Over the years I've had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences and heraldry society meetings which have included a formal banquet. And one of the features of these formal dinners is the oppoturnity to bring your own "table shield" or "table banner" to mark the place where you are sitting.
So some years ago I created a table banner of my own arms. Nothing too fancy; I mean, I printed the cardstock "banner" on my laser printed, and went to the local hobby/crafts store to get the materials to make the banner pole and stand.
And the results weren't too awful, if I do say so myself.
The "banner" wraps around (and is glued to) the pole, and so the arms show on both sides (just like on a real banner!). The pole has a round finial at the top, and slips into a hole drilled into the star (technically, I suppose, a "Lone Star", but then, I do live in Texas) that is glued to the round base. So it comes apart into two pieces for travelling, and I created a cardboard protective case for the banner itself, to help keep it from bending.
But I've had the urge to get something a little more professionally done, and finally decided it was time to do so.
So I contacted one of the members of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada who creates table shields (https://www.stevecowan.ca/), and together we went through the consultation and design phases, and very shortly, just a few days ago, I received my new table shield in the mail.
It has my coat of arms (Argent two chevronels azure between three apples gules slipped and leaved proper) on one side,
and my crest (An apple tree proper fructed gules) on the other side:
Mr. Cowan decided to have a little fun with the crest; you'll note that one of the apples has fallen from the tree and is partially hiding behind the torse. I think it's a nice "addition" to the crest!
Clearly, the new table shield is larger than the old table banner, and is certainly less susceptible to the dangers of traveling (e.g., getting bent or broken in the luggage), and it comes with its own felt carrying bag (something my homemade table banner lacks).
Given the quality of the new table shield, it was less expensive that I had feared it would be, and I am as happy as I could possibly be with it.
I can hardly wait for the oppoturnity to attend a conference and set it up at my place at the banquet!