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Dictionary of Vexillology: G (Guardant - Gyrons)

Last modified: 2018-05-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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The heraldic term used when an animal has its face towards the onlooker – gardant (see also ‘affronty’ and ‘caboshed’).

[example of guardant] [example of guardant] [example of guardant] [example of guardant] [example of guardant] [example of guardant]
Flag and Arms of Sobrio, Switzerland (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag of the Duchy of Lancaster, UK (Graham Bartram); Flag of Häggenschwil, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of the Cinque Ports, UK (fotw); Flag of Duderstadt (Germany (fotw)

In particularly (but not exclusively) US usage, a flag which symbolizes the office of governor - a governor’s flag – see ‘governor's flag 1)’.

Tennessee governor's flag Hawaii governor's flag Nevada governor's flag Nevada governor's flag
Flag of the Governor of Tennessee, US (fotw); Flag of the Governor of Hawaii, US (fotw); Flag of the Governor of Michigan, US (fotw); Flag of the Governor of Nevada. US (fotw)

In US usage the practice, almost certainly obsolete, of flying a blue flag with a white descending diagonal stripe from the starboard yardarm (or spreader) of a pleasure vessel when a guest is on board but the owner is absent (see also ‘descending diagonal’, ‘dinner flag’, ‘meal pennant’, ‘owner absent flag’ and ‘yardarm’).

guest on board flag
Guest on Board Flag, US (fotw)

1) In US and some other military usage, a small, generally swallow-tailed flag used by army formations below battalion level - company, battery, troop, platoon, detachment – and at group level in the air force (but see also ‘fanion 2)’ and ‘swallow tail(ed)’).
2) In UK and some other military usage, the swallow-tailed flag (sometimes double-tailed descate, descate or other variations) that is the cavalry equivalent of an infantry regimental colour, and still displayed on fighting vehicles by their successors (see also ‘colour 2)’, ‘cornet’, ‘chamfered swallow-tail’, ‘descate’, ‘double-tailed descate’, ‘hussar cut’ and ‘rounded swallow-tail’).
3) A Scottish flag 2.40m long, tapering to a rounded (or lanceolate) fly, it has a body in livery colours, with the owner's crest or badge at the hoist and his motto in the fly, and is used by lairds who have a following but are not peers or feudal barons – see ‘pennon 3)’ (also ‘badge in heraldry’, ‘lanceolate’, ‘livery colours’, ‘motto’ and ‘pinsel’)..
4) Generically, any small swallow-tailed flag.

[guidon] [guidon] [guidon]
Guidon of the 511th Military Police Co, US (Tom Gregg); Guidon of the Blues and Royals, UK (Graham Bartram/Željko Heimer); Guidon of the Royal Gloucestershire Yeomanry 1797, UK (fotw)

Please note, some sources suggest that the term is derived from guide-homme (guide-man), but this remains unproven, and the similarity with the medieval terms ‘geton’, ‘giton’ or ‘gytton’ cannot be ignored.

A term used to describe the individual segment or segments of a geometric carpet design and usually employed to describe those on the national flag of Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan Turkmenistan
National Flag of Turkmenistan and enlarged detail (fotw)

A heraldic term for the colour red - see ‘tinctures’ (also ‘rule of tincture’).

[colour example]

1) A form of saluting, ashore and afloat, in which 21 blank rounds are fired by artillery or naval guns to honour a country or its flag.
2) A form of saluting in which an appropriate number of guns are fired to honour a head of state, other dignitary, or a senior officer, or the flag representing him (see also ‘broad pennant’, ‘distinguishing flag 1)’, ‘flag of command’, ‘flagship’ and ‘rank flag 1)’).

[gun salute] [gun salute]
Gun Salute, Holland 1707 (Wikipedia); Gun Salute by the Royal Horse Artillery UK (Wikipedia)

In an exchange of such salutes, naval officers receive the number of guns appropriate to their rank - that is an Admiral of the Fleet/five star admiral/grand admiral - 19 guns; Admiral - 17 guns; Vice Admiral - 15 guns; Rear Admiral – 13 guns, whilst a Commodore receives 11 guns and a Captain only seven.
b) In some countries a celebratory salute of as many as 101 guns may be fired at the birth of a royal heir or other occasion of national celebration (example--50 guns at noon on 4 July at US Army posts), and that minute guns (that is one shot fired every minute) may be fired in connection with the death or funeral of a person entitled to a gun salute.

A medieval term, now obsolete, for a gonfanon (see ‘gonfanon’).


In heraldry see ‘gouttes’.

[gutty / larmes] [gutty / larmes]
Flag and Arms of Samnanger, Norway (fotw)

The heraldic term for when the field of a flag or shield is divided into sectors (called gyrons or girons) radiating from or near the centre of the flag or shield – typically eight in heraldic practice, but an undetermined number on flags – Geronny or Gironné. See ‘radiant’ plus ‘cross gyronny’ (and compare with ‘radiating’, ‘sector(s) 1)’, ‘sectored 2)’ and ‘flammes’). See supplemental note

[gyronny] [gyronny] [gyronny] [gyronny] [gyronny]
Flag of Fafe, Portugal (fotw); Flag of La Vídola, Spain (fotw); Flag of Lins, Brazil (fotw); Flag of Itaiópolis, Brazil (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘cross gyronny’.

[gyronny cross]
Flag of Eelde, The Netherlands (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘flammes’.

[gyronny wavy]
Flag of Mulhouse, Germany 1770 – 1798 (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘gyronny’.

Flag of Balneário Camboriú, Brazil (fotw)

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