- RACE (or RACING) SIGNALS (or RACE COMMITTEE FLAGS)
- Those flags flown by a racing committee, and used to signal conditions, intentions or
instructions to race competitors (see also
‘international code of signal flags’,
‘prize flag’ and
‘racing flag 1)’).
Individual and General Recall - Flag X (X-Ray) and First Substitute in the ICS; Disqualified (fotw and CS)
- RACING FLAG
- 1) A flag flown from a yacht that is taking part in a race, and struck
if it withdraws or when it crosses the finish line (see also
‘race signals’ and
2) See ‘race signals’.
“I Intend to Protest” and “Boat Incurring Penalty” (CS)
- (adj) The heraldic term for rays that expand from a central point, but
which may also be applied to other charges and to ordinaries that are
similarly arranged – rayonné or rayonnant - but see
‘radiated’ and the note below (also
Flag of Tibet (fotw); Flag and Arms of Zakliczyn, Poland (Jarig Bakker)
Please note that the vexillogical term for rays spreading out from a central
point is radiating – see ‘radiating 1)’.
- RADIAL ORIENTATION
- A term that may be used to describe the orientation of a charge, particularly (but not
exclusively) that of a star - for example: the star and crescent on the national flag of Pakistan
are placed on a diagonal line bisecting its green panel, whilst the star on the national flag of
Turkey is orientated towards the hoist and that on the flag of Sarawak has one point along the
diagonal meridian – the rotational position (see also ‘star 1)’).
National Flag of Pakistan (fotw); National Flag of
Turkey (fotw); Flag of Sarawak (fotw)
- (adj) A heraldic term used when rays are seen issuing from a charge for example the Madonna radiated
as shown below but see ‘radiant’ (also ‘radiating’ and
Arms of Glogów. Poland (Jarig Bakker); Flag of Šuto Orizari, Macedonia (fotw); Flag of Ferden, Switzerland (fotw)
- 1) (adj) Rays spreading out from a central point and widening towards the
edge of a flag as in, for example, the naval ensign of Japan, or the flag of the
US State of Arizona – but see ‘beam(s) 1)’
and the note below (also ‘active’,
‘inactive’, ‘radiant’, ‘radiated’,
‘sunburst’, and compare with
- 2) See ‘expanding stripe(s)’ (also ‘converging stripes’).
- 3) (adj) A group of objects or charges placed in an arc (usually from one fixed point)
as in the national flags of China and Adygea.
From left: Flag of Arizona, USA (fotw); National Flag of the Seychelles (fotw); Naval Ensign of Japan
National Flag of China (fotw); National Flag of Adygea, Russia (CS)
Please note with regard to 1) that the heraldic term for rays spreading out from a central point is radiant –
- RAGGED CROSS (or RAGGED CROSS OF BURGUNDY)
- A traditional symbol of Burgundy and later Spain, and a cross (more accurately saltire) composed of diagonal bars with small projections – a burgundy cross, cross raguly
or ragged cross of burgundy – see ‘raguly’ (also ‘saltire’).
Spanish Naval Flag 16-17th C (fotw); Flag of the
Ferrol Squadron 1732-1760, Spain (fotw);
Infantry Colour 1693, Spain (fotw)
- A heraldic term meaning any number of small regular projections set an angle
on both sides (or on one side only) of a bar, cross or saltire and thought to
represent a roughly trimmed branch – see ‘ragged cross’.
Flag of Riedern, Switzerland (fotw);
Flag and Arms of Libkov, Czech Republic (fotw);
Flag of Gloucester, Canada (fotw); Flag of
Damara, Namibia (fotw)
- RAINBOW COLOURS (or COLORS)
- See ‘dressing lines’ (also
- RAINBOW FLAG
- 1) One of several flags showing the colours of the rainbow, with three prominent examples being the gay pride flag
illustrated below and those of the Italian and British peace movements illustrated under peace flag
(see also ‘multi-stripe’.
2) An unofficial nickname for the national flag of South Africa.
From left: The Current Gay Rights Flag; The Flag of
Cusco, Peru (fotw); National Flag of
South Africa (fotw)
Please note that the rainbow flag was also the symbol of the International Cooperative Movement from 1925 - 2001.
Flag of the International Cooperative Movement 1925 – 2001 (fotw)
- 1) The act of having displayed a flag.
- 2) See ‘enhanced’
- RAISED DETAIL
- A term used for the increasingly obsolete practice of inserting a layer of padding
between the surface of a military colour (or of a flag) and its (usually but not invariably)
embroidered main charge in order to give a three dimensional effect – a padded emblem or
charge – see ‘piping’ (also
‘padding the sleeve’).
Raised Detail on a Ceremonial Flag of San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Tenerife, Spain (Klaus-Michael Schneider)
- The heraldic term used when an animal, particularly (but not exclusively) a lion, is depicted rearing on its hind legs with forepaws and claws extended – but see ‘erect’, ‘forcené’, ‘salient’ and ‘segreant’.
Flag and Arms of South Holland, The Netherlands (fotw
Royal Banner of Scotland (Graham Bartram);
State Arms and Royal Standard of Norway (fotw);
Owen Glyndwr’s flag, Wales (fotw)
- RANGE FLAG
- One of the signal flags used on target ranges (such a red warning flag)
used to signal safe or dangerous conditions (see also ‘red flag’).
Danger Flag (CS)
- RANK FLAG
- 1) A flag which signifies the rank of a military officer as opposed to that
of a civilian functionary - but please see ‘flag of command’,
‘individual flag’ and
‘flag officer 3)’,
‘in abeyance’ and
- 2) An alternative term for a distinguishing flag (see
From left: Rank Flags of a Field Marshall, Full General, Lt General, Major
General and a Brigadier General, Thailand
Please note, that although these terms are sometimes
considered interchangeable, the Editors have drawn a general distinction between
the command flags used by senior naval officers, the rank flags employed by officers
from the other armed services, the distinguishing flags of civilians and with
- RANK PLATE
- In UK, US and some other usage, a rectangular panel that is displayed on the vehicle
carrying a senior officer of the armed services, and used in place of or in addition to
their relevant rank flag or flag of command – an automobile, distinguishing, star
(see also ‘car flag’,
‘flag of command 1)’,
‘flag officer 3)’,
‘flag disc’ and ‘rank flag 1)’).
From left: Field Marshall UK and Five Star General Army and Marine Corps US (CS)
From left: Commodore Royal Navy and Brigadier Royal Marines UK, Rear Admiral (Lower Half) USN and Brig Gen USAF (CS)
a) The number of stars range between one and five
dependent upon the rank of the officer concerned.
In US service officers of the army and the
Marine Corps have red plates, whilst those of the USN and USAF have dark blue. In UK service,
however, officers of the army have red, of the RN and Royal Marines dark blue, and of the
RAF light blue (and that there is a combined services plate whose field is of vertical
stripes in dark blue, red and light blue).
- An industrial term used to described the repetitive pattern found in damask, and seen in the field of (usually high-quality) flags manufactured in that fabric.
Banner of Zagreb c1711, Croatia (Željko Heimer)
- RASTAFARIAN/RASTA COLOURS (or COLORS)
- Symbolic of the Rastafarian movement, and (like the pan-African colours and identical to them) based
upon the flag of Ethiopia – see ‘pan-African colours’.
State Flag of Ethiopia 1941 – 1974 (fotw); Two Examples of Rastafarian Flags (fotw)
- See ‘proportions’.
- The image of a venomous snake (usually accompanied by the motto “don’t tread on
me”) that is depicted either coiled or stretched - it appeared on several early
American flags and may be seen on the current US naval jack – see the note following
Military Colour c1776 (fotw); Current
Naval Jack, US (Graham Bartram)
- RAVEN FLAG
- The flag considered by some sources to have been carried by Viking raiding
parties up until the 11th Century, and to have been carried by the Normans at
the Battle of Hastings (1066) (see also ‘Bayeux tapestry’).
- RAYONNÉ (or RAYONNANT)
- In heraldry see ‘radiant’.
Flag of Tibet (fotw)
- The heraldic term for a series of flame- or tooth-like projections from a division line or an ordinary (see also ‘wolves teeth 2)’)
Flag and Arms of Sør-Varanger, Norway (fotw); Flag
and Arms of
Berlevåg, Norway (fotw); Flag and Arms of
Grue, Norway (fotw)
- RAYS (or RAYED)
- 1) A term sometimes (and correctly) used in place of pointed to describe the
number of such points on a sun emblem – see ‘sun emblem’ and
‘active and inactive’, and
2) See ‘beam(s) 1)’.
Flag and Arms of Zonnebeke, Belgium (fotw
Čaška, Macedonia (fotw)