (1) in an Assignment by King Edward I in 1304, and in several subsequent royal grants. The Warrant granting this badge describes it as, "Within a chaplet of roses Gules a stag's head caboshed (2) proper; between the attires an escocheon Or, charged with three chevronells Gules" and authorises it to be borne by the Corporation and their successors upon their Standards or otherwise according to the laws of Arms. The chaplet of red, that is Lancastrian roses, exemplify that Hertford is an Honor of the Duchy of Lancaster The escutcheon or shield of arms between the horns of the stag is that of the Earls of Clare and Hertford, a title which lapsed on the death of Gilbert, the 8th Earl who was killed at Bannockburn.
So the Standard of the Honor of Hertford, which is carried before the Mayor on State occasions, bears this badge thrice repeated, the arms, "Argent, a hart lodged in water proper", and the legend "Pro Hertfordae Honore".
The Standard is of figured white silk damask, 7ft. 6in. long, with a blue and white fringe, on which the Arms and Badge are painted in correct colours, the legend being in gold lettering on a blue ground.
In 1986 the Town Council was advised that the original Standard had become too fragile for use and should be laid up. The Mayor, Councillor G H Sexton, launched an Appeal for funds for a replacement on Remembrance Day, and on 17th May 1987 the replacement Standard of Honor was dedicated in All Saints Church before a congregation of dignitaries, donors and local citizens.
(1) According to Coke on Littleton, an Honor in its general significance, implies "a more noble sort of seigniory on which other Lordships depended by the performance of some custom or services".
(2) Caboshed, i.e. facing front, not sideways.