- CABLE NUMBER
- A code number identifying a precise shade of colour in the system developed
by the Color Association of the United States, usually associated with a specific
name, and used in the official specifications of US government and military flags.
- CADENCY, MARK OF
- A heraldic term for the mark of difference added to an escutcheon to indicate
that the bearer is heir to the owner, or a direct descendent of the family to
which the primary coat of arms belongs, or that the person is a member of a related
branch of the same family differencing.
Please note however, that the form these marks take
may vary from country to country for example the cadency label is used on
several British royal banners in deference to (although not in strict accordance
with) English heraldic practice, whilst traditional Scottish heraldry is more
likely to employ a bordure and other European traditions may change the colour
of a charge. It is suggested therefore, that a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary
be consulted for further details (see also
coat of arms
The cadency marks of the 1st to the 6th son in English heraldry (Parker)
- CALL SIGN
- Every vessel at sea is allocated an international call sign consisting of
at least four letters for identification purposes by any means of signalling available,
including flags see call sign hoist below.
Please note that the international call sign is
made up of two letters identifying the country of registration and additional
flags identifying the particular ship. Most navies also prescribe tactical call
signs according to their own naval signal codes and which is used intra-service
for operational purposes. Warships also generally hoist their international call
signs at the yardarm when entering or leaving harbour (see also
- CALL SIGN HOIST
- A hoist of signal flags displaying the international call sign of a ship (see
also 'call sign',
making her number and
- CAMP COLOUR (or COLOR)
- 1) An alternative term for a company colour in some regiments of British and
Canadian foot guards (but see also company colour
and note below).
- 2) See camp flag.
- 3) A term, now largely obsolete, for a small military flag originally used
to delineate the boundaries of a regiment&'s encampment and later used in some
armies as a company guide flag, to mark turning points in manoeuvring troops.
Please note that as far as is known this term is
used by the British Grenadier Guards, the Grenadier Guards of Canada and the Governor
Generals Foot Guards (also Canada) in place of company colour.
- CAMP FLAG
- In the British and some other army usage, a non-ceremonial flag used to indicate the
presence of a unit of a Corps or Regiment in a camp or other location a regimental or
Camp Flag of the British Army Air Corps (Graham Bartram)
- CANADIAN PALE
- The central stripe (or pale) in a 1:2 vertical triband/tricolour whose internal
proportions are 1-2-1, and which is therefore square - as in the Canadian flag
(see also proportions and pale in Appendix VI).
National Flag of Canada (CS)
Please note however, it is suggested that the entry
on pale and/or a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted before
using this term.
- CANTABRIAN LABARUM
- The flag of the Cantabrian independence movement showing a wheel-like emblem that is
considered symbolic of the ancient Cantabrians of Northern Spain.
The Cantabrian Labarum (fotw)
- Bearers of the cantabrum - but see below.
- It is proposed by some sources that this is the standard used by later Roman
Emperors and believed to have been a type of vexillum (see also
Please note - not to be confused with a cantabrian labarum
(see 'cantabrian labarum').
- An originally heraldic term for when the design on a shield or banner of arms
forms a pun on the name or attributes of the entity or person represented (see
also armorial bearings).
Standard of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the
Queen Mother, UK, the Royal Arms of Great Britain impaled with quartered Bows
and Lions for her family name of Bowes-Lyon (fotw)
- 1) Commonly, all or part of the upper hoist or first - quarter of a flags
field that is otherwise undivided - the canton (see also
Appendix I and
- 2) A rectangular (or square) area of colour or design different from the field
in the above position, which may occupy exactly one quarter of the flag or a larger
or smaller area (see also quarter 1) and
- 3) One of the four quarters of a flag, divided horizontally and vertically
into (1) the upper hoist canton, (2) upper fly canton, (3) lower fly canton and
(4) lower hoist canton - corresponding to quarters one to four of a shield divided
quarterly (see also Appendix I,
- 4) In heraldry as definition 2) except (although apparently of no fixed size)
heraldic use frequently suggests that a canton should occupy one-third of the
chief (see also chief).
- CAR FLAG (or PENNANT)
- A flag or pennant, sometimes in metal or other non-flexible material, designed specifically
to be flown from a car an automobile flag.
General officer, Germany 1941 45 (fotw)
Please note that the practice of flying a car flag
or pennant was previously (usually but not exclusively) limited to that carrying a head of state,
government official or military officer, however, the practice has arisen whereby
such flags are available as sports flags and may also be displayed by a funeral
cortege. Formerly sometimes flown from the radiator cap, a car flag is now more
usually seen on the right front fender, wing/mudguard (or often on both front fenders)
but there is a suggestion that the two positions might also previously have indicated
differences in the rank of the occupant. It is usually flown from a short metal
staff, or from a clip-on, window mounted staff, or from the radio antenna (see also
- CARROCERUM (CARROCIUM or CARROCIUS)
- An alternative medieval term, now obsolete, for the cart upon which the standard
was placed (see also altema,
- CARTEL FLAG
- In obsolete UK and some other usage, a flag or one of a pair of flags, that
mark a vessel involved in the exchange of prisoners (see also
flag of truce).
- An originally heraldic term that now covers a usually (but not invariably)
oval plaque or frame containing heraldic insignia, and occasionally a date or
motto (see also motto and
From left: Detail, Spain (CS); Andorra (fotw)
- 1) A narrow sleeve-like sack, usually of some decorative, waterproof, material
used in order to protect a regimental, unit, service or national colour when outdoors
and furled (see also colour 2) and
- 2) (v) The act of placing the furled colour into its case (see also
- CASKET FLAG
- See pall flag.
- CASTING THE COLOURS
- See flag tossing.
- See sendal.
- CEREMONIAL ENSIGN (or FLAG)
- An ensign or flag flown by naval ships and over naval or military establishments
on Sundays or days of national or service celebration (see also
and garrison flag).
Please note that the above term does not refer to
flags used on parade, but to those flags and ensigns that are identical to their
everyday equivalents except for size and/or care of manufacture (see also
- A wheel-like emblem that represents the Buddhist Dharma Chakra (or wheel of
law) and which appears in a variety of different designs on the national flag
of India, the military flags of Thailand and several other flags both past and
From left: India (fotw); Thailand (fotw)
- See crown of rue.
- CHAPEL FLAG
- In US army usage a flag, bearing a device corresponding to a particular religion,
displayed in a military chapel.
Christian Faith Chapel Flag, US (fotw)
- CHAPLAIN'S FLAG
- In US army usage a flag, bearing a device corresponding to a particular religion,
flown in the field to designate the location of a chaplain&'s quarters or office,
or the site at which religious services are being held.
Jewish Faith Chaplains Flag, US (fotw)
- See garland.
- 1) Generally, any emblem, object or design placed upon the field of a flag
or shield (see also Appendix IV).
- 2) A symbol placed upon the field of a flag, which is neither an emblem as
specifically defined herein, nor a badge (see also
emblem military and
- 3) (v) The act of placing such a charge on a flag.
Please note however, that with a considerable degree
of heraldic justification, some sources propose the charge to be an integral part
of a flags design and usually not used separately, whereas, in general a badge
may. It is suggested therefore, that the entry badge
(in heraldry), and a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted.
- (adj) The act of having placed a charge on a flag (especially "charged with")
to have defaced with a charge (see also charge
- CHECKY (CHEQUY or CHECKERED)
- 1) A flag bearing more than four but an otherwise varied number of squares
in alternating colours (see also quarterly).
- 2) A heraldic term for a shield or banner of arms bearing (not less than twenty)
squares of a metal and colour alternately. Any number between ten and twenty squares
is generally specified, and a shield or banner of arms carrying only nine is called
equipolle by French heralds.
Please note that in heraldry the exact number of
squares (if more than twenty) is usually left undefined, but in vexillology the
number of these squares is often precisely regulated.
Flag of North Brabant, Netherlands (fotw)
- 1) A heraldic term for a charge with arms generally in the shape of an inverted
letter V, and heraldic use frequently suggests that a chevron should have a
width equal to one-fifth the field of a banner of arms or shield.
- 2) Any V shaped charge on a flag irrespective of the width of the arms.
The standard orientation of a chevron on flags is the same as in heraldry, however,
when the apex is towards the top edge of the flag it may be called a simple chevron;
with the apex towards the bottom edge of the flag, an inverted chevron; with the
apex towards the fly a horizontal chevron and with the apex towards the hoist
of the flag it may be called a reversed chevron.
Please note that the Editors have adopted a heraldic
model in defining a chevron on flags, however, please note also that there are
conflicting definitions with regard to the standard vexillological orientation of
a chevron and that usage of this term has not yet settled upon a consistent approach.
From left: Flag of Campina Grande; Brazil Flag of Boelenslaan;
Netherlands Flag of Otovice; Czech Republic (fotw)
- A heraldic term used when two or more chevrons are displayed together on a shield or banner of arms, and heraldic use frequently
suggests that a chevronel should be one-half the width of a chevron (see chevron above).
Please note that in heraldry the standard orientation of a chevronel is the same as that of a chevron and that
variations of this standard may be described using the terminology given in 2) above.
- A heraldic term for the top horizontal section of a shield or banner of arms,
however, heraldic use frequently suggests that a chief should be one-third of
the total depth of that shield or flag (see also
banner of arms,
- CHRISTIAN FLAG
- One of a number of designs symbolizing Christianity, especially the white flag with a blue canton containing a red Latin cross
designed in 1897 by Charles Overton, and used by various Protestant groups (see also religious flag).
Charles Overtons Flag (fotw)
Please note that usage of the Christian flag was originally (largely) confined to the United States, but evidence of growing use elsewhere has been reported.
- A medieval term, now obsolete, for the bearer of a standard, flag or banner
upon which the figure of Christ crucified was depicted.
- CHURCH BANNER
- See banner 3).
- CHURCH FLAG
- See Christian flag and
- CHURCH PENNANT
- In the US, UK and other naval usage, the pennant hoisted aboard a warship
or naval shore establishment during religious services (see also
Church Pennant British Royal Navy (CS)
Please note however, that this may also be called
a worship pennant, particularly when in connection with a non-Christian service.
- See monogram.
- CITATION FLAG (or PENNANT)
- See award flag.
- CIVIC BANNER
- 1) See banner 3).
- 2) A term used when the flag of a municipality or urban area is a
banner of arms see civic flag (also
- CIVIC CROWN
- 1) On flags, a crown composed of battlemented walls showing masonry and usually
three towers, usually (but not exclusively) representative of a municipality or urban
area (see also crown,
mural crown and
- 2) In heraldry, a closed garland or chaplet composed of oak leaves and acorns
(see also crown triumphal and
A Heraldic Civic Crown (Parker)
- CIVIC FLAG
- The flag of a municipality or urban area a municipal flag.
- CIVIL AIR FLAG (or ENSIGN)
- That flag flown at civilian airports, landing fields and by civil air authorities.
Please note that in British use (and in that of
some Commonwealth countries) such a flag is called a civil air ensign (see also
Civil Air Ensign, UK (fotw)
- CIVIL ENSIGN
- See under ensign.
- CIVIL FLAG
- The version of a national or provincial flag that is for use by private citizens
on land (see also national flag,
civil ensign under ensign
and sub-national flag).
From left: Civil Flag of Guatemala (fotw); National Flag of Guatemala (fotw)