- 1) A flag based on the vexillum and combining Christian symbols with those of the
Roman military, introduced by the Emperor Constantine in the early 4th Century AD, and
later used as an imperial standard (see also ‘vexillum’).
2) The term sometimes used to describe a (comparatively) simple religious banner – see ‘banner 3)’.
The Labarum of Constantine (Wikipedia);
Modern Religious Labara (Wikipedia);
Arms and Flag of São João do Souto, Portugal (fotw)
Please note - not to be confused with a Cantabrian labarum
(see 'Cantabrian labarum').
- 1) See ‘cadency, mark of’.
- 2) In heraldry a term sometimes also used to describe the tapes which hang below a prelate’s mitre – but see ‘stringed’.
- 3) In British usage, the (varyingly detailed) marks of cadency employed on the standards of particular Royal Family members (see also ‘royal
standard(s) 2)’, plus ‘cadency, mark of’ and its following note
‘difference 1)’ and
British Royal Standards Showing the Labels of HRH The Prince of Wales,
HRH Prince William and of
HRH Princess Anne (fotw)
- In heraldry see ‘dovetailed’.
Flag and Arms of
Stordal, Norway (fotw)
- LAMB OF GOD
- See ‘agnus dei’.
Flag of Berlikum, The Netherlands (fotw)
- A long light-weight spear with which some cavalry regiments were formerly
armed, and upon which the standard or guidon was also carried - now restricted
to historical or ceremonial use (see also
‘guidon 1) & 2)’,
‘lance flag’, ‘lance pennon 1)’,
and ‘standard 2)’).
Lancer, France 1812 (wiki)
- LANCE FLAG (or PENNANT)
- A small flag or pennant, usually swallow-tailed or triangular and of
generally simple (bicolour) design, formerly carried below the lance head by
those cavalry regiments so armed, or currently by some mounted police units in
parade dress, and now restricted to historical/ceremonial use - a lance pennon (see
also ‘banneret 2)’,
‘lance’ and ‘lance pennon 1)’).
Lance Flags, British c1840 (fotw);
Grand Duchy of Baden c1870 (fotw),
Mounted Police, Queensland and New South Wales, Australia (CS)
Please note that the use of lance-armed cavalry and the
general design of their flag or pennant derive from Polish practice – Poland having
been the country from which lance-armed light cavalry was adopted in the late 18th
- LANCE PENNON
- 1)The term for an armigerous lance flag, either triangular, either
fork-tailed or square-ended according to rank, and carried by a medieval mounted knight (see also
‘banner of arms’,
‘banneret 2)’, ‘lance’,
‘pennoncier’ and ‘heraldic standard’.
2) 2) See ‘badge pennon’.
3) See ‘lance flag’.
Lance Pennon of Sir Robert Knolles. Knight Banneret c1360, England;
Lance Pennon of a Pennoncier (or Knight Bachelor), England 1415; Badge Pennon, England c1460
- (adj) A term used that may be used to describe a rounded fly – but see
‘standard 4)’ and ‘heraldic standard’).
Examples (2); Flag of Leśna, Poland (fotw)
Please note that the differences between “ogival” and “lanceolate” are
often very slight, and we suggest that both entries be consulted.
- See 'national colours 2)' and
'state colours 3)' (also
Landesfarben/National Colours, Germany; Landesfarben/State Colours, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt
- LANGUAGE FLAGS
- See ‘linguistic flags’.
Amalgam/Language Flags for English and German
- The heraldic term used when the tongue of the beast, if shown, is of different tincture
than the rest of the body (see also ‘armed 2)’,
‘armed and langued’,
Arms and Flag of Östergötland, Sweden (fotw
& Wikipedia); Arms and Flag of
Aalter, Belgium (fotw &
Wikipedia); Arms and Flag of
Uri, Switzerland (fotw &
- 1) In French military usage and in some others – and a translation of fourragère
– the term for those cords and tassels that are worn on military uniforms to signify the
award of a unit decoration, and may decorate that unit's military colour – see
(also ‘colour 2)’,
‘jack of honour’,
‘lanyard pennant’ and
2) See ‘halyard’.
3) See ‘dress knot’ and its following note.
- LANYARD PENNANT
- In French Naval usage, the term – and a translation of flamme de
fourragère - for a tapered pennant in various colours, charged with the Croix de Guerre
and having a rounded (or lanceolate) fly, which is flown to indicate that a vessel has received
citations for a certain number of military decorations (see also ‘cravat 1) and its following
‘jack of honour’,
‘lanyard 1)’ and
Six citations for the Legion d’Honneur, 1914-18 (fotw); 4-5 Citations for the
Médaille Militaire 1939-45 (fotw)
- LAPEL FLAG (or PIN)
- 1) A metal or plastic flag – sometimes showing a badge or coat of arms
below - worn on the dress or coat lapel as a patriotic or political symbol,
originally characteristic of the former Soviet Union and of the United States,
but now widely used elsewhere – a flag badge or flag pin.
- 2) A paper flag see ‘flag day 2)’.
Two flag pins (worldflags4u)
- A term sometimes incorrectly used to describe the leaves of a rose in place
of the heraldic barbed – see ‘barbed’.
- The heraldic term sometimes used to describe the tapes which hang below a bishop’s mitre – but see ‘stringed’ (also ‘mitre’).
Flag of Nelson City, New Zealand (fotw);
Arms and Flag of Real, Braga, Portugal (fotw)
- In heraldry see ‘gouttes’.
Flag and Arms of Samnanger, Norway (fotw)
- LATE-GOTHIC (or LATE-GOTHIC-STYLE) SHIELD
- The term sometimes used (albeit inaccurately) in vexillology to describe a round-bottomed or Spanish-style shield -
but see note below (also ‘rectangular shield’,
‘shield 2)’ and
Please note that in vexillology the terms Gothic and late-Gothic appear to be used indiscriminately
to describe either a pointed or a round-bottomed shield, and the Editors suggest
therefore, that both these terms, if used at all, should be restricted to those with a pointed base.
- LATIN CROSS
- The heraldic term for a cross that does not usually extend to the edges of a shield, flag, panel or flag, but whose horizontal arm is shorter than its vertical and which is set above the centre line – a long cross (see also ‘Greek cross’ and ‘cross 2)’).
Latin Cross Example; Flag and Arms of
Budinšćina, Croatia (Fame);
Flag and Arms of Vila de Ala, Portugal (fotw)
1) Unless referring to a plain cross, this term should always accompanied by a further description, for example a “Latin cross treflee” as illustrated below.
Arms and Flag of Negoslavci, Croatia (fotw)
2) In vexillological terms a Latin cross throughout becomes an off-centred
cross – see ‘off-centered cross 2)’ (also ‘throughout’).
Arms and Flag of Thunstetten, Switzerland (Wikipedia & fotw)
- LATIN CROSS BOTTONY
- See ‘cross of victory’.
Flag and Arms of Asturias, Spain (fotw & ICH)
- LATIN CROSS THROUGHOUT
- See ‘Latin cross’, and
‘off-centred cross 2)’ with its
Flag and Arms of Thunstetten, Switzerland (fotw
- 1) In vexillology a pattern of interlaced bars forming a (usually but not invariably) diagonal trellis.
2) In heraldry as above but see 'fretty'.
Flag and Arms of Glinde, Germany (fotw); Flag and Arms of
Haňovice, Czech Republic (fotw)
- LAUNCHING FLAGS
- Those flags flown from a vessel that is being launched prior to fitting out,
and which in naval usage are generally (but not invariably) of a prescribed type
and sequence (see also ‘dressing lines’ and
Launching of HMS St Albans 1747, UK (portcities)
- LAY UP (or LAYING UP) COLOURS (or COLORS)
- (v) The ceremonial deposit of regimental, unit, service or national colours
in a church, cathedral or museum when they are worn out, or when the regiment
or military organisation is disbanded (see also
‘colour 2)’ and
- LAYERED CROSS
- A term that may be used to describe a cross whose horizontal arm differs in colour
from its vertical as in the flag of the former Netherlands Antilles (see also ‘cross 1)’,
Flag of the Netherlands Antilles 1986 - 2010 (fotw);
Flag of Bělov, Czech Republic (fotw); Flag of Obecuri, Spain (fotw);
Burgee of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (fotw)
a) This term has been introduced by the
Editors as no established alternative could be found.
It should only be used in the
description of flags as illustrated above, and does not include crosses which show two colours
because of a fimbriation, or are divided in ways other than those shown.
- LAYERED SALTIRE
- A term that may be used to describe any saltire where an arm of one colour overlays (or
apparently overlays) an arm of a different colour as in the examples given below (see also
‘layered cross’, ‘saltire’
Flag of Rubi, Spain (fotw); Flag of
Horní Cerekev, Czech Republic (fotw);
City of Alfarràs, Spain (fotw); Flag of
Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA (fotw)
a) This term has been
introduced by the Editors as no established alternative could be found.
b) It should only be used in the
description of flags as illustrated above, and does not include saltires which show two
colours because of a fimbriation, or are divided in ways other than those shown.