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Dictionary of Vexillology: M (Magen David - Maltese Cross)

Last modified: 2019-05-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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MAGEN DAVID
The Shield or Star of David composed of two interlaced triangles forming a six pointed star, and symbolic of Judaism (see also ‘menorah’).

Israel Israel Israel
National Flag of Israel (fotw); Naval Ensign of Israel (fotw); Civil Ensign of Israel (fotw)

Please note that the Magen David is also known as the Seal of Solomon and as such may be represented as a pentagram of with five points as it now appears on the flags of Ethiopia and Morocco (based on the Hebrew Encyclopaedia) - see ‘pentagram’.

Ethiopia Ethiopia
National Emblem and Flag of Ethiopia


MAGIC RATIO
See ‘golden mean’.

[divided example]
National Flag of Togo in the golden mean/magic ratio (fotw)


MAIL FLAG (or PENNANT)
See ‘postal flag’.

mail flag  mail flag  mail flag
Flag of the Mail/Postal Service 1918 – 1941, Yugoslavia (fotw); Flag of the Mail/Postal Service, Russia (fotw); Royal Mail Pennant, UK (fotw)


MAIN, AT THE
(adv) The phrase used when a flag is flown from the truck of a ship’s mainmast it is described as being “at the main” – see ‘mainmast’ (also ‘mast’, ‘masthead’, ‘masthead pennant 1)’ and ‘truck’).

[at the fore example]
Flag of an Admiral c1850, Austria/Hungary (fame)

Please note that in the sailing/steam-assisted navy, the command flag of a full-admiral was formerly flown in this position (also ‘balls of difference’, ‘flag of command’ and ‘flagship’).


MAINMAST (or MAIN)
The most important mast in a ship or yacht, or the tallest mast in a sailing warship from which the masthead pennant was formerly flown – but see ‘main, at the’ (also ‘foremast’, ‘mast 2)’, ‘masthead’ and ‘mizzen’).

MAIN ORDINARIES
In heraldry see ‘ordinary’.

[chief example] [cross example] [pale example] [saltire example] [fess example] [pile example] [chevron example] [quarter example] [bend example]
Examples: Chief; Cross; Pale; Saltire; Fess; Pile; Chevron; Quarter; Bend


MAJOR'S COLOUR (or COLOR)
See ‘stand of colours 1)’ and ‘venn’.

[Major’s Colours example] [Major's Colours example]
Examples of Major’s Colours, English c1641 (Željko Heimer, CS and fotw)


MAKE HER NUMBER
(v) To hoist that group of signal flags which identify a ship in a recognized code code – a term now increasingly obsolete – see ‘call sign hoist’ and the note below (also ‘International Code of Signal Flags’, ‘pendant number’, ‘private signal 3)’ and ‘signal flag’).

ICS flag ICS flag ICS flag ICS flag
MTLQ in the 1866 Commercial Code of Signals – from 1880 The International Code of Signals - and the “number” of SS Australia (P&O Lines) c1898

Please note that use of two flags to indicate the country of registration applies only to a call sign hoist in the current International Code.


MAKING COLOURS
See ‘colours 5)’.

Naval Ensign UK  Naval Ensign RSA
Naval Ensign, UK (fotw); Naval Ensign South Africa 1952 – 1981 (fotw)


MALTESE CROSS
The heraldic term for a cross made up of four arrowheads, with straight-sided arms, eight outward facing points and four inner points which meet at the centre – a cross of (the order of) St. John of Jerusalem or a cross Maltese - but see ‘cross of eight points’ plus note a) below and ‘cross pattée’ (also ‘cross 2)’).

Maltese cross  Maltese cross  Maltese cross  Spanish Medical Services  Grand Master, Military Order of Malta     Lagow Poland flag
Flag of Riba-roja d'Ebre, Spain (fotw) Flag and Arms of Bardonnex, Switzerland (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag of the Grand Master of the Military Order of Malta (fotw); Arms of Polzela, Slovenia (fotw); Civil Ensign, Malta (fotw)

Notes
a) Although often misnamed, a cross of this type which does not have four defined points meeting at the centre, may be termed a “cross of eight-points” as reference above.
b) The cross on the national flag of Malta is not a Maltese cross but is the emblem of a British order of gallantry – the George Cross.


MALTESE-TYPE CROSS
See ‘cross of eight points’.

Maltese-type cross Maltese-type cross
Flag and Burgee of the Royal Forth Yacht Club, UK (fotw)


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