- MAGEN DAVID
- The Shield or Star of David composed of two interlaced triangles forming a
six pointed star, and symbolic of Judaism (see also ‘menorah’).
National Flag of Israel (fotw);
Naval Ensign of Israel (fotw);
Civil Ensign of Israel (fotw)
Please note that the Magen David is also known as
the Seal of Solomon and as such may be represented as a pentagram of with five points as it now
appears on the flags of Ethiopia and Morocco (based on the Hebrew Encyclopaedia)
- see ‘pentagram’.
National Emblem and Flag of Ethiopia
- MAGIC RATIO
- See ‘golden mean’.
- MAIL FLAG (or PENNANT)
- See ‘postal flag’.
Flag of the Mail/Postal Service, Russia (fotw);
Royal Mail Pennant, UK (fotw)
- MAIN (or MAINMAST)
- The most important mast in a ship or yacht, or the tallest mast in a sailing
ship from which the masthead pennant or the command flag of a full admiral (or
five star/Admiral of the Fleet) was formerly flown (see also
‘flag of command’,
‘fore’, ‘mast 2)’,
‘masthead’, ‘masthead pennant 1)’
- MAIN ORDINARIES
- See ‘ordinary’.
Examples: Chief; Cross; Pale; Saltire; Fess; Pile; Chevron; Quarter; Bend
- MAJOR'S COLOUR (or COLOR)
- See ‘stand of colours 1)’ and ‘venn’.
Examples of Major’s Colours, English c1641 (Željko Heimer, CS and fotw)
- MAKE HER NUMBER
- (v) To hoist that group of signal flags which identify a ship in a recognized
code code – a term now increasingly obsolete – see ‘call sign hoist’
and the note below (also ‘International Code of Signal Flags’,
‘pendant number’, ‘private signal 3)’ and
MTLQ in the 1866 Commercial Code of Signals – from 1880 The International Code
of Signals - and the “number” of SS Australia (P&O Lines) c1898
Please note that use of two flags to indicate the country of registration applies only to a call sign hoist in the current International Code.
- MAKING COLOURS
- See ‘colours 5)’.
Naval Ensign, UK (fotw); Naval Ensign
South Africa 1952 – 1981 (fotw)
- MALTESE CROSS
- The heraldic term for a cross resembling four arrowheads, with
straight-sided arms, eight outward facing points and generally (but not
exclusively), inner points which meet
at the centre – a cross of (the order of) St John of Jerusalem - but see ‘cross pattée’
in ‘appendix VIII’ (also ‘cross 2)’).
From left: Medical Services, Spain (fotw); Arms and Flag of
Polzela, Slovenia (fotw);
Grand Master of the Military Order of Malta (fotw); Arms and Flag of Lagow,
Please note that the cross on the national flag of Malta is not a Maltese cross
but is the emblem of a British order of gallantry – the George Cross.
- MAN O’ WAR PENDANT (or PENNANT)
- In British usage, now obsolete, an alternative term for the commissioning or masthead pennant – see
‘masthead pennant 1)’ (also ‘common pendant’).
The Common or Tricolour Pendant, England then UK 1661 – c1850 (fotw)
Please note that in English then British usage only vessels of the Royal Navy are permitted to wear a pennant.
- A heraldic term for a cloak or robe behind the shield, and which can enclose
a full set of armorial bearings (see also ‘Appendix IV’
and ‘armorial bearings’).
a) When used on the arms of a ruling
prince or sovereign a mantle becomes a pavilion (see
b) Mantles may still be seen in
the parliamentary and state robes worn by British peers (which are graded according
British Peers in Parliamentary Robes (edeandravenscroft.co.uk)
- A heraldic term for the decoration resembling drapery in a coat of arms, and
attached to the helmet by a torse (see also ‘Appendix IV’,
‘coat of arms’ and,
‘helm’ – for information on torse see
Please note that mantling originated as a protective covering for the helmet.
- MARCHING FLAG
‘parade flag 1)’.
Girl’s Brigade Company Marching/Parade Flag, UK (Graham Bartram)
- MARIAN FLAG
- One of a number of flags – most often a bicolour of blue and white - that
symbolizes veneration of the Virgin Mary in the Christian tradition (see also
‘Christian flag 1)’ and
Catholic Marion Flag (CS); Flag of the Catholic Church in Poland (fotw)
- 1. See ‘union mark’ and
- 2. A term occasionally used (to describe the figure on a flag) in place of the more
precise (and to be preferred) descriptions contained herein – see
‘coat of arms 1)’,
‘symbol 1)’ (also
‘cadency, mark of’).
Norway-Sweden Union Mark and Naval Jack 1844 – 1905 (fotw); Arms of Bobenheim am Berg Germany (Wiki)
- MARKING (or MARKER) PENNANT
- In US military usage and some others, a pennant used to mark the turning points
or limits of a parade ground (see also ‘pennant 2)’).
- MARKS OF CADENCY
- See ‘cadency, mark of’.
The cadency marks of the 1st to the 6th son in English heraldry (Parker)
- MARRYAT'S CODE (MARRYAT or MARRYAT’S CODE OF SIGNALS FOR THE MERCHANT SERVICE)
- The set of signal flags and pennants devised by Captain Frederick Marryat RN for
use by the merchant service, this first appeared 1817 and went through several
editions before being supplanted by the Commercial Code of Signals (later the
International Code of Signals) in 1857
(see also ‘distinction pennant’,
‘International Code of Signal Flags’,
and ‘signal flag’).
Flags 3, 5, 6 and 7 in Marryat’s Code of
Signals for teh Merchant Service (fotw)
- The heraldic term used to describe the process of arranging two or more different
coats of arms on the same shield or banner of arms – see
‘impale 1)’ and
‘quartering 1)’ (also ‘banner of arms’
Flag and Arms of Wodzisław Śląski, Poland (fotw); Flag and Arms of
Vysočina, Czech Republic);
Royal Standard of Spain 1580 – 1700 (fotw)
- The heraldic term for a small bird, always seen standing and usually (although not
invariably) shown with thighs but no visible legs – a merlette.
Flag of Bray, Ireland (fotw); Flag and Arms of
Ens, The Netherland (fotw); Flag of
Hemikem, Belgium (fotw)
- The heraldic term for a voided lozenge – see
Example: Banner of Arms of the Rohan-Chabot family, Josselin, France (fotw)
- A heraldic term used to describe the lines formed by masonry blocks in a building.
Flag of Castile and Leon, Spain (fotw); Flag of Romont, Switzerland (fotw);
Arms and Flag of Vrgorac, Croatia (fotw);
Flag of Oberkirch, Switzerland (fotw)
- 1) Any vertical projection from a vessel upon which sails and/or flags can
be hoisted (see also ‘fore’,
- 2) See ‘flag pole’ (also
‘sailor’s mast’ and
- The highest point below the truck of any mast afloat or ashore (see also
‘mast’ and ‘truck’).
- MASTHEAD, AT THE
- (adv) When a flag is flown at the truck of a mast or at a point below the
truck, it is said to fly 'at the masthead'
- MASTHEAD FLAG
- 1) Generically, any flag hoisted at the masthead of a vessel (see also
‘mast’ and ‘masthead’).
- 2) Specifically, the national flags hoisted at the masthead of all masts when
a ship is dressed overall, usually the national flag of the nation being honoured
(see also ‘dress ship’).
- MASTHEAD PENNANT (or PENDANT)
- 1) A flag, usually long and narrow and often generally (but by no means exclusively) tapering
from hoist to fly, it can be triangular, cut off to a square, swallow-tailed
or a variation thereof,
and is flown from the main masthead of a naval or other public vessel in commission
but which does not carry a flag officer (or officer commanding other vessels)
on board – commissioning or commission pennant, narrow pennant, pennant of
command, war or warship pennant or of a warship commander and others (see also
‘broad command pennant’,
‘burgee command pennant’,
‘command pennant’, ‘converging stripes’,
‘flag of command’,
’naval ensign’ under ‘ensign’,
‘naval jack’ under ‘jack’,
‘royal masthead pennant’, ‘private ship’ and
‘suit of flags’).
- 2) The generic name for any long narrow flag that is flown from the masthead
of a vessel – a whip pennant
(see also ‘streamer 2)’,
‘homeward bound pennant’ or
‘paying off pennant’).
Masthead Pennant of Spain (fotw)
Masthead Pennant of Belgium (fotw)
Masthead Pennant of France (fotw)
Masthead Pennant of Estonia (fotw)
a) A distinction has been drawn between
the standard masthead pennant flown by commissioned warships as defined in 1)
above, and the various command pennants that are flown in addition and subordinate
to it (see also ‘command pennant’).
b) There are three exceptions to this – the broad command pennant,
and the burgee command pennant -
all of which replace the masthead pennant when flown.
- MASTHEAD STREAMER
- See ‘streamer 2)’.
The Henri Grace a Dieu, English Royal Navy c1525 (Wiki)
- MATRICULAR FLAGS (PENNANTS or ENSIGNS)
- See ‘registration flags’ (also ‘insurance flag’).
Matricular Ensign/Registration Flag of La Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain c1870 (fotw);
Matricular Ensign/Registration Flag of San Juan de los Remedios de Cuba, Spain c1850 (fotw)