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Fahnlein Uri


The Canton of Uri from which the group takes its name was one of the first three Cantons to form the Swiss Federation.

The flag of this Canton is a black bull's head with red tongue and nose ring on a yellow field. It has been in existence since 1231 and is still in use today. It was carried in many of the major battles fought by the Confederates.

We are a relatively newly formed group of re-enactors depicting a period and aspect of military history which has received little attention. The period is 1470 - 1530 and the group re-enact continental mercenaries (Swiss, German, Burgundian or Italian). We started with Swiss and have expanded our repertoire mainly at our sponsors' requests. The period is at the point when the renaissance takes over from the medieval. The Swiss were largely responsible for the rise to prominence of infantry after centuries of the mailed horseman being pre-eminent on the battlefield. Using weapons (pikes and halberds) and tactics reminiscent of ancient Macedonia and Rome (large bodies of men in well ordered files) they defeated their opponents time after time to become the most respected force in mainland Europe.

We are a fairly small group who can portray living history, drill and weapons display. For instance we can demonstrate use of crossbow, pike, halberd and various swords. We also demonstrate typical dishes of the period prepared and cooked on an open fire.

We are able to portray the period of and soon after the Burgundian Wars (c1476) which is essentially late medieval up to c1525 which is more early renaissance. The uniforms / costumes of the time were particularly colourful and we are very clear in our commitment to excellence in these costumes, the weapons, tents and other artefacts which have been assembled.

We are able to portray an accurate and high quality living history scenario and be knowledgeable in giving talks, weapons displays and answers to questions.

In the last two years we have portrayed German Mercenaries (Landesknechts) as well as Swiss (Rieslauffer) and while the equipment is similar there are differences particularly in the costume. We have equipped ourselves with new costumes to give the most accurate depiction that we are able. With some modification the other type mentioned (Burgundian, Italian) can be portrayed. We have also depicted a Cardinals household for English Heritage.

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