- (adv) A heraldic term for when the main ordinary on a shield, banner of arms
or flag is placed in a lower position than is usual (see also bend sinister
in Appendix VI,
National Flag of Lesotho (fotw)
- ABSENCE (or ABSENTEE) PENNANT (or FLAG)
- 1) In widespread naval usage, one of four pennants (the first to the fourth
substitute in the ICS) displayed in port when the commanding officer of a ship
or the flag officer or civil official whose flag is flying in the ship is temporarily
absent from the vessel (see also
'international code of signal flags and
international code of signals).
- 2) In largely US yachting usage, a plain blue flag flown from the starboard
yardarm or spreader indicating that the owner of a vessel is not on board (see
From left: First Substitute (Flag Officer Absent),
ICS Second Substitute (Chief of Staff Absent), ICS Third Substitute (Captain Absent),
ICS Fourth Substitute (Civil/Military Official Absent), ICS Yachting Flag
- A term sometimes used by textile experts involved in fabric conservation,
and describes the soiling, mildew damage or other defects that occur on the surface
of a flag.
- ACHIEVEMENT (OF ARMS)
- 1) See armorial bearings.
- 2) The armorial bearings of a deceased person as displayed at that persons
funeral a hatchment (see also armorial bearings,
coat of arms,
- A term used to describe when the rays of a star or sun emblem, or a radiating
stripe, are shown with undulating or wavy curves see inactive
star 2) and its following note).
- ADVANCE THE COLOUR/COLOURS (or COLOR/COLORS)
- (v) A military term originally for moving a flag forward towards an enemy,
and now used on ceremonial occasions as a command to parade the colour(s) forward
(see also colour 2),
colours 2), and
- ADVERTISING BANNER
- See banner 4).
- AIR FORCE FLAG (or ENSIGN)
- See branch of service flag
(also armed services flag).
- AIRCRAFT MARKING
- See fin flash and
- AIRCRAFT INSIGNIA
- A recently redefined term that is intended to cover all markings of nationality
on the wings, fuselage and tail fins of primarily (but not exclusively) military
aircraft (see also fin flash and
Please note however, that the term has been in use by
the US military for at least 50 years and refers to those markings on the tail fins
of primarily (but not exclusively) military aircraft.
- AIRFIELD FLAG
- In largely US usage, an orange and white checkered flag flown on equipment
operating on an airfield (see also checky).
- The medieval term, now obsolete, for a person who is entitled to carry his
banner erect on the Kings highway.
This word is recorded as having a Spanish origin (which
remains unproven) however, the extent to which it was used in English medieval
manuscripts is not known.
- ALFERES (or ALFEROUS)
- A late 17th early 18th Century term, now obsolete, for a
Please note, it is suggested that the alternative form was sometimes used in
medieval manuscripts, and note also the relationship between this term and the
Spanish military rank of alfιrez or ensign (see also
- The term for a pictorial illustration on flags with symbolic meaning, and
whose imagery is usually intended to convey a moral and/or political message.
Command Flag of the Batavian Republic 1797, The Netherland (fotw)
- A bearer of the ancient Roman legionary eagle - see
(also 'vexillary' and
- A medieval term, now obsolete, for the upper part of the cart upon which the
standard was placed (see also carrocium,
gajardus and standard 6)).
- 1) In heraldry, a coat of arms or charge formerly in use but now replaced
by another design which is then termed modern such as, for example, Austria ancient
and Austria modern.
- 2) A 16th/17th Century term, now wholly obsolete, for a ships stern mounted
ensign, or military colour whether displayed ashore or afloat - an auncient (see also
ensign 1) and
- 3) A 16th/17th Century term, now wholly obsolete, equivalent to, and with
the same duties as, the later but also obsolete army rank of ensign (see also
ensign 3) and
From left: Austria Ancient, Austria Modern (fotw)
- A ring-like charge in heraldry see ring.
Please note however, it is suggested that a suitable
glossary or dictionary of heraldry be consulted for correct usage of this term.
- ANTESIGNORY (or ANTESIGNANUS)
- A term, now obsolete, for the guard who precedes a standard (see also
Please note, it is suggested that the alternative form was
used in medieval manuscripts.
- ANTIQUE CROWN
- A heraldic term for a type of coronet generally comprising of a circlet with
triangular rays all round (see also coronet).
- (n & v) A method of flag manufacture in which one or more pieces of cloth
are stitched on the field to form a design. This technique is often used where
the design on the obverse differs from that on the reverse (see also
- APPOINTMENT FLAG
- 1) In UK and other military usage, that flag which corresponds to a particular
position held, rather than to the rank of the officer who currently holds it -
but see positional flag
(also class flag and rank flag 1)).
- 2) See distinguishing flag 1).
RAF Station Commander, UK (Graham Bartram)
- See eagle 2).
- honorary title, now obsolete, for the chief standard or flag bearer
to the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire
(see also archivexillum and following note),
- A recently redefined term intended to cover a flag design that is established
- or recommended - by authority, and upon which other flags (adapted as required)
may be based a template flag. A typical example is the British blue ensign that
acts as a basic template for other government flags, and for the flags of most British
Overseas Territories (see also archivexillifer,
core flag and
From left: UK Blue Ensign (Graham Bartram), UK Customs Ensign (Graham Bartram), UK Fleet
Auxiliary Ensign (Graham Bartram)
Please note that the word appears in a 19th Century German
etymological dictionary as the origin of the term erzbanner (that may be translated as
chief or imperial banner) but with the exception of a possible relationship to the
term archivexillifer - this is otherwise unsupported by further sources.
- A heraldic term for the metal silver, it is generally shown as white in flags,
but occasionally as grey, sometimes as silver leaf or metallic paint, or in an
embroidered design, as silver thread (see
'Appendix III', 'embroider',
and 'rule of tincture').
- See Appendix V.
- ARMED SERVICES FLAG(S)
- A generic term for any flag that pertains to a particular branch of the armed
services, or a unit within that branch.
Please note however, that the various types of flags
used by the armed services for example an appointment flag, branch of service
flag, camp flag, colour, flag of command, guidon, positional or rank flag are
separately defined herein and are, we suggest, to be preferred in description.
- (adj) Possessing or showing a coat of arms (see also
- ARMORIAL BANNER
- See banner 1).
- ARMORIAL BEARINGS
- All the armorial insignia to which an individual, family or institution are
entitled an achievement of arms or establishment of arms (see note below for
further details, also quarters,
Please note, however, that a full set of armorial bearings can include (for
example) shield, supporters, helmet, torse, crest, collar, mantling, compartment,
motto etc., and whilst many of the terms used are illustrated in
Appendix IV and/or briefly defined herein,
it is suggested that a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary
be consulted for full details.
- ARMORIAL SAIL
- A term for the largely obsolete (but not entirely) practice of having all or a part of a coat
of arms displayed on a au^airfe.html vessels sail (see also armorial bearings
and coat of arms).
NCO Naval School, Columbia (Eugene Ipavec)
- See armorial bearings,
coat of arms and
- ARMY FLAG
- See branch of service flag
(also armed services flag).
- ASCENDING DIAGONAL
- A diagonal stripe that runs from the lower hoist corner to the upper fly corner,
and which centres on the corners of the flag a bend sinister.
See bend sinister
in Appendix VI (also
and west-east diagonal).
National Flag of Tanzania (fotw)
- ASHOKA CHAKRA
- See chakra.
- ASPECT RATIO
- See proportions.
- ASTRAL CROWN
- In UK and some other usage, a coronet based on the naval model, but composed
of wings and stars, and representative of the military air service (see also
- AUGMENTATION OF HONOUR (OR HONOR)
- A charge added to a flag or coat of arms to indicate special recognition for
some not necessarily military service, with an example being the George Cross
that was added to the arms of Malta and now appears on their current national
flag and naval jack (see also battle honour
From left: National Flag of Malta (fotw), Naval Jack of Malta (fotw)
Please note that this is in comparison to a battle
honour which is almost invariably related to combat, and is entirely military
- See 'ancient 2)'.
- See oriflamme.
- AUTOMOBILE FLAG
- See car flag.
- AUXILIARY ENSIGN
- See government ensign under ensign.
- AWARD FLAG (or PENNANT)
- A flag or pennant signifying that the organization displaying it has received
the citation, commendation or other award represented by the flag's design -
citation flag/pennant or
The Queens Award for Export Achievement, UK (Graham Bartram).
- AWARD STREAMER
- In US largely usage, a streamer attached to the flag of a military unit to
signify the award of an order, citation, decoration, or similar collective honour
(see also streamer 1)).
- A heraldic term for the colour blue (see also
Appendix III and
rule of tincture).