The flag of the English county of Essex consists of three swords with golden pommels on a red background. The use of this dates back to 1605 when Richard Verstegan claimed, in his work A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, that the king’s coat of arms was “three short Saxon swords on a red background.” Several other people picked up this idea, reiterating it until it became a commonplace symbol of the region, and is used to this day as its flag.

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