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

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

The History and Meaning of Graduation Gonfalons

Posted by Alan J. Duro on Jun 19, 2015 9:51:00 AM



When you're attending in or participating in a graduation, there's a lot of symbolism that is often overlooked. The long gowns go back to medieval Europe, when scholars would wear long robes to remain warm in unheated castles. The mace carried by the Grand Marshall goes back to the same time period when bishops were not allowed to carry swords in battle and a mace was carried instead, as a symbol of their authority and as a means of defense. The commencement gonfalon banner and the graduation gonfalons signify the different colleges within a single university

Gonfalons for graduation are banners, often shield-shaped, which hang from a crosspiece on top of a pole. They will bear the same school colors across all the gonfalons, but each college will have a different set of symbols that best represent the historical elements of that college. As an example, a trio of trumpets representing heralds passing news or trumpets as a way of signaling between encampments in the middle ages could be used for a communications program. Some colleges with more modern roots, such as information technology, will use modern symbols instead of more traditional ones, such as a computer instead of a quill pen.

Gonfalons for graduation

Originally used to designate a household, fighting unit or office, gonfalons were the original marketing 

logo. In a time when the vast majority of the population was functionally illiterate, gonfalons were the equivalent of McDonald's golden arches or the Nike swoosh. As the Renaissance and Enlightenment encouraged a more literate and educated population, gonfalons became a popular symbol of educational institutions, where they remain commonly used today. They were also often used in religious processions, hence the modern church gonfalon banner.

If your organization, business or event needs a custom gonfalon for your special events, it can sometimes be difficult to find a manufacturer who can cater to your exact needs. At Accent Banner, we can provide full design services to meet your needs. We've been making high-quality, handmade applique custom gonfalons, flags and banners for over two decades. We're proud to serve the greater Boston area and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today for further information.





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Topics: gonfalon, graduation gonfalons, commencement gonfalon

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