Gonfalon: shapes, options, & accessories

Posted by Accent Banner on Feb 13, 2019 9:25:00 AM

AccentBanner_Lesley Gonf_BckdrpGonfalons, commonly referred to as graduation banners, have long been a staple of commencement ceremonies across the world. There seems to be nothing else that expresses as much elegance or honor as one feels when watching a class of graduates marching down the aisle led by a gonfalon displaying their department or college name proudly. Accent Banner has been supplying schools and organizations around the globe with applique, print, or hybrid (a combination of applique and print) gonfalons for years. In this blog we discuss the most common gonfalon shapes, sizes, options, and accessories.

UNE Gonfalons1Every gonfalon produced is custom to the client’s needs, any size or shape can be achieved. However, common sizes of gonfalons when used to march down the aisle as well as displayed are 24”W x 42”H or 36”W x 60”H. These sizes are large enough for the gonfalon to be read from a distance yet small enough to walk with. Keep in mind we can produce whatever size and shape works best for your commencement ceremony. Recently we produced gonfalons so large they were used as backdrops!

AccentBanner_HUGE Gonf









Typically, gonfalons have a vertical orientation and are either rectangular with a flat bottom, a swallowtail bottom, or a triangle tip bottom. Similarly, to the sizing of a gonfalon, one can request any shape or orientation they desire. For some a horizontal orientation works best. It all just depends on how you intend to use them and where you intend to display them.UMass Grad

Typical gonfalon options include:
-    A pole sleeve along the top
-    A button hole in the pole sleeve to expose the crossbar hardware
-    A chain or lightweight dowel sewn into the bottom sleeve of rectangular gonfalons
-    A Velcro strap on the back for connecting to a vertical pole
-    Fringe along both sides and the bottom or the just the bottom

No gonfalon is complete without accessories. Consider how you intend on using and displaying the gonfalon to determine which of the accessories below best fit your needs.
-    Vertical wood pole
-    Horizontal wood crossbar
-    Acorn ornaments for the top of the vertical pole and ends of the crossbar
       Note: various decorative ornaments are available as well
-    Brass hook and eye hardware for connecting the crossbar to the vertical pole
-    Weighted stand or base

Gonfalons X2BBHS Gonfalonconcordia

There are many options to gonfalons but don’t let that deter you! Accent Banner has been in the gonfalon game for a long time and are happy to help guide you through the process. Once you have our custom-made gonfalons on display your commencement ceremony will look better than ever!


PISD_Graduation2Request A Quote!

Topics: appliqued banners, applique, sewn banners, event banners, gonfalon, custom banner, custom banners, custom gonfalons, graduation gonfalons, commencement gonfalon, graduation, commencement banner, gonfalons, graduation banners, custom graduation banners, hybrid banner, gonfalon hardware

Customer Spotlight: UMASS-Boston Gonfalon Project

Posted by Fred Huffman on Oct 4, 2016 7:09:00 AM

Custom Graduation Gonfalons for UMass Boston

Accent Banner has a strong relationship with the Athletic and Special Events Departments at the University of Massachusetts – Boston located at Columbus Point. The UMass Boston campuses is the third largest in the University of Massachussetts System. The special events department handles plans and executes the annual graduation ceremonies.


Type of Project: college gonfalons

Accent Banner was selected to produce a gonfalon and parade banner for the new academic programs within the University. The banners were displayed and carried at their commencement ceremony as the students walked down the aisle to graduate.

Accent Banner also provides custom gonfalons and parade banners for new courses of study such as the Honors College and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.




"Dear Accent Banner, Thank you for helping to make commencement a special day for all of our graduates. The banners looked beautiful and they contributed to the festive atmosphere at the TD Garden ceremony and at our on campus ceremonies."

 - UMASS Boston 




Customer’s Needs and Goals with the Project: 

The intention fo this project was to provide a product that would indentify each college's group of graduating students with in UMass Boston as well as reinforce the University's branding and identity. Accent Banner provide a series of banners that achieved the intended result and supported the graduation's aesthetic theme and high quality of the graduation banner program.


Our Solution:

Several years ago Accent Banner worked with UMass Boston to design a gonfalon and parade banner format that could be customized to each college's branding guidelines. In other words every college within the University uses the same style of gonfalon and banner, however each one displays a different college name and color scheme. For the 2016 graduation, we introduced the School for the Environment with a new color. Nylon was used for the appliqued gonfalon and banners. Nylon is durble, washable, and is available in a variety of colors. A perfect fit for this type of project.


So What Makes this Project Special? 

graduation-banners.jpgThe UMB gonfalon & banner solution was unique at one time but now it perpetuates their current graduation branding, theme and tradition. This process can remain the same until UMB decides to change their graduation branding.

Accent Banner is the preferred vendor for the project because we are able to deliver their product under a tight production schedule without sacrificing our high standards of quality. Putting it simply, we provide a good product and customer service experience making the entire process easy on our contacts at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.



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Topics: gonfalon, custom banner, custom gonfalons

The Gonfalon: A Brief History

Posted by Alan J. Duro on Jun 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The Gonfalon: A Brief History


The gonfalon developed from the Roman vexillum, a square, flag-like banner that was used in the Roman military. Constructed of rough linen cloth with a fringe at the bottom, it was a symbol of the fighting unit, revered in some units more than others. The fringed edge is also common to the gonfalon, and may have been added to weight the bottom of the banner to keep its design more visible, to create drip points for water to flow off the banner or both.Though we've become accustomed to seeing graduation gonfalons and similar banners over the years, we don't often think about the history behind this type of banner. Reaching the peak of their popularity during the Middle Ages, gonfalons were developed as a heraldry device. During a time when the majority of the population was illiterate, custom gonfalons were used to advertise what goods or services a business offered, to differentiate an army or regiment on the field of battle from other fighting groups or as a heraldic device for a household, neighborhood or town.

Gonfalons were also commonly used in religious circumstances, the style of which we see today in church banners. Typically created of canvas and occasionally from silk, gonfalons were displayed during processions and hung on sanctuary walls for ceremonies or during particular points in the church year. It was considered an act of worship to carry the gonfalon during a procession. Images of the saints were commonly used to decorate gonfalons for religious orders, guilds and places of worship.

The gonfalon was painted using a tempera or oil-based paint, though there are some examples of appliqued or embroidered gonfalons, especially in military use where they saw hard service. During the plague, processions that included plague gonfalons were held in the hope of divine intervention against the terrible disease.

Gonfalons for Graduation

 Custom Gonfalons for Graduation

Today we commonly see custom gonfalons in university settings, where we still see them displayed at commencement ceremonies. They are a showing of school pride and hertigage. 

Accent Banner has been serving the Boston area for over 20 years by providing high quality banners, gonfalons and flags for a variety of purposes. Please contact us for a free quote or for details on creating a professional banner or flag for your business or event.





Pole Banner Guide


Topics: gonfalon, custom gonfalons


The design of a flag refers to the elements of its aesthetics like colors, layout, size, decorations and lighting. The effective combination of these elements results in enticing and captivating clients and consumers in the hopes of higher purchase probability. A brand is an identifiable entity that makes specific and consistent promises of value and results in an overall experience for the consumer. This entity can include names, terms, signs, symbols, designs, shapes, colors or a combination of these elements. elements. A flag may be the first presence of a brand that consumers or clients encounter. The purpose of this flag is to let consumers or clients identify with the products or services of a seller, differentiating them from those of competitors, and thereby provide value to the consumers. Flags have become an integral part of luxury retailing especially in fashion and this is crucial for representing brand identity and meeting the expectations of shoppers. The store is often the first point of real physical contact between consumers and brands.


A brand’s identity is communicated through the store concept with signs, floor layout, product displays etc., creating and harmonizing a brand image that leads to an internal judgement of the brand by consumers. This branding concept highlights the importance of a flag for retail stores. If a consumer sees the flag outside the luxury store and visits the store afterwards, they would expect synchronicity between the image that they already have in their mind based on the flag and what they see and experience in the store. The flag is like the cover of a book and the store is the actual book contents. The story should be in accord with the cover.


A luxury retail or corporate company caters to a niche consumer and advertisements are tailored towards a specific consumer market. The advertisements are a means of communicating the brand’s story, starting from history and development to personality and image, including products and services. For example it is common to find the flags of luxury stores in streets like Bond Street where most of the consumers in full time employment use public transport in and out of central London daily. Luxury brands achieve a strategic objective by hanging their flags where the target consumers commute. Another example could be Newbury St, where consumers regularly commute or work in and around Back Bay area of Boston.


At Accent Banner we provide what luxury retail and corporate companies need by providing customization of flags and banners. We will adapt our services and the custom products we provide to meet your individual requirements. We can tailor the offerings of our company to provide multiple choices and variety in such a way that your company will be able to achieve the brand recognition you are looking for. We understand the need of the market and the recognition and appreciation your brand needs.

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