- An infantry sword of Ancient Rome – but see ‘sword’.
- GLOBUS CRUCIGER
- The cross that appears at the top of an orb - see ‘orb’.
Arms and Flag of Santa Cruz, Portugal (fotw)
- GOBONY (GOBONÉ or GOBONATED)
- Alternative heraldic terms to compony - see ‘compony’.
Flag of Tegerfelden, Switzerland (fotw)
- GOD'S EYE
- See ‘eye of God’.
Arms and Flag of Czernichów, Poland (fotw)
- GOLDEN MEAN (GOLDEN RATIO or GOLDEN SECTION)
- That proportion, first recoded by classical Greek sources, which is considered particularly pleasing
to the human eye; it is the ratio of two values where the relationship of the larger (B) to the smaller
(A) is the same as that of the total (A+B) to the larger (B) and has a value of approximately 1.618 - -
the divine, golden or magic ratio, or golden section.
a) Flag ratios are written as hoist:fly, or in this case A:B, which is approximately 1:1.618, however, it is suggested that a mathematical reference work be consulted if further or more complex details are required.
b) Rectangular flags are often made in ratios that approximate the golden mean, e.g. those of successive Fibronacci numbers - 1;1, 1:2, 2:3, 3:5, 5;8, 8:13 etc. – with those later in the this listed series being closer to the ideal.
- GONFALON (or GONFALONE)
- 1) The terms for a usually long (sometimes elaborate) flag designed to be
hung vertically from a cross bar, often having a shaped and/or fringed bottom
edge or terminating in tails or tongues and characteristic of Italy and of
Central Europe, or of the religious associations in Western Europe where it
might also be called a religious banner (see also
‘ceremonial flag 1)’,
‘dexter edge 2)’,
‘sinister edge 2)’,
and ‘triangular-ended tails’).
- 2) The terms sometimes used for a flag that is designed to be attached both along its hoist to the staff, and
along its top to a side-mounted cross-bar - but see
‘framed flag 1)’ and ‘outrigger flag’ (also ‘ring 4)’).
Gonfalon of Asciano, Italy (fotw); Gonfalon of
Delianuova, Italy (fotw); Gonfanon/Ceremonial Flag of Oriovac, Croatia (fotw)
Please note – not to be confused with a medieval gonfanon
or with the banner or hanging flag of German speaking and Central European countries (see
also ‘banner 2)’,
‘hanging flag’, and
- GONFALONI SCALINATI
- See ‘stepped gonfalon’.
- The bearer of a gonfalon or standard (see also ‘gonfalon’ and
- A term, now largely (if not wholly) obsolete, for the - often hereditary -
honorary office of gonfalonier (standard or flag bearer) to a monarch (see
- 1) A war flag of pre-heraldic Europe, often tapered from hoist to fly,
generally attached to a lance and ending in from two to five squared, rounded
or triangular tails - but see note below (also ‘double-tailed descate’,
‘swallowtail and tongue’ and
2) See ‘streamer 2)’.
Flag of Langenargen, Germany (fotw); Gonfanon of Eustache III of Auvergne c1100 (CS); The
Oriflamme of Pre-Heraldic and Medieval France (fotw)
Please note that this term specifically refers to a pre-heraldic European war flag,
and whilst sometimes (inaccurately) used to describe a medieval or late-medieval
streamer (as referenced above), it should not be confused with the later gonfalon,
banner or hanging flag as separately defined herein – see
‘banner of arms’ and
An article about the possible origins of the medieval gonfanons is
available in French on Jstor on the topic:
Aux sources des gonfanons
[The sources of gonfanons] / Suzy Dufrenne. Byzantion, Vol. 43 (1973), pp.
51-60. The author mused about the possible Eastern origin of the flags used
in early European Middle-Ages. She first noted the similarities of this type
of flag with others in the Byzantine world or in Central Asia. The oldest
(by her time) known representation of such a flag in Europe would be
a mosaic in Argos, Greece, dated from somewhere between the end of the
Vth and the beginning of the VIth centuries.
22 February 2023
- GONTFANONARIUS (or GONFAGONIER)
- Alternative medieval terms, now obsolete, for a ‘standard bearer’.
Gontfalonarius/Standard Bearer, English 1486 (Wikipedia)
- The generic term for a tapering piece or pieces of fabric that is sometimes used to describe
the triangular blue fields of the British union jack (see also
‘union flag 1)’,
‘union jack 1)’ and
‘union jack 2)’).
Commander in Chief in the Field Army, UK (fotw)
- The heraldic term used when a beast or bird (and occasionally another charge) is shown with its collar in a
different tincture - this may be either plain or decorated and is sometimes in the form of a coronet – collared
or accolé (see also
Flag of Posedarje, Croatia (fotw);
Flag of Oland, Sweden (fotw);
Flag of Podstrana, Croatia (fotw)
- GOTHIC (GOTHIC-STYLE or SHAPED) SHIELD
- The terms sometimes used in vexillology to describe a shield which is straight-sided through
part of its depth, and whose lower section consists of convex arcs that comes to a
point at the base – but see note below (also
‘shield 2)’, ‘Spanish-style shield’
and ‘triarched triangular shield’).
Please note that 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, if used at all, both these terms should be restricted to the type illustrated above.
- GOUTTES (GOUTÉ or GOUTTY)
- Alternative heraldic terms for a number of charges (usually specified) in the shape of a teardrop – gutté, gutty,
goutty, gouté or larmes.
Flag and Arms of Bistra, Croatia (fotw); Flag of
Tuhelj, Croatia (fotw)
Please note that these terms may be variously used dependent upon the tincture,
and we suggest that a suitable glossary or dictionary of heraldry be consulted for full details.
- GOVERNMENT (or GOVERNMENTAL) EMBLEM
- See ‘emblem, military or governmental/departmental’ under ‘emblem’.
Governmental Emblem of India (Wikipedia)
- GOVERNMENT ENSIGN
- See under ‘ensign’.
Government Ensign of Malaysia (fotw)
- GOVERNMENT (or GOVERNMENTAL) FLAG
- See ‘state flag 1)’.
See ‘ceremonial flag 1)’ and ‘official flag 2)’.
Government Flag of Liechtenstein (fotw);
Government/Ceremonial Flag of Nisko County, Poland (fotw)
- GOVERNMENT SERVICE JACK
- See ‘jack’.
Jack of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, UK (Martin Grieve)
- A term covering those sub-national areas under the administration of an
appointed governor – see the note below and ‘governor's flag’.
Flag of Dumyat (Governorate), Egypt (fotw); Flag of
al-Buhayrah (Governorate), Egypt (fotw)
Please note that this term (and a translation of “muhasfazah”) is most generally used in referring to the sub-national divisions of Arabic speaking countries.
- GOVERNOR'S FLAG
- 1) A flag of the chief administrator (either elected or appointed) of a sub-national entity – sometimes called a governorate, or
of the representative of a monarch (either at a national or sub-national level).
2) See ‘gubernatorial flag’.
Governor General’s Flag of
New Zealand (fotw); Governor’s Flag of
Gibraltar (fotw); Governor’s/Gubernatorial Flag of
Ohio, US (fotw)
- GOVERNOR'S SASH
- See ‘sash 1)’.
Governor’s Sash of Cordoba, Colombia (fotw)
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