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Dictionary of Vexillology: F (Falling Diagonal - Finial)

Last modified: 2006-09-30 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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See 'descending diagonal'.

An ensign displayed by a vessel not entitled to it, and usually (but not invariably) employed by warships as a ruse de guerre.

Please note that this practice is considered perfectly acceptable providing the correct ensign is raised before the commencement of hostilities.

A semi-circular patriotic decoration in bunting of flag design and/or colours - a swag (see also ‘bunting 2)’).

A medieval generic term, now obsolete, for any flag, banner or pennant.

Please note the similarity between this term and the German Fahne or flag.

1) A small bicolour used for marking a position in surveying (see also ‘bicolour’).
2) A small pennant, usually in the regimental colours, that is used on military vehicles for marker purposes – a convoy flag (see also ‘pennant’).
3) In French military usage, a small flag issued at company (or squadron) level and originally employed as markers or camp colours, but which have acquired an additional ceremonial role (see also ‘camp colour 1)’ and ‘camp colour 3)’)

Please note that usage 2) is a direct descendent of the flag formerly carried at the head of an army baggage train.

A term, now obsolete, and the equivalent of a vexillum or banner.

A term, now obsolete, for a small flag on a ship (see also ‘fane’).

See ‘state flag 1)’ (also ‘state service flag’).

[Federal Service Flag of Germany]
The Federal Service Flag of Germany (fotw)

A metal tip placed on the bottom of a staff (see also ‘pike’ and ‘staff 2)’).

See ‘Appendix VI’.

See ‘honour point 2)’.

A flag that appears in a work of fiction either visual or written - which may or may not have physical existence as a flag - but which is (entirely or largely) a product of the author’s imagination (see also ‘fictitious flag’ below).

A flag – or the illustration of a flag - that purports to represent an actual entity or person, but for which no evidence of any such use by that entity or person exists – but see ‘flagoid’ (also ‘fictional flag’ above).

1) The whole background or predominant colour of a flag – the ground of a flag.
2) In heraldry, the surface of a shield upon which charges or bearings are blazoned, or of each separate coat when the shield is quartered or impaled (see also ‘blazon’, ‘coat’, ‘impale’, ‘shield’ and ‘quarter’).

1) In US military usage, a larger version of a positional flag designed for hoisting on halyards outdoors under field conditions (see ‘positional flag’).
2) In US military usage, a national flag of approximately the same size flown with the positional field flag.

1) Generically on flags, a (relatively) narrow band or line of contrasting colour separating two areas of similar or differing colour, such as a band, charge or canton, from its field (see also ‘border’).
2) Specifically and in heraldry, as above but a narrow band or line of white/silver (argent) or yellow/gold (or) placed on a shield, banner of arms or flag in accordance with the rule of tincture (see also ‘argent’, ‘border’, ‘or’, ‘multi-stripe’ and ‘rule of tincture’).

A term for the national colours when painted on the tail fin of largely (but not exclusively) military aircraft (see also ‘aircraft insignia’, ‘roundel 1)’ and ‘national colours 2)’).

A cast or carved ornament (such as a cross, crescent, crown or spearhead) placed at the top of the flagpole, mast or flag staff above the truck or on the top of a staff – a staff ornament (see also ‘Appendix I’, ‘ferrule’, ‘flag pole’, ‘pike’, ‘staff 2)’ and ‘truck’).