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Dictionary of Vexillology: S (Signal Flag - Smaller Arms)

Last modified: 2017-06-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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SIGNAL FLAG
Any of a number of straight-sided flags as well as various triangular and squared-ended tapered pennants, of a generally simple, recognized design which, when flown singly or together are used to transmit messages in an established code, especially at sea - see 'numeral flag' and 'numeral pennant' (also 'address group', ‘bunting tosser’, ‘call sign hoist’, 'church pennant', ‘distinction pennant 1)’, 'dressing ship', ‘flags 1)’, 'International Code of Signal Flags', ‘flag lieutenant’, ‘flag locker’, ‘make her number’, ‘Marryat’s code’, ‘pendant number’, ‘preparative’, ‘repeating frigates’, 'signal hoist', ‘telegraph flag’ and ‘yeoman of signals’.)

flag signal
Admiral Lord Nelson’s Signal Before the Naval Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, UK – A telegraph flag followed by “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His D-u-t-y”


SIGNAL HOIST (or GROUP)
A group of signal flags hoisted together - a flag signal, flag hoist, a hoist, a hoist of flags or signal group (see also ‘address group’, ‘call sign hoist’, ‘flag of distress 2)’, ‘International Code of Signal Flags’, ‘make her number’ and ‘signal flag’).

flag signal flag signal flag signal
ZD2 (Zulu-Delta-2) in The International Code of Signal Flags or “Please Report Me to Lloyds, London” (fotw)


SIGNIFER
The bearer of a 'signum' (see ‘signum’ below).

SIGNUM (or SIGNA)
1) Generically and in the plural (signa) all the vexilla, flags and vexilloids used by the ancient Roman army (see also ‘draco’, ‘eagle 2)’, ‘flammula’, ‘vexilloid 2)’ and ‘vexillum’).
2) Specifically and in the singular (signum) the vexilloid of a maniple, or subdivision of a Roman legion (see also ‘vexilloid 2)’).
3) The similar vexilloids of auxiliary units.

Notes
a)
A “maniple” was one-third of a cohort (which was itself one-tenth of a legion) and in the first Century AD a standard maniple would consist of about 160 men.
b) Signum is the Latin for “sign” as semeion was in classical Greek (see also ‘semeion’).


SILKS
See ‘company colours’.

Silks
Silk/Company Colour, No 1 Company, 1st Battalion of The Irish Guards, UK (Graham Bartram)


SIMPLE BICOLOUR
See ‘bicolour 2)’.

Ukraine Rome
National Flag of Ukraine (fotw); Flag of Rome, Italy (fotw)


SIMPLE CHEVRON
See ‘chevron 1)’.

simple chevron
Flag of Herzele, Belgium (fotw)


SIMPLE PALL
See ‘pall’.

simple pall
National Flag of Vanuatu (fotw)


SIMPLE PILE
See ‘pile’.

simple pile
The Flag Institute (fotw)


SIMPLE TRIANGLE
See ‘triangle’.

East timor
National Flag of East Timor (fotw)


SIMPLE TRIBAND
See ‘triband 2)’.

Peru Austria
National Flag of Peru (fotw); National Flag of Austria (fotw)


SIMPLE TRICOLOUR
See ‘tricolour 2)’.

Italy Hungary
National Flag of Italy (fotw); National Flag of Hungary (fotw)


SINGLE APPLIQUÉ
A term that may be used when the appliqué technique is applied to one side of a flag, and the field then cut out to provide visibility of the appliquéd section from the reverse – see ‘appliqué’ (also ‘double appliqué’).

SINISTER
The heraldic term for the left hand side of a flag or shield from the point of view of the bearer, or the right hand side from the point of view of an observer (see also ‘dexter’).

sinister example


SINISTER EDGE
1. With regard to a shield see ‘sinister’ above.
2. A term that may be used in describing the right hand facing edge of a banner or gonfalon which is hung from a crossbar, and equivalent to the bottom edge of a conventionally hoisted flag – the trailing edge (see also ‘banner 2)’ and ‘gonfalon’).

sinister edge example


SINISTER HOIST (HOISTED or HOISTING)
A term used when the obverse of a flag is depicted (or is manufactured) with its hoist to the observer’s right in the Arabic tradition – right-hoisted – but see ‘dexter hoist’ and ‘sinister’ above (also ‘hoist 1)’, ‘obverse’ and ‘reverse’).

Abu Dhabi shown in sinister hoist
National Flag of Abu Dhabi (fotw)


SKULL AND CROSS-BONES
See ‘jolly roger’.

[skull and cross-bones]
(fotw)


SLANTED DISPLAY DESIGN
See ‘flag for slanted display’.

[Pont-à-Celles]
Flag of the Army For Slanted Display, Bolivia (fotw & CS)


SLEDGE (or SLEDGING) FLAGS
In UK and some other usage now largely obsolete, the flags (of varying design) that were flown from the sledges of several polar expeditions in order to make them more visible from a distance and for reasons of esprit de corps.

[1875 North Pole expeditionary flag] [Shackleton 1914 Antarctic expeditionary flag]
From left: Flag used by the 1875 Expedition to the North Pole (fotw); Flag used on Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Expedition to the Antarctic (fotw)


SLEEVE
1) See ‘heading’.
2) Especially of an indoor flag, parade flag or military colour, a tube of material at the hoist into which the staff is inserted – an open sleeve (see also ‘closed sleeve’, ‘indoor flag’, ‘parade flag, ‘colour 2)’, ‘nails’, ‘tab’ and ‘staff 2)’).

[sleeve]
Queen’s Colour, The 28th Regiment of Foot (North Gloucestershire Regiment), UK c1880 (Klaus-Michael Schneider)

Please note that the increasingly (but by no means entirely) obsolete practice of fixing a flag to its pole or staff by a series of attached loops is almost certainly based on the earlier use of ties – see ‘loops’ (also ‘ring 4)’ and ‘ties’).


SLIPPED
A heraldic term used in place of couped when applied to the stalks of trefoils, flowers, leaves and sprigs of foliage – see ‘couped 2)’ (also ‘fructed’, ‘leaved’ and ‘trefoil’).

Magenwil, Switzerland Würenlingen, Switzerland Schupfart, Switzerland Fully, Switzerland Misery-Courtion, Switzerland Misery-Courtion, Switzerland
Flag of Mägenwil, Switzerland; Arms and Flag of Hrvatska Dubica, Croatia (fotw); Flag of Fully, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Misery-Courtion, Switzerland (Wikipedia & fotw)

Please note that a fruit or leaf etc., without a stalk is neither slipped nor couped


SMALLER ARMS
See ‘lesser arms’ under ‘arms’.

lesser arms of Bremen lesser arms of Sweden
Lesser Arms of Bavaria, Germany and of Sweden (fotw)


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