E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Shirt for ensign. When Sultan Saladin died, he commanded that no ceremony should be used but this: A priest was
to carry his shirt on a lance, and say: Saladin, the conqueror of the East, carries nothing with him of all his wealth and greatness, save a shirt for his shroud and ensign. (Knolles: Turkish History.)
Close sits my shirt, but closer my skini.e. My property is dear to me, but dearer my life; my belongings sit close to my heart, but Ego proximus mihi.