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Dictionary of Vexillology: B (Braced - Buss)

Last modified: 2016-11-02 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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BRACED (or BRASED)
See ‘interlaced’.

braced example
Flag of the International Olympic Committee (fotw)


BRACELET
In heraldry see ‘barrulet’.

bracelet example


BRAG FLAGS
In largely US usage, the colloquial term for a collection of local flags, often (but not invariably) unofficial flags, that has been amassed by the owners of pleasure vessels to indicate the number of ports visited – a type of souvenir flag.

BRANCH OF SERVICE FLAG
1) Generically, one of those flags pertaining to a particular branch within the armed services - an air force flag, army flag, navy flag, flag of the marine corps or similar (see also ‘armed services flag’).
2) Specifically in US military usage, as above but the term may also include the flags of each specialization within a particular branch – for example the flag of the Engineering Corps.

[branch of service flags] [branch of service flags] [branch of service flags] [branch of service flags] [branch of service flags]
From left: Air Force Flag, RSA (fotw); Army Flag, UK (fotw); Navy Flag, US (fotw); Flag of the Royal Marines, UK (fotw); Flag of the Engineering Corps, US (fotw)


BREADTH
1) Generically see ‘width’.
2) Specifically in now largely obsolete British Royal Navy usage, a term for indicating the width of flags. The term is derived from the width of bunting formerly employed in manufacture, with the width of flags being expressed as a multiple of the number of breadths used (see also ‘bunting 2’).

Please note with regard to 2) that the width of a breadth was recorded as being 11” (27.94cm) in 1687, but had shrunk to its present size of 9” (22.84 cm) by the end of the 18th. century.


BREAK A FLAG (BREAK OUT A FLAG or BREAKING)
(v) To unfurl a flag that has been hoisted folded and rolled up in such a manner that a sharp tug at the halyard will cause it to fly free (see also ‘furl’ and ‘halyard’).

Please note the above is often used to mark the beginning of an event or the arrival of a VIP.


BRITISH-STYLE ENSIGN
See ‘blue ensign 2)’, ‘canton flag’, ‘red ensign 2)’ and ‘white ensign 2)’ (also ‘ensign’).

Malaysia blue ensign New Zealand civil ensign India - naval ensign
Government Ensign of Malaysia (fotw): Civil Ensign of New Zealand (fotw); Naval Ensign of India 1950 - 2001 (fotw)


BRITISH COLOUR CODES (BRITISH COLOUR COUNCIL REFERENCE CODE or BCC)
A now largely obsolete standard numeral colour code for cloth and flags established by Britain, and first published in 1934 (see also ‘Pantone Matching System’).

BRITISH (or BRITAIN) FLAG
The original name for the 1606 pattern British union flag – the Britain flag or flag of Britain - but see ‘His Majesty’s Jack’ (also ‘interlaced’, ‘James Union’ and ‘union jack’).

Union flag 1601
Union Flag 1601 – 1801, UK (CS)

Please note, evidence suggests that the terms British and Britain flag or flag of Britain ceased in official use after 1639.


BROAD COMMAND PENNANT
In US naval usage now increasingly (if not entirely) obsolete, a pennant that is flown at the main masthead in place of the commission (or masthead) pennant to indicate the presence on board of an officer commanding a force, group or squadron of vessels (or carrier air wing), and who has authority over any officer flying a burgee command pennant, but who has not reached flag rank – see ‘burgee command pennant’ (also ‘broad pennant 1)’ with its following note, ‘command pennant’, ‘flag officer 1)’ and ‘masthead pennant’).

Broad Command Pennant
Broad Command Pennant, US (sea flags)

Please note however, that the US practice of displacing the commission (or masthead) pennant by the burgee or the broad command pennants differs from general naval practice where the various command pennants (excepting the broad pennant) are usually (but not invariably) flown in addition and subordinate to the masthead pennant.


BROAD PENNANT (or PENDANT)
1) Generically, a shorter and broader form of the masthead pennant, the fly of which is cut into a swallowtail – a triangular or tapered swallowtail.
2) Specifically in British RN and some other usage, a pennant as in 1) above that is flown at the main masthead in place of the commissioning (or masthead) pennant to indicate the presence on board of an officer with the rank of Commodore (see also ‘broad command pennant’, ‘burgee command pennant’, ‘flag of command’ and ‘masthead pennant 1)’).
3) In civil maritime usage, as 1) above (and often patterned after the relevant club burgee), a broad pennant is sometimes flown by the commodore and vice-commodore of a yacht or boating club - an officer’s, flag officer or yacht officer's broad pennant - but see ‘officer’s flags’ and ‘officer’s pennants’ (also ‘burgee’, ‘deface’ and ).
4) As 1) above, but sometimes with rounded points (or a lanceolate fly) and flown from the main masthead to mark the presence aboard ship of a head of state or a member of an royal/imperial family - an imperial, royal, or king’s broad pennant and others (see also ‘lanceolate’ and ‘royal masthead pennant’).

Commodore Broad Pennant - UK Commodore Broad Pennant - UK Commodore Broad Pennant - Norway Ohio, United States
Flag of Ohio, US (fotw); Commodore’s Broad Pennant, UK (fotw); Commodore’s Broad Pennant, Norway (fotw); Yacht Club Commodore’s Broad Pennant, Finland (fotw)
 King’s Broad Pennant, Thailand
King’s Broad Pennant, Thailand (fotw)

Please note, that in the US Navy and some others the rank of commodore - to which the broad pennant belongs - has been superseded by that of rear admiral (lower half) and the pennant accordingly replaced by an appropriate flag of command (see also ‘broad command pennant’, ‘flag of command 1)’ and ‘in abeyance’).

Commodore Broad Pennant - US
Former Commodore’s Broad Pennant, US (seaflags)


BROD
A Scottish term, now obsolete, for a flag hanging from a crossbar – a gonfalon (see ‘gonfalon’).

BROKEN CROSS
See ‘swastika

The Iceland Steamship Co Ltd
House Flag of The Iceland Steamship Co Ltd 1914 – c1943 (fotw)


BRUNATRE
A heraldic term for the colour brown (see also ‘rule of tincture’).

[colour example]


BUDGEE JACK
See ‘privateer jack’, and for background on the term see also ‘budgee flag’ and ‘budgee pendant’ below.

[budgee jack]
Budgee/Privateer Jack until 1801. UK


BUDGEE FLAG
A late 17th, early 18th Century English/UK naval term, now obsolete, for an ensign that bore a union flag canton rather than a canton with the cross of St George, and before 1707 for use only outside home waters (see also ‘budgee pendant’, ‘privateer jack’ and ‘ensign 1)’).

[budgee flag]
English Red Ensign c1625 – 1707 Budgee Flag for use outside home waters until 1707, then British Red Ensign 1707 – 1801 (CS)

Please note that prior to 1707, as far as can be discovered, the budgee flag was invariably a red ensign – see ‘red ensign 2)’.


BUDGEE PENDANT (or PENNANT)
A late 17th, early 18th Century English/UK naval term, now obsolete, for a red swallow-tailed pennant which bore a union flag rather than the cross of St George at its hoist for use as a pennant of distinction by senior captains in command of a formation of ships outside home waters – a union pendant (see also ‘broad pennant’, ‘budgee flag’, ‘pendant’, ‘pendant of distinction’, ‘privateer jack’, ‘union jack’ and ‘union mark’).

[budgee pendant]
The Budgee Pendant c1700, UK (CS)

Notes
a)
As far as is known the budgee pendant had disappeared by 1710
b)
The Editors – whilst no firm evidence could be found – have taken the colour of the pendant’s fly from that of the standard distinction pennant as introduced in 1674.


BUDDHIST FLAG
A flag with a number of variations symbolizing Buddhism, most often (but not invariably) showing five vertical and five horizontal stripes and first raised in 1885 (see also ‘chakra’, ‘prayer flag’, ‘religious flag’ and ‘thangka’).

Buddhist flag  Buddhist flag  Buddhist flag  Buddhist flag
"Standard" Buddhist Flag (fotw); as used in Burma, Tibet and Thailand (fotw and Corentin Chamboredon)


BUFF
In largely (but not exclusively) US usage, a term for that shade of beige, which corresponds to uniform facings worn during the American War of Independence by some general officers and by many line regiments of the Continental infantry.

Uniform of 1776 Southampton, New York, US New Jersey, US Winchester, Virginia, US
Uniform of 1776: Flag of Southampton, New York, US (fotw); Flag of New Jersey, US (fotw); Flag of Winchester, Virginia, US (fotw);  

Notes
a)
Buff was also one of the facing colours used by the British army at the time of the American War of Independence – see ‘facing colour’.
b)
It is suggested that use of the facings mentioned above could have derived from the buff-coloured (leather) coats worn by both infantry and cavalry in the 17th Century.


BUGLE HORN
The heraldic term that covers any type of traditional, musical horn – a hunting horn or post horn etc. (see also ‘stringed’).

bugle horn bugle horn bugle horn bugle horn bugle horn bugle horn
Arms of Bad Urach, Germany (Wikipedia); Flag of Horn, The Netherlands (fotw); Arms of Nürtingen, Germany (Wikipedia); Flag of Cornellà del Terri, Spain (fotw); Arms and Flag of Vermelha, Portugal (fotw)


BUILDING SITE FLAG (or BSF)
See ‘logo on a bed sheet’.

Minnesota
Flag of the State of Minnesota, US (fotw)


BULLOCK PENNANT
In 18th Century French naval usage the term, now obsolete, for a red pennant hoisted from the flagship to signal that a ration bullock had just been slaughtered (see also ‘beef pennant’, ‘flagship’ and ‘pennant 2)’).

Please note, information suggests that this term - a direct translation of the French "flamme de boeuf" - may have ceased after 1792, however, this is not certain and no equivalent signal can be found in contemporary British naval sources. Nonetheless supply vessels carrying beef to the Royal Navy are known to have flown a blue flag bearing a white bullock in the late 19th Century.


BUNTINE
An alternative spelling, now largely obsolete, of bunting – see ‘bunting 1)’.

BUNTING
1) Strong, loosely woven cloth used for making flags, originally of cotton and/or wool but sometimes of other fibres, and now largely replaced by synthetic materials materials – buntine, bewper or beaufort.
2) A series of small, simple flags connected by a line, or a length of gathered decorative fabric, generally in the national colours and usually hung or draped between two anchor points. Often employed when flag usage would be inappropriate or unsuitable (see also ‘fan’, ‘mourning bunting’, ‘national colours’ and ‘rules of respect’).
3) In heraldry a species of bird as a charge.

[bunting]

[bunting]


BUNTING TOSSER (or BUNTS)
In British Royal Navy usage and some others, a traditional nickname for those sailors in the signals branch whose duties include the care and hoisting of signal flags, flags of command and ensigns etc. - but see ‘flags 1)’ (also ‘command pennant’, ‘flag locker’, ‘flag of command’, ‘flags 1)’, ‘naval ensign’ under ‘ensign’, ‘signal flag’and ‘yeoman of signals’).

BURGEE
1) The small distinguishing flag of a yacht or boating club, usually (but not exclusively) either triangular or in the shape of a tapered swallowtail (see also ‘broad pennant 3)’, ‘officer’s pennants’, ‘swallow-tail(ed)’ and ‘souvenir flags’).
2) In obsolete naval usage, a term sometimes applied to the swallow-tailed pennants used in flag signalling but see ‘burgee command pennant’ ’ (also ‘international code of signals’, ‘pennant 2)’, ‘signal flag’ and ‘swallow-tail(ed)’).

[burgees] [burgees] [burgees] [burgees]
From lef: Encinal Yacht Club USA (fotw); Royal Lymington Yacht Club UK (Bartram); Burin Sailing Club, Croatia (fotw); Knysna Yacht Club RSA (fotw)

Please note, it is suggested by some sources that the term derives from ‘budgee’ which it is proposed was an alternative 17th Century name for bunting (see also ‘budgee flag’ and ‘budgee pendant’).


BURGEE COMMAND PENNANT
In US naval usage, a pennant that is flown at the main masthead in place of the commission (or masthead) pennant to indicate the presence on board of an officer in command of a formation of vessels (or an aircraft wing), but who holds the rank of captain or lower - see ‘broad command pennant’ (also ‘broad pennant’, ‘burgee 2)’, ‘burgee command pennant’, command pennant’, ‘flag of command’, ‘masthead pennant 1)’ and ‘private ship’).

[burgee command pennant]
Burgee Command Pennant, US (CS)

Please note however, that the US practice of displacing the commission (or masthead) pennant by the burgee or the broad command pennants differs from general naval practice where the various command pennants (excepting the broad pennant) are usually (but not invariably) flown in addition and subordinate to the masthead pennant.


BURGUNDY CROSS
See ‘ragged cross’.

[burgundy cross]
Flag of The Carlists, Spain (fotw)


BURIAL FLAG
See ‘pall flag’.

pall flag
(adamtglass.com)


BURNING
In heraldry see ‘flamant’ (also ‘inflamed (also ‘incensed’).

burning burning
Flag and Arms of Karasjok, Norway (fotw & Tomislav Šipek)


BUSS
(v) In Scottish usage a term to describe the decoration of a finial with coloured ribbons.

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