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Dictionary of Vexillology: M (Man o'War - Matricular Flags)

Last modified: 2017-11-29 by rob raeside
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MAN O’ WAR
A sailing, later steam-assisted, warship of the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries (see also ‘man-o-war pendant’ and ‘repeating frigates’).

Man o'War
HMS Vanguard of 74 guns 1787, UK (Wikipedia)


MAN O’ WAR PENDANT (or PENNANT)
In English, then British, usage, now obsolete, an alternative term for the commissioning or masthead pennant – see ‘masthead pennant 1)’ (also ‘common pendant’ and ‘man o' war’).

Man o'War pendant
The Common or Tricolour Pendant, England then UK 1661 – c1850 (fotw)

Please note that in English then British usage only vessels of the Royal Navy are permitted to wear a pennant.


MANTLE
A heraldic term for a cloak or robe behind the shield, and which can enclose a full set of armorial bearings (see also ‘Appendix IV’ and ‘armorial bearings’).

Notes
a)
When used on the arms of a ruling prince or sovereign a mantle becomes a pavilion (see ‘
pavilion’)
b) Mantles may still be seen in the parliamentary and state robes worn by British peers (which are graded according to rank).

Mantle
British Peers in Parliamentary Robes (edeandravenscroft.co.uk)

MANTLING
A heraldic term for the decoration resembling drapery in a coat of arms, and attached to the helmet by a torse (see also ‘Appendix IV’, ‘armorial bearings’, ‘coat of arms’ and, ‘helm’ – for information on torse see ‘wreath 2)’).

mantling
(International Heraldry))

Please note that mantling originated as a protective covering for the helmet.


MARCHING FLAG
See ‘parade flag 1)’.

marching flag
Girl’s Brigade Company Marching/Parade Flag, UK (Graham Bartram)


MARIAN CROWN
In Christian, particularly South European, tradition, a term (often misapplied) for a crown (sometimes blue) bearing a star or stars on top, and said to symbolize the coronation of the Virgin Mary – see ‘marian flag’.

marian crown marian crown marian crown marian crown marian crown
Arms of Sé, Portugal (Antonio Martins); Flag and Arms of Ourentã, Portugal (fotw); Flag and Arms of Conceição, Portugal (fotw)

Please note that a Crown of the Holy Spirit (illustrated below) is often (sometimes officially) misidentified as a Marian Crown.

marian crown marian crown
Flag and Arms of Manigoto, Portugal (fotw)


MARIAN FLAG
One of a number of flags – most often a bicolour of blue and white - that symbolizes veneration of the Virgin Mary in the Christian tradition – see ‘marian crown’ (also ‘Christian flag 1)’ and ‘religious flag’).

marian flag marian flag
Catholic Marion Flag (CS); Flag of the Catholic Church in Poland (fotw)


MARITIME LIFESAVING FLAGS
The flags of those organizations dedicated to saving life at sea (see also ‘storm warning flag’).

Lifeboat Society Belgium Lifeboat Institution, Canada Water Rescue Society, Finland Society for Sea Rescue, Norway
Lifeboat Society, Belgium (Zeljko Heimer); Lifeboat Institution, Canada (fotw); Water Rescue Society, Finland (fotw); Society for Sea Rescue, Norway (fotw)


MARK
1. See ‘union mark’, ‘merchant mark’ and ‘house mark’.
2. A term occasionally used (to describe the figure on a flag) in place of the more precise (and to be preferred) descriptions contained herein – see ‘coat of arms 1)’, ‘emblem 1)’, ‘merchant mark’, ‘seal’, ‘shield’ and ‘symbol 1)’ (also ‘cadency, mark of’).

union mark union mark
Norway-Sweden Union Mark and Naval Jack 1844 – 1905 (fotw); Arms of Bobenheim am Berg Germany (Wiki)


MARKING (or MARKER) PENNANT
In US military usage and some others, a pennant used to mark the turning points or limits of a parade ground (see also ‘pennant 2)’).

MARKS OF CADENCY
See ‘cadency, mark of’.

[cadency marks]
The cadency marks of the 1st to the 6th son in English heraldry (Parker)


MARKS OF DIFFERENCE
See ‘device 2)’.

[marks of difference] [marks of difference] [marks of difference] [marks of difference]
Major’s then First, Second and Third Captain’s Colours, Westminster Liberty Regiment, London. England c1641 (fotw)


MARRYAT'S CODE (MARRYAT or MARRYAT’S CODE OF SIGNALS FOR THE MERCHANT SERVICE)
The set of signal flags and pennants devised by Captain Frederick Marryat RN for use by the merchant service, this first appeared 1817 and went through several editions before being supplanted by the Commercial Code of Signals (later the International Code of Signals) in 1857 (see also ‘distinction pennant 1)’, ‘International Code of Signal Flags’, ‘pilot jack’ and ‘signal flag’).

[Marryat example] [Marryat example] [Marryat example] [Marryat example]
Flags 3, 5, 6 and 7 in Marryat’s Code of Signals for teh Merchant Service (fotw)


MARSHALLING
The heraldic term used to describe the process of arranging two or more different coats of arms on the same shield or banner of arms – see ‘impale 1)’ and ‘quartering 1)’ (also ‘banner of arms’ and ‘dimidiated’).

marshalling example marshalling example marshalling example marshalling example marshalling example
Flag and Arms of Wodzisław Śląski, Poland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Vysočina, Czech Republic); Royal Standard of Spain 1580 – 1700 (fotw)


MARTLET
The heraldic term for a small bird, always seen standing and usually (although not invariably) shown with thighs but no visible legs – a merlette.

martlet example martlet example martlet example martlet example martlet example
Flag of Bray, Ireland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Ens, The Netherland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Hemiksem, Belgium (fotw & Wikipedia)


MASCLE
The heraldic term for a voided lozenge – see ‘voided lozenge’).

example mascle
Example: Banner of Arms of the Rohan-Chabot family, Josselin, France (fotw)


MASONED
A heraldic term used to describe the lines formed by masonry blocks in a building.

Castile and Leon Romont, Switzerland Romont, Switzerland Vrgorac, Switzerland Vrgorac, Switzerland Oberkirch, Switzerland
Flag of Castile and Leon, Spain (fotw); Arms and Flag of Romont, Switzerland (fotw); Arms and Flag of Vrgorac, Croatia (fotw); Flag of Oberkirch, Switzerland (fotw)


MAST
1) Any vertical projection from a vessel upon which sails and/or flags can be hoisted (see also ‘fore’, ‘mizzen’ and ‘stumpmast’).
2) See ‘flag pole’ (also ‘pole mast’, ‘sailor’s mast’ and ‘stayed mast’).

MASTHEAD
The highest point below the truck of any mast afloat or ashore (see also ‘mast’ and ‘truck’).

MASTHEAD, AT THE
(adv) When a flag is flown at the truck of a mast or at a point below the truck, it is said to fly 'at the masthead'

MASTHEAD FLAG
1) Generically, any flag hoisted at the masthead of a vessel (see also ‘mast’ and ‘masthead’).
2) Specifically, the national flags hoisted at the masthead of all masts when a ship is dressed overall, usually the national flag of the nation being honoured (see also ‘dress ship’).

MASTHEAD PENNANT (or PENDANT)
1) A flag, usually long and narrow and often generally (but by no means exclusively) tapering from hoist to fly, it can be triangular, cut off to a square, swallow-tailed or a variation thereof, and is flown from the main masthead of a naval or other public vessel in commission but which does not carry a flag officer (or officer commanding other vessels) on board – commissioning or commission pennant, narrow pennant, pennant of command, war or warship pennant or of a warship commander and others (see also ‘broad command pennant’, ‘broad pennant’, ‘burgee command pennant’, ‘command pennant’, ‘converging stripes’, ‘flag officer’, ‘flag of command’, ‘flagship’, ‘in commission’, ‘naval ensign’ under ‘ensign’, ‘merchant pendant’, ‘naval jack’ under ‘jack’, ‘pendant’, ‘royal masthead pennant’, ‘private ship’ and ‘suit of flags’).
2) The generic name for any long narrow flag that is flown from the masthead of a vessel – a whip pennant (see also ‘streamer 2)’, ‘homeward bound pennant’ or ‘paying off pennant’).

[Masthead Pennant - Spain]
Masthead Pennant of Spain (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - Belgium]
Masthead Pennant of Belgium (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - France]
Masthead Pennant of France (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - Estonia]
Masthead Pennant of Estonia (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - South Africa]
Masthead Pennant of South Africa (fotw)

Notes
a)
A distinction has been drawn between the standard masthead pennant flown by commissioned warships as defined in 1) above, and the various command pennants that are flown in addition and subordinate to it (see also ‘
command pennant’).
b) There are three exceptions to this – the broad command pennant,
broad pennant and the burgee command pennant - all of which replace the masthead pennant when flown.


MASTHEAD STREAMER
See ‘streamer 2)’.

[Masthead streamer]
The Henri Grace a Dieu, English Royal Navy c1525 (Wiki)


MATRICULAR FLAGS (PENNANTS or ENSIGNS)
See ‘registration flags’ (also ‘insurance flag’).

[matricular flag - Spain]  [matricular flag - Spain]
Matricular Ensign/Registration Flag of La Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain c1870 (fotw); Matricular Ensign/Registration Flag of San Juan de los Remedios de Cuba, Spain c1850 (fotw)


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