Myself and a few friends plan to put together a flag display, similar to, but not exact, as Italian Sbandieratori.
In most of the old prints , landsknecht banners and flags have a relatively short pole ( about two or three palms long underneath the fabric.
The problem with this, is that "athletic" waving and routines with a short pole can be very tiring, even with a counterweighted  handle area.
In the interest of historic accuracy, my question is why are most landsknecht representations with such a short handle area?

Also, is there a "preferred" source of banner and heraldry reference source for images?

Thank you in advance for any possible assistance.

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Fascinting story there Karl. Things are a little more sedate here :-)
I have good family and friend connections in switzerland, and funnily enough I found that landsknecht are not well thought of in some parts, generally speaking; History dies very slowly if at all.
Over here things are much different, everything is tiny and moves slow, so I am trying to raise some interest by making things more colorful and action ready; Flag tossing is part of the plan.
Speaking of which, and my question re long and short flag poles in historical pictures: Jonas suggests that this might be due to infantry and cavalry requirements.
At risk of sounding really stupid, is this not valid from both conditions?
I mean if you are on horseback, you might find it convenient to use a long pole and rest the low end on "foot"; At the same time, infantry should gain much needed hight with the same long pole.
However, there are a lot of old depictions of infantry handling short poles and huge flags.
All this notwithstanding, what I am finding is that a long pole and slightly smaller flag is easier to flourish and possibly toss.
There is also a huge amount of practical information online, using same equipment from american "color guard" sources.
If you were to try anything similar within the italian sbandieratori schools...you will face much snot and formality ( terribly un-landsknecht anyway :-)

Vellberg Hauptmann

There was a wonderful walled town near my in Germnay named, Vellburg.  They had a wine fountain festival each year that originated around a Landsknecht success.  These local reenactors were portrayed as heroes and roast wurst & hotdogs on their pikes for the kinder.  I found this portrayal a little amusing. 

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