- A spar rigged at an upward angle from the upper part of a mast or pole, and
equipped with a halyard at its highest point from which an ensign is flown when
at the peak. A gaff may be fitted to the mizzenmast (or other masts dependent upon the rig) of a sailing ship, or from
the mast of a warship (when it will sometimes carry a command flag), or from a
mast (or stayed mast) ashore (see also fore,
- A medieval term, now obsolete, for the carriage upon which a standard was fixed
a carrocerum (see also standard 6)
Please note that in the early-middle ages, standards were
sometimes (for reasons which are now unclear) transported into battle and displayed
whilst mounted on some form of wheeled conveyance.
- A bar running at right angles from the staff from which the flag is partially suspended.
Please note, however, that use of the term with this meaning is
given by only one source, and that such use is otherwise unsupported.
- 1) In heraldry, a term for a closed or almost closed ring consisting
of intertwined leaves, or of leaves and flowers a chaplet (see also
2) On flags as above, but the term is also used to describe an open topped
wreath composed of leaves, or of leaves and/or flowers, that does not exceed
two-thirds the depth of the object surrounded (for example that on the flag of
Parana, Brazil) or sometimes considerably less but see
From left: Flag of Parana, Brazil (fotw); A Garland in Heraldry According to English Heraldic Practice (Parker)
Please note with regard to 1), that the English heraldic
requirement of only four flowers per garland is not generally observed in flags.
- GARRISON FLAG
- In US usage, the largest of the three standard sizes of national flag flown
at army posts - 20 x 38 feet or 6.1 x 10.9m (see also
post flag 1),
storm flag and
Please note that the use of standard sizes of flag
at army posts is by no means limited to the US (although the names may differ),
and that the largest size is the one displayed on days of national celebration
and/or service significance, or as otherwise regulated (see also
holiday colours and
- GENEVA CONVENTION FLAG
- See 'safe conduct flag 1)'.
- GITON (GETON or GYTTON)
- A medieval term, now obsolete, used to describe a small (possibly swallow
tailed) flag (see also pennant and
Please note that there is no proven connection between
these terms and guidon, but that the similarity
cannot be ignored.
- GOLDEN MEAN, THE
- That proportion, first recorded by classical Greek sources, which is considered
particularly pleasing to the human eye; it is the ratio of two values where the
relationship of the smaller (A) to the larger (B) is the same as that of the larger
to the total, and has the value of (in round figures) 0.618 (with the reciprocal
being 1:1618). It is most usually seen on flags as proportions of either 5:8 or
3:5 - the divine, golden or magic ratio, or golden section.
Please note from the illustration that ratio a:b
is the same as b: a+b, with the exact value being
, or 0.6180339887
it is suggested that a mathematical reference work be consulted if further or
more complete details are required.
- GOLDEN RATIO (or SECTION)
- See golden mean above.
- GONFALON (or GONFALONE)
- 1) A usually long (sometimes elaborate) flag designed to be hung vertically
from a cross bar, often having a shaped bottom edge or terminating in tails and characteristic of Italy and of
religious associations in Western Europe - where it might also be called a religious
banner (see also banner 3).
- 2) A flag that is designed to be attached both along its hoist to the staff,
and along its top to a side-mounted cross-bar (see also
Gonfalon of Asciano Tuscany, Italy (fotw)
Please note not to be confused with a gonfanon
or with the hanging flag of German speaking and Central European countries (see
also hanging flag and
- The bearer of a gonfalon or standard (see also
- A term, now largely (if not wholly) obsolete, for the - often hereditary -
honorary office of gonfalonier (standard or flag bearer) to a monarch (see
- A war flag of pre-heraldic Europe, often tapered from hoist to fly, generally
attached to a lance and ending in from two to five squared, rounded or triangular
tails. Not to be confused with the later gonfalon
(see also double-tailed descate,
swallowtail and tongue and
Gonfanon of Eustache III of Auvergne c1100 (CS)
- GONTFANONARIUS (or GONFAGONIER)
- A medieval term, now obsolete, for a standard bearer.
- GOVERNMENT ENSIGN
- See under ensign.
- GOVERNMENT FLAG
- See state flag 1).
- GRAND UNION
- See continental colors.
- GRAVE DECORATION FLAG
- In largely (but not exclusively) US usage, a small national flag (affixed
to a short staff) which, on specified memorial occasions, is implanted on the
graves at military cemeteries.
- GREAT BANNER
- The term, now obsolete, for a banner showing all the quarterings of a deceased
persons coat of arms for use at that persons funeral (see also
coat of arms 2),
and livery banner).
- GREAT STANDARD
- A term, now obsolete, for the Scottish heraldic standard as flown from a fixed
staff, and there are indications that it was the largest of three sizes (see also
standard 5), and
- GREEK CROSS
- 1) A cross of any colour whose arms are of equal length, and which extends
to the edges of a flag, panel or canton.
- 2) A cross of any colour whose arms are of equal length, but which does not
extend to the edges of a flag, panel or canton a cross couped (see also
From left: Naval Jack, Greece (CS)
National Flag of Switzerland (CS)
- 1) A hole or eyelet, reinforced by stitching or an inserted metal ring, usually
found at both ends of the heading on the hoist of a flag, through which clips,
attached to the halyard pass (see also Appendix I).
- 2) In naval heraldry the rope decoration that often surrounds a ships badge
- sometimes incorrectly referred to as a ships crest (see also
- See field.
- GROUP COMMAND PENNANT
- See command pennant.
- GRUMPHION (or GRUMPHEON)
- A Scottish term, now obsolete, for a small funeral flag bearing a deaths
- See Appendix V.
- GUBERNATORIAL FLAG
- In particularly (but not exclusively) US usage, a flag which symbolizes the
office of governor.
- GUEST FLAG
- In largely (but not exclusively) US yachting usage, a flag displayed to indicate
that a guest is aboard but that the owner is not.
- 1) In US and some other military usage, a small, generally swallow-tailed
flag used by army formations below battalion level - company, battery, troop,
platoon, detachment and at group level in the air force (but see also
fanion 2) and
- 2) In UK and some other military usage, the swallow-tailed flag (sometimes
double-tailed descate or descate) that is the cavalry equivalent of an infantry
regimental colour, and still displayed on fighting vehicles by their successors
(see also colour 2),
double-tailed descate and
- 3) A Scottish flag 2.40m long, tapering to a rounded (or lanceolate) fly,
it has a body in livery colours, with the owners crest or badge at the hoist
and his motto in the fly, and is used by lairds who have a following but are not
peers or feudal barons (see also badge in heraldry,
- 4) Generically, any small swallow-tailed flag.
Guidon of the Blues and Royals, UK (Graham Bartram)
Please note, some sources suggest that the term
is derived from guide-homme (guide-man), but this remains unproven, and the similarity
with the medieval terms geton, giton or gytton cannot be ignored.
- The heraldic term for the colour red (see also Appendix III
and rule of tincture).
- GUN SALUTE
- 1) A form of saluting, ashore and afloat, in which 21 blank rounds are fired
by artillery or naval guns to honour a country or its flag.
- 2) A form of saluting in which an appropriate number of guns are fired to
honour a head of state, other dignitary, or a senior officer, or the flag representing
him (see also broad pennant,
distinguishing flag 1),
flag of command,
rank flag 1)).
Please note that flag officers will receive a number
of guns scaled according to their rank - that is an Admiral of the Fleet/five
star admiral - 19 guns; Admiral - 17 guns; Vice Admiral - 15 guns; Rear Admiral
13 guns, whilst a Commodore receives 11 guns and a Captain only seven in reply.
Please note also that in some countries a celebratory
salute of as many as 101 guns may be fired at the birth of a royal heir or other
occasion of national celebration (example--50 guns at noon on 4 July at US Army
posts), and that minute guns (that is one shot fired every minute) may be fired
in connection with the death or funeral of a person entitled to a gun salute.
- A medieval term, now obsolete, for a gonfanon (see gonfanon).
- When the field of a flag or shield is divided into sectors (called gyrons)
radiating from or near the centre of the flag or shield typically eight in heraldic
practice, but an undetermined number on flags. Formerly a characteristic of Swiss
military flags, the best known present-day example is probably the jack of the
Royal Netherlands Navy (and compare with radiating).
See supplemental note
From left: Naval Jack of the Netherlands (CS)
Swiss Regiment (De Meuron) in British service 18th C (fotw)