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Dictionary of Vexillology: A (Abased - Appointment Flag)

Last modified: 2010-01-02 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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ABASED
(adv) A heraldic term for when the main ordinary on a shield, banner of arms or flag is placed in a lower position than is usual - lowered (see also ‘enhanced’ and ‘ordinary’).

[abased example] [abased example] [abased example] [abased example] Olszyna, Poland
From left: Examples (4); Flag of Olszyna, Poland (Jarig Bakker)


ABEYANCE
See ‘in abeyance’.

ABSENCE (or ABSENTEE) PENNANT (or FLAG)
1) In widespread naval usage, one of four pennants (the first to the fourth substitute in the NATO Code of Signals) displayed in port when the commanding officer of a ship or the flag officer or civil official whose flag is flying in the ship is temporarily absent from the vessel (see also 'international code of signal flags’ and ‘international code of signals’).
2) See ‘owner absent flag’.

[absence example]
From left: First Substitute (Flag Officer Absent), Second Substitute (Chief of Staff Absent), Third Substitute (Captain Absent), Fourth Substitute (Civil/Military Official Absent)


ACCOLΙ
See ‘gorged’.

ACCRETION
A term sometimes used by textile experts involved in fabric conservation, and describes the soiling, mildew damage or other defects that occur on the surface of a flag.

ACHIEVEMENT (OF ARMS)
1) See ‘armorial bearings’.
2) All the armorial bearings of a deceased person as displayed at that person’s funeral – a funeral achievement or hatchment (see also ‘armorial bearings’, ‘badge banner’, ‘bannerole’, ‘coat of arms’, ‘great banner’ and ‘grumphion’).

Please note with regard to 2) that if all the armorial bearings of a deceased person are displayed on a flag they become a great banner, or if less than all a bannerole, both as referenced above.


ACTION PENNANT
See ‘paying off pennant’.

ACTIVE
A term used to describe when the rays of a star or sun emblem, or a radiating stripe, are shown with undulating or wavy curves – see ‘active and inactive’ below, ‘inactive’ (also ‘radiating’, ‘star’ and its following note, ‘sunburst’ and ‘wavy’).

ACTIVE AND INACTIVE
In vexillology a term that may be used to describe when the rays of a star or sun emblem are shown with alternating wavy and straight rays – but see ‘sun-in-splendour’ (also ‘active’ above, ‘inactive’, ‘star’ and its following note, ‘sunburst’ and ‘wavy’).

[Active/Inactive example] [absence example]
The Sun and Star of May, Argentina and Uruguay (fotw)


ADDITION(S) OF HONOUR (or HONOR)
See ‘augmentation of honour’.

ADDORNED
See ‘garnished’.

ADDORSED
1) See ‘appendix V’.
2) The heraldic term also used when two charges are turned outwards - endorsed (see also ‘charge 1)’).

flag of Turosn, Poland arms of Turosn, Poland Sugnens, Switzerland Dorneck, Switzerland
Flag and Arms of Turosn, Poland (Jarig Bakker); Flag of Sugnens, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Dorneck, Switzerland (fotw)


ADVANCE THE COLOUR/COLOURS (or COLOR/COLORS)
(v) A military term originally for moving a flag forward towards an enemy, and now used on ceremonial occasions as a command to parade the colour(s) forward (see also ‘colour 2)’, ‘colours 2)’, and ‘parade flag’).

ADVERTISING BANNER
See ‘banner 4)’.

[advertising banner]


ADVERTISING PULLDOWN (or PULL-DOWN)
See ‘pulldown’.

AFFRONTANT (or AFFRONTΙ)
See ‘respectant’ in ‘appendix V’.

AFFRONTY
1) See ‘appendix V’.
2) The heraldic term also used when a charge, such as a helmet, house or ship, is shown with its front towards the observer.

Hersberg, Switzerland Oberφnz, Switzerland
Flag of Hersberg, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Oberφnz, Switzerland

With regard to 1) please note this term is not to be confused with affrontant – see ‘respectant’ and its following note in ‘appendix V’.


AGNUS DEI
The Latin term for a lamb that is sometimes shown with a halo around its head, but always holding a crossed staff or crosier (and often decorated with a flag or banner) – the Holy Lamb or Lamb of God.

Kunovice, Czech Republic Gotland, Sweden flag of Preston, UK arms of Preston, UK arms of Knin, Croatia flag of Knin, Croatia
Flag of Kunovice, Czech Republic (fotw); Flag of Gotland, Sweden (fotw); Flag and Arms of Preston, UK (fotw); Arms and Flag of Knin, Croatia (fotw)


AIR FORCE (or AIRFORCE) FLAG (or ENSIGN)
See ‘branch of service flag’ (also ‘armed services flag’ and ‘ensign 2)’).

UK Air Force Ensign
Air force Ensign, UK (fotw).


AIR MAIL (or AIRMAIL) FLAG (or PENNANT)
A flag or pennant, now obsolete, originally designed to fly (sometimes alongside a civil air ensign) from an aircraft carrying mail (see also ‘postal flag’ and ‘civil air ensign’)
US Air Mail flag Royal Air Mail pennant US Air mail Flag (Joe Macmillan); Royal Air Mail Pennant, UK (fotw)


AIRCRAFT INSIGNIA
In US military usage, the term that refers to markings on the tail plane/fin of primarily (but not exclusively) military aircraft – see ‘fin flash’ (also ‘aircraft marking(s)’ below and
‘roundel 1)’).

AIRCRAFT MARKING(S)
In UK and some other usage, a collective term for the markings of nationality and identification on the wings, fuselage and tail plane/fin of primarily (but not exclusively) military aircraft – but see ‘fin flash’ and ‘roundel 1)’ (also ‘aircraft insignia’ above).

AIRFIELD (or AIRPORT) SAFETY (or AIRFIELD/AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION) FLAG
In largely US usage the square, orange and white-checkered safety flag mandated by the US Federal Aviation Administration for the marking of construction vehicles and jobsite obstructions/hazards at airports. (see also ‘checky’).

airfield safety flag


ALFAQUAQUUS
The medieval term, now obsolete, for a person who is entitled to carry his banner erect on the King’s highway.

This word is recorded as having a Spanish origin (which remains unproven) however, the extent to which it was used in English medieval manuscripts is not known.


ALFERES (or ALFEROUS)
A late 17th early 18th Century term, now obsolete, for a ‘standard bearer’.

Please note, it is suggested that the alternative form was sometimes used in medieval manuscripts, and note also the relationship between this term and the Spanish military rank of alfιrez or ensign (see also ‘ensign 5)’.


ALLEGORY (or ALLEGORICAL)
The term for a pictorial illustration with a symbolic meaning, and whose imagery is usually intended to convey a moral and/or political message.

Virginia, US Jack - Batavian Republic Flag - Batavian Republic
Flag of the State of Virginia, US (fotw); Jack and Command Flag of the Batavian Republic 1797, The Netherland (fotw)


ALLUSIVE ARMS
See ‘canting’.

ALQUILIFER
A bearer of the ancient Roman legionary eagle - see 'eagle 2)' (also 'vexillary' and 'vexilloid').

ALTEMA
A medieval term, now obsolete, for the upper part of the cart upon which the standard was placed (see also ‘carrocium’, ‘gajardus’ and ‘standard 6)’).

ALTERNATIVE (or ALTERNATE) FLAG/ENSIGN
The term used to describe any flag or ensign (either official or unofficial) being presented as an alternative to that which is generally accepted (or officially established) for a particular role.

UAE Civil Ensign UAE alternative civil ensign
National Flag/Civil Ensign as regulated, and Alternative Civil Ensign of the United Arab Emirates (fotw)


AMBASSADORIAL (or AMBASSADOR’S) FLAG
See ‘diplomatic flags’.

AMERICAN WAR MOTHERS FLAG
See ‘service flag 3)’.

ANCIENT
1) In heraldry, a coat of arms or charge formerly in use but now replaced by another design which is then termed modern such as, for example, Austria ancient and Austria modern.
2) A 16th/17th Century term, now wholly obsolete, for a ship’s stern mounted ensign, or military colour whether displayed ashore or afloat - an anshent or auncient (see also ‘ensign 1)’ and ‘colour 2)’).
3) A 16th/17th Century term, now wholly obsolete, equivalent to, and with the same duties as, the later but also obsolete army rank of ensign (see also ‘ensign 3)’ and ‘ensign 4)’).

[ancient example]
From left: Austria Ancient, Austria Modern (fotw)


ANCIENT CROWN
See ‘antique crown 1)’ and ‘coronet 1)’.

ANNULET
A ring-like charge in heraldry – see ‘ring’.

Samtgemeinde Velpke, Germany
Flag of Samtgemeinde Velpke, Germany (Jφrg Majewski)

Please note however, it is suggested that a suitable glossary or dictionary of heraldry be consulted for correct usage of this term.


ANSHENT
See ‘ancient 2)’.

ANTESIGNORY (or ANTESIGNANUS)
A term, now obsolete, for the guard who precedes a standard (see also ‘standard 5)’).

Please note, it is suggested that the alternative form was used in medieval manuscripts.


ANTI-ALIASING
A computer graphics term used to describe the technique of giving low resolution flag illustrations a smoother appearance by colouring pixels at the border between two differently coloured surfaces with intermediate shades.

ANTI-HERALDRY (or ANTIHERALDRY)
A term used to describe the design of those seals and emblems which do not contain (and may have been specifically designed not to contain) heraldic symbolism – for example the seals of many US states widely used on their flags – which are (and were) prepared in the absence of any central heraldic authority (see also ‘heraldry’, ‘emblem 2)’, ‘pre-heraldic’, ‘seal’, ‘seal flag’ and ‘state flag 2)’).

Virginia state seal
State Seal of Virginia, US (ICH)

Please note, it is suggested that the origins of any such rejection of heraldic symbolism may be traced to the American War of Independence and French Revolution, and to the consequent official reaction against all things connected with royalty and the nobility.


ANTIQUE CROWN
1) Generically and in Continental European heraldry see ‘coronet’).
2) Specifically in English heraldry, a type of coronet that is generally (but not exclusively) composed of a circlet with triangular rays all round.

[antique crown]
An English Pattern Antique Crown (Parker)


ANTLER(S)
See ‘attire(s)’.

ANTLERED
See ‘attired’.

APPLIQUΙ
(n & v) A method of flag manufacture in which one or more pieces of cloth are stitched on the field to form a design. This technique is often used where the design on the obverse differs from that on the reverse (see also ‘obverse’ and ‘reverse’).

APPOINTMENT FLAG
1) In UK and other military usage, that flag which corresponds to a particular position held, rather than to the rank of the officer who currently holds it - but see ‘positional flag’ (also ‘class flag’ and ‘rank flag 1)’).
2) See ‘distinguishing flag 1)’.

[appointment flag example]
RAF Station Commander, UK (Graham Bartram)


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