For All Things Flags!


A coat of arms or simple heraldic symbol, such as a shield.


A burgee is a long, tapered flag or pennant that ends in a swallowtail (having two points, like that of a swallow’s tail). Burgees are often used by sailing clubs.


Any quarter of a flag, but commonly means the upper hoist (left) quarter,such as the field of stars in the flag of the United States or the Union Flag in the Australian Flag.


A figure or symbol appearing in the field of a flag.

Civil Flag

A civil flag is a National flag that is displayed on land by private citizens.


The design at the top of the coat-of-arms, above the shield.


Defacing (which is NOT vandalizing) is when a flag is altered by adding writing, another emblem or drawing & so on.


A device often used as a charge on a flag. It may be heraldic in origin or modern, for example the maple leaf on the Canadian Flag.


The background of a flag; the colour behind the charge(s)..


A narrow edging or border, often in white or gold, on a flag to separate two other colors.


A finial is a decorative element at the top of a flagpole such as a round top or an eagle or Ashok Stambh etc.

Flagpole / Flagstaff

The staff, flagstaff, or flagpole is the pole upon which the flag is being supported or hoisted.


The half or edge of a flag furthest away from the flagpole. This term also sometimes refers to the horizontal length of a flag.


The half or edge of a flag nearest to the flagpole. This term also sometimes refers to the vertical width of a flag.


the span of a flag along the side at right angles to the flagpole, which is basically the span starting from left to right.


A pennant is a small, long, tapering or triangular flag.


The ratio of a flag is its proportions, the height divided by the width. The ratio of a flag’s dimensions are usually reported as something like 2:3, which means that the height is 2/3 of the length, or 1:2, which would mean that the height is half the length. While a vast majority of National Flags are in the ratio of 2:3, there are few nations that have a ratio of 1:2 or 3:5 etc.

Single Flag

The staff, flagstaff, or flagpole is the pole upon which the flag is supported.


The staff, flagstaff, or flagpole is the pole upon which the flag is being supported or hoisted.


the span of a flag down the side that is parallel to the flagpole, or in other words, the height of a flag from it’s top to the bottom.

Basic Flag Pattern

Techniques in Flag Hoisting


The act or function of raising a flag, as on a rope.

Half Staff / Half Mast

Half Staff or Half Mast – a style of flag display in which the flag is flown at half of the potential height of the available flag pole. Usually this is done by first hoisting the flag to the top, then lowering it to halfway. (Equally valid ‘half-masting’ is flying the flag at two-thirds of its normal height. This is especially applicable where the full height of the pole is not visible to most observers; for instance, where the pole is mounted on the roof of a building and the lower portion of the pole is not visible from street level.) This usually denotes distress or a show of grief, such as mourning a death. The use of ‘mast’ suggests naval use but typically the two terms are interchangeable.


Flying the flag upside-down, or tying it into a wheft.


Flag illustrations generally depict flags flying from the observer’s point of view from left to right, the view known as the obverse (or “front”); the other side is the reverse (or “back”). There are some exceptions, notably some Islamic flags inscribed in Arabic, for which the obverse is defined as the side with the hoist to the observer’s right.