The first banners planted upon the shores of the New World, of which there is any account, were those displayed by Columbus in 1492, when he landed upon the Island of San Salvador.
They are thus described by his son, —
Columbus, dressed in scarlet, stepped on shore from the little boat which bore him from his vessels, bearing the royal standard of Spain emblazoned with the arms of Castile and Leon., in his own hand, followed by the Pinzons in their own boats, each bearing the banner of the expedition, viz: the Columbus flag consisted of a white flag background with a green cross, having on each side the letters F and Y surmounted by golden crowns.”
The latter was the personal banner of Columbus. The “royal standard ” was composed of four sections, two with yellow castles upon red and two with red rampant lions upon white ground.