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Dictionary of Vexillology: M (Magen David - Matricular Flags)

Last modified: 2014-05-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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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’).

Israel Israel Israel
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’.

Ethiopia Ethiopia
National Emblem and Flag of Ethiopia


MAGIC RATIO
See ‘golden mean’.

MAIL FLAG (or PENNANT)
See ‘postal flag’.

mail flag  mail 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)’ and ‘mizzen’).

MAIN ORDINARIES
See ‘ordinary’.

[chief example] [cross example] [pale example] [saltire example] [fess example] [pile example] [chevron example] [quarter example] [bend example]
Examples: Chief; Cross; Pale; Saltire; Fess; Pile; Chevron; Quarter; Bend


MAJOR'S COLOUR (or COLOR)
See ‘stand of colours 1)’ and ‘venn’.

[Major’s Colours example] [Major's Colours example]
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 ‘signal flag’).

ICS flag ICS flag ICS flag ICS flag
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  Naval Ensign RSA
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)’).

Polzela, Slovenia Grand Master, Military Order of Malta Grand Master, Military Order of Malta Spanish Medical Services Lagow Poland armss Lagow Poland flag
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, Poland (CS)

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’).

Man o'War 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.


MANTLE
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’).

Notes
a)
When used on the arms of a ruling prince or sovereign a mantle becomes a pavilion (see ‘
pavilion’)
b) Mantles may still be seen in the parliamentary and state robes worn by British peers (which are graded according to rank).

Mantle
British Peers in Parliamentary Robes (edeandravenscroft.co.uk)

MANTLING
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’, ‘armorial bearings’, ‘coat of arms’ and, ‘helm’ – for information on torse see ‘wreath 2)’).

mantling
(International Heraldry))

Please note that mantling originated as a protective covering for the helmet.


MARCHING FLAG
See ‘parade flag 1)’.

marching flag
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 ‘religious flag’).

marian flag marian flag
Catholic Marion Flag (CS); Flag of the Catholic Church in Poland (fotw)


MARK
1. See ‘union mark’ and ‘house mark’.
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)’, ‘emblem 1)’, ‘seal’, ‘shield’ and ‘symbol 1)’ (also ‘cadency, mark of’).

union mark union mark
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’.

[cadency marks]
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’, ‘pilot jack’ and ‘signal flag’).

[Marryat example] [Marryat example] [Marryat example] [Marryat example]
Flags 3, 5, 6 and 7 in Marryat’s Code of Signals for teh Merchant Service (fotw)


MARSHALLING
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’ and ‘dimidiated’).

marshalling example marshalling example marshalling example marshalling example marshalling example
Flag and Arms of Wodzisław Śląski, Poland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Vysočina, Czech Republic); Royal Standard of Spain 1580 – 1700 (fotw)


MARTLET
The heraldic term for a small bird, always seen standing and usually (although not invariably) shown with thighs but no visible legs – a merlette.

martlet example martlet example martlet example martlet example
Flag of Bray, Ireland (fotw); Flag and Arms of Ens, The Netherland (fotw); Flag of Hemikem, Belgium (fotw)


MASCLE
The heraldic term for a voided lozenge – see ‘voided lozenge’).

example mascle
Example: Banner of Arms of the Rohan-Chabot family, Josselin, France (fotw)


MASONED
A heraldic term used to describe the lines formed by masonry blocks in a building.

Castile and Leon Romont, Switzerland Vrgorac, Switzerland Vrgorac, Switzerland Oberkirch, Switzerland
Flag of Castile and Leon, Spain (fotw); Flag of Romont, Switzerland (fotw); Arms and Flag of Vrgorac, Croatia (fotw); Flag of Oberkirch, Switzerland (fotw)


MAST
1) Any vertical projection from a vessel upon which sails and/or flags can be hoisted (see also ‘fore’, ‘mizzen’ and ‘stumpmast’).
2) See ‘flag pole’ (also ‘pole mast’, ‘sailor’s mast’ and ‘stayed mast’).

MASTHEAD
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’, ‘broad pennant’, ‘burgee command pennant’, ‘command pennant’, ‘converging stripes’, ‘flag officer’, ‘flag of command’, ‘flagship’, ’naval ensign’ under ‘ensign’, ‘merchant pendant’, ‘naval jack’ under ‘jack’, ‘pendant’, ‘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 - Spain]
Masthead Pennant of Spain (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - Belgium]
Masthead Pennant of Belgium (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - France]
Masthead Pennant of France (fotw)

[Masthead Pennant - Estonia]
Masthead Pennant of Estonia (fotw)

Notes
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,
broad pennant and the burgee command pennant - all of which replace the masthead pennant when flown.


MASTHEAD STREAMER
See ‘streamer 2)’.

[Masthead streamer]
The Henri Grace a Dieu, English Royal Navy c1525 (Wiki)


MATRICULAR FLAGS (PENNANTS or ENSIGNS)
See ‘registration flags’ (also ‘insurance flag’).

[matricular flag - Spain]  [matricular flag - Spain]
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)


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