- SOUTHERN CROSS
- 1) A stylized representation of the constellation Crux Australis, and used
as a symbol on flags in the Southern Hemisphere as on those of, for example,
Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
- 2) A colloquial name for the saltire as used by the Confederate States of
America on its battle flag, naval jack and later national flags (see also
battle flag 1)).
From left: National Flag of Samoa (fotw); Second Naval Jack,
- SOUTH-NORTH DIAGONAL
- A diagonal stripe that runs from the lower hoist to the upper fly whose corners
touch the corners of the flag but whose width is entirely contained within the
length of the flag an enhanced bend sinister. See bend in
Appendix VI (also
north-south diagonal and
Flag of the FNLA, Angola (fotw)
- SOVEREIGNS COLOUR (or COLOR)
- See colours 2).
- SOVEREIGNS STANDARD
- In British military usage, that flag carried as a special mark of distinction
by the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals - the Household Cavalry (see also
union standard and
Sovereigns Standard of the Blues and Royals, UK
- SPECIFICATION (or SPEC)
- 1) The detailed description, either by diagram or in writing, of how the design
of a flag is constructed (see also type flag).
- 2) (v) The act of drawing up such design details.
- The official name for the Danish state flag and naval ensign (see also
- SPORTING BANNER
- See banner 4).
- SPORTS FLAG
- 1) A flag often the appropriate national or provincial flag bearing (or
defaced with) the name of a sporting club or related slogan (see also
- 2) A flag, usually in the club or school colours, and bearing an emblem that
represents a sporting club or school team.
- 3) One of a varied number of flags that are used to regulate or to assist
in running a sporting activity for example, the chequered flag in motor racing.
- SPUR ROWEL
- See star 2).
- SQUADRON COMMAND PENNANT
- See command pennant.
- SQUARE CROSS
- See cross.
- (adj) A term used to describe a flag, now increasingly (but not entirely) obsolete,
whose fly is cut into two or more square-ended tails (see also
swallowtail and tongue and
Venice, Italy (fotw)
- 1) At sea, the short mast upon which the jack and ensign are hoisted see
ensign staff and
- 2) The wooden shaft, often with a spear point finial, to which indoor flags;
military colours and parade flags are affixed the pike (see also
parade flag and
- 3) See flag pole.
- STAFF ORNAMENT
- See finial.
- STAND (OF COLOURS or COLORS)
- 1) A term used to describe all the colours carried by an infantry regiment -
formerly up to nine in English service - now generally (but not exclusively) limited to two per
regiment/battalion (see also
company colours and
- 2) In US Civil War usage, a term sometimes employed (often in newspaper
reporting) to describe a flag or flags, particularly those captured in battle.
A Stand of Six Colours, Colonel to the Third Captain,
Please note that the above illustrations are loosely
based on a surviving colour from the English Civil War - that of a sixth captain
in Sir John Gells Regiment of Foot (Parliamentarian) 1643-44 - and upon a system
of differencing such colours known to have been in use at that time.
Also please note, that some Continental armies (most notably
those of France and Austria) often had a larger establishment of men per battalion than was
customary in the English service, so the number of colours carried could be commensurately greater.
- 1) The flag of a head of state - see
presidential standard and
royal standard 1) - and its following note.
- 2) A rectangular flag used as a ceremonial unit flag by some cavalry and certain
other military units (see also sovereigns standard).
See supplemental note:
- 3) A flag of heraldic design, long and tapering, possibly with a rounded or
double-rounded (lanceolate or double-tailed descate) fly carrying the owners
badge and motto (sometimes also a national symbol or personal arms), and bordered
in his livery colours. Originally used as an identifying symbol by medieval noblemen,
and still occasionally flown by those entitled to it a heraldic standard (see
also badge in heraldry,
- 4) The headquarters flag of a Scottish nobleman or clan chief (and a standard
as defined in 3) above), it is between 3.5 and 7.5m long (dependent upon rank)
and tapers from 120cm to 80cm. The hoist carries either the national flag or owners
arms, whilst the tail is in the main livery colours and has the motto (usually
on diagonal bands) separated by the owners crest and other badges. The tail is
generally split into two rounded (double-tailed descate) ends (except for those
chiefs who do not hold a title of nobility, baronetcy or knighthood whose standards
have a simple rounded or lanceolate end), and the whole is edged or fringed with
alternating livery colours (see also
- 5) In obsolete usage, a pole with an emblem on the top around which soldiers
could rally (see also eagle 2) and
- As 4) above but fixed in place (rather than carried by a soldier), or alternatively
transported in a large vehicle of its own (see also
- 6) A figurative or poetic term for the symbol around which people rally.
Please note that in English heraldry the entitlement
to a heraldic standard is consequent upon the granting or possession of a badge,
but is not dependent upon rank (see also
badge in heraldry). In Scottish heraldry,
however, the entitlement to a standard (and to heraldic flags other than a banner
of arms) is consequent upon a separate grant by the Lord Lyon King of Arms (see
also pinsel and
Please note also that in UK usage the standard of the
Royal Horse Artillery comes within definition 3) and is illustrated beneath
heraldic standard but is also a
ceremonial unit flag (as outlined in 2), above,) under certain circumstances.
- STANDARD BEARER
- 1) One who bears the regimental, unit, or national standard (see also
gonfalnier, standard 1 - 5)
- 2) See colour bearer.
- STANDARDUM (STANDARUM, STANTARUM or STANDALE)
- A medieval term, now obsolete, for a standard.
Please note that standardum and standale are, respectively,
the Latin and Italian words for standard, and that these and the derivations thereof
were used more or less indiscriminately by medieval scribes.
- 1) On flags, a charge either in solid colour or outline only - in the form
of a geometric shape with radiating points. Stars with five points are the most
common, but any number is possible, for example: Aruba - four, Israel - six, Australia
- seven, Azerbaijan - eight and Malaysia sixteen (see also
and Magen David).
- 2) In heraldry a charge of this type may have wavy edges, and is variously
known as a mullet, estoile, (or if having a hole in the centre) a spur rowel or
rowel depending on the number of points. For complete details, however, a glossary
or dictionary of heraldry should be consulted.
From left: National Flag of Aruba (fotw); National Flag of Azerbaijan
(fotw); National Flag of Malaysia (fotw)
Please note that in vexillology the difference between
a multi-pointed star and a sun is usually only a matter of official symbolism,
however, a sun may sometimes be distinguished by having a ring around its central
disk (Taiwan), a face (Argentina) or wavy points (British Columbia) see also
and ring 1).
- STAR-SPANGLED BANNER
- 1) Generally a poetic nickname for the US national flag the Stars and Stripes (see also
old glory and
stars and stripes below).
- 2) The US national flag with 15 stripes and 15 stars in use between 1795 and 1818.
- 3) Specifically the flag, as defined in 2) above, but which flew over Fort McHenry, Baltimore in 1814.
- 4) The national anthem of the US but see note below.
National Flag of the US, 1785 1818 (fotw)
Please note that the US national anthem from a poem by Francis Scott Key -
specifically refers to the flag as defined in 3) above, and which is preserved in the
Smithsonian Institute, Washington.
- STARBOARD PENNANT
- See senior officer afloat pennant.
- STARS AND STRIPES
- A popular name for the US national flag (see also
old glory and star spangled banner