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Why are flagpole tips spear-shaped?

Why are flagpole tips spear-shaped?



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I happened to notice that the flagpoles outside of EU Parliament are not ending with a spear-shaped tip (in their upper part), so I wondered why usually flagpoles resemble spears.

I suppose that anciently flags were hung at spears (or similar implements), but I haven't been able to get any cue about that idea on English Wikipedia (or wherever, to be honest).

As showed by the subsequent discussion, the question seems to be more properly related to war flags, which are a subset of general flags or banners.


The "Flag elements" section of the "Glossary of vexilology" on Wikpedia says about finials: "Often shaped like a sphere, but can also be a shape with heraldic significance, such as a spear or an eagle."

I'm not finding any sources that explicitly support the speculation that ancient flags hung from spears. The book Flags of the Napoleonic Wars mentions the use spear finials for Bavarian and Naples flags in the early 19th century, but I'm not sure how much further back the practice may go.

Is there a specific flag with which you are used to seeing a spear? It might be easier to trace the history of spear finials with that particular flag.