- 1) A flag based on the vexillum and combining Christian symbols with those of the
Roman military, introduced by the Emperor Constantine in the early 4th Century AD, and
later used as an imperial standard (see also ‘vexillum’).
2) The term sometimes used to describe a (comparatively) simple religious banner see banner 3).
Please note - not to be confused with a cantabrian labarum
(see 'cantabrian labarum').
The Labarum of Constantine: Modern Religious Labara (Wikipedia)
- 1) See ‘cadency, mark of’.
- 2) In British usage, the (varyingly detailed) marks of cadency employed on the standards of particular Royal Family members (see also royal
standard(s) 2), plus cadency, mark of and its following note
difference 1) and
British Royal Standards Showing the Labels of
HRH Prince William and of
HRH Princess Anne (fotw)
- LAMB OF GOD
- See ‘agnus dei’.
Flag of Berlikum, The Netherlands (fotw)
- A long light-weight spear with which some cavalry regiments were formerly
armed, and upon which the standard or guidon was also carried - now restricted
to historical or ceremonial use (see also
‘guidon 1) & 2)’,
‘lance flag’, ‘lance pennon 1)’,
and ‘standard 2)’).
- LANCE FLAG (or PENNANT)
- A small flag or pennant, usually swallow-tailed or triangular and of
generally simple (bicolour) design, formerly carried below the lance head by
those cavalry regiments so armed, or currently by some mounted police units in
parade dress, and now restricted to historical/ceremonial use - a lance pennon (see
also ‘banneret 2)’,
‘lance’ and ‘lance pennon 1)’).
From left: Lance Flags, British c1840; Mounted Police, New South Wales and
Please note that the use of lance-armed cavalry and the
general design of their flag or pennant derive from Polish practice – Poland having
been the country from which lance-armed light cavalry was adopted in the late 18th
- LANCE PENNON
- 1)The term for an armigerous lance flag, either triangular, either
fork-tailed or square-ended according to rank, and carried by a medieval mounted knight (see also
banner of arms,
‘banneret 2)’, ‘lance’,
2) 2) See badge pennon.
3) See ‘lance flag’.
Lance Pennon of Sir Robert Knolles. Knight Banneret c1360, England;
Lance Pennon of a Pennoncier (or Knight Bachelor), England 1415; Badge Pennon, England c1460
- (adj) A term used that may be used to describe a rounded fly – but see
‘standard 4)’ and
Examples (2); Flag of Lesna, Poland (Jarig Bakker)
Please note that the differences between “ovigal” and “lanceolate” are
often very slight, and we suggest that both entries be consulted.
- See 'national colours 2)' and
'state colours 3)' (also
Landesfarben/National Colours, Germany; Landesfarben/State Colours, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt
- LANGUAGE FLAGS
- See ‘linguistic flags’.
Amalgam/Language Flags for English and German
- The heraldic term used when the tongue of the beast, if shown, is of different tincture
than the rest of the body (see also ‘armed 2),
armed and langued,
See ‘appendix V’
Flag of Östergötland, Sweden (fotw); Flag of Aalter, Belgium (fotw); Flag of Uri, Switzerland (fotw)
- 1) In French military usage and in some others – and a translation of fourragère
– the term for those cords and tassels that are worn on military uniforms to signify the
award of a unit decoration, and may decorate that unit's military colour – see
(also ‘colour 2)’,
‘jack of honour’,
‘lanyard pennant’ and
2) See ‘halyard’.
3) See ‘dress knot’ and its following note.
- LANYARD PENNANT
- In French Naval usage, the term – and a translation of flamme de
fourragère - for a tapered pennant in various colours, charged with the Croix de Guerre
and having a rounded (or lanceolate) fly, which is flown to indicate that a vessel has received
citations for a certain number of military decorations (see also ‘cravat 1) and its following
‘jack of honour’,
‘lanyard 1)’ and
From left: 6 Citations for the Legion d’Honneur, 1914-18 (fotw); 4-5 Citations for the Médaille Militaire 1939-45 (fotw)
- LAPEL FLAG (or PIN)
- 1) A metal or plastic flag – sometimes showing a badge or coat of arms
below - worn on the dress or coat lapel as a patriotic or political symbol,
originally characteristic of the former Soviet Union and of the United States,
but now widely used elsewhere – a flag badge or flag pin.
- 2) A paper flag see ‘flag day 2)’.
Two flag pins (worldflags4u)
- A term sometimes incorrectly used to describe the leaves of a rose in place
of the heraldic barbed – see ‘barbed’.
- See ‘gouttes’.
Flag of Samnanger, Norway (fotw)
- LATE-GOTHIC (or LATE-GOTHIC-STYLE) SHIELD
- The term sometimes used (albeit inaccurately) in vexillology to describe a round-bottomed or Spanish-style shield -
but see note below (also ‘rectangular shield’,
‘shield 2)’ and
Please note that in vexillology 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 both these terms, if used at all, should be restricted to those with a pointed base.
- LATIN CROSS
- See ‘appendix VIII’.
From Left: Latin Cross Example; Flag and Arms of
Budinćina, Croatia (Fame)
- LATIN CROSS THROUGHOUT
- See ‘appendix VIII’, and
‘off-centred cross 2)’ with its
Flag of Thunstetten, Switzerland (fotw)
- LAUNCHING FLAGS
- Those flags flown from a vessel that is being launched prior to fitting out,
and which in naval usage are generally (but not invariably) of a prescribed type
and sequence (see also ‘dressing lines’ and
Launching of HMS St Albans 1747, UK (portcities)
- LAY UP (or LAYING UP) COLOURS (or COLORS)
- (v) The ceremonial deposit of regimental, unit, service or national colours
in a church, cathedral or museum when they are worn out, or when the regiment
or military organisation is disbanded (see also
‘colour 2)’ and
- LAYERED CROSS
- A term that may be used to describe a cross whose horizontal arm differs in colour
from its vertical as in the flag of the former Netherlands Antilles (see also ‘cross 1)’,
Flag of the Netherlands Antilles 1986 - 2010 (fotw); Former Flag of The Canada Steamship line (fotw); Flag of Belov, Czech Republic (fotw)
a) This term has been introduced by the
Editors as no established alternative could be found.
It should only be used in the
description of flags as illustrated above, and does not include crosses which show two colours
because of a fimbriation, or are divided in ways other than those shown.
- LAYERED SALTIRE
- A term that may be used to describe any saltire where an arm of one colour overlays (or
apparently overlays) an arm of a different colour as in the examples given below (see also
‘layered cross’, saltire’
Flag of Rubi, Spain (fotw); Flag of Horní Cerekev, Czech Republic;
City of Alfarràs, Spain (fotw); Flag of Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA (fotw)
a) This term has been
introduced by the Editors as no established alternative could be found.
b) It should only be used in the
description of flags as illustrated above, and does not include saltires which show two
colours because of a fimbriation, or are divided in ways other than those shown.
- LEADING EDGE
- An alternative term for the dexter edge of a vertically hung banner or a gonfalon
– see ‘dexter edge’.
Please note, that this term has been introduced by the Editors
as a vexillological alternative to the heraldically derived ”dexter edge”.
- LEAFY CROWN
- A newly introduced term and translation of the German Blattkrone - that may be
used to describe a crown which is apparently formed from a series of leaves (see also
crown of arms,
mural crown 1), and
provincial crown 2)).
Greater Arms of Baden-Wόrttemberg, Germany (Klaus-Michael Schneider).
- A term sometimes used in heraldic blazoning to indicate that a flower or
plant is shown complete with its stalk and leaves (see also
Flag of Sins, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of
Wynau, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of
Kammersrohr, Switzeralnd (fotw)
- The edge of a sail that lies opposite to its yard, and is used (in place of “at the peak” on
gaff-rigged vessels) to indicate the position of an ensign when flown from a halyard running from
the outer end of the mainsail boom to the mast of a Bermuda rigged sailing yacht - instead of from
an ensign staff at the stern (see also
Ensign Flown At The Leech: Ensign At The Peak
Please note that an ensign should always be flown from an ensign staff at the stern whilst at anchor or berthed alongside.
- LEISURE ENSIGN
- See ‘yacht ensign’ under ‘ensign’.
Ensign of the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (fotw)
- LEFT DIAGONAL (or LEFT DIAGONAL BAR)
- See ascending diagonal 1) and
Flag and Arms of Les Cullayes, Switzerland (fotw and CS)
- A term that may be used (in place of its heraldic equivalent) when the obverse of a
flag is depicted (or is manufactured) with its hoist to the observers left in accordance
with Western tradition but see
dexter hoist and the note below (also
hoist 1) and
National Flag of Germany (fotw)
Please note that the Editors recommend use of the heraldic term as being more
accurate and will avoid any potential confusion.
- See ‘membered’.
Flag of Rochefort, Belgium (fotw)
- 1) That dimension of a flag which is measured horizontally from the outside
edge of the hoist (generally excluding the heading), to the opposite extreme edge
of the fly (see also ‘Appendix I’,
‘hoist’ and ‘fly’).
- 2) The longer dimension of a stripe or band within a flag – howsoever orientated
(see also ‘stripe’).
- 3) The dimension of an emblem, charge, arms, shield or badge measured horizontally,
when it appears on a flag – but see the note below, ‘height’
and ‘width across’ (see also ‘badge’,
'establishment of arms'
Please note that definition 3) is given with regard to the consistent
use of proportions when describing a flag and its charges, however, it is suggested that when
giving the actual dimensions of any such charge the phrase ‘width across’ should be used for its
horizontal measurement and the word ‘height’ for its vertical size (see also
- LESSER ARMS
- See under ‘arms’.
Lesser Arms of
Bavaria, Germany and of Sweden (fotw)
- LETTER OF MARQUE (and/or REPRISAL)
- See ‘privateer(s)’.