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Dictionary of Vexillology: P (Points - POW-MIA Flag)

Last modified: 2017-11-29 by rob raeside
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POINT(S)
1) In British maritime (particularly RN) usage, now largely obsolete, a term sometimes applied to the fly corners of a flag or ensign (see also ‘fly 1)’)
2) The term may also be employed (either in the singular or plural as appropriate) to describe the fly of a triangular or swallow-tailed pennant.

POINT OF HONOUR
See ‘honour point’.

POINTED (or POINTS)
1) In vexillology the term used to indicate the number of points on a star or star-like charge, for example a five-pointed star or a star of five points – but see ‘rays 1)’ (also ‘star 1)’)
2) In heraldry see ‘point-in-point’.
3) A term sometimes (incorrectly) used to describe the point of an arrow – see ‘barbed’.

POINT-IN-POINT (or POINTED)
A heraldic term for when the division of a shield forms a chevron usually embowed - at its base - pointed or enty (see also ‘base’, ‘chevron 1)’, ‘embowed’, ‘impale’, ‘quartering 1)’ and ‘shield 1)’)

Pointed example
Flag and Arms of North Rhine – Westphalia, Germany (CS)


POLE
See ‘flag pole’.

POLE MAST (or POLEMAST)
A flagpole that is straight and clear of any projections such as cross bars, yards, or gaffs (see also ‘cross bar’, ‘flag pole’, ‘gaff’ and ‘yard’).

Please note that this term was originally introduced to describe a mast or masts on those steam vessels not equipped with an auxiliary sailing rig.

Pole mast
HMS Devastation 1871 – 1908 (Wikipedia)  


POLICE FLAG (ENSIGN or PENNANT)
A flag or ensign, different from the national/state flag or government ensign (or a variant thereof) or a pennant, which specifically identifies the installations or vessels of a country’s police service (see also ‘national flag’, ‘government ensign’ and ‘service ensign’ under ‘ensign’, and ‘state flag’).

Police flag Police flag Police flag Police flag Police flag
Police Flag, Italy (w); Flag of the Police Mounted Branch, Canada (fotw); Police Flag, Malta (fotw); Police Flag/Ensign, Israel (fotw); Marine Police Pennant, Singapore (fotw)


POLITICAL FLAG
The flag, either official (formally adopted) or unofficial (spontaneously displayed by supporters), of a political party or movement  – but see ‘protest flag’ and the notes below (also ‘sash 2)’, ‘realm banner black-red-gold’ and ‘tribal flag’).
 

[political flags]  [political flags]  [political flags]  [political flags]
From left: African National Congress, RSA; Međimurje Party, Croatia; American Indian Movement, USA; Communist Party, UK.

Notes
a)
In both historical and/or contemporary terms, a political flag and a trade union flag can often be very closely linked – see ‘
trade union flag’.
b) Protests often have a political motivation, and therefore, the difference between this and a protest flag is often blurred.


POLITICAL SASH
See ‘sash 2)’.

Politica sash
Political Sash of the Women’s Suffragette Movement 1917, US


POMME(S)
The heraldic term for a green disc (or discs) – a roundel (or roundels) vert (see also ‘bezant’, ‘hurt’, ‘plates’ and ‘roundel 3)’)

pomme pomme
Example; Flag of Uelsen, Germany (fotw)


POMMED
A term sometimes used in place of the usual heraldic term pommeled to indicate the pommel of a sword or dagger – but see ‘hilted’ and following note (also ‘hafted’ and ‘shafted’).

pommed pommed
Arms and Flag of Šibenik-Knin, Croatia (fotw)


POMMELED
The heraldic term for the pommel of a sword or dagger – but see ‘hilted’ and its following note.

Ill-Birgu, Malta Kalnik, Croatia Kalnik, Croatia
Flag of Il-Birgu, Malta (fotw); Arms and Flag of Kalnik, Croatia (fotw)

Please note that a pommel is the usually (but not invariably) heavy, disk-like projection above the hilt which helps balance the blade, fixes that hilt’s binding and act as a weapon in its own right.


PORT
A heraldic term, and derived from the French porte (or door), for the entrance to a castle, tower or other building (see also ‘ajouré’ and ‘litten’).

[port example] [port example] [port example] [port example] [port example]
Arms and Flag of Óbidos, Portugal (fotw); Arms and Flag of Aljezur, Portugal (fotw); Arms of São Martinho de Mouros, Portugal (fotw)


PORT EPEE
See ‘dress knot’.

[dress knot]
Officer’s Port Epee/Dress Knot, USN and USCG (marlowwhite.com)


PORTOLANO (or PORTOLAN CHART)
The term for a navigational chart of the 14th to the 16th Centuries, particularly showing coastlines and ports and usually bearing illustrations of their arms and flags.

[dress knot]
Portolano, Spanish c1500 (Wikipedia)


PORTUGUESE TEMPLAR CROSS
See ‘rounded cross’.

[Portuguese Templar cross] [Portuguese Templar cross]
Arms and Flag of Outeiro Major, Portugal (Sérgio Horta)


POSITION OF HONOUR (OR HONOR)
The position in which the most senior flag, emblem or coat of arms – usually a national flag, emblem or coat of arms - is to be placed - sometimes called the place of honour. The particulars vary slightly in detail, legal status and extent from country to country; however, the general principles remain the same and are listed in Appendix II (see also ‘rules of etiquette’ and ‘precedence’).

Please note – not to be confused with the honour point – see ‘honour point’.


POSITIONAL FLAG (or COLORS)
1) In US army usage, that flag which corresponds to a particular position held, rather than to the rank of the officer who currently holds it – but see ‘appointment flag’ (also ‘rank flag 1)’).
2) See ‘distinguishing flag 1)’.

[positional flag example] [positional flag example] [positional flag example]
Army Surgeon General, US (fotw); Under Secretary of the Army, US (fotw); Sergeant Major of the Army, US (fotw)


POST FLAG

1) In US military usage, that size of national flag flown regularly over army and marine corps posts – 8.95 feet (2.72m) wide by 17 feet (5.18m) long for the army and 10 feet (3 m) wide by 19 feet (5.8 m) long for the marine corps (see also ‘garrison flag’, ‘storm flag’ and ‘war flag’).
2) See ‘postal flag’.

[post flag example]
Post/Postal Flag 1950 – 1994, Germany (fotw)


POSTAL FLAG (ENSIGN or PENNANT)
The distinguishing flag, ensign or pennant of a country’s postal services – a mail flag/pennant or post flag/pennant (see also ‘air mail flag and ‘service ensign’ under ‘ensign’).

postal flag of France [postal flag - Denmark] postal pennant - Poland postal pennant - Poland
From left: Postal Flag, France (tw); Postal Flag and Ensign of Denmark (fotw); Postal Flag and Ensign 1920 – 1939, Danzig (fotw); Postal Pennant, Poland (fotw)


POST HORN
In heraldry see ‘bugle horn’.

[hunting horn example] [hunting horn example]
Arms and Flag of Tychy, Poland (fotw)


POST OFFICE FLAG
See ‘postal flag’.

postal office flag - Belgium
Post Office/Postal Flag, Belgium (fotw)


POST PENNANT
See ‘postal flag’.

postal pennant - Italy
Post/Postal Pennant, Italy (fotw)


POSTURES
A 16th/17th Century term for the formal flag waving expected of a colour bearer for reasons of either bravado or dignity (see also ‘colour 2)’, ‘colour bearer’, ‘company colours’, ‘ensign 4)’, ‘flag tossing’, ‘pavisade’, ‘stand 1)’ and ‘streamer 2)’).

POTENT
1) The heraldic term for a fur that is shown as a series of crutch-shaped charges and usually (but not exclusively) seen in blue on a white or silver field (see also ‘ermine’, ‘furs’ and ‘vair’).
2) The term may also be used when the edge of an ordinary is shown with crutch-shaped extensions – but see note below (also ‘cross potent’ and ‘ordinary’).

example  example example
Example; Flag and Arms of Unhais-o-Velho, Portugal (fotw)

Please note with regard to 2) that this term is never used alone, but always with the ordinary being blazoned, for example a fess-potent as illustrated above’.


POTENT CROSS
In heraldry see ‘cross potent’.

Wielka Nieszawka arms, poland Wielka Nieszawka flag, poland
Arms and Flag of Wielka Nieszawka, Poland (fotw)


POWDERED
In heraldry see ‘semé’.

Banner of France Banner of France
Arms and Banner of France c1150 – c1350 (Wikipedia & fotw)


POW-MIA (PRISONER OF WAR-MISSING IN ACTION) FLAG
See ‘memorial flag 2)’.

POW-MIA flag
POW-MIA Flag, US and Canada (fotw)


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