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Dictionary of Vexillology: S (Statant - Sword Knot)
Last modified: 2006-09-30 by phil nelson
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- See Appendix VI.
- STATE COLOURS (or COLORS)
- 1) See national colours.
- 2) A special mark of distinction carried by some foot regiments of the British
Brigade of Guards but see
second colour (also
colours 2) and
royal standard 3)).
- 3) The colours selected by a sub-national entity particularly if the entity
is called a state - as representative of that entity (see also
state flag 2)
and sub-national flag).
- 4) In US military usage a term, now obsolete, for one of the colours carried
by a unit of state militia or volunteers (usually when mustered into federal service)
as the second colour along with a national colour of the same design as that used
by regiments of the regular army.
- STATE ENSIGN
- See government ensign under 'ensign'.
- STATE FLAG
- 1) A variant of the national flag (or occasionally a completely different
design) which is restricted by law or custom (theoretically or actually) to use
by a country's government, and can often differ from the national flag by the
addition of a coat of arms or emblem the government flag or federal service
flag (see also
coat of arms,
emblem, national and
national flag, together with government
ensign and naval ensign listed under ensign).
- 2) The flag of a territorial sub-division within a country, especially
when that subdivision is called a state. To avoid confusion with 1) however,
such a flag should normally be more precisely referred to as the flag of the
state of (see also
state colours 2) state service flag and
From left: State Flag of Lithuania (fotw); State Flag of Peru
(fotw); Flag of the State of Tennessee, US (Graham Bartram)
- STATE SERVICE FLAG
- A term describing those flags of particularly (but not exclusively) German or Austrian states - or Lδnder -
that are intended for official as opposed to civil use (see also
state flag 2) and sub-national flag).
From left: The State Service Flag of Saxony; The Civil Flag of Saxony, Germany;
The State Service Flag of Styria; The Civil Flag of Styria, Austria (fotw)
- STAYED MAST
- A heavy high mast supported by means of stay cables. Stayed masts are often
erected at sea training establishments with proper main and top yards for seamanship
training purposes or at yacht clubs, and are fitted with a main yard gaff for
the hoisting of an ensign (see also
- STEPPED FLY
- (adj) A term for the type of flag, now largely (if not wholly) obsolete, whose fly is
extended by a rectangular projection (smaller in width and of varied size) centred on the
horizontal meridian of the flag (see also
A selection of 19th Century US House Flags (CS)
Please note that this is not an established term, but has been
introduced by the Editors since no (accurately descriptive) established alternative could
- STORM FLAG (or ENSIGN)
- 1) In US military usage, the smallest size of national flag flown at army
posts - 5 feet (1.5 m) wide by 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m) long, or half as wide and
half as long as a post flag (see also
and post flag).
- 2) A smaller size of flag than that laid down for general use, and meant to
be flown in stormy weather.
- 3) See storm warning flag below.
- STORM WARNING FLAG
- In US and some other usage, one of a system of flags and pennants used to
warn mariners of severe weather in the area.
- 1) A long narrow ribbon attached to a flags staff, such as those upon which
battle honours are inscribed (see also
and streamer retaining ring).
- 2) A term, now obsolete, for a long narrow flag flown from a vessel as decoration
(see also masthead pennant 2)).
- STREAMER RETAINING RING
- An often decorative, ridged band sometimes fitted to the staff of a military
colour below the finial, and from which battle streamers are suspended (see also
staff 2) and streamer 1)).
- STRIKE (A FLAG)
- (v) A largely nautical term meaning to lower or haul down a flag, particularly
(but not exclusively) as a sign of surrender.
- A band of colour whether disposed vertically, horizontally or diagonally
which generally reaches one or more edges of a flag, but which does not cover
the whole area.
Please note that the most common heraldic terms
used in describing the stripe on a shield or banner of arms are listed separately
and/or in Appendix VI, however, it is suggested that
suitable a glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted for further details.
- STUMPMAST (or STUMP MAST)
- A truncated mast (see also flying line,
Please note that a stumpmast with a fixed yard at the truck
giving it a T-shape is common right forward in the bows of those bulk cargo carrying vessels
plying the inland waterways of Europe so as to allow for passing under bridges and other
overhead obstructions. The taller of this type of mast is also often hinged for lowering
to deck level for the same purpose (see also 'truck' and
Please note also that the yard arms of the stumpmast often flies several
house flags and pennants on flying rods above and below the yard or also on flying lines (see also
'pennant' and 'yard arm')."
- SUB-NATIONAL FLAG
- A generic term for the flag of any territorial division within a sovereign
or independent country or within a federated state, that is subordinate to the
national flag of that country or federated state a constituent state, province,
county, municipality or similar (see also
national flag and
state flag 2)).
Please note however, that the flags of the constituent
parts of the UK those of England, Scotland and Wales although subordinate
to the Union Flag are also national flags under the law. Similar situations may,
however, exist in other countries, and the applicable country's laws should be
consulted to determine the status of such flags (see also
It should be noted also, that in the sub-divisions
of some countries such as the Lδnder of Germany or provinces of Spain there
are variants of the state or provincial flags for civil and official use - but
see 'state service flag'.
Civil Flag La Rioja
Official Flag La Rioja,,Spain (fotw)
- SUIT (or SUITE) OF FLAGS
- The ensign, jack and masthead pennant of a commissioned warship (see
masthead pennant 1)).
- SUNDAY ENSIGN
- A term used in the British Royal Navy and some others, to describe an ensign
larger than the normal daily size that is flown on ships and at naval establishments
on Sundays and/or days of national celebration a ceremonial ensign or flag (see
also ceremonial ensign).
Please note that it this is not to be confused with
a flag of ceremony (see also
'indoor flag and
- SUNSET (THE CEREMONY OF)
- The ceremony of lowering the ensign and jack particularly (but not exclusively)
aboard a warship or naval shore establishment at the local time of sunset or at
a specified time at the end of a working day - conducting or making sunset or
evening colours (see also
colours 5) and
- Human or animal figures placed either side of a shield in a set of armorial
bearings - see also Appendix I
& Appendix II (also
coat of arms
and heraldic beasts).
- SUPRA-NATIONAL (or SUPER-NATIONAL) FLAG
- The flag of an organization, some aspects of whose authority and/or influence
transcend national sovereignty, as in for example, that of the United Nations
or European Union (but see also
Geneva Convention flag and
safe conduct flag
- SWAG (or SWAGGED)
- See fan (also bunting 2)).
- 1) A V-shaped cut in the fly of a flag or pennant and forming two points - but see
'double pointed' (also
fly 1) and
- 2) A flag or pennant having such a cut in the fly.
Naval Ensign of Germany (fotw)
- SWALLOWTAIL AND TONGUE
- A flag as above, but having a third tail between the other two and so coming
to three points at the fly - triple-tailed. (see also
Naval Ensign of Norway (CS)
- An ancient symbol in the form of an equal-armed cross with each arm continued at a right angle,
used (in a clock-wise form) on the presidential flag of Finland and until 1945 as the emblem of the
German Nazi Party a crooked cross or fylfot (see also cross
and cross of Lorraine).
From left: swastika, The National Flag, Germany 1933-45; The Presidential Standard of Finland (fotw)
- SWORD KNOT
- See dress knot.