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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Confanonerius - Courtesy Flag)

Last modified: 2008-01-05 by phil nelson
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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A medieval term, now obsolete, for a ‘standard bearer’.

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

A basically heraldic term used when two or more symbols or elements from a coat of arms are joined together to form the appearance of a united whole, as in the 1606 pattern of union jack (see also ‘union jack 1)’ and ‘union mark’).

Union flag 1606
The 1606 Pattern of Union Flag, UK (CS)

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 of consecration (see also ‘colour 2)’ and ‘parade flag’).

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 example being the French tricolore (see also ‘archivexillum’, ‘difference 1)’ ‘flag family’, 'pan-African Colours', 'pan-Arab Colours' and 'pan-Slavic Colours').

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.

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)’.

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.
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.

[cotticed example]
Naval Ensign of Ukraine (fotw)

See ‘Appendix V’.

(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)’ and ‘faceted’).

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

See ‘sub-national flag’ (also ‘civic flag 2)’.
1) See ‘Appendix V’.
2) In heraldry, a term sometimes used when an ordinary does not extend to the edges of a shield or banner of arms, for example a cross-couped (see also ‘Greek cross 2)’ and ‘ordinary’).

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’).

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