merkismaðr (ON) noun

A standard-bearer. The term appears in numerous saga sources referring to a person who bore a standard, especially during battle. By the late thirteenth century it is thought to have been primarily an honorific title, albeit a significant one with a rank equivalent to a chancellor (ON kanceler) or marshal (ON stallari). According to Hirðskrá, a merkismaðr held the same rights as a landed man (ON lendr maðr, see lænder). After an ordinance issued in 1302, the merkismaðr was one of four men responsible for daily governance of Norway during a king’s minority. The merkismaðr became the highest official in the Norwegian royal retinue (ON hirð) once the post of stallari ceased to be used during the reign of King Hákon V. The title of merkismaðr seems to have vanished in Norway during the fourteenth century as part of the union with Sweden and Denmark.

standard bearer OIce Llb 18 Refs:

CV; Fritzner; GAO s.v. Feldzeichen; Imsen 2015; KLNM s.v. baner, merkesmann

  • ‘merkismaðr’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.