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Dictionary of Vexillology: L (Labarum - Lozengy)

Last modified: 2008-01-05 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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A flag based on the vexillum and combining Christian symbols with those of the Roman military, introduced by the Emperor Constantine in the early 4th Century AD, and later used as an imperial standard (see also ‘vexillum’).

Please note - not to be confused with a cantabrian labarum (see 'cantabrian labarum').

See ‘cadency, mark of’.

[label example]
British Royal Standard Showing the Label of HRH Princess Ann (fotw)

A long light-weight spear with which some cavalry regiments were formerly armed, and upon which the standard or guidon was also carried - now restricted to historical or ceremonial use (see also ‘guidon 1) & 2)’, ‘lance flag’, ‘lance pennon 1)’ and ‘standard 2)’).

A small flag or pennant, usually swallow-tailed or triangular and of generally simple (bicolour) design, formerly carried below the lance head by those cavalry regiments so armed, or currently by some mounted police units in parade dress, and now restricted to historical/ceremonial use - a lance pennon (see also ‘banneret 2)’, ‘pennant 2)’, ‘lance’ and ‘lance pennon 1)’).

[lance flag] [lance flag] [lance flag]
From left: Lance Flag, British c1840; Mounted Police, New South Wales, Australia; Victoria,

Please note that the use of lance-armed cavalry and the general design of their flag or pennant derive from Polish practice – Poland having been the country from which lance-armed light cavalry was adopted in the late 18th century.

1)The term for an armigerous lance flag, either triangular or with a forked tail, carried by a medieval mounted knight (see also ‘armigerous’, ‘banneret 2)’, ‘lance’, ‘lance flag’ and ‘pennoncier’).
2) See ‘lance flag’.

(adj) A term used to describe a rounded fly (see also ‘guidon 3)’, ’fly’, ‘standard 4)’ and ‘standard 5)’).


See 'livery colours' (also 'national colours 2)' and 'state colours 3)').

See ‘linguistic flags’.

See ‘Appendix V’.

In French Naval usage, a tapered pennant in various colours, charged with the Croix de Guerre and having a rounded (or lanceolate) fly, which is flown to indicate that a vessel has received citations for a certain number of military decorations (see also ‘lanceolate’ and ‘pennant 2)’).

[Lanyard pennants]
From left: 6 Citations for the Legion d’Honneur, 1914-18 (fotw); 4-5 Citations for the Mιdaille Militaire 1939-45 (fotw)

1) A metal or plastic flag worn on the dress or coat lapel as a patriotic or political symbol, originally characteristic of the former Soviet Union and of the United States, but now widely used elsewhere.
2) A paper flag see ‘flag day 2)’.

Those flags flown from a vessel that is being launched prior to fitting out, and which in naval usage are generally (but not invariably) of a prescribed type and sequence (see also ‘dressing lines’ and ‘flag exchange’).).

(v) The ceremonial deposit of regimental, unit, service or national colours in a church, cathedral or museum when they are worn out, or when the regiment or military organisation is disbanded (see also ‘colour 2)’ and ‘colours 2)’.

See ‘yacht ensign’ under ‘ensign’.

1) That dimension of a flag which is measured horizontally from the outside edge of the hoist (generally excluding the heading), to the opposite extreme edge of the fly (see also ‘Appendix I’, ‘width’, ‘heading’, ‘hoist’ and ‘fly’).
2) The longer dimension of a stripe or band within a flag – howsoever orientated (see also ‘stripe’).
3) The dimension of an emblem, charge, arms, shield or badge measured horizontally, when it appears on a flag – but see the note below, ‘height’ and ‘width across’ (see also ‘badge’, ‘charge’, ‘emblem’ 'establishment of arms' and ‘shield’).

length example

Please note that definition 3) is given with regard to the consistent use of proportions when describing a flag and its charges, however, it is suggested that when giving the actual dimensions of any such charge the phrase ‘width across’ should be used for its horizontal measurement and the word ‘height’ for its vertical size (see also ‘dimensions’ and ‘proportions’).

See under ‘arms’.

See ‘monogram’.

1) Flag-like images that are intended to link together communities which speak the same language irrespective of national boundaries, and which are usually an amalgam of the national flags concerned.
2) Flags that are intended to represent a link through the use of a common natural language, generally (but not invariably) countries previously held by colonial ties – such as that of the Francophonie.
3) Flags that are intended to represent one of the constructed languages, for example Esperanto.
4) Flag images, usually (but not invariably) those of national flags, which are used on the Internet (and on other documentation) to indicate in which languages the material on a particular site are available for the convenience of the reader.

amalgam flag for English language amalgam flag for German langauge
Amalgam Language Flags for English and German (CS)

Francophonie Esperanto
From left: Flag of the Francophonie; Esperanto flag (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1) that these images do not (as far as is known) exist in cloth.
The term, now obsolete, for a small square flag in the deceased person’s livery colours, usually for use at that person’s funeral (see also ‘badge banner’, ‘livery colours’, ‘great banner’, ‘grumphion’ and ‘bannerole’).

The principal colours (often - but not exclusively - usually the first metal and first tincture) of a coat of arms and generally shown as two or three stripes on flags (see also ‘state colours 3)’, ‘coat of arms 2)’ and ‘rule of tincture’).
2) The principal colours of a flag unrelated to a coat of arms - see ‘national colours 2)’.

[Livery colour example] [Livery colour example] [Livery colour example]
Arms and Flag of Cerklie na Gorenjskem, Slovenia (fotw); The State Arms and National Flag of Germany (fotw)

Please note that the term is derived from the colours – usually taken from a family’s arms - worn as a livery by the servants of that family.

1) A design serving as the symbol of a commercial enterprise or educational establishment, or other entity, that is not a coat of arms, badge or emblem as defined herein (see also ‘badge 1) &-3)’, ‘coat of arms’, ‘corporate flag’, all entries under ‘emblem’, ‘house flag 1)’, ‘institutional flag, official’ and ‘institutional flag, unofficial’).
2) A simplified version of an existing badge or of an emblem that is often used in lieu of these for the same purpose.

[logo flag]
Flag of the Portuguese Railway Company (fotw)

A derogatory term that is intended to describe any flag bearing an emblem, badge, seal, shield or arms upon a plain field – a bed sheet flag or building site flag – but see ‘armorial flag’ and ‘seal flag’ (also ‘armorial bearing’, ‘badge 1) - 3)’, ‘coat of arms 2)’, all entries under ‘emblem’, ‘logo’, ‘plain 2)’ ‘seal’, and ‘shield 1)’).

An originally heraldic term for an even-sided parallelogram or diamond-shape (see also ‘lozengy’).

Please note however, that in heraldry the lozenge is also the escutcheon upon which a woman’s coat of arms is placed (see also ‘armorial bearings’, ‘escutcheon’ and ‘coat of arms’).

A heraldic term for when the field of a banner of arms or shield is covered with diamonds in alternating colours (see also ‘banner’ and ‘lozenge’).

[a Lozengy flag]
Slocum Society International (CS)

Please note however, that on flags this term may also be applied to a field covered with lozenges or diamond shapes set at an angle such as those on the flag of the German state of Bavaria, whereas in heraldic practice these would be lozengy bendy (or bendy sinister).

[a Lozengy flag]
The Arms and Flag of the State of Bavaria, Germany (fotw)

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