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Thanks for the update, Art. The blue on the flags I saw was darker, navy blue, in fact. That's probably why I called it black; sorry.

"Viking" is a word that I think means "raiding," "ransacking," and other similar fun, provided you happen to be the vikor and not the vikee. Early ethnic cleansing, of a sort, I guess.

When these good folks, he said advisedly, sailed up the Seine, they forcibly inhabited that eastern part of present day France; they were called the Normans, short for Norsemen, or Northmen. Eventually, as Normans, they infused the local folks with a new energy that resulted in armed settlement to the Mediterranean, including Sicily. Unless I'm completely mistaken, something known to happen occasionally, Norman influence resulted in the building of some of the notable cathedrals of France in the 11th/12th century, including, I think, Chartres, which I visited after reading Henry Adams book on the subject, where I may have learned some of this, because that was a long time ago and I've forgotten a lot about this.

What were you thinking about when you referred to their contributions?

-rs



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