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Parts of a flag

Last modified: 2011-12-23 by rob raeside
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Origin of the fringe

[Parts of a flag] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 17 April 2008

I've drawn a schematic flag, with six points of interest marked a-f, and nine edges and lines of interest marked A-H,K. Do we have words for these fifteen locations in a flag?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 17 April 2008

A Hoist
B (top edge)
C Fly
D (bottom edge)
E (Vertical centre line, or pale line)
F (Hoistward vertical tierce line, or hoistward tierced pale line)
G (Horizontal centre line, or fess line)
H (Sinister bend line, or sinister diagonal)
K (Bend line, dexter bend line, or dexter diagonal)

a Honour point (or hoist top)
b (Fly top)
c (Fly base)
d (Hoist base)
e (Centre, central point)
f (Horizontally centred on the hoistward tierced pale line)

Some of these are a little convoluted, but precise in their description of a location.
James Dignan, 17 April 2008

B: Top Edge would be appropriate to a horizontally flown (or "hoisted flag") and could be applied to a hanging flag as shown by Peter Hans, however, it most certainly would not apply to a banner.
D "Bottom Edge" has the same problems as "top edge".
E The main problem with the terms "Vertical Centre Line" or "Pale Line" is whether the flag is orientated vertically or horizontally which would, of course, alter the meaning. The established terms are "horizontal" or "vertical meridian".
F "Hoistward centre line" or "Hoistward Tierced Pale Line" are accurately descriptive, but is there actually a need for such?
G The same problems that apply to E also apply to "Horizontal Centre Line" or "Fess Line".
H "Sinister Bend Line" or "Sinister Diagonal" are applicable to a hoisted or hanging flag but are not so to a banner.
K "Bend Line", "Dexter Bend Line" or "Dexter Diagonal" have the same problems as H.

a "Honour Point" is a heraldic term that has been accepted into vexillology with the established meaning of: "...that position on a flag where the colour or charge with the greatest or highest symbolism is placed, almost always the upper left", however, may I suggest that this does not mean the upper hoist corner as shown by Peter Hans, but is, in fact, the area occupied by the first quarter or canton? In addition, the honour point of a banner (as opposed to a hanging flag) is actually on the opposite side.
b "Fly Top" the established term is "upper fly" but either are applicable to hoisted flag and possibly a hanging flag, but not to a banner.
c "Fly Base" again the established term is "lower fly" with the same proviso as above.
d "Hoist Base" the established term is "lower hoist" but with the same qualifications as the two above.
e "Centre" or "Central Point" the established term is actually "centre point" but all three are equally acceptable in my eyes.
f "Horizontally Centred on the Hoistward Tierced Pale Line" the established terms for this position are "offset towards the hoist" if a charge or "off-centred" if referring to the arms of a cross.

Christopher Southworth, 18 April 2008