Imperial Spain under Philip II (a devout Catholic), saw England's King Henry VIII – and his decision to leave The Church and establish his own Protestant Religion as an “affront”. With his death and the enthronement of his eldest daughter Mary I (who was Catholic as well), it was “hoped” that The Catholic Faith would be brought back to England. Leaving no Heirs and with her death in 1558, the only remaining Daughter of Henry was Elizabeth I. She espoused he Father's Protestant beliefs. This was still not grounds for “Holy War” (although Elizabeth's assassination was seen as acceptable by The Pope). Philip had another hope for a Catholic England with Elizabeth's 1st Cousin – Mary Stuart. One time Wife of The Catholic King presumptive of France, with his death – Mary Stuart assumed her position as “Queen of Scotland” (an independent but “vassal” State of England and mostly Catholic). If Elizabeth were dead, Mary would be the next Queen of England. Court intrigue and assassination plots abounded with a link to Mary being involved. Through machinations of Elizabeth's “Privy Council”, Mary was tired and convicted of Treason. She was executed under orders of Elizabeth. Too much to bear and with the approval of The Pope, Philip of Spain declared War against England. The largest and most powerful of Catholic Nations and Kings, Philip ordered a massive Fleet be constructed for The Invasion of England in 1588.
Although all Imperial Warships bore The Colors of Spain, a specialized Banner was designed for this Armada (as it was called). All Ships few what was known as The “Armada Flag”. Seen as a Field of White, the Crest of Imperial Spain was placed far Left of The Field and closer to The Fly. A Blue Banner was placed to encompass this Seal. Some Historians debate the additional of a “Catholic War Flag” which bore the image of Christ's Passion, but this is generally seen as fictional. The Armada Flag was only used with The 1588 Invasion Fleet.