The sunburst motif appears as a tattoo and also on a gold bracelet. Maclise most likely based this design on the decorative motif found on some Irish gold dress fasteners. Such a fastener was illustrated in Charles Vallencey’s Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicus (1804) and it is possible that Maclise was aware of this publication.
The text inscribed on the many banners in the painting can also be deciphered. Maclise has included these banners so that viewers can identify the main characters in the story, such as the names of Anglo-Norman families – Fitzgerald, Fitzstephens, Raymond le Gros, Mounmaurice, Milo de Cogan and Prendergast. Diarmait’s banner is green and is labelled Dermot Mac Much[ada], while Strongbow is inscribed on a white banner decorated with gold snake interlace and the word Striguil.