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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Conducting Colours - Cowed)

Last modified: 2010-01-02 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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See ‘colours 5)’.

A simplified form of the Venetian entasis taper in which a flag pole tapers evenly from its base to the truck – but see ‘Venetian entasis taper’ (also ‘flag pole’ and ‘truck’).
A medieval term, now obsolete, for a ‘standard bearer’.

A medieval term, now obsolete, for a ‘gonfanon’.

1) A heraldic term used when two or more charges are joined together so as to touch each other - conjunct, or joinant (see also ‘charge 1)’).
2) See ‘interlaced’.

South Africa - Army flag South Africa - Army arms Flag - Šentilj, Croatia Arms - Šentilj, Croatia
Flag and Emblem of the Army 2002 – 03, South Africa (fotw); Flag and Arms of Šentilj, Croatia (fotw)

Please note – not to be confused with two sets of arms, or elements from those arms, which are impaled by dimidiation – see 'dimidiated' and following note.

See ‘cognisance’’.

The usually religious ceremony at which a new military or other ceremonial colour is dedicated – a service or ceremony of consecration (see also ‘colour 2)’ and ‘parade flag’).

Please note that a ceremony of consecration – particularly that of some non-military colours - may also include the honouring of an individual with the title of God Parent to the flag involved - see ‘flag patron’).

See ‘specification sheet’.

See ‘diplomatic flags’.

[UK consular flag] [UK consular flag]
Consular Officer’s Flags Ashore and Afloat, UK (Graham Bartram)

The first version of what later became the US national flag whose canton consisted of the British 1606 pattern union jack rather than white stars on a blue field, and in unofficial use from 1775 to 1777 – the grand (or occasionally “great”) union, or Cambridge flag (see also ‘Betsy Ross flag’, ‘British flag’, ‘Franklin flag’, ‘gridiron flag’, ‘old glory’, ‘quincunx’, ‘star-spangled banner’ and ‘stars and stripes’).

customs flags
The Continental Colors, US (fotw)

See ‘Appendix V’.

See ‘hoisted flag’.

See ‘fanion 2)’.

1) A length of decorative string or rope made from several twisted strands with tassels at each end, generally made of silk (or a silk-like material) in the livery or national colours (or gold/silver thread), simply knotted or tied a bow at the centre and used to decorate a staff just below the finial (see also ‘finial’, ‘livery colours’, ‘national colours 2)’, ‘staff 2)’ and ‘tassels’).
2) As above but without tassels and used to finish the edges of a flag, usually in the livery or national colours (or gold/silver thread).

The flag whose design forms the basis of other flags, or which inspired the creation of other flags, with a typical two examples being the Arab revolt flag of 1917 and the French tricolore (see also ‘archivexillum’, ‘difference 1)’ ‘flag family’, 'pan-African Colours', 'pan-Arab Colours' and 'pan-Slavic Colours').

Arab Revolt Flag French Tricolore
Arab Revolt Flag 1917 and French Tricolore (fotw)

1) In largely British maritime usage a term, now increasingly obsolete, for a small triangular pennant (see also 'pennant 2)').
2) In largely British RN and some other usage a term, now almost wholly obsolete, for a swallow-tailed flag, particularly a signal flag (see also ‘signal flag’ and ‘swallow-tail(ed)’).
3) A 17th/18th Century generic term, now obsolete, referring to any small, swallow-tailed flag.
4) An alternative form of ‘guidon’, now obsolete, as being the distinguishing flag of a cavalry regiment (see also ‘guidon 2)’).
5) A term, now obsolete, for lowest commissioned rank in the cavalry regiments of some countries (including those of the UK), being that rank responsible for carrying the regiment’s cornet or guidon.

See ‘garbe’.

A term for those flags or banners (differing from the usual royal standard) which are prepared specifically for display at the installation (coronation, swearing-in or simple inauguration) of a monarch and often consisting of the relevant royal arms on a plain field – a “rijksvaandel”, “riksbanner” or “banner of the realm” (see also ‘greater arms’ under ‘arms’ and ‘royal standard(s) 1)’).

coronation banners - Norway
Coronation Flags (riksbanner), Norway 1906 and 1818 (official website)

1) Generically on flags, a crown without a curved bar across the top that may be seen in a wide variety of shapes and circumstances (see also ‘antique crown’, 'civic crown', ‘crown’, 'mural crown' and 'naval crown').
2) Specifically on flags, the term may be used when a hereditary ruler is of a lesser rank than that of crowned monarch - a princely or arch-ducal coronet (bonnet or hat), or similar (see also ‘electoral cap’).
3) In English heraldry a crown without cross bar across the top as 1) above, but also a symbol of nobility whose exact design is dependent upon the rank of the person concerned (see also ‘mantle’).

(Martin Grieve)

Please note that the use of a cross-bar across the top to indicate royal status and to differentiate between a crown and a coronet is of comparatively recent date.

The distinguishing flag of a shore based commercial concern as opposed to that of merchant marine company (see also ‘house flag 1)’ and ‘logo’).

[Corporate flag]
Corporate Flag of Lufthansa, Germany (fotw)

In largely UK usage, a type of processional banner whose symbolism relates to the corporate body of a town council or corporation, or to the community represented – see ‘banner 3)’.

See ‘privateer ensign’.

See ‘appendix VII’ (also ‘cotticed 1)’ below).

1) On flags, a term that may be used to describe the addition of one or more narrow stripes or bands to an existing charge (such as a stripe or cross) but which is separated from that charge by a strip of field - but see note below.
2) In heraldry the term has a rather more restricted/complex use which is briefly described in Appendix VII, however, it is suggested that a suitable glossary or dictionary of heraldry should be consulted for further details.

Svitavy Okres, Czech Republic Naval ensign - Ukraine German Imperial War Flag Koblenzer Rowing Club, Germany
Flag of Svitavy Okres, Czech Republic (fotw); Naval Ensign of Ukraine (fotw); Imperial War Flag 1903 – 1919, Germany (fotw); Flag of Koblenzer Rowing club, Germany (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1) that where the field is not shown between the charge and the cottice (as illustrated below) it should be described as double or triple fimbriated as appropriate (see also ‘fimbriation 1)’).

War ensign of Germany 1938-45 Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub
War Ensign of Germany 1938 – 1945 (fotw); Pennant of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub, Germany (fotw)

See ‘Appendix V’.

The heraldic prefix used when two charges on a shield, banner of arms or flag are turned in contrary directions as in “fleuri-counterfleuri” (see ‘double-tressure’), or when two tinctures are reversed either side of a line or lines drawn through a coat of arms see ‘counterchanged’ (also ‘counterchanged cross’ in ‘appendix VIII’ and ‘counter-compony’).
An abbreviation of the heraldic term compony counter-compony used when an ordinary or border is composed of two rows of squares (or occasionally rectangles) in alternating tinctures – see ‘counter-’ above and ‘compony’ (also ‘checky 1)’, ‘checky 2)’, ‘counterchanged’ below, ‘ordinary’ and ‘tincture’).

lsberg, Switzerland Calfreisen, Switzerland Niemcza, Poland
Flag of Olsberg, Switzerland (fotw): Flag of Niemcza, Poland (Jarig Bakker): Flag of Calfreisen, Switzerland (fotw)

(adj) A basically heraldic term used to describe two colours alternating either side of a line or lines drawn through a flag or coat of arms or charge - parti-coloured (see also ‘charge’, ‘coat of arms 2)’ ‘counter-’, ’counterchanged cross’ in ‘appendix VIII’, ‘counter-compony’ above and ‘faceted’).

[counterchanged] [Greenland] [Maryland, US] [Tubise Belgium]
From left: counterchanged example; Flag of Greenland (CS); Flag of Maryland, USA (CS); Flag of Tubize, Belgium (Ivan Sache)

See ‘sub-national flag’ (also ‘civic flag 2)’.
A French heraldic term for the base of a shield, banner of arms or a flag that is composed of semi-circular mounds, and is intended to represent (usually) three (but up to six) hills – see ‘compartment’ (also ‘mount’).

Arms - Ludbreg, Croatia Flag - Ludbreg, Croatia Arms of Pope Paul VI Oberohrdorf, Switzerland
Arms and Flag of Ludbreg, Croatia (fotw); Arms of Pope Paul VI (Modern Popes); Flag of Oberohrdorf, Switzerland (fotw)

See ‘coupeau’ above.

1) The heraldic term used when a charge is cut off in a straight line as is often the case with the heads and limbs of animals but see 2) below (also 'erased')..
2) A heraldic term that is also used when an ordinary or charge does not extend to the edges of a shield or banner of arms, for example a cross-couped – but see ‘slipped’ (also ‘charge’, ‘cross-couped’ in ‘appendix VIII’, ‘Greek cross 2)’ and ‘ordinary’).

Northern Ireland Andwil, Switzerland Tonga
Unofficial Flag of Northern Ireland (fotw); Flag of Andwil, Switzerland (fotw); National Flag of Tonga (fotw)

That flag (normally, but not exclusively, the national flag of the country being visited) flown from a prominent position on a merchant vessel as a matter of courtesy when visiting a foreign port – a complimentary flag (see also ‘yardarm’).

The term used when a canton obscures the entire width of a stripe or stripes on a multi-striped flag, usually (but not invariably) at the hoist – for example, a square or rectangular canton covering the first three stripes as shown below (see also ‘canton 2)’, ‘multi-stripe 2)’ and ‘multi-stripe 3)’).

Togo Goiás, Brazil
National Flag of Togo (fotw); Flag of Goiás, Brazil (fotw)

Please note that this term is never used alone but always with the number of stripes being covered.

See ‘appendix V’.
See ‘queued’.

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