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Dictionary of Vexillology: O (Obverse - Owner Absent Flag)
Last modified: 2008-01-05 by phil nelson
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- The face, or more important side, of a flag; and in the Western tradition
always depicted with the hoist to the observers left - the dexter in heraldry.
Please note however, that in Arabic tradition the
flag is generally depicted with the hoist to the observers right the sinister
in heraldry (see also sinister;
- OCCASIONAL FLAG
- See commemorative flag.
- OFF-CENTRED CROSS
- 1) Generically see Scandinavian Cross.
- 2) Specifically, a cross of the Scandinavian-type that is used on a flag which is not
from, or has no connection with that region, or whose vertical arm is centred but whose
horizontal arm is closer to the top or bottom of the flag.
From left: Hong Kong Christians (fotw); Volyinia,, Ukraine (fotw); Thunstetten, Switzerland (fotw)
- OFFICERS FLAGS
- In US usage and some others, those flags that are flown by the past and present
officers of a club, especially of a yacht or boating club yacht officers flags
(but see also broad pennant 2)).
From left: Yacht Commodore, US (fotw); Yacht Vice Commodore,
US (fotw); Yacht Rear Commodore, US (fotw); Yacht Past Commodore, US (fotw)
- OLD GLORY
- 1) Generally a poetic nickname for the US national flag the Stars and Stripes (see
also Betsy Ross flag,
star-spangled banner and
stars and stripes).
- 2) Specifically referring to a US national flag bearing 34 stars and a small white anchor,
reputedly belonging to a Captain William Driver.
Captain Drivers Flag (fotw)
- See 'banderole 2)'.
- See name pennant.
- OPTICAL PROPORTIONS
- A term used when the relative dimensions of a series of stripes progressively
widen between the hoist and the fly in order to appear even when the flag is flying,
or where a charge is set slightly towards the hoist so that it appears to be centred
under the same circumstances two examples would be the national flag of France for
use at sea, and the federal service flag of Germany (see also
proportions 2) and
National Ensign of France (fotw); Federal Service Flag of Germany (fotw)
- A heraldic term for the metal gold, generally (but not invariably) shown as
yellow in flags, or sometimes as gold leaf or metallic paint, or in an embroidered
design, as gold thread (see also Appendix III
and rule of tincture).
- A heraldic term used to describe a simple charge on a shield or banner of
arms. The honourable (or main) ordinaries are said to be the chief, cross, pale,
saltire, fess, pile, chevron, quarter and bend, and whilst these terms are briefly
described separately herein, it is suggested that a suitable glossary or dictionary
of heraldry be consulted for full or further details.
- ORGANIZATIONAL COLOUR (or COLOR)
- See colour 2) and
- ORGANIZATIONAL FLAG
- 1) Generically, the flag of a non-profit making organization of national rather
than international significance, or of the national/district branch of an international
entity, for example the UK National Trust or the Boy Scouts of America (see also
international flag 1)).
- 2) Specifically, in US army usage see
parade flag (also colour 2)
and colours 2).
From left: The National Trust, UK (Bartram); The Boy Scouts of
America, US (fotw)
- The gonfanon of St Denis, the war flag of medieval France and reputedly adapted
from that of Charlemagne. The exact design is uncertain and has been variously
described; however, it was almost certainly of red silk, possibly triple-tailed
and charged with a number of gold disks surrounded by red roses outlined in blue
the auriflamma (see also gonfanon).
One interpretation of the Oriflamme (CS)
- ORIGINAL FLAG
- See type flag.
- 1) (Adj) Generically a term meaning rectangular or pertaining to or involving right angles.
- 2) (Adj) In vexillology a term which may be used when the arms of a saltire or objects placed
per saltire - are set at right angles to each other (particularly when the flag upon which it
or they - appear is rectangular rather than square), and when the fork in the fly of a swallowtail
forms a right angle at the crutch (see also crutch,
House Flag of the British India Steam Navigation Co, UK (CS)
- OUTRIGGER FLAG
- In German speaking, Central European and some other usage, the term which covers a
long vertically orientated (often but by no means invariably) commercial flag that is
fixed both along its hoist to the flagpole and along
the top edge to a horizontal arm - but see also
framed flag 1) (also
hanging flag and
vertically hoisted flag).
Please note that this type of flag is also a framed flag,
that the term used here is a direct translation of the German auslegerflagge,
and should not be confused with a flag hung from an outrigger pole.
- OUTRIGGER POLE
- The term for a flagpole that projects from the side of a building at an upward
angle, usually equipped with a halyard but is sometimes removable and fitted with
clips to attach the flag directly (see also halyard
and tangle rod).
- OVERALL (or OVER ALL)
- 1) On flags, a term used when a charge (generally but not exclusively reaching the
edges of the flag) is placed over another design, as in for example, the bend on the
Artigas flag of Uruguay (see also charge).
- 2) In heraldry, the term can be used when a charge is placed over other charges,
or over a parti-coloured field, or when an escutcheon is placed over four or more quarters
(see also escutcheon,
From left: The Artigas Flag, Uruguay (fotw); Shield (CS)
Please note not to be confused with dressing overall
(see dress ship).
- OWNER ABSENT FLAG
- In US usage the practice, almost certainly obsolete, of flying a plain blue flag
from the starboard yardarm (or spreader) of a pleasure vessel when the owner is absent
an absence pennant (see also
guest on board flag,
meal pennant and
Owner Absent Flag, US (fotw)
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