Last modified: 2011-03-18 by andrew weeks
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About these "gonfalons", are they really gonfalons?
I suppose that gonfalons are those used in Italy, a more or less rigid multiswallowtailed flag; these ukranian things with an "L" shaped pole are... "pendons"?
António Martins, 8 July 1999
My definition of a gonfalon would be that it is a vertically elongated flag hanging from a cross bar, usually with tails or a swallowtail. What the site of Ukrainian Heraldry is illustrating, I would call framed flags. My sources for these definitions are Whitney Smith and Alfred Znamierowski.
Andre Burgers, 10 June 2003
I guess that those are not "classical" gonfalones, but since the Ukrainians are calling them so, I will use this term too.
Dov Gutterman, 10 June 2003
The question is what do we consider more important: the shape of the flag or the actual use/purpose of the flag. As far as I understood, the Ukrainian city "gonfalons" are ceremonial flags, not flags for every day use. This makes them similar to the ceremonial flags used by Italian cities/municipalities, provinces and regions (called "gonfalone"). On the other hand, they do not have the "usual" gonfalone shape, i.e. hanging from a crossbar, tails/swallowtails etc; however, there are also Italian gonfaloni that do not follow this rule: they are simply flags attached to a vertical flagstaff ("Fahnen" in German).
However, the whole discussion is in vain, probably, as this seems to be a translation problem mainly. At <heraldry.com.ua> these municipal flags are called "khorugba" in Ukrainian, a word not very similar to "gonfalone". Even the presidential standard (called "shtandart" in Ukrainian) is called gonfalon. So what we really need is some proper translation of "khorugba", that's all.
Marcus Schmöger, 14 June 2003
We can conclude as follows: "khorugba" - an Ukrainian term for a municipal ceremonial flag. In Italy, flags with a similar function are termed "gonfalone".
Ole Andersen, 14 June 2003