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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Car Flag - Ceremonial of Consecration)

Last modified: 2010-07-10 by phil nelson
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A flag or pennant, sometimes in metal or other non-flexible material, designed specifically to be flown from a car – an automobile flag.

German car flag 1941-45
General officer, Germany 1941– 45 (fotw)

Please note that the practice of flying a car flag or pennant was previously (usually but not exclusively) limited to that carrying a head of state, government official or military officer, however, the practice has arisen whereby such flags are available as sports flags and may also be displayed by a funeral cortege. Formerly sometimes flown from the radiator cap, a car flag is now more usually seen on the right front fender, wing/mudguard (or often on both front fenders) but there is a suggestion that the two positions might also previously have indicated differences in the rank of the occupant. It is usually flown from a short metal staff, or from a clip-on, window mounted staff, or from the radio antenna (see also ‘funeral flags’).

An alternative medieval term, now obsolete, for the cart upon which the standard was placed (see also ‘altema’, ‘gajardus’ and ‘standard 6)’).

In obsolete UK and some other usage, a flag or one of a pair of flags, that mark a vessel involved in the exchange of prisoners (see also ‘flag of truce’).

1) In heraldry, an oval escutcheon often used (but not exclusively so) by Italian clergymen (see also ‘escutcheon’).
2) On flags as above, and a term that now covers a usually (but not invariably) oval plaque or frame containing heraldic insignia, and occasionally a date or motto (see also ‘motto’ and ‘ring’).

From left: Detail, Spain (CS); Andorra (fotw)

1) A narrow sleeve-like sack, usually of some decorative, waterproof, material used in order to protect a regimental, unit, service or national colour when outdoors and furled (see also ‘colour 2)’ and ‘furl’).
2) (v) The act of placing the furled colour into its case (see also ‘uncase’).

See ‘pall flag’.

See flag tossing’.

See ‘quatrefoil 2)’.

See ‘cross pattιe’ in ‘appendix VIII’.

The term for a cross used by the ancient Celtic church (and now by a number of neo-nazi movements) that does not usually reach the edges of a shield, canton, panel or flag, but which is displayed with a ring or annulet crossing all four arms (see also ‘cross 2)’ and ‘ring’).

Pan-Celtic flag Welch church Ultra-right flag of France
Stiωbhart's Pan-Celtic flag, UK (fotw); Flag of the Church in Wales (fotw); Flag of the Ultra-Right, France (fotw)

See ‘sendal’.

The term used when a charge is set in the geometric or visual centre of a flag or the panel it occupies – see ‘visual centre’ (also ‘inset’, ‘off-set towards’ and ‘off-centred’).

See ‘cross 1)’ (also ‘centred’ above).

An ensign flown by naval ships and over naval or military establishments on Sundays or days of national or service celebration (see also ‘Sunday ensign’ and ‘garrison flag’).

Please note this term does not refer to flags used on parade or those made for indoor display, but to flags and ensigns that are identical with their everyday equivalents except for size and/or care of manufacture (see also ‘parade flag’ and ‘indoor flag’).

1) In largely East and Central European usage, a term employed to describe those sub-national flags that are for display on occasions of local significance, and which are often a gonfanon or a more elaborate form of the normal flag – a festive banner or flag (see also ‘banner 4)’, ‘gonfanon’, ‘official flag 2)’, ‘state service flag’ and ‘sub-national flag’).
2) See ‘ceremonial standard’ below.

flag of Malopolska, Poland ceremonial flag of Malopolska, Poland flag of Zagan, Poland ceremonial flag of Zagan, Poland
Flag and Ceremonial Flag of Malopolska, Poland (fotw); Flag and Ceremonial Flag of Zagan, Poland (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1), not to be confused with a “flag of ceremony” (the Spanish bandera de ceremonia) which is designed for exclusively indoor use – see ‘indoor flag’.

Also please note with regard to 1), that in East and Central European usage the ceremonial flag of a community is often created as a unique flag – see ‘unique flag’.

A term for the standard, or flag, flown on royal ceremonial occasions in (as far as can be discovered) Kelantan, Malaysia in place of the individual standards of any royal family member present (see also ‘royal standard 1)’, ‘royal standard 2)’ and ‘standard 1)’).

[ceremonial standard]
Ceremonial Standard of Kelantan, Malaysia (fotw)

A term for the ensign, possibly obsolete, flown (in place of a standard state ensign) on ceremonial state occasions by government entities at sea (see also ‘government ensign’ under ‘ensign’).

Please note that, as far as can be discovered, Johore, Malaysia is the only country which may currently still use such a flag.

[ceremonial ensign]
Ceremonial State Ensign, Johore, Malaysia (fotw)

See ‘consecration’.

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