Royal Banner of Charles I
While Isabella had been queen of Castile, her husband Ferdinand had continued to rule Aragon. Despite their marriage, the two kingdoms were ruled separately. Isabella died in 1504, and Ferdinand lived until 1516. On his death, he left his throne to his grandson, Carlos. More importantly, Castile and Aragon were united to form the nation of Spain, with Carlos reigning as Charles I. By 1518, a new royal banner had been designed for King Charles I.
In the famous painting “De Soto’s Discovery of the Mississippi,” De Soto’s men are shown carrying two flags. On the left is a red banner with the name “De Soto” under a crown, both of which are encircled by a gold wreath. To the right is the royal banner of Spain’s monarch, Charles I. If de Soto indeed carried Charles royal banner on his 1539-1543 exploration through the Southeast, he would have carried during his journey through present-day Georgia in 1540.
The two-headed eagle appeared on several standards during Charles’s reign, sometimes as an all-black image on a solid background and sometimes with various arms on a shield similar to the royal banner.