- CLASS FLAG
- In British RAF usage, the alternative name for a rank flag see
rank flag 1)
- A metal fitting with two arms, which is attached to the lower part of a flagpole
or mast for securing the halyard (see also
flag pole and
- A term for the lower fly corner or both lower corners of a flag particularly
(but not exclusively) a religious/processional banner or similar to which a line
or lines are attached so as to prevent unwanted movement - particularly in windy
conditions (see also banner 3) and
- CLOSE UP (or CLOSED UP)
- (adj) A naval term for when a flag or pennant is hoisted right up to the truck
(see also truck).
- CLOVEN BULLNOSE
- See double tailed descate.
- CLOVEN DESCATEM
- See descate.
- CLUB PENNANT
- A small triangular flag designed to be hung vertically usually charged with
the emblem and livery colours of a sporting club (see also
pennant 2 and
- The Initials for Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black, being the four primary shades
used in the print process to create any colour, and an abbreviation for the four-colour
printing system (see also cable number,
British colour code,
Pantone Matching System and
International Colour Code).
- COACHWHIP PENNANT
- See masthead pennant 2) and
whip pennant 2)).
- A heraldic term that refers to each individual section or quartering on a
shield or banner of arms (see also
- COAT OF ARMS (or COA)
- 1) On flags and generically, the heraldic insignia of an individual or family,
or of a corporate institution such as a nation, province or municipality, or of
a commercial enterprise. In general terms the coat of arms can contain all the
elements that make up a full set of armorial bearings - but see 2) below (also
middle arms and
state arms 1)
- 2) In heraldry, as above but the term only refers to the shield from a full
set of armorial bearings an escutcheon (see also
armorial bearings and
Please note that a full set of armorial bearings
can include (for example) shield, supporters, helmet, torse, crest, mantling,
compartment, motto, collar etc., and whilst many of the terms used are illustrated
in Appendix IV and/or briefly defined herein, it is
suggested that a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted for full details.
Please note also that the emblems of some countries
such as those of Mexico or Italy whilst conforming to the definition of that
term as detailed herein are officially described as coats of arms (see also
- 1) A rosette or bow, generally in national or livery colours, and sometimes
used to decorate a staff below the finial (see also
- 2) A rosette or bow formerly worn by both military personnel and civilians
(largely on the hat or shako) to indicate patriotic or political loyalties and
still sometimes seen the cockade was the precursor of many national flags (those
of Argentina and France being two examples).
- 3) See roundel 1).
The National cockade of Columbia (fotw)
- 1) In flags a medieval term, now obsolete, for a lance pennon - see
lance pennon 1).
- 2) In heraldry as above but the term can include everything by which an
armigerous person is known (see also
- The ceremonial neck-chain of an Order of Knighthood, worn instead of a sash
and emblem on state occasions by members of the highest class of that Order, and
often seen surrounding a royal or princely coat of arms once frequent on royal
standards, a modern example would be the collar of the order of the golden fleece
around the arms on the royal standard of Spain.
The Royal Arms, Spain (fotw)
- COLONIAL FLAGS
- The flags of those areas or countries which in the past were under the political
control of another country, or of the officers appointed to administer that area or
country but see note below (also
and canton flag).
From left: British Honduras 19191981 (fotw);
French Morocco 1919-1956; Portuguese Colonial Governor c19121975 (fotw)
Please note that whilst a number of countries still
posses territory overseas, the term colony (therefore colonial) is no longer used,
with the areas concerned being named an dependent and/or overseas territory, overseas
department or similar, or are considered an integral part of the motherland.
From left: Falklands Islands (fotw); Saba and Curacao,
until Dec 2008 part of the Netherlands Antilles; French Guiana (fotw)
- COLOUR (or COLOR)
- 1) A heraldic term for any tincture (or colour) that is not a metal (see
rule of tincture).
- 2) The official ceremonial flag of a military unit (originally of an infantry unit
only), and in this context it is sometimes used in the plural when referring only
to a single flag regimental colour, unit colour, queens, kings or royal colour,
national or presidential colour etc but see colours 2)
(also company colours,
'presidential colour 2)',
second colour and
stand 1)). see supplemental note
- 3) In some countries (although entirely military in origin) the ceremonial
flag of a non-military organization - such as the police or fire service - that
is entitled (or has assumed the right to bear) to bear such colours - but see also
parade flag and the note below.
Regimental Colour of the Black Watch, UK (Graham
Please note that the self-adopted flags of various
non-governmental or semi-governmental organizations, whilst often being given the
reverence and treatment normally shown to an officially awarded colour, are
strictly speaking parade flags and not colours.
Please note that there are basically three ways
involving a sleeve by which a parade flag or military colour may be affixed to
its staff - with decorative nails (often a precisely regulated number of nails),
by grommet and clip or by tab and hook. Note also however, that the practice of
tying a colour to its staff, or attaching it by cloth loops or metal rings is
still occasionally seen (see also
'tab' and ties).
- COLOUR BEARER (or COLOR BEARER)
- One who bears the regimental, unit, or national colour (see also
standard bearer and
- COLOUR (or COLOR) BELT (or SLING)
- See flag belt.
- COLOUR GUARD (or COLOR GUARD)
- 1) The ceremonial escort of the standard bearer, symbolically responsible
for guarding the colour during a military parade (see also
colour 2) and
- 2) The guard in attendance when the national colours are raised or lowered
ashore or afloat with full ceremony (see also colours 5)).
- 3) See colour party 1) below.
- COLOUR MATCHING SYSTEMS (or COLOR MATCHING
- Whilst a number of systems (international, national and proprietary) for
identifying colours by numbers or names are listed separately herein, several
(particularly national) systems are not - largely because they receive limited
use or that use is apparently restricted to their countries of origin (see also
British Colour Code,
International Colour Code and
Pantone Matching System).
- COLOUR PARTY (or COLOR PARTY)
- 1) In US and some other usage, the standard bearer and colour guard collectively
(see also colour 2), colour guard 1)
and standard bearer).
- 2) In naval usage, the personnel detailed to carry out the ceremonies of morning
and evening colours (see also 'colour guard',
'sunset' and 'colours 5').
- COLOUR SERGEANT (or COLOR SERGEANT)
- In US military usage, the non-commissioned officer who carries the national colour
(see also colour 2) and colours 2)).
Please note that in British military usage this rank, now partially obsolete, had
and has (as far as can be discovered) no specific duties connected with escorting or
guarding the colour or colours. Historically however, the senior sergeants within any
battalion or regiment (for whom the rank was originally instituted) could have such a duty.
- COLOURS (or COLORS)
- 1) Figuratively any national flag.
- 2) In UK and US practice (and in some other cases), one or both of the flags
issued simultaneously to a military unit (see
colour 2), company colours,
stand 1) and note below).
- 3) Generally at sea, any flag that denotes nationality.
- 4) Specifically at sea, the ensign of a merchant vessel, or the suit of flags
worn by a warship (see also ensign and
suit of flags).
- 5) The ceremony of hoisting the ensign and jack particularly (but not exclusively)
aboard a warship or naval shore establishment morning colours, conducting or
making colours (see also sunset).
- 6) The combination of colours whether metal or tincture - derived from the personal or house flag of an individual,
company or association (see also Appendix III, 'house flag 3)' and
'personal flag 3)').
Please note, that in military forces where it is customary
for some or all units to carry a pair of colours, the first of these colours now generally
represents the head of state or the state itself and is known - depending on the country
concerned - as the king's, queen's, sovereign's, royal, national, president's, presidential,
or state colour. The second represents the unit itself and is known as the regimental,
battalion, squadron, organizational, or unit colour. The first type of colour is generally
(but not invariably) based on the design of the national flag, and in a few cases (such as
in the British and Canadian regiments of foot guards) it is the regimental colour that
derives from the design of the national flag. In addition, in some countries a single
distinctive colour carried by some military forces (such as the British Royal Navy or the
Indian Air Force) may be designated as a sovereign's (king's, queen's) or president's colour.
- COLOURS OF DEFIANCE (or COLORS OF DEFIANCE)
- See flag of defiance.
- COMMAND FLAG
- See flag of command.
- COMMAND PENNANT
- 1) In naval usage, a generally triangular and/or swallow-tailed pennant flown
at sea that, unlike a flag of command, broad pennant or burgee command pennant,
does not replace the masthead pennant but which signifies an officer in command
of other ships who is below the rank of commodore a group command pennant, flotilla
command pennant, senior officers pennant, squadron command pennant and others
(see also broad pennant,
burgee command pennant,
flag of command,
masthead pennant 1),
private ship and
senior officer afloat pennant).
- 2) In US usage, a unit equivalent to the above but of aviation or marine forces.
From left; Squadron Command Pennants: UK (Graham Bartram); Denmark (fotw);
Flotilla Command Pennant: Netherland (CS)
Please note - not to be confused with the senior officer afloat
pennant which (certainly in the case NATO and related services, and of countries whose navy
bases its traditions on those of the RN) is only flown whilst alongside or in harbour.
Note also, that a distinction has been drawn between the standard masthead pennant flown
by commissioned warships (occasionally called a pennant of command), and the command
pennants as defined above that are flown subordinate to it.
- COMMENDATION BANNER
- See banner 5).
- COMMENDATION FLAG (or PENNANT)
- See award flag.
- COMMEMORATIVE FLAG
- A flag made to celebrate or to mark a particular occasion, such as an anniversary,
holiday or international congress - an occasional flag.
From left: Golden Jubilee of HM The Queen 2002, UK; Centennial Flag 1876, US; 17th International
Congress of Vexillology, RSA (fotw)
- COMMERCIAL FLAG
- See house flag 1) and
- COMMISSIONING or COMMISSION PENNANT
- See masthead pennant 1). see supplemental
- COMMODORES BROAD PENNANT
- See broad pennant.
- COMPANY COLOURS
- Small additional colours carried by foot regiments of the British and Canadian
Brigade of Guards, and a survival of the general 16th/17th Century practice of
carrying a colour for each company in a regiment camp colours or silks (see
also camp colour 1),
Please note that a regimental stand of nine colours
was not unknown for an English regiment of foot in the mid-17th Century.
- COMPANY FLAG
- See corporate flag.
- A heraldic term for the symbolic base upon which a shield and supporters rest
in a full set of armorial bearings (see also Appendix IV,
coat of arms).
- In the International Code of Signals, two or more flags or pennants added
to a basic signal to give clarity or precision to the message (see also
international code of signal flags,
international code of signals and
- COMPLETE (ARMORIAL) ACHIEVEMENT
- See armorial bearings.
- COMPLIMENTARY FLAG
- See courtesy flag.
- CONDUCTING COLOURS
- See colours 5).