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Dictionary of Vexillology: T (Trade Union Banner - Type Flag)

Last modified: 2010-01-02 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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See ‘banner 3)’.

A flag, as opposed to a banner as defined herein, that is representative of a trade union or an affiliation of such unions (see also ‘banner 3)’).

Metal Industry Union, German General Labour Confederation, Columbia Union of Italian Trade
Metal Industry Union, Germany (fotw); General Labour Confederation, Columbia (fotw); Union of Italian Trade (fotw)

Please note that, in both historical and/or contemporary terms, a trade union flag and a political flag can often be very closely linked – see ‘political flag 2)’.

1) In UK military and some other usage, a term for marching with a colour or flag dragging on the ground, or standing in that position, and is employed as a mark of respect to the head of state at funerals or as a token of victory in a parade of captured enemy colours – but see ‘vailing’ (also ‘dipping 1)’).
2) An uncommon method of saluting using a flag hoisted on a pole - the flag is lowered until it just touches the ground for a few seconds, and then raised smartly - practiced in some monarchies as a salute to a member of the royal family.

An alternative term for the sinister edge of a vertically hung banner or a gonfalon – see ‘sinister edge’.

Please note, that this term has been introduced by the Editors as a vexillogical alternative to the heraldically derived ”sinister edge”.

A medieval term, now obsolete, for a banner on a crossbar.

The heraldic term used when a charge or animal has been pierced with an arrow, sword, lance or other weapon (see also ‘pierced 2)’).

Wolfenschiessen, Switzerland flag of Lipnica, Poland arms of Lipnica, Poland flag of Sencur, Slovenia arms of Sencur, Slovenia
Flag of Wolfenschiessen, Switzerland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Lipnica, Poland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Sencur, Slovenia

‘See ‘reversed 2)’.

A heraldically derived term for when the charge on a flag is shown as being rotated 90 degrees from the position in which it is usually seen.

[transversant cross example] [transversant shield example]

1) A charge similar to a triangle but with the apex squared, as in the flag of Kuwait (see also ‘triangle’).
2) The term used to describe a triangular pennant whose apex is squared (see also ‘pennant 2)’.

[Kuwait - Trapezium example] Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes US
National Flag of Kuwait (fotw); Pennant of the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes, US (fotw)

The heraldic term for a charge in the form of a stylized flower or plant with three petals or leaves, and which is almost invariably shown bearing a stalk (see also ‘cinquefoil’, ‘cloverstems’, ‘cross botonny’ in ‘appendix VIII’ and ‘quatrefoil’)

Mladenovac Serbia Malkov Czech Republic Trpinja Croatia
From left: Mladenovac, Serbia; Malkov, Czech Republic; Trpinja, Croatia (fotw)

Please note that a cloverleaf and the traditional Irish emblem – a shamrock – are also a trefoils.

See ‘cross bottony’ in ‘appendix VIII’.

See ‘double-tressure’, (also ‘orle’ and following note).

An almost invariably horizontal charge whose apex lies along the meridian, and which may extend up to or slightly exceeding one-half the length of a flag, but whose base usually occupies the full width of the hoist – a simple or hoist-triangle. When the base is on the fly it may be called a reversed or fly-triangle, when parallel to the lower edge of a flag it may be called an ‘upright triangle’ and when parallel to the upper edge an inverted triangle, but in these latter two cases the base generally occupies only a proportion of a flag or panel’s length  (see also ‘meridian’).

Kαjov, Czech Republic Bahia, Brazil St Lucia

Flag of Kαjov, Czech Republic (fotw); Flag of Bahia, Brazil (fotw); National Flag of St Lucia

Please note, however, that a triangle whose apex and base touch opposite edges of the flag should be considered a pile (see ‘pile’).

See ‘pile 1)’.

A term used to describe the fly of a flag or bottom edge of a gonfalon when it is in the form of a straight-sided triangle (see also ‘gonfalon 1)’ and ‘triangular-ended tails’ below).

[gonfalon showing triangular-ended]
Gonfalon of Bošnjaci, Croatia (Željko Heimer)

A term used to describe the fly of a flag or bottom edge of a gonfalon that is cut into two or more straight-sided tails or tongues with triangular ends (see also ‘gonfalon 1)’, ‘square-tailed’ ‘tongue(s)’ and and ‘triangular-ended’ above).

[Triband example]
Gonfalon of Labor, Croatia (Željko Heimer)

The sub-national flag of any group which shares an ethnic origin, but which is not internationally recognized as independent – but see ‘national flag 2)’ and ‘political flag 1)’ (also ‘sub-national flag’).

[tribal flags illustration]
From left: Navaho Nation, US (fotw); Arapaho Nation, US (fotw); Chickasaw Nation, US (fotw)

Please note that a tribal flag may also be a political flag under certain circumstances, and that some tribal flags may be considered as national flags dependent upon the legal status and/or ambitions of the tribal group concerned.

[tribal flags which serve as political or national flags]
From left: The Kurds, Iraq (fotw); The Aboriginals, A National Flag of Australia Under The Law (CS)

1) A flag of three parallel stripes or bands but using only two colours. These stripes may be disposed vertically, horizontally or diagonally, be of equal or unequal width and be either defaced or plain – a three-striped flag or tiercι (see also ‘deface’, ‘plain 2)’, ‘stripe’, ‘striped’, ‘tiercι’, ‘tricolour’ and ‘width 2)’).
2) An undefaced flag with three equal parallel stripes or bands using two colours – a simple triband (see also ‘undefaced’).
3) Informally, any flag of three parallel stripes or bands in either two colours or three. These stripes may be disposed vertically, horizontally or diagonally, be of equal or unequal width and be either defaced or plain – but see notes below.

[Triband example]
National Flag of Nigeria (fotw)

[Triband example]
Flag of Norfolk Island (fotw)

[Triband example]
Flag of Andalusia, Spain

[Triband example]
Flag of Parana, Brazil,
1892-1905 (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1) and 2), that the Editors have drawn a distinction between flags with three parallel stripes and three colours and those having three parallel stripes and only two colours, with the definitions for tricolour and triband having been carefully drawn up using all available sources, however, please see further note below.

With regard to 3) it should be further noted that this definition includes not only all flags detailed in 1) and 2) above, but also those described under ‘tricolour’, and it is strongly suggested that these entries be consulted before usage.

A term sometimes applied to a flag of three stripes.

Please note however, before using this term it is suggested that the entry on bar in Appendix VI and/or a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted.

The national flag of Italy, see ‘tricolour 2)’.

The national flag of France, see ‘tricolour 2)’.

1) See also ‘deface’, ‘plain 2)’, ‘stripe’, ‘striped’, ‘tiercι’, ‘triband’ and ‘width 2)’).
2) 2) An undefaced flag with three equal parallel stripes or bands of different colours – a simple tricolour – for example: the national flag of France - le tricolore, the national flag of Italy - la tricolore or that of the Netherlands - the driekleur - but see the second note below (also ‘undefaced’ and ‘princeflag’).

[Tricolor example] [Tricolor example] [Tricolor example] [Tricolor example] [Tricolor example]
National Flag of France (CS); National Flag of the Netherlands; National Flag of the Congo (fotw); National Flag of Ecuador (fotw); National Flag of St Vincent (fotw)

Please note that the definition of tricolour (as given herein) is restricted to flags of three colours disposed in three parallel stripes, and that flags that do not fall into this category are defined elsewhere. The Editors have also drawn a distinction between flags with three parallel stripes and three colours, and those consisting of three parallel stripes but only two colours, with the definitions for tricolour and triband having been carefully drawn up using all available sources, however this distinction is not always observed (see also ‘triband 3)’).

With regard to 2) please also note that many national flags, in addition to the three examples given above, are referred to as a “tricolour” in their respective languages.

A term that is used to describe the (layered) cross of the Catholic Order of the Holy Trinity in which a blue horizontal arm is overlaid by a red vertical. (see also 'layered cross' and 'layered saltire').

Trinitarian Cross
The Order of the Holy Trinity (Wiki)

The term for a charge, particularly (but not exclusively) a cross or saltire, that is divided longitudinally into three parts in three different colours, as in the flag of Dominica – triparted or triple-parted (see also ‘cross 3)’, ‘layered cross’ and ‘layered saltire’).

[Dominica - Tripartite example] [Guatavita Colombia]
From left: National Flag of Dominica (fotw); Flag of Guatavita, Colombia (fotw)

1) See ‘papal cross’
2) See ‘orthodox cross’.

See ‘coupeau’ (also ‘mount’).

See ‘cotticed 1)’ and following note (also ‘fimbriated’).

See ‘coupeau’ (also ‘mount’).

The term for a 17th Century Dutch naval flag of usually (but not invariably) nine even, horizontal stripes in the Dutch national colours repeated – but see ‘double-prince’ (also ‘princeflag’ and ‘tricolour 3)’)

triple prince eleven stripe triple prince
From left: Triple Prince c1660 (fotw); With Eleven Stripes c1660 (fotw)

Please note however, whilst all available evidence suggests that red, white and blue were employed, orange instead of red may have been used at an earlier stage.

1) See ‘swallow-tail and tongue’.
2) A term that should be used when a flag has three tails or tongues whose width and lengths are of equal size (see also ‘length 2)’, ‘tongues’ and ‘width 2)’).

[Triple-tailed example]
Naval Ensign of Estonia (fotw)

(adj) A term used to describe a fly that is cut into three tails with rounded ends (see also ‘double-tailed descate’, ‘fly’, ‘gonfanon’, ‘guidon 2)’, ‘standard 4)’, ‘swallowtail’, ‘swallowtail and tongue’ and 'tongue(s)).

[Triple-tailed descate example]

See ‘appendix V’.

An originally mystical sign of ancient origin that consists of three symbols emanating from a central point, and of which the three-legged symbol on the flag of the Island of Man is almost certainly an adaptation.

[Triskelion example]
From left; Flag of the Isle of Man, UK (Martin Grieve); Sicilian; Celtic

A military ceremony at which the colour is marched past assembled troops (see also ‘colour 2)’ and ‘colours 2)’).

A flag captured in battle and displayed as a trophy – a captured flag (see also ‘stand 2)’).

1) The wooden block or metal plate at the top of a flagpole (or mast) below the finial, which includes a pulley (sheaved block) or a hole for the halyard - often incorrectly used as a synonym for the ball or other finial at the top of that flagpole (see also ‘Appendix I, ‘finial’, ‘flag pole’, ‘halyard’ and ‘sheaved block’).
2) A short pole flexibly mounted on top of a mast for the flying of a flag or pennant at sea and ashore – a pigstick (see also 'masthead, at the').

See ‘bannerette’.

A tuft of hair, feathers or other similar materials used in the same manner as a flag (see also ‘vexilloid 1)’).

Please note that the term is taken from the ancient Roman tufa which is considered to have been a helmet crest, and to have been adopted in Britain as the tuuf.

1) An Ottoman vexilloid, now obsolete, of Mongoloid/Turkic origin that symbolized civil or military authority, and consisted of a number of yak or horsetails at the top of a staff - a horsetail standard (see also ‘horsetail’, ‘standard 5)’ and ‘vexilloid 2)’).
2) See ‘toug’.

Please note that the schellenbaum in use by German Army bands and some others, although also descended from the Ottoman horsetail standard, is a musical instrument and not a vexilloid.

[Schellenbaum] Source: National Music Museum, used with permission

The term used in Eastern European heraldry – and a direct translation of the Polish pσltrzecia krzyza – that describes a Cross of Lorraine which has a third arm projecting on one side only - usually the sinister (see also ‘cross 2)’, ‘cross of Lorraine’, ‘orthodox cross’ and ‘papal cross’).

Arms - Jablonna, Poland Flag - Jablonna, Poland Arms - Legionowo, Poland Flag - Legionowo, Poland Arms - Wojaszσwka, Poland Flag - Wojaszσwka, Poland
Arms and Alternative Flag of Jablonna, Poland (fotw); Arms and Flag of Legionowo, Poland (fotw); Arms and Flag of Wojaszσwka, Poland (fotw)

1) A term used when the reverse of a flag differs from its obverse (see also ‘obverse’ and ‘reverse’).
2) See ‘double-sided’.

Paraguay obverse Paraguay reverse Moldova reverse Moldova reverse
The Obverse and Reverse of the National Flag of Paraguay (fotw); The Obverse and Reverse of the National Flag of Moldova (fotw and CS)

A model of pattern and colour, often fixed by law, after which actual flags are manufactured  - an etalon flag (see also ‘flag law’, ‘official flag 1)’, ‘specification’ and ‘specification sheet’).

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