- 1) In British maritime (particularly RN) usage, now largely obsolete, a term
sometimes applied to the fly corners of a flag or ensign (see also ‘fly 1)’)
2) The term may also be employed (either in the singular or plural as appropriate) to
describe the fly of a triangular or swallow-tailed flag/pennant.
White Ensign c1750, UK (fotw); Flag of
Banská Belá, Slovakia (fotw)
- POINT OF HONOUR
- See ‘honour point’.
- POINTED (or POINTS)
- 1) In vexillology the terms used to indicate the number of points on a star or
star-like charge, for example a five-pointed star or a star of five points – but see
‘rays 1)’ (also ‘star 1)’)
2) In heraldry see ‘point-in-point’.
3) A term sometimes (incorrectly) used to describe the point of an arrow – see ‘barbed’.
National Flag of Vietnam (fotw);
National Arms of Spain (fotw)
- POINT-IN-POINT (or POINTED)
- The heraldic terms for when the division of a shield forms a chevron - usually embowed -
at its base - pointed or enty (see also
‘base’, ‘chevron 1)’,
‘quartering 1)’ and
Flag and Arms of North Rhine–Westphalia, Germany (fotw
- See ‘flag pole’.
- POLE MAST (or POLEMAST)
- A flagpole that is straight and clear of any projections such as cross bars,
yards, or gaffs (see also ‘cross bar’,
‘gaff’ and ‘yard’).
Please note that this term was originally introduced
to describe a mast or masts on those steam vessels not equipped with an auxiliary
HMS Devastation 1871 – 1908 (Wikipedia)
- POLICE FLAG (ENSIGN or PENNANT)
- A flag or ensign, different from the national/state flag or government ensign (or
a variant thereof) or a pennant, which specifically identifies the installations or
vessels of a country’s police service (see also
‘government ensign’ and
‘service ensign’ under
Police Flag, Malta (fotw); Flag of the Police Mounted Branch, Canada
(fotw); Maritime Police Pennant, Belgium (fotw)
- POLITICAL FLAG
- The flag, either official (formally adopted) or unofficial (spontaneously
displayed by supporters), of a political party or movement
– but see ‘protest flag’ and the notes below (also
‘realm banner black-red-gold’ and
Flag of African National Congress, RSA (fotw);
Flag of Međimurje Party, Croatia (fotw);
Flag of Libertarian National Socialist Green Party, USA (fotw).
a) In both historical and/or contemporary terms,
a political flag and a trade union flag can often be very closely linked – see
‘trade union flag’.
b) Protests often have a political motivation, and therefore, the difference between this and a protest flag is often blurred.
- POLITICAL SASH
- See ‘sash 2)’.
Political Sash of the Women’s Suffragette Movement 1917, US
- The heraldic term for a green disc (or discs) – a roundel (or roundels) vert
(see also ‘bezant’, ‘hurt’, ‘plates’ and
Example; Flag of Uelsen, Germany (fotw)
- A term sometimes used in place of the usual heraldic term pommeled to indicate the pommel of a sword or dagger – but see
and following note (also ‘hafted’ and
Arms of Šibenik-Knin, Croatia (fotw);
Flag of Haarlem, The Netherlands (fotw)
- The heraldic term for the pommel of a sword or dagger – but see
‘hilted’ and its following note.
Flag of Il-Birgu, Malta (fotw); Arms and Flag of Kalnik, Croatia (fotw)
Please note that a pommel is the usually (but not invariably) heavy, disk-like projection above the hilt which helps balance the blade, fixes that hilt’s binding and act as a weapon in its own right.
- A heraldic term, and derived from the French porte (or door), for the entrance to a castle, tower or other building (see also ‘ajouré’ and ‘litten’).
Arms and Flag of Óbidos, Portugal (fotw); Arms and Flag of
Aljezur, Portugal (fotw);
Arms of São Martinho de Mouros, Portugal (fotw)
- PORT EPEE
- See ‘dress knot’.
Officer’s Port Epee/Dress Knot, USN and USCG (marlowwhite.com)
- PORTOLANO (or PORTOLAN CHART)
- The terms for a navigational chart of the 14th to the 16th Centuries, particularly showing
coastlines and ports and usually bearing illustrations of their arms and flags.
Portolano, Spanish c1500 (Wikipedia)
- PORTUGUESE TEMPLAR CROSS
- See ‘rounded cross’.
Arms and Flag of Outeiro Major, Portugal (fotw)
- POSITION OF HONOUR (OR HONOR)
- The position in which the most senior flag, emblem or coat of arms – usually
a national flag, emblem or coat of arms - is to be placed - sometimes called
the place of honour. The particulars vary
slightly in detail, legal status and extent from country to country; however,
the general principles remain the same and are listed in
Appendix II (see also
‘rules of etiquette’ and
Please note – not to be confused with the honour point – see
- POSITIONAL FLAG (or COLORS)
- 1) In US army usage, that flag which corresponds to a particular position
held, rather than to the rank of the officer who currently holds it – but see
‘appointment flag’ (also
‘rank flag 1)’).
- 2) See ‘distinguishing flag 1)’.
Army Surgeon General, US (fotw);
Under Secretary of the Army, US (fotw);
Sergeant Major of the Army, US (fotw)
- POST FLAG
1) In US military usage, that size of national flag flown regularly over army and marine corps posts –
8.95 feet (2.72m) wide by 17 feet (5.18m) long for the army and 10 feet (3 m) wide by 19 feet (5.8 m) long
for the marine corps (see also ‘garrison flag’,
‘storm flag’ and
2) See ‘postal flag’.
National Flag of the USA (fotw);
Post/Postal Flag 1950 – 1994, Germany (fotw)
- POSTAL FLAG (ENSIGN or PENNANT)
- The distinguishing flag, ensign or pennant of a country’s postal services – a mail flag/pennant or post
flag/pennant (see also ‘air mail flag and
‘service ensign’ under ‘ensign’).
Postal Flag, France (fotw); Postal Flag and Ensign of
Postal Flag and Ensign 1920 – 1939, Danzig (fotw); Postal Pennant,
- POST HORN
- In heraldry see ‘bugle horn’.
Arms and Flag of Tychy, Poland (fotw)
- POST OFFICE FLAG
- See ‘postal flag’.
Post Office/Postal Flag, Belgium (fotw)
- POST PENNANT
- See ‘postal flag’.
Post/Postal Pennant, Italy (fotw)
- A 16th/17th Century term for the formal flag waving expected of a colour bearer
for reasons of either bravado or dignity (see also
‘stand 1)’ and
- 1) The heraldic term for a fur that is shown as a series of crutch-shaped
charges and usually (but not exclusively) seen in blue on a white or silver
field (see also ‘ermine’,
2) The term may also be used when the edge of an ordinary is shown with
crutch-shaped extensions – but see note below (also ‘cross potent’ and
Example; Flag and Arms of Unhais-o-Velho, Portugal (fotw)
Please note with regard to 2) that this term is never used alone, but always with the
ordinary being blazoned, for example a fess-potent as illustrated above’.
- POTENT CROSS
- In heraldry see ‘cross potent’.
Arms and Flag of Wielka Nieszawka, Poland (fotw)
- 1) In vexillology a term sometimes used to describe a number of small (usually but not invariably) identical charges scattered across the field of a flag.
2) In heraldry see ‘semé’.
A colour of the Paris National Guard c1790, France (fotw);
Arms and Banner of France c1150 – c1350 (Wikipedia & fotw)
- POW-MIA (PRISONER OF WAR-MISSING IN ACTION) FLAG
- See ‘memorial flag 2)’.
POW-MIA Flag, US and Canada (fotw)