[[Image:Michael2.jpg|right|frame|The Holy Archangel Michael]]
As the Chief Commander of the Heavenly hosts, Michael usually holds a sword in one hand. In the other he often carries carries a either a shield, date-tree branch, a spear, or a white banner (possibly with a scarlet cross). He is most likely to be wearing red. In many instances, Michael tramples the devil under his feet, which may be depicted as a dragon. This comes from the tradition that Michael was the main opponent of Satan in the battle for Heaven. Satan, previously called Samael, was always looking to discredit Israel, while Michael was its main protector. In the end, Satan attempted to drag Michael down in his fall from the heights, but Michael was rescued by God.
There is only one 'icon' in the Orthodox church tradition that defies the traditional structure of iconography. This is the icon of [[Mantamados]] that exists in Mytilene, Lesvos.