The Oriflamme (from Latin aurea flamma, "Golden flame") was the battle standard of the King of France in the Middle Ages. It was originally the sacred banner of the Abbey of St. Denis, a monastery near Paris. When the Oriflamme was raised in battle by the French royalty during the Middle Ages, most notably during the Hundred Years War, no prisoners were to be taken until it was lowered. Through this tactic they hoped to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy, especially the nobles, who could usually expect to be taken alive for ransom during such military encounters.
In French, the term "Oriflamme" has come to mean any banner with pointed ends; by association with the form of the original.