This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Candidate Terminology (Vexillology)

Last modified: 2013-12-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological definitions: proposed |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:

This is a page under constant development in that it reflects proposals to standardize language used in vexillology.

The following is the format of the terminology on this page:

  1. Proposed definitions
  2. Discussion on the definition

Terms may draw upon or be similar to those on our page on our Dictionary of Vexillology.

Proposed formats

Proposed definitions:

  • None at this time

Proposed Formats

Convention for the writing of definitions

  • Keep it as simple as possible.
  • Make it as specific as possible (for instance, I prefer the Smithsonian definition of tricolour above saying that a tricolour is any flag with three colours in the field no matter how they are arranged).
  • Retain any existing traditional and well-known definitions (even if it does not completely meet the first two strictures).
  • Keep as close as possible to existing standard definitions in heraldry.

Convention for describing the order of colours on the field of a flag

  • For vertically displayed colours: from the hoist. (Thus the French tricoleur would be described as a 'vertical tricolour b-w-r'.
  • For horizontally displayed colours: from top to bottom. (Thus the Dutch driekleur would be described as a 'horizontal tricolour r-w-b')
  • For gyronny displayed colours: from upper hoist corner with the order of colours and number of repetitions stated.

Convention for flag descriptions

  • Describe the primary field of the flag in the simplest possible terms using standard definitions (eg: the basic dominant colour, or bicolour, or triband, or tricolour, etc).
  • Add any deviations from the standard field.
  • Descibe any charges and their positions on the field, also using standard definitions if available and applicable (eg fleur-de-lis, armillary sphere, etc, etc).
  • Describe the division lines if it deviates from the straight horisontal, vertical or diagonal.
  • Provide the proportions of the field (if deviating from the norm of 2:3), the bars and cantons in the description.
A.P. Burgers, 1 July 2005

Candidate Terminology

None at this time.