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Dictionary of Vexillology: S (Statant - Stumpmast)

Last modified: 2018-10-10 by rob raeside
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The heraldic term used when an animal is depicted on all four feet standing still whilst facing the dexter (see also ‘dexter’).

[statant example] Morkov, Czech Republic Morkov, Czech Republic Morkov, Czech Republic Morkov, Czech Republic Morkov, Czech Republic
Flag of Hammerfest, Norway (fotw); Arms and flag of Ferrel, Portugal (fotw); Flag of Mořkov, Czech Republic (fotw); Arms and Flag of Morávka, Czech Republic (fotw)

See under ‘arms’.

[Australia arms]  [South Australia arms]
National Arms of Australia (ICH); Arms of The State of South Australia (ICH)

1) See ‘national colours’.
2) A special mark of distinction carried by some foot regiments of the British Brigade of Guards – but see ‘second colour’ (also 'colour 2)', ‘colours 2)’ and ‘royal standard 3)’).
3) The colours selected by a sub-national entity – particularly if the entity is called a “state” - as representative of that entity - landesfarben (see also ‘livery colours’, ‘state flag 2)’, ‘state symbols 2)’ and ‘sub-national flag’).
4) In US military usage a term, now obsolete, for one of the colours carried by a unit of state militia or volunteers (usually when mustered into federal service) as the second colour along with a national colour of the same design as that used by regiments of the regular army.

[State colours]  [State colours]  [State colours]  [State colours]  [State colours]
National Colours of Italy, the US, France and Poland; Colours of the State of New Mexico, US

See ‘emblem state, or national or royal’ under ‘emblem’.

[State emblem] [State emblem]
State Emblem of Turkmenistan (fotw); State/National Emblem of North Korea (fotw)

1) See ‘government ensign’ under 'ensign'.
2) A term used to denote that flag flown on vessels operated by the government agencies of a sub national entity – but see ‘admiralty flag 2)’ (also ‘state flag 2)’) .

[State ensign - Belgium] [State ensign - Hamburg]
State/Government Ensign of Belgium (fotw); State Ensign of Hamburg, Germany (fotw)

1) A variant of the national flag (or occasionally a completely different design) which is restricted by law or custom (theoretically or actually) to use by a country's government, and can often differ from the national flag by the addition of a coat of arms or emblem – the government flag or federal service flag (see also ‘civil flag’, ‘coat of arms’, ‘emblem, national’ and ‘national flag’, together with ‘government ensign’ and ‘naval ensign’ listed under ‘ensign’).
2) The flag of a territorial sub-division within a country, especially when that subdivision is called a “state”. To avoid confusion with 1) however, such a flag should normally be more precisely referred to as “the flag of the state of” (see also ‘anti-heraldry’, ‘military crest’, ‘seal’, ‘state arms 3)’ under ‘arms’, ‘state colours 3)’ ‘state ensign 2)’ ‘state service flag’ and ‘sub-national flag’).

[Lithuania] [Austria] [Peru] [Tennessee]
State Flag of Lithuania (fotw); Federal Service Flag of Austria (fotw); State Flag of Peru (fotw); Flag of the State of Tennessee, US (Graham Bartram)

See ‘military crest’.

[Nebraska crest]
State Military Crest of Nebraska, US (fotw)

1) See ‘seal of the state of’.
2) See ‘seal’.

[Utah seal] [Northern Marianas seal]
Seal of the State of Utah, US (fotw); State Seal of the Northern Mariana Islands (fotw)

1) A term describing those flags of particularly (but not exclusively) German or Austrian states - or Länder - that are intended for official as opposed to civil use (see also ‘ceremonial flag 1)’, ‘official flag 2)’, ‘state flag 2)’ and ‘sub-national flag’ with following notes).
2) See ‘federal service flag’.

[State Service Flag of Saxony] [Civil Flag of Saxony] [State Service Flag of Styria] [Civil Flag of Styria]
The State Service Flag and Civil Flag of Saxony, Germany; The State Service Flag and Civil Flag of Styria, Austria (fotw)

1) See ‘national symbols’.
2) Those things, often established by law, which have been adopted as being symbolic of a sub-national entity particularly when that entity is called a state, these may include the flag of the state, and the state coat of arms or emblem, the state colours and possibly a motto, a plant, an animal and/or a bird etc (see also ‘national symbols’ and ‘state colours 2)’).

[New Mexico state symbol] [New Mexico state symbol] [New Mexico state symbol] [New Mexico state symbol] [New Mexico state symbol]
Some Symbols of the State of New Mexico, US: Flag of the State, State Colours, State Seal. State Bird - Road Runner, State Flower – Yucca (fotw, Official Website and CS)

A direct translations of the German term Reichskriegsflagge, and referring to the war flags in use from 1935 to 1945 - see ‘war flag 1)’ and ‘war flag 2)’.

[New Mexico state symbol]  [New Mexico state symbol]
Reichskriegsflaggen/State War Flags of Germany 1935 – 1938 and 1938 – 1945 (fotw)

A heavy high mast supported by means of stay cables. Stayed masts are often erected at sea training establishments with proper main and top yards for seamanship training purposes or at yacht clubs, and are fitted with a main yard gaff for the hoisting of an ensign (see also ‘ensign’, ‘gaff’, ‘peak’, ‘sailor’s mast’ and ‘yard’).

The Latin/Italian for star and occasionally seen in place of that term – see ‘star 1)’.

The term used when the diagonal dividing line on a shield, banner of arms or a flag is created by a series of step-like indentations (see also ‘dancetty’, ‘serrated 1)’, ‘stepped fly’ and ‘stepped gonfalon’).

[stepped example] [stepped example] [stepped example] [stepped example]
Flag and Arms of Donja Stubica, Croatia (fotw); Flag and Arms of St Gingolph, Switzerland (fotw & Wikipedia)

Please note that this term may also be used to describe other charges as appropriate, for example a “mount stepped” as illustrated below – see ‘mount’ (also ‘cross of Calvary’).

[stepped example] [stepped example] 
Flag and Arms of Argeriz, Portugal (fotw)

1) (adj) A term for the type of flag, now largely (if not wholly) obsolete, whose fly is extended by a rectangular projection (smaller in width and of varying length) centred on the horizontal meridian of the flag (see also ‘engrailed fly’, ‘fly 1)’, ‘meridian’, ‘stepped’, ‘schwenkel’, ‘stepped’ and ‘tails’).
2) See ‘stepped gonfalon’ below.

[stepped flags] [stepped flags] [stepped flags] [stepped flags]
A selection of 19th Century US House Flags (CS)

This was not considered an established term and had been introduced by the Editors as no (accurately descriptive) established alternative could then be found, however, since that time the Italian term “gonfaloni scalinati” has been discovered and is accordingly defined below.
At the time of writing it is unclear as to whether the flag having a straight-sided but angled fly (as illustrated below) should be considered as “engrailed” or “stepped” – see ‘engrailed fly’.

Betxi, Spain
Flag of Betxi, Spain (Jose Antonio Jimenez Ruiz)

(adj) The term (and a direct translation of the Italian “gonfaloni scalinati”) that may be used to describe those gonfalons whose fly forms a series of steps as in the examples given below (see also ‘gonfalon’ and ‘stepped’ ).

stepped gonfalons
Asymmetric Right (or Dexter) Stepped; Asymmetric Left (or Sinister) Stepped; Symmetrical Outwardly Stepped; Symmetrical Inwardly Stepped

See ‘lapel flag 1)’.

[flag pin]
Stickpin flag (worldflags4u)

In heraldry see ‘gemmed 1)’.

[stoned] [stoned]
Flag and Arms of Villarsel-le-Gibloux, Switzerland (fotw & ICH)

1) Specifically, in US military usage, the smallest size of national flag flown at army and marine corps posts - 5 feet (1.5 m) wide by 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m) long, or half as wide and half as long as a marine corps post flag (see also ‘garrison flag’ and ‘post flag’).
2) Generally, a smaller size of flag than that laid down for general use, and meant to be flown in stormy weather.
3) See ‘storm warning flag’ below.

In US and some other usage, one of a system of flags and pennants used to warn mariners of severe weather in the area - a weather of weather warning flag (see also ‘beach flag’ and ‘maritime lifesaving flags’).

Storm warning flag Storm warning flag
US Coast Guard Hurricane Warning Flag and Gale Warning Pennant (fotw)

1) A long narrow ribbon attached to a flag’s staff, such as those upon which battle honours are inscribed (see also ‘award streamer’, ‘banderole’, ‘battle honour’ and ‘streamer retaining ring’).
2) The term for a long narrow flag or pennant, now obsolete, usually (but not invariably) showing livery colours, often stiffened with a frame and flown from a vessel for reasons of bravado or as decoration – sometimes (inaccurately) called a gonfalon (see also ‘ancient 2)’, ‘deck flags’, ‘frame 2)’, ‘livery colours’, ‘masthead pennant 2)’, ‘merchant pendant’, ‘pavisade’, ‘pennant 2)’ and ‘postures’.
3) See ‘wimpel’.

Please note with regard to 2) that streamers supplied to the Henry Grace a Dieu (flagship of the English royal fleet) in 1514 are recorded as having ranged between 15 and 51 yards (13.5m and 46m) long.

[streamers]  [streamers]  [streamers]
The Henri Grace a Dieu, The Peter and The Salamander, English Royal Navy c1525 (Wiki)

An often decorative, ridged band sometimes fitted to the staff of a military colour below the finial, and from which battle streamers are suspended (see also ‘battle honour, ‘colour 2)’, ‘staff 2)’ and ‘streamer 1)’).

(v) A largely nautical term meaning to surrender - to lower or haul down one's flag, as a sign of that surrender (see also ‘battle ensign(s)’, ‘colours 4)’ and ‘nail one’s colours to the mast’).

In heraldry a term used when the strings of a bow or of a musical instrument, the carrying strap of a horn, or the tapes that hang below a prelate’s mitre, particularly when these are of a different tincture (see also ‘bugle horn’, ‘crozier’, ‘garnished’, ‘lappets’, ‘mitre’ and ‘tincture’).

stringed stringed stringed stringed stringed
National Arms of Ireland (fotw); Flag of Cornellŕ del Terri, Spain (fotw); Arms of Gandra, Portugal (fotw); Flag and Arms of Bustos, Troviscal e Mamarrosa, Portugal (fotw)

A band or bands of colour – whether disposed vertically, horizontally or diagonally – which generally reach one or more edges of a flag, but which do not cover the whole area – see ‘striped’ (also ‘appendix IX’, ‘bar’, ‘bend’, ‘converging stripes’, ‘expanding stripe(s)’, ‘fess’, ‘multi-stripe’, ‘pale’, ‘triband’, ‘tricolour’ and ‘bicolour’).

Zambia Gabon Mauritius Rio Grande do Sul
National Flag of Zambia (fotw); National Flag of Gabon (fotw); National Flag of Mauritius (fotw); Flag of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (fotw)

Please note that the most common heraldic terms used in describing the stripe on a shield or banner of arms are listed separately, however, it is suggested that suitable a glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted for further details.

The term used to describe a flag having more than two parallel bands of colour – whether disposed vertically, horizontally or diagonally – but see ‘appendix IX’, ‘converging stripes’, ‘expanding stripe(s)’,  ‘multi-stripe’, ‘stripe’, ‘triband’, and ‘tricolourtricolour ’ (also ‘bicolour’).

Belgium civil flag Germany Uganda Berne
Civil Flag of Belgium (fotw); National Flag of Germany (fotw); National Flag of Uganda (fotw); Flag of Berne, Switzerland (fotw)

A truncated mast (see also ‘flying line’, and ‘mast 1)’).

Please note that a stumpmast with a fixed yard at the truck giving it a T-shape is common right forward in the bows of those bulk cargo carrying vessels plying the inland waterways of Europe so as to allow for passing under bridges and other overhead obstructions. The taller of this type of mast is also often hinged for lowering to deck level for the same purpose (see also 'truck' and 'yard').

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