USA Flag Anatomy and Vexillology Terms

Posted by Derrek Coss on Jan 22, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Do you know the definition of “vexillology?”   If you over heard a discussion between two vexillologists (and we’re sure there are at least two of them) it would likely sound like a conversation in some strange alien language.  Well, hold on to your potatoes folks because we’re about to give you a lesson in vexillology, the scientific study of flags.

 gonfalonsFlag Anatomy and Vexillology Terms

The study of flags is quite interesting. No, seriously it is.  Just, do a  Google search on the term “gonfalon” and you’ll see tons of examples of what we mean. To learn more about gonfalons check out our gonfalon page. 

 

Gonfalon - an elaborate flag, usually of intricate design hung from a crossbar. Gonfalons can be used for a variety of reasons. Often graduation gonfalons are used at high school or college graduations. 

 

 

 

 

Here are some additional flag terms you may find interesting:

 flag terms or parts of a flag

Canton – the upper hoist quarter of a flag (see hoist below)

Charge – an emblem or device added to a flag or shield

Cockade – an ornament (rosette) or other significant colors worn as badge

Field – the background color of a flag or shield

Fimbriation – a thin band of color that separates two other colors

Fly – the half of a flag away from the flagstaff

Hoist – the half of a flag nearest the staff

Jack – a flag flown at the bow of a ship to indicate its nationality

Jolly Roger – common name for flag supposedly used by pirate…Arr

Livery Colors – the main colors of the field and main figure on a coat of arms

Obverse – the side of a flag seen when the staff is on the spectator’s left

Saltire – a diagonal cross

Staff – the pole from which a flag is flown

Fascinating isn’t it? Don’t forget to search “gonfalon” and may, your un-tattered flag always fly true in a stiff breeze.

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Please note the source for the above information is from Flags by Kent Alexander & Dr. Whitney Smith (Consulting Editor), published in 1992 by Mallard Press, NY, NY.

Topics: American flag, flag facts, flag terms, flag repair, U.S. flag, flag history, USA flag, flag parts, flag anatomy, gonfalon, vexillology

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