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Janissaries 16th century insigniaA group of janissaries carrying the symbols of their units during a procession in mid-16th century.

Whether a battalion or a company, each of the 196 units of the Hearth had a symbol which was regarded as almost sacred by its members. The symbols were placed at the entrance of each unit’s barracks. A flag with that particular symbol was carried to the battlefield by a special officer called “Bayrakdar” (Bannersman).

Individual janissaries had their insignia tatooed on their bodies to show their allegiance to their comrades.

Janissaries in procession insignia
Janissaries in procession insignia02

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