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Dictionary of Vexillology: I (Inglefield Clip - International Flags)

Last modified: 2024-06-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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An elongated clip (usually of bronze, but also of a tough synthetic material) with an eye and double-tapered gap in the beak part, making it easy for two to be clipped together. The clips, spliced to the ends of halyards, are swivelled to allow the halyards to move freely. With similar Inglefield clips spliced to the ends of the hoist lines attached to flags, it allows for rapid and easy hoisting, especially of signal flags – see ‘grommet 1)’ (also ‘Appendix I’, ‘clip and grommet’, ‘halyard’ and ‘splice’).
[Inglefield clip - left] [Inglefield clip - right]

Please note that these clips were patented in 1890 by Lieut. (later Admiral) Edward Fitzmaurice Inglefield, RN, when serving as a signals officer in the British Mediterranean Fleet.

An alternative heraldic term to engrailed - see ‘engrailed’.

ingrailed example
Flag of Beersel, Belgium (fotw)

1) The term that may be used when one border appears within, or next to an outer border - see ‘outer border’ (also ‘border’ and ‘inset border’.
2) See ‘inset border’.

inner border example  inner border example  inner border example 
Naval Jack 1790 - 1794, France (fotw); Flag of a Staff Admiral, Croatia (fotw); Car Flag for State Secretaries, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (fotw)

In UK usage, that term for an area within the canton equal to one-sixth of the flag’s total area – see ‘canton 1)’ (also ‘canton 2)’).

inner canton example

A term that may be used in describing the edge of a hanging flag that is closest to the building to which the pole is attached, and equivalent to the bottom edge of a conventionally hoisted flag (see also ‘hanging flag’ and ‘outer edge’).

inner edge example

Please note that this term has been introduced by the Editors as no established alternative could be found.

The term used when a charge or charges are set away from the edges of a flag or the panel they occupy, but not in the centre of that same flag or panel – for examples see the illustration (with an inset red chevron) below and ‘inset border’ below (also ‘centred’, ‘double tressure’, ‘off-set towards’ and ‘orle’).

Josefuv Dul, Czechia Elmira District Secondary School
Flag of Josefuv Dul, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Elmira District Secondary School, Canada (fotw)

In vexillology the term for an unbroken border that is inset from the edges of a flag - an inner border - but see ‘orle 1)’ (also ‘border’, ‘double tressure’, ‘inner border’, ‘inset’ above and ‘tressure’).

Sultan's Standard, Oman Sultan's Standard, Oman
Sultan’s Standard, Oman (fotw); Flag of the Portland & Asiatic Steamship Co., US (fotw)

Medieval terms for a flag, banner or ensign (see also ‘insignia’).

Speculative English Flag c1405 (fotw)

A term for the emblems of rank and distinction sometimes applied in the Middle Ages to flags of varying sorts, and from which the word ensign probably derives (see also ‘ensign 5)’ and ‘insigne’).

The term from which ‘ensign-banner’ was possibly derived.

In middle European and some other usage, a term for those flags presented at the installation of officials with vice-regal authority, and considered symbolic of their military responsibilities (see also ‘coronation flags’).

[installation flag]
Installation Flag of Ban (Viceroy) Josip Jelacic, Croatia 1848 (Fame)

Those flags or pennants that have been officially granted and/or formally approved by the governing body/directing authority of an institution such as a university, college, sporting club or other similar entity, and are recorded as such in their official documentation or proprietary website (see also ‘institutional flags (unofficial)’ below and ‘official flag 1)’).

[institutional flag] [institutional flag]
Flag of the University of Alberta, Canada (fotw); Flag of the University of Manitoba, Canada (fotw)

Please note that this category includes only those flags listed above, and that national, sub-national, personal and corporate flags as defined separately herein are specifically excluded (see also ‘sports flag 2)’, ;'national flag', 'sub-national flag', 'civic flag', 'personal flag' and 'corporate flag').

Those flags or pennants that purport to identify institutions, clubs and other entities, but which have not been formally approved by the relevant governing body or directing authority (see ‘institutional flags (official)’ above and ‘unofficial flag’).

[institutional flag] [institutional flag]
Flags for Supporters of The Kansas City Chiefs American Football Team (fotw)  

It is a wide-spread practice, especially among North American Universities and sporting clubs worldwide, for faculty members, student bodies and supporters to display commercially manufactured flags which differ from those formally approved, and which must, therefore, be designated as unofficial.
b) Whilst manufacturers may often have permission to use registered trademarks and logos of the organization concerned, this does not give the resulting flags official status (see also ‘
de facto’).

The term for a 19th Century flag (or pennant), now obsolete, usually showing a vessel’s insurance number and issued by the appropriate marine insurance company, association for mutual insurance or similar – a number flag.

insurance flag insurance flag
19th Century Insurance/Number Flags from Rostock and Prerow, Germany (Zeljko Heimer)

Please note that this is not an established term, but has been introduced by the Editors since no contemporary source describing such flags could be found.

The alternative heraldic terms used when two or more charges are arranged so as to form the appearance of a united whole, as in the 1606 pattern of union jack or the symbol of the International Olympic Committee – braced, brased, embraced, fretted or entrelacé or interfretted (see also ‘charge 1)’, ‘fretty’, ‘union jack 1)’ and ‘union mark’).

 Egliswil, Switzerland Union flag 1606 Tarfaya, Morocco
Flag of Egliswil, Switzerland (fotw); The 1606 Pattern of Union Flag, UK (fotw); Flag of Tarfaya, Morocco 1968 1976 (fotw)

See ‘pall flag’.

pall flag

See ‘proportions 2)’.

Union flag 1606

An internationally agreed set of flags of simple design to represent letters of the Roman alphabet and numeral pennants, that can be hoisted singly or in groups to convey meanings contained in the International Code of Signals (see also ‘blue peter’, ‘call sign hoist’, ‘code pennant’, ‘complement’, ‘diver below flag’, ‘flag of distress’, ‘International Code of Signals’, ‘make her number’, ‘numeral pennant’, ‘preparatory flag’, ‘pilot flag’, ‘quarantine flag’, ‘signal hoist’, ‘substitute’ and ‘signal flag’).

 Signal flag Signal flag Signal flag
Flags C (Charlie), E (Echo) and B (Bravo) in the International Code of Signals (fotw)

A code of single and multiple groups of letters with internationally agreed meanings that can be transmitted by means of signal flags, radio or signal lanterns (see also ‘complement’, ‘International Code of Signal Flags’, ‘numeral pennant’, and ‘signal flag’).

The International Code of Signals was first introduced (as the Commercial Code of Signals) in 1857, and whilst it has gone through several revisions since that date, was also a further development of the code invented by Captain Frederick Marryat RN, first published in 1817 (Marryat’s Code)) – see ‘commercial code of signals’, ‘distinction pennant’ and ‘Marryat's code’.
b) The ICS is currently published by the International Maritime Organization, and that all references to the code given in this Dictionary are taken from the 2005 Edition.

That code prescribed by the Federation Internationale des Associations Vexillogiques (FIAV) for use by the international vexillogical community, which lists the colours employed on flags - see note below.

international colour code
FAIV Code as used on FOTW and elsewhere (Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg)

Please note that R = red, Y = yellow, V = green (from vert/verde etc, in the Romance languages), B = blue, O = orange, P = purple, G = grey, N = black (from noir/negro), W = white, Au = gold and Ag = silver. Lighter shades are indicated by a minus sign thus light blue, for example, becomes B-, and darker by a plus sign thus dark blue becomes B+ (with B++ being a very dark blue).

1) The generic term for any flag that is recognized as having international significance , for more precise definitions however, see 2) below (also ‘Geneva Convention flag’, ‘safe conduct flag’, and ‘supra-national flag’).
2) The flag of an organization which represents the interests of a number of different countries, as in for example, that of the Organization of American States, the Association of South East Asian Nations or of OPEC, or that represents an international non-governmental organization such as the International Olympic Committee (see also ‘sports flag 3)’.

OAS flag Caricom flag Adriatic Euroregion flag
Flags of the Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community and the Adriatic Euroregion (fotw)

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