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Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 13:05 UK
Stafford Knot celebrates 500 years in Staffordshire
Knights fighting
Soldiers fighting for the de Stafford family carried the Knot

The most widely used symbol of the county of Staffordshire, the Stafford Knot, is being celebrated at a major event in September.

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum near Lichfield is looking at the ways the Knot has been used in warfare with displays and family activities.

The Knot - sometimes incorrectly known as the Staffordshire Knot - was first used formally in the 1500s.

It was later adopted by regiments based in the county.

The celebratory event in the grounds of the Staffordshire Regiment Museum site takes place on the weekend of Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September 2010. The museum itself will also be open.

Stafford Knot

Some historians have traced the symbol to ancient Celtic times, but as an adopted symbol it is first recorded toward the end of the 1400s. It next appears on a heraldic shield (of the Stafford family) in the late 1500s.

However, historians have never come to any agreed conclusion on what its meaning was for the family.

Soldier with Stafford Knot
Soldiers wore the Stafford Knot to express pride in their county of origin

Nowadays, though properly still the 'property' of the Stafford family, who still live in the county, the symbol is widely-used, by organisations ranging from the County Council to building firms. However, it is always used to express loyalty to the county.

See: photo-gallery of the Knot in use across Staffordshire

See: the history of the Stafford Knot

Knot weekend

During the weekend, multi-period re-enactments will take place - with drill displays, exhibitions of fighting techniques and period encampments also featuring.

Curator of the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Erik Blakely, said: "As well as bringing in medieval re-enactors and societies recreating the trenches of World War One, we are hoping to include cavalry re-enactors who will be demonstrating the contribution of the horse to the battles fought by the British Army."

We will also be recalling the Crimean War and the dark days in 1745 when Staffordshire itself was at the turning point of the Jacobite Rebellion - and came close to hosting the last land battle on British soil."

Gates open at 10 am with arena shows from 11am. The event finishes at 4pm. Details on the Museum's website .



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