Last modified: 2017-09-16 by rob raeside
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Please note that this word is recorded as having a Spanish origin (which remains unproven) however, the extent to which it was used in English medieval manuscripts is not known.
Alferous/Standard Bearers C17th (Wikipedia)
a) It is suggested that the alternative form was sometimes used in medieval manuscripts
b) There is a possible relationship between this term and the Spanish military rank of alférez or ensign (see also ‘ensign 5)’.
Arms and Flag of Torres Vedras, Portugal (Antonio Martins)
Flag and Seal of the State of Virginia, US (fotw and state symbols); Jack and Command Flag of the Batavian Republic 1797, The Netherlands (fotw); Badge and Flag of TS Warspite, UK (fotw)
Flag of Goppisberg Switzerland (fotw)
Flag and Arms of Magdeburg (or Maiden-Town), Germany (fotw)
National Flag/Civil Ensign as regulated, and Alternative Civil Ensign of the United Arab Emirates (fotw); National Flag/Civil Ensign as regulated, and Alternative Civil Ensign of Nicaragua (fotw)
Amalgam Language Flags for English and German (CS)
Flag of an Ambassador, Chile
American War Mothers/Armistice Day Flag, US (Dave Martucci)
Flag and Arms of Oegstgeest, The Netherlands (fotw & Wikipedia)
Lord High Admiral 1660, England (fotw); Lord High Admiral 1685 – 1688, England (fotw); The Board of Admiralty 19th Century, UK (fotw); Current Pattern, UK (fotw)
a) This office reverted to the crown in 1964 and HM The Queen was, for many years, her own Lord High Admiral (the present incumbent is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh), however, during the preceding two hundred and fifty years the office was most often “in commission” and this flag (or variations thereof) was also flown by the Board of Admiralty – see ‘admiralty flag 2)’.
b) The three masthead flags flown when the monarch is aboard a naval vessel are traditionally that of the Lord High Admiral at the fore, the royal standard at the main and a union jack at the mizzen (see also ‘foremast’, ‘main’ and ‘mizzen’).
From left: Austria Ancient, Austria Modern (fotw); France Ancient, France Modern (fotw); Ancient/Ship’s Ensign, English c1590 (Pete Loeser)
An English Heraldic Pattern Ancient/Antique Crown (Parker)
Flag and Arms of Kostrena, Croatia (fotw); Flag of Hauts-de-Seine, France (fotw); Arms and Flag of Lisboa, Portugal (fotw)
a) A vessel with oars but more than one mast should be blazoned “galley” – see ‘galley’.
b) Single-masted Medieval sailing ships fall into a number of different categories of which two are separately defined herein under ‘cog 2)’ and ‘nef’.
c) This term can (and sometimes does) include sailing vessels with more than one mast as illustrated below – see ‘caravel’, ‘carrack’ and ‘galleon’.
Jack of Trinity House, UK (fotw)
Russian ensign (fotw).
Please note that Андреевский - Andreevskiĭ with alternative transliterations - is the Russian term for their naval ensign.
Guidon of the Royal Gloucestershire Yeomanry 1797, UK (fotw)
Flag used by the Music Group X Clan (fotw); Arms and Flag of Ribafria e Pereiro de Palhacana, Portugal (ICH and fotw)
Flag and Arms of Wendezelle, (Germany fotw); Flag and Arms of Suraua, Switzerland (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag of Grahamstown, South Africa (fotw); Flag and Arms of Groß Twülpstedt, Germany (fotw & Wikipedia)
Arms and Flag of the Rulers of Tuscany, 1531-1737 (Wikipedia & fotw)
An Anshent/Ancient, English c1590
Code/Answering Pennant in the ICS (fotw)
Please note, it is suggested that the alternative form was used in medieval manuscripts.
39 Star Flag of The United States 1839 (fotw)
Please note that the 39 star of the United States, for example (and illustrated above), displays a symbol in advance of any official authorization, whereas a “flag of pretence”, for example the national flag of Comoros or naval ensign of Bolivia, shows one more star than they have provinces under their control.
State Seal of Florida, US (fotw); State Seal of Virginia, US (ICH); National Symbol of France (ICH); Emblem of Soviet Russia 1956 – 1991 (fotw); Emblem of Yugoslavia 1963 – 1991 (fotw)
Please note that this term has its origins in a rejection of heraldic symbolism and of all things having a connection to royalty or the nobility, with prominent early examples stemming from the American War of Independence and the French Revolution.
An English Heraldic Pattern Antique Crown (Parker); Flag of Newfoundland, Canada 1862 – 1872 (fotw); Flag of the Citizens of Guelph, Canada (Peter Orenski)
Ensign and Burgee of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, UK (fotw)
Arms and Flag of Draž, Croatia (fotw)
Arms and Flag of Heiden, Switzerland (Wikipedia & fotw)
Military Attaché, UK (Graham Bartram); RAF Station Commander, UK (Graham Bartram); Flag of the Secretary of Defense, US (fotw)
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