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Dictionary of Vexillology: R (Racing Flag - Running Eye and Toggle)
Last modified: 2006-09-30 by phil nelson
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- RACING FLAG
- A special flag flown from a yacht that is taking part in a race, and struck
if it withdraws or when it crosses the finish line (see also
prize flag and
- (adj) The heraldic term for rays that expand from a central point (see also
- 1) (adj) Rays spreading out from a central point and widening towards the
edge of a flag as in, for example, the naval ensign of Japan, or the flag of the
US State of Arizona (see also active,
inactive and radiant and compare with
- 2) (adj) A stripe or stripes usually widening from one fixed point, but occasionally
from two closely spaced points as in, for example, the flags of the
Marshall Islands or the Seychelles.
Flag of Arizona, USA (fotw)
National Flag of The Seychelles
Naval Ensign of Japan (fotw)
- RAGGED CROSS
- See raguly.
- A heraldic term meaning any number of small regular projections set an angle
on both sides of a bar, cross or saltire and thought to represent a roughly trimmed
branch as in, for example, the ragged cross (more accurately saltire) of Burgundy
and later Spain.
Spanish Naval Flag 16-17th C (fotw)
- RAINBOW COLOURS (or COLORS)
- See dressing lines (also
- RAINBOW FLAG
- 1) One of several flags showing the colours of the rainbow, with two prominent examples being the gay pride flag
illustrated below and that of the Italian peace movement illustrated under peace flag.
- 2) An unofficial nickname for the national flag of South Africa.
From left: The Current Gay Rights Flag; The Flag of Cusco, Peru (fotw)
- RANGE FLAG
- A red warning flag used to signal safe or dangerous conditions at a target
- See Appendix V.
- RANK FLAG
- 1) A flag which signifies the rank of a military officer as opposed to that
of a civilian functionary - but please see also
flag of command,
individual flag and
- 2) An alternative term for a distinguishing flag (see
From left: France - General, Lieutenant General, Major General, Brigadier General
Please note, that although these terms are sometimes
considered interchangeable, the Editors have drawn a general distinction between
the command flags used by senior naval officers, the rank flags employed by officers
from the other armed services, the distinguishing flags of civilians and with
- See proportions.
- RAVEN FLAG
- The flag considered by some sources to have been carried by Viking raiding
parties up until the 11th Century, and to have been carried by the Normans at
the Battle of Hastings (1066).
- RED CROSS (CRESCENT or DIAMOND) FLAG
- See safe conduct flag (also
Geneva Convention flag).
- RED DUSTER
- An affectionate nickname for the British civil ensign (see also red ensign
- RED ENSIGN
- In British usage the ensign ensign usually (but not invariably) worn by all privately owned merchant vessels and
yachts the red duster (see also civil ensign under 'ensign'
and blue ensign).
The British Red Ensign (Graham Bartram)
- REDUCED BEND
- See west-east diagonal
(also ascending diagonal,
bend in Appendix VI,
north-south diagonal and
- REDUCED BEND SINISTER
- See east-west diagonal (also
bend sinister in Appendix VI,
south-north diagonal and
- (v) To thread the halyard through a block (or over a pulley) fitted into the
truck and thereby raise or lower a flag (see also
- See Appendix V.
- REGIMENTAL COLOUR (or COLOR)
- See colour 2) and
- REGIMENTAL COLOURS (or COLORS)
- 1) The plural form of regimental colour and in this context used only when
referring to the second or unit flag of more than one regiment (see
colours 2) and following note).
- 2) In British army usage, those shades or colours that are considered
representative of a particular regiment, and which are usually employed on their
camp flag and regimental ties etc., in addition to the formal regimental colour as
defined in colour 2),
colours 2) and in 2) above (see also
- REGIMENTAL FLAG
- See 'camp flag'.
- RELIGIOUS BANNER
- See banner 3),
gonfalon 1) and
- RELIGIOUS FLAG
- Generically, any flag that is used in religious worship, or that represents
a particular faith or denomination within that faith (see note below and also
prayer flag and
Please note that a Roman Catholic church often flies either the flag of the Vatican City State
or a bicolour in the Papal colours of white and gold, that an Islamic mosque usually displays one or more crescent
vexilloids and a Jewish synagogue the Menorah or the Magen David
(see also crescent,
vexilloid). It should be noted also, that religious flags in the US
are often displayed within the church building as well as outside, whereas in the UK Christian churches,
with the exception of those religious banners carried in procession (and laid up military colours), usually
(but not invariably) fly such flags outdoors.
- RESERVE ENSIGN
- See under ensign.
- RETREAT CEREMONY
- In military usage, a formal ceremony requiring a full guard and band for lowering
the national flag at the end of the day on special occasions (see also
Please note that this ceremony has its roots in
late Medieval and early Renaissance period with the formal ceremonies associated
with closing the gates of fortresses and castles for the night.
- In UK, US and some other military usage, the ceremony of hoisting the national
flag at the start of a day and taken from the name of the bugle call sounded to
awaken the troops (see also 'colours 5)' and
- The less important side of a flag that is generally, but not always, a mirror
image of the obverse, A distinctive reverse design or charge will usually only
be found on a regimental colour (see also obverse).
Please note however, that there are occasional exceptions.
- REVERSED CHEVRON
- See chevron.
- REVERSED PALL
- See 'Pall'.
- REVERSED PILE
- See pile.
- 1) A charge in the form of a narrow circular band typically used to separate
a suns central disc from its rays, as in the flags of Macedonia and Taiwan (see
also disc and
- 2) A piece of wood or metal for attaching a windsock to its pole and for keeping
it open (see also windsock).
- 3) See battalion ring and
Please note that the heraldic term for this type
of charge is an annulet, but we suggest that a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary
be consulted for its correct usage.
- RISING DIAGONAL
- See ascending diagonal.
- ROPE GROMMET
- See grommet 3).
- 1) An often circular emblem of nationality employed on military aircraft and
Air Force flags, generally (but not exclusively) consisting of concentric rings
of the national colours and based on the cockade (see also
fin flash and
national colours 2).
See supplemental note
- 2) A heraldic term for a disc see disc.
From left: Argentina; Belgium; Columbia; The Philippines. Japan (fotw)
- See star 2).
- ROYAL BANNER
- See royal standard 1) and following note..
- ROYAL COLOUR (or COLOR)
- See colour 2) and
- ROYAL MAIL PENNANT
- See mail pennant.
- ROYAL PLATE
- In British Royal Naval usage and some others, the royal equivalent of a flag disc
and used on boats in place of the appropriate royal standard when full ceremonial is
not required (see also flag disc and royal standard below).
From left: The Plates of The Duke of Edinburgh; The Prince of Wales
and of Other Members of the Royal Family, UK (Graham Bartram)
Please note that a boat with Her Majesty The Queen on board never carries
a royal plate, but always flies the royal standard which requires full ceremonial.
- ROYAL STANDARD(S)
- 1) That flag, frequently a banner of arms, which signifies the presence and/or
authority of the monarch (see also banner 1),
personal flag 1) and
presidential standard but
see note below).
- 2) In the plural, a term sometimes applied to the flags flown by other members
of a royal family the queens, crown princes standard etc.
- 3) In UK military usage, the official name of the state colour of the Grenadier
Guards but see state colour.2).
From left: UK Royal Standard (Martin Grieve); Denmark Royal
Standard (fotw); Crown Princes Standard, Japan (fotw)
Please note that this term has been defined in 1) above according
to current UK usage, but should, strictly speaking, only be applied to Royal Standards of the
heraldic pattern as detailed herein under
standard 3) and
standard 4), and the term Royal Banner employed where more appropriate.
The Heraldic Standard of King Richard III of England (fotw)
- RULE OF TINCTURE
- Most authoritative sources agree that good flag design should obey the heraldic
Rule of Tincture, and it is therefore stated in brief here: A colour should never
be placed on a colour or a metal (that is silver and gold in heraldry and generally
white and yellow in flags) on a metal. Metal may, however, be placed on colour
and colour on metal. It is, none the less, strongly suggested that those more
deeply interested in this subject should refer to the entries on tinctures,
metal and fur given in Appendix III, and to consult
a dictionary of heraldry for a more complete description.
- RULES OF ETIQUETTE
- The rules governing flag etiquette (or the protocol governing flag usage)
vary slightly from country to country, but are stated briefly in
Appendix II (see also
flag law and
- RULES OF RESPECT
- The rules that govern respect for the national flag may be summed up in a
Golden Rule, which simply stated says that the national flag should be treated
with respect at all times. The particulars of what exactly this respect entails
vary in detail, legal status and extent, from country to country, however, the
general principles remain the same and a full list is given in
- RUNNING EYE AND TOGGLE
- A traditional method, of hoisting a flag much favoured in European countries,
whereby a rope is sewn into the heading fitted with a wooden toggle at the top
and a loop or eye splice at the bottom that fastens them to their opposites on
the halyard toggle and becket (see also