Archaeologists have uncovered a new Scottish find which they hope will give greater insight into one of most important battles in British history.

A crown shaped livery badge, thought to have been worn by a soldier in the personal retinue of King James IV, was discovered by archaeologists during a survey of the site of the Battle of Flodden.

The badge, which is believed to have been buried for five centuries, is made of copper alloy and appears to have been snapped off a hat band. Its design includes the Fleur de Lys with jewels and diamonds, elements which were part of the Scottish crown in 1513.

The Battle of Flodden was a turning point in UK history and set the stage for the subsequent Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England.

Chris Burgess, archaeology manager for the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, said: “This latest artefact was quite literally found on the very last day of our last survey on the western side of the battlefield. Having examined it thoroughly, we are beginning to understand its importance. The crown depicted on the badge is quite distinctly associated with the 16th century Scottish crown. Badges such as these showed allegiance on the battlefield and this one would only have been worn by someone directly connected with James IV himself. Our current thinking is that it may have been worn by a Herald or messenger taking his royal instructions to the Scottish Right Flank commanded by the Earls of Home and Huntley.”

The survey of the battlefield, which aims to discover the exact location of the battle itself, is part of a wider project to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the historic battle.

The discovery has now been reported to the Find Liaison Officer in Newcastle for further assessment and analysis.

Chris added: “The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum is a great opportunity to strengthen cross border relations. Finding artefacts like this help us have a better understanding of the battle and how the events unfolded. It’s important to remember, this is not just a date in the history books, it is an event which changed the future of thousands of individuals and families and knowing more will help us to remember the dead on both sides ”

For more information visit the Flodden 1513 website.