- CABLE NUMBER
- A code number identifying a precise shade of colour in the system developed
by the Color Association of the United States, usually associated with a specific
name, and used in the official specifications of US government and military flags
- for example, the official specification for the Stars and Stripes require: Cable
No. 70180. Old Glory Red, Cable No. 70001, White and Cable No. 70075, Old Glory Blue.
- The term for a charge, particularly an anchor, that is shown complete with its cable –
but see ‘foul anchor’ (also
From left: Flag of the Minister of Defence, Uruguay (fotw); Naval Jack of Ecuador (fotw); Flag of
Melide, Switzerland (fotw)
- CABLED CROSS
- See roped cross.
- CABOSHED (CABOSSED or CABOOCHED)
- See ‘appendix V’.
When an animal's head is borne full-faced and with no part of the neck visible - cabossed or cabooched.
Flag of Uri, Switerland (fotw)
- CADENCY, MARK(S) OF
- A heraldic term for the mark of difference added to an escutcheon to indicate
that the bearer is heir to the owner, or a direct descendent of the family to
which the primary coat of arms belongs, or that the person is a member of a related
branch of the same family – differencing.
Please note however, that the form these marks take
may vary from country to country – for example – the cadency label is used on
several British royal banners in deference to (although not in strict accordance
with) English heraldic practice, whilst traditional Scottish heraldry is more
likely to employ a bordure and other European traditions may change the colour
of a charge. It is suggested therefore, that a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary
be consulted for further details (see also
‘coat of arms’,
The cadency marks of the 1st to the 6th son in English heraldry (Parker)
- The magic wand or rod of Hermes/Mercury (patron of commerce) with two serpents wound around a
winged staff; formerly also a symbol
of the occult and of alchemists (amongst others), it is now more often (although by no means exclusively) associated with medical institutions
the staff of Hermes or of Mercury (see also ‘Staff of Asclepius’).
From left: Flag of the Army Surgeon General and Emblem of the Army Medical
Corps, US (fotw); Flag of the Head of State Tax Administration, Ukraine (fotw)
Please note that this should not be confused with the Staff of Asclepius
as referenced above, which has only one snake on an unadorned staff and is symbolic of the medical profession.
- CALATRAVA CROSS
- See ‘cross of Calatrava’
Putative Banner of the Order of Calatrava, Spain (fotw)
- CALL SIGN
- Every vessel at sea is allocated an international call sign consisting of
at least four letters for identification purposes by any means of signalling available,
including flags – see ‘call sign hoist’ below.
Please note that the current international call sign is
made up of two letters identifying the country of registration and additional
flags identifying the particular ship ship but see make her number. Most navies also prescribe tactical call
signs according to their own naval signal codes and which is used intra-service
for operational purposes. Warships also generally hoist their international call
signs at the yardarm when entering or leaving harbour (see also
- CALL SIGN HOIST
- A hoist of signal flags displaying the international call sign of a civil
or naval vessel but see make her number (also
‘international code of signal flags’,
‘pendant number’ and
NZAD (November-Zulu-Alpha-Delta) in the International Code of Signal Flags and the Call Sign Hoist of USS Blair (fotw)
- CALTRAP (CALTROP or CALTHROP)
- The heraldic term for a three or four-armed (usually but not invariably faceted) figure
that represents an implement of war consisting of four spikes which, when thrown on the
ground, always has one point facing upwards, and designed to injure horses a caltrop,
calthrop, cheval-trap or galtrap (see also faceted).
Example: First Captains Colour, Green Trayned Band, London England c1642 (CS); Standard of the Earl of Perth, Scotland (geocities.com)
- CALVARY CROSS
- See ‘cross of Calvary’ in ‘appendix VIII’.
Flag of Geraardsbergen, Belgium (fotw)
- CAMBRIDGE FLAG
- See ‘continental colours’.
Cambridge Flag/Continental Colours 1775 1777, US (fotw)
- CAMP COLOUR (or COLOR)
- 1) An alternative term for a company colour in some regiments of British and
Canadian foot guards (but see also ‘company colour’
and note below).
- 2) See ‘camp flag’.
- 3) A term, now largely obsolete, for a small military flag originally used
to delineate the boundaries of a regiment's encampment and later used in some
armies as a company guide flag, to mark turning points in manoeuvring troops
(but see also ‘fanion 3)’).
Please note with regard to 1) that as far as is known this term is
used by the British Grenadier Guards, the Grenadier Guards of Canada and the Governor
General’s Foot Guards (also Canada) in place of company colour.
- CAMP FLAG
- In the British and some other army usage, a non-ceremonial flag, often
containing the relevant badge against regimental colours, and used to indicate
the presence of a unit, Corps or Regiment, or the position of their headquarters, within a camp or other location – a
regimental, unit or headquarters flag (see also
‘emblem military and governmental/departmental’ and
‘regimental colours 2)’).
The Army Air Corps,
UK (Graham Bartram); The
Royal Regiment of Artillery, UK (Graham Bartram);
The Training and Development Branch, Canada (fotw); The
Corps of Royal Engineers, UK (Graham Bartram)
- CAMP SILK
- See ‘camp colour 1)’ and
- CANADIAN PALE
- A term used when the central stripe in a vertical triband has
internal proportions of 1-2-1 as in the Canadian national flag – but see note
below and ‘unequal triband’
(also ‘proportions 2)’,
National Flag of Canada (CS); Flag of
North West Territories, Canada (fotw); Flag of
Brantford, Canada (fotw);
Flag of Benátky and Jizerou, Czech Republic (fotw)
Please note, it is suggested that the entry on pale and/or
a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted before using this term, and that if used
at all it should apply only to Canadian Flags.
- CANTABRIAN LABARUM
- The flag of the Cantabrian independence movement showing a wheel-like emblem that is
considered symbolic of the ancient Cantabrians of Northern Spain.
The Cantabrian Labarum (fotw)
- Bearers of the ‘cantabrum’ - but see below.
- It is proposed by some sources that this is the standard used by later Roman
Emperors and believed to have been a type of vexillum (see also
Please note - not to be confused with a cantabrian labarum
(see 'cantabrian labarum').
- An originally heraldic term for when the design on a shield or any quartering thereof,
on a banner of arms or a flag
forms a pun on the name or attributes of the entity or person represented –
allusive arms or armes parlantes (see
also ‘armorial bearings’).
Standard of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, UK (fotw); flag of
Greifensee, Switzerland; Flag and Arms of
Brodski Stupnick, Croatia fotw);
flag of Bila Tserkva, Ukraine (fotw)
a) The Royal Standard of HM The Queen Mother shows the Royal Arms of Great Britain impaled with quartered Bows and Lions for her family name of Bowes-Lyon,
b) The German for griffon is Greif.
c) Stupisis is the Croatian for column.
d) Bila Tserkva means white church in Ukrainian.
- 1) Commonly, all or part of the upper hoist – or first - quarter of a flag’s
field that has not vertical divisions and/or otherwise undivided - the canton (see also
‘inner canton’ and
- 2) A rectangular (or square) area of colour or design different from the field
in the above position, which may occupy exactly one quarter of the flag or a larger
or smaller area (see also ‘canton flag’ below,
‘quarter 1)’ and
- One of the four quarters of a flag, divided horizontally and vertically into:
- corresponding to quarters one to four of a shield divided quarterly
(see also ‘Appendix I’,
- (1) the upper hoist or upper hoist canton,
- (2) the upper fly or upper fly canton,
- (3) the lower hoist or lower hoist canton and
- (4) the lower fly or lower fly canton
- 4) In heraldry as definition 2) except (although apparently of no fixed size)
heraldic use frequently suggests that a canton should occupy one-third of the
chief (see also ‘chief’).
From left: National Flag of Liechtenstein (fotw); Flag of Kelantan, Malaysia (fotw); National Flag of Liberia (fotw)
- CANTONAL ARMS (or COAT OF ARMS)
- The arms of a territorial division within a country, particularly if that
subdivision is called a canton e.g., one of those cantons (regions) that
make up the Swiss Confederation, or those of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Costa Rica
- see state arms 3) under arms
(also cantonal flag).
Arms of Bern, Switzerland (Wikipedia); Arms of
Posavina, Bosnia-Herzegovina (fotw)
- CANTONAL FLAG (or BANNER)
- The sub-national flag of a territorial division within a country,
particularly if that subdivision is is called a canton - e.g. one of the
cantons which make up the Swiss Confederation, or of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Costa Rica
(see also cantonal arms and ‘sub-national
Flag of Bern, Switzerland (fotw);
Posavina, Bosnia-Herzegovina (fotw);
Flag of Belen, Costa Rica (fotw)
- CANTONAL TRIANGLE
- The newly introduced term for a right-angled, triangular panel set with
its legs (or catheti) along the hoist and upper edge of a flag as illustrated
below – but see ‘triangular panel 1)’.
Unit Colour 67th Military
Police Battalion, Croatia (Željko Heimer); Flag of
Imues, Columbia (fotw)
- CANTONED CROSS
- See ‘cross cantonée’ in ‘appendix
Flag of the
Kingdom of Jerusalem c1200 (CS)
- CANTON FLAG
- 1) A term used to describe the canton of a flag, or to describe the flag
itself, when its canton consists of another flag, as in for example the civil
ensigns of Australia and India, and the island flag of Nevis – a nationally
(see also ‘armorial ensign 2)’,
‘canton of St. George’,
‘civil ensign’ under ‘ensign’
and ‘colonial flag’).
- 2) See ‘cantonal flag’.
From left: Civil Ensign of Australia (fotw); Civil Ensign of
India (fotw); War Ensign of Brunei (fotw); Flag of the Island of
Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis (fotw)
- CANTON OF ST. GEORGE
- The term used when a flag’s canton is formed by the red cross of St George on
its white field – a St George’s canton (see also ‘canton 2)’,
‘canton flag’, ‘St George’s Cross 2)’
and ‘St. George's ensign’.
Some English Ensigns c1590 – 1707 (fotw)
- CAP BADGE
- See ‘badge 3)’.
Cap Badge of the
Grenadier Guards, UK (Wikipedia)
- CAP OF LIBERTY
- An ancient symbol in the form of a soft red cap which, as a consequence of having been
adopted by various revolutionary movements during the 18th century, has come to be regarded as a
symbol of resistance against monarchical or imperialist oppression – a liberty, Phrygian or
Current National Emblem,
Presidential Flag Afloat, and the Flag of the Army of the Andes 1817-18, Argentina (fotw);
Seal from the Reverse of the National Flag of Paraguay (Mello Luchtenberg)
- CAPTAINS COLOUR (or COLOR)
- See stand of colours 1) and venn.
Examples of First the Third Captains Colours in Venn A and Venn B, English c1641 (fotw & CS)
- CAPTURED FLAG
- See ‘trophy flag’.
Flag Captured at Blakely, Alabama 1 April 1865 (civil-war.com)