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Aquila (modern reconstruction).
The standard of the Roman legions (lat. signa militaria) - a common name for the distinctive signs of the Roman legions or their units, which served as tactical guide signs, signs of the place of Assembly and served as a battle flag, as well as having a sacred meaning.
Types of standards
Aquila (eagle of the Legion, lat. aquila) — the main banner and the most revered Shrine of the Legion. The loss of Aquila was considered a terrible disgrace; the Legion that lost Aquila was disbanded. The Legion eagle in battle was guarded by the first-thousandth-cohort under the leadership of the centurion-primipil. Directly held the eagle standard-bearer of the Legion (lat. aquilifer - bearer of the eagle) — the second person in the cohort after primpil.
Signum (lat. signum — - the military sign of a maniple, cohort, centurion, or turma. The sign consisted of a shaft on which falerae (special disks used as badges of honor) were fixed, and on top of the Signum was a leaf-shaped tip or Manus (an image of an open palm, a symbol of the oath of allegiance taken by legionaries). Sometimes there were wreaths on the staff, which were awards for special services of the unit. In battle, the Signum carried the unit's standard-bearer (lat. signifer), who also served as the division's Treasurer.
Imago (lat. imago — - a special standard-icon with the image of the Emperor or one of the members of the Imperial family. The imago was a three-dimensional image of the Emperor, embossed on a sheet of metal. Imago appeared in the legions after the introduction of the cult of emperors under Augustus and was a constant reminder of the Legion's loyalty to the Emperor. Imago was transferred by imaginifer (lat. imaginifer), which was exclusively in the first cohort of the Legion.
Dragon or Draco (lat. draco) - standard of the cavalry. Probably, dragons were borrowed by the Roman army from the Sarmatians after the Sarmatians and Dacians began to be included by the Romans in the auxiliary cavalry (II century ad). The dragon was a bronze head, a cloth body, and what looked like a tail at the back. The air penetrated into the mouth, passed the body and went out through the waving tail, like modern microcastle. It is also believed that an instrument was placed inside that emitted a whistle (the Chronicles indicate that dragons made howling sounds when the cavalry was attacking). The bore of the dragon special draconarius (lat. draconarius).
Vexillum (lat. vexillum — - military badge of veterans and auxiliary units, which was a woven cloth suspended from a horizontal bar fixed to the shaft of a spear. The sign was given, first, veteran units, consisting of vexillarius (lat. vexillarius), which were exempted from most duties, excluding directly military, second, temporary special or auxiliary units, in order to distinguish them from regular formations. With rare exceptions, the vexillum depicted animals that corresponded to the signs of the Zodiac. The person directly carrying the vexillum was also called vexilarius or vexillarius (lat. vexillifer).
Labarum (lat. labarum) - a later version of the vexillum, which instead of the old military symbols was depicted christogram or cross. Labarums were introduced by the Emperor Constantine.