Red sv. Jurija - Evropski red habsburško-lotarinške dinastije - St. Georgs‒Orden

Saint George and the Knight's Heritage

sv. Jurij
St. George

St. George was a military tribune within the Roman army under Diocletian ("Knight of Cappadocia"), who he rebelled against when the Emperor ordered the arrests of all Christian legionaries.

According to a legend of the Crusades, the dragon wove a nest at the wellspring supplying the city of Selena. If the citizens wanted to get some water, they needed to outwit it and entice it somewhere else with a sacrificial lamb and if they had no lamb, they sacrified a virgin. One day it happened that the lot fell to the princess and the king begged in vain for her life. Then by chance, the traveller George came by and fought the dragon, using his cross during the fight. He defeated the dragon and rescued the princess. To show their gratitude, the citizens abandoned paganism and accepted Christianity.

St. George was symbolically a warrior against paganism and at the same time one who fought for good against evil. He was also the patron saint of chivalry and one of the major saints of the knighthood. His fame spread all over Europe.

The Order of the Dragon or "Societas Draconistarum" was founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg, the King of Hungary (later Holy Roman Emperor) and his wife Queen Barbara of Cilli. After the battle of Dobor Castle in Bosnia on 12th December 1408 against Christian heretics called Bogomil, during which Sigismund and his men killed 200 Bosnian aristocrats, Sigismund and Barbara set-up a league and a formal pact between the monarch and twenty-one powerful feudal lords, later often called the Order of the Dragon. Its statute, written in Latin, called it Society (Societas), the members of which wore "Signum Draconis", but without a specific name. In resources the following designations can be found: Gesellschaft mit dem Trakchen, Divisa seu Societate Draconica, Societate Draconica seu Draconistrarum, and Fraternitas Draconum.

The Order of the Dragon was modelled on the earlier Hungarian monarchical order - Hungarian Knights Order of St. George (Societas militae Sancti Georgii), founded in 1318 by the Hungarian King Charles Robert of the House of Angevins. The Fight of St. George with the Dragon is connected with the symbol of military and religious spirit, so they claimed him as their holy patron. This is also witnessed by a preserved document, amongst other things saying:

»Together with the prelates, barons and magnates of our kingdom, who are called to participate in this Assembly, as a sign of our pure efforts to prosecute the devastating successors of this insidious enemy and the Old Dragon - namely the pagan armies and assignors of other nations, enemies of the true faith, the Cross of Christ and our kingdoms, we and the faithful barons of our kingdom shall bear and have, and do choose and agree to wear and bear, in the manner of our society, the sign or effigy of the Dragon incurved into the form of a circle, its tail winding around its neck, divided through the middle of its back along its length from the top of its head right to the tip of its tail, with blood forming a red cross just as and in the same way that those who fight under the banner of the glorious martyr St George are accustomed to bear a red cross on a white field.«

Drago Medved and Aleksander Hribovšek