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Dictionary of Vexillology: A (Affrontant - Ajouré)

Last modified: 2024-05-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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Alternative heraldic terms sometimes used in place of combatant or respectant - see ‘combatant’ and ‘respectant’.

[affrontant example]  [affrontant example]  [affrontant example]
Flag of Leuzigen, Switzerland (fotw); Arms of Mire de Tibães, Portugal (fotw); Flag of Marrum/Westernijkerk, The Netherlands (fotw)

1) The heraldic term used when the head of a beast or a man is shown facing the observer – but see ‘caboshed’ and 2) below (also ‘respectant’ and ‘guardant’).
2) The heraldic term also used when a charge, such as a helmet, house or ship, is shown with its front towards the observer.

affronty affronty affronty
Flag of Hemsedal, Norway (fotw); Flag of Normandy, France (fotw); Flag of Oberönz, Switzerland (fotw)

With regard to 1) please note this term is not to be confused with affrontant – see ‘affrontant’.

A term sometimes (incorrectly) used in place of the heraldic term inflamed or its alternatives – see ‘inflamed’.

[aflame example] [aflame example]
Arms and Flag of Vimeiro, Portugal (fotw)

The line nearest the stern upon which signal flags are displayed when a vessel is dressed overall - see ‘dressing lines’, ‘dress ship, to 1)’ and ‘dress ship, to 4)’.

See ‘Garvey colours’.

Marcus Garvey flag Marcus Garvey colours
Marcus Garvey’s Flag 1917 (fotw); An Afro-American Flag (fotw)

A Latin term meaning the Lamb of God - this is sometimes shown with a halo or nimbus around its head, but always holding a crossed staff or crosier (and often decorated with a flag or banner) – the Holy Lamb, Holy Lamb of God, Lamb of God or Pascal Lamb (see also ‘nimbus’).

Agnus Dei Kunovice, Czechia Gotland, Sweden  
Flag of Bennwil, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Kunovice, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Gotland, Sweden (fotw)

Loops of ornamental braided cord with tassels, and worn from the right or left shoulder of (usually but not invariably) military uniforms to signify a special status or service – see ‘flag adjutant’ (also ‘cord(s)’ ‘dress knot’) and ‘lanyard 1)’)

Officers of the Household Cavalry
Officers of the Household Cavalry, UK (Wikipedia)

See ‘fin flash’ and ‘roundel 1)’ (also ‘aircraft marking(s)’).

Greek roundel  Greek fin flash  Guatemalan roundel
Roundel and Fin flash, Greece (fotw); Roundel, Guatemala (fotw)

See ‘branch of service flag’ (also ‘armed services flag’, ‘class flag’ and ‘ensign 2)’).

US Air Force Flag Air Force Colour, Croatia Air Force Flag Lebanon
Air Force Flag, US (fotw); Air Force Colour, Croatia (fotw); Air Force Flag, Lebanon (fotw)

A flag or pennant, now obsolete, originally designed to fly (sometimes alongside a civil air ensign) from an aircraft carrying mail (see also ‘postal flag’ and ‘civil air ensign’)

US Air Mail flag Royal Air Mail pennant
US Air mail Flag (fotw); Royal Air Mail Pennant, UK (fotw)

1) Specifically in US military usage, the term that refers to markings of identification on the tail plane/fin of primarily (but not exclusively) military aircraft – but see note below (also ‘roundel 1)’).
2) Generically see ‘aircraft marking(s)’.

aircraft insignia aircraft insignia aircraft insignia aircraft insignia
Aircraft Insignia/Markings 1919 - 1942, USAF (Wikipedia); Aircraft Insignia/Markings, Croatia (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1), that US military aircraft have not carried a fin flash - an emblem of national identity - on their tail planes since 1942 – see ‘fin flash

In UK and some other usage, a collective term for the markings of nationality and identification on the wings, fuselage and tail plane/fin of primarily (but not exclusively) military aircraft – but see ‘fin flash’ and ‘roundel 1)’ (also ‘aircraft insignia’ above, ‘fuselage markings 1)’, ‘victory markings’ and ‘wing marking(s) 1))’).

 roundel fin flash fin flash roundel
Roundel and Fin Flash, France c1917 (fotw & CS); Roundel and Fin Flash, Dominican Republic (fotw)

In largely US usage the square, orange and white-checkered safety flag mandated by the US Federal Aviation Administration for the marking of construction vehicles and jobsite obstructions/hazards at airports. (see also ‘checky’).

airfield safety flag
Example (fotw)

See ‘corporate flag’.

Royal Jordanian Airlines  LOT
Flag of The Royal Jordanian Airlines (fotw); Flagship Pennant, American Airlines 1936 – c1955 (fotw).

A heraldic term used when the windows and/or gateway of a fortified building are in the same tincture as the field – see ‘tinctures’ and ‘field 2)’ (also ‘litten’).

Greek fin flash Borba, Portugal Borba, Portugal
Flag of Palau-Sator, Spain (fotw); Arms and Flag of Almeida, Portugal (fotw)

Please note that this term has a wider use than is detailed above, and the Editors recommend that a heraldic dictionary be consulted if further details are required.

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