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Dictionary of Vexillology: D (Daimyo Flags - Dentelé)

Last modified: 2022-07-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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1) Generically, a term for those flags that were in use prior to the Japanese Imperial restoration of 1868/71 – a nobori, hata-sashimono / sashimono and/or uma-jirushi – but see notes below (also (also ‘hinomaru’ and ‘mon’)
2) Specifically, a term that refers to the personal and war flags of Japanese feudal lords, and in use until the 17th Century.

Daimyo flags
16th/17thC Daimyo flags (fotw)

a) With regard to 1), the varying types of (historical) Japanese flag are in the process of detailed classification, and the terms given above have been limited to those in general use.
b) The“sashimono” and “uma-jirushi”, whilst currently employed to describe flags, can also refer to a vexilloid - see ‘vexilloid 2)’.

The alternative heraldic terms used when an ordinary such as a fess, bend or pale, or the line of a division, or a border on a shield, banner of arms or flag, is saw-toothed – dancetté, dentelé or dentilly - but see ‘indented’ and ‘serrated’ (also ‘ordinary’, ‘stepped’ and ‘wolfteeth’).

Flag - Nazaré, Portugal Arms - Poiares e Canelas, Portugal Flag - Tetouan 1968 – 76, Morocco
Flag of Nazaré, Portugal (fotw); Arms of Poiares e Canelas, Portugal (fotw); Flag of Castro de Filabres, Spain (fotw)

See ‘red flag 1)’.

danger flag

Literally “Danish-cloth”, and the national flag of Denmark. (see also ‘splittflag’)

National Flag of Denmark (fotw)

1. (adj) A generally employed Latin term for ‘in practice’, and used in vexillology to indicate flags in actual use as opposed to those as laid down by law or regulation - see ‘de jure’.
2. (adj) A term sometimes employed to describe a flag which is in use, but which has not been officially established by law or regulation – but see the note below (also ‘unofficial flag’).

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
The Reverse of the National Flag of Saudi Arabia in some De Facto use, and as regulated (fotw); National Flag of Zimbabwe in some De Facto use, and as regulated.

Please note with regard to 2), it is suggested that the above term should not be used when describing a flag for which no known official specifications exist, therefore, no de jure design from which a de facto flag may differ, and under these circumstances we recommend that the term “variant” be employed - see ‘variant 2)’.

(adj) A generally employed Latin term for ‘in law’, and used in vexillology to indicate a flag as laid down by law or regulation, as opposed to those in actual use - see ‘de facto 1)’ (also ‘flag law’, ‘official flag 1)’, ‘specification sheet’, and the notes below).

Spain Spain Belgium Belgium civil ensign
National Flag of Spain as established by Law, and the State Flag as regulated for official use but flown as a National Flag by Private Citizens; National Flag of Belgium as regulated, plus the Civil Ensign of Belgium as laid down by law (which is also the de facto National Flag)

Please note that a further example of de jure as opposed to de facto is the proportions of the Vatican City flag which is set at 1:1 by law, but which is always seen in practice with proportions of 2:3.

An alternative heraldic term to reversed - see ‘reversed 2)’.

debased example debased example debased example
Example; Flag and Arms of Rennebu, Norway (fotw)

A heraldic term used in place of ‘surmounted by’ particularly when a charge or ordinary (which may or may not touch the field) is being placed over an animal – but see ‘surmounted, by’ (also ‘charge 2)’, ‘ensigned’, ‘ordinary’ and ‘overall 2)’).

Alto do Seixalinho Alto do Seixalinho L’Abbaye, Switzerland
Flag and Arms of Alto do Seixalinho, Portugal (fotw); Flag of L’Abbaye, Switzerland (fotw)

A term to describe the practice, now obsolete, of showing a display of flags along the deck of a ship as illustrated below – see ‘pavisade’ and ‘streamer 2)’ (also ‘ancient’ and ‘postures’).

deck flags
The Salamander, English Royal Navy c1525 (Wikipedia)

Please note, that these flags (and their staffs) were intended to have a double purpose, in that they could be displayed aboard ship in times of celebration and carried (by hand) during any operations ashore

A term for the custom of foot guards in British and Canadian service of placing a garland or chaplet of laurel – a crown triumphal - at the top of the regimental colour pike or staff on days of significance in regimental history (see also ‘colour 2), ‘colours 2)’, ‘crown triumphal’, ‘garland’, ‘pike’, ‘staff 2)’ and ‘wreath of immortelles’).

See ‘paying off pennant’.

In heraldry see ‘garnished’.

Častrov, Czechia Častrov, Czechia
Flag and Arms of Častrov, Czechia (fotw)

See ‘wattle(d) 1)’, ‘sword knot’ and the note below.

decorative knot  decorative knot
A Stafford Knot (Wikipedia); Flag of Staffordshire, UK (fotw)

Please note that the several types of decorative knot used in heraldry are rarely used on flags, so are beyond the remit of this dictionary, and we suggest that a suitable source be consulted if further details are required.

In heraldry see ‘moon 2)’ with following note.

Schinznach, Switzerland
Flag of Schinznach Dorf, Switzerland (fotw)

1. (v) In UK usage and some others, a term for the addition of any authorised (or apparently authorized) emblem, badge, shield, charge or device to a flag (see also ‘badge’, ‘charge’, 'defaced', 'device', ‘emblem’ ‘shield’, ‘template flag’ and ‘undefaced’).
2. (v) In US usage and some others, the term may also be used to include any unauthorized addition – but see note below.

Training Ship Foudroyant ensign reserve ensign defaced ensign
Ensign of the Training Ship Foudroyant c1817 – 1897 (fotw); Reserve Ensign, UK (fotw); Flag of the British Virgin Islands (fotw)

Please note that in heraldry and vexillology the term has no pejorative connotation – see ‘desecrate’ and ‘disfigure’.

(adj) In UK usage and in some others the term used to describe a flag which is often flown plain, but in this case is seen with an authorized addition – see ‘undefaced’ (also ‘blue ensign’, ‘deface 1)’, ‘red ensign’, ‘template flag’ and ‘warrant’).

Royal St. George Yacht Club ensign UK ensign UK reserve ensign
Ensign of the Royal St George Yacht Club, UK (fotw); Civil Ensign, UK (fotw); Canadian Red Ensign 1957 – 1965 (fotw)

The heraldic term used when the front or upper part of an animal, or of another charge is shown on a shield, banner of arms or a flag but see the notes below – demy or semi.

Langenhagen, Germany Romoos, Switzerland Demi
Flag of Langenhagen, Germany (fotw); Flag of Romoos, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Hildesheim, Germany (fotw)

a) One-half of an animal or other charge that is placed against the vertical centre line of a shield, banner of arms or a flag, is said to be ‘dimidiated’, whilst any such emerging from side of a shield, banner of arms or flag should be termed ‘naissant’ as illustrated below.
b) This term is never used alone, but always with the charge being so described – for example a demi-horse as shown above.

Krásné Pole, Czechia Krásné Pole, Czechia Krásné Pole, Czechia
Flag and Arms of Krásné Pole, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Kalbe upon Milde, Germany (fotw)

See ‘banner 3)’.
Alternative heraldic terms for dancetty - see ‘dancetty’ (also ‘serrated’).

Flag of Brugelette, Belgium (fotw)

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