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Dictionary of Vexillology: V (Vailing - Vexilli Erecto)

Last modified: 2006-09-30 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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When the finial on the staff of military colour or parade flag is allowed to touch – or nearly touch - the ground whilst being lowered in salute - but see 'trailing 1)' (also ‘dipping 1)’).

1) A term, now obsolete, for a short, triangular pennant (sometimes stiffened with a frame) formerly flown from the mastheads of sailing vessels in place of a masthead pennant (see also ‘masthead pennant 1)’).
2) A length of bunting (or other light material) fixed in the shrouds of a yacht or small sailing vessel to indicate wind direction – a wind vane.
3) A small metal flag-like object; generally set on a rod on the top of a building – a weather vane.
4) A pre-heraldic vexilloid in the form of a decorative metal plaque mounted onboard ship by the Vikings (see also ‘pre-heraldic’ and ‘vexilloid’).

A medieval term, now obsolete, for a small flag or vane - see ‘vane 1)’.

A medieval term, now obsolete, for a banner – see ‘banner’.

A distinctive design invented in Venice that gives an aesthetically pleasing taper to a tall flagpole, and now the most common form used (see also ‘flag pole’).

See ‘paly’ in Appendix VI.

A heraldic term for the colour green (see also ‘Appendix III’ and ‘rule of tincture’).

See ‘meridian’.

The flag of an organization representing the veterans of a particular, service, war, campaign, or unit. The flags of veteran’s organizations are often mounted, trimmed and treated like a military colour (see ‘parade flag’ and ‘colour 2)’).

[Royal British Legion]
Flag of the Royal British Legion, UK (Graham Bartram)

In US army usage, a flag flown by a military vessel indicating the branch or corps to which it belongs.

A colloquial term for one who undertakes an assiduous search for (sometimes obscure) flag information (see also ‘vexiferreting’ below and ‘vexillologist’).
A colloquial term for the assiduous search for (sometimes obscure) flag information (see also ‘vexiferret’ above and ‘vexillologist’).
1) See 'vexillifer'.
2) A member of a Roman military unit (vexillatio) detached from the main force under a vexillum – but see ‘vexillation’ (also ‘vexillifer’ and ‘vexillum’).
1) (adj) Of or pertaining to flags (see also ‘vexillology’).
2) See ‘vexillifer’.

Any detachment of soldiers serving under a vexillum - but see ‘vexillarius 2)’ (also ‘vexillifer’ and ‘vexillum’).

Please note this term is taken directly from the Latin vexillatio being a detachment of soldiers as described above.

A 19th Century term, now obsolete, for the standard bearer in a medieval mystery play.

The treatment of a flag as a fetish or religious object.

The bearer of the vexillum (see also ‘vexillarius 2)’, ‘vexillation’ and ‘vexillum’.
A person who loves and/or collects flag books (but see also ‘vexillophile’ below).

A designer of flags, or the creator of a flag design.

The designing of flags, or the creation of a flag design.

1) A rigid emblem (such as a carved animal or similar) mounted on a pole, which fulfils the function of a flag but which is not a flag, and characteristic (but not exclusively so) of traditional societies – not to be confused with a tufa (see also ‘tugh’ and ‘tufa’).
2) As above, but the forerunner of the flag as in the Nome standards of ancient Egypt, the Semeia of classical Greece or in the Eagles of a Roman legion (see also ‘eagle 2)’, ‘Semeion’ and ‘standard 5)’).
3) See ‘standard 6)’.

A student and/or collector of flag related postage stamps and/or of related information.

A collector of flags and/or of information regarding flags - a flag enthusiast (but see also ‘vexillobibliophile’).

A student of vexillology (see also ‘vexillology’).

The scholarly or scientific study of the history, symbolism and/or usage of flags.

Please note, the term was coined by Dr. Whitney Smith of the Flag Research Center (Massachusetts, USA) and based on the Latin vexillum (see also ‘vexillologist’ and ‘vexillum’).

The collection of flags and/or of information regarding flags (see ‘vexillophile’ above).

An ancient Roman standard consisting of an often decorated (usually) red or purple cloth hung from a cross bar. It is considered to be the first true flag in Western culture, and from which the term vexillology is derived (see also ‘vexillarius’, ‘vexillary 2)’, 'vexillation' and ‘vexillology’).

[Roman vexillum]
Vexillum of the 13th Legion (Eugene Ipavec)

Please note however, that whilst frequently described as a cavalry standard (which it was), the vexillum also had a number of other military uses.

A medieval term, now obsolete, for the royal standard – see ‘royal standard 1)’.

Please note that it is unclear whether the medieval chroniclers were referring to a banner of the royal arms as is common today, or to a standard of the heraldic pattern known to have been used by many English kings in the medieval period (see also ‘standard 4)’).

A medieval term, now obsolete, for the fixing of banners or standards to the walls of a fortress (see also ‘banner 1)’ and 'standard 4)).