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Dictionary of Vexillology: B (Braced - Brunatre)

Last modified: 2024-05-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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Alternative terms to interlaced - see ‘interlaced’.

braced example
Flag of the Panceltic Movement (fotw)

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

bracelet example

In largely US usage, the colloquial term for a collection of local flags, often (but not invariably) unofficial flags, that has been amassed by the owners of pleasure vessels to indicate the number of ports visited – a type of souvenir flag.

1) Generically, one of those flags pertaining to a particular branch within the armed services - an air force flag, army flag, navy flag, flag of the marine corps or similar (see also ‘armed services flag’).
2) Specifically in US military usage, as above but the term may also include the flags of each specialization within a particular branch – for example the flag of the Engineering Corps.

[branch of service flags] [branch of service flags] [branch of service flags]
Flag of the Navy, Venezuela (fotw); Army Flag, UK (fotw); Flag of the Royal Marines, UK (fotw)

1) Generically see ‘width’.
2) Specifically in now largely (if not entirely) obsolete British Royal Navy usage, a term for indicating the width of flags - see the notes below (also ‘bunting 1)’).

[breadth] [breadth] [breadth]
Ensign of 20 Breadths x 11 yards (10.10m), 1707, Ensign of 18 Breadths x 8 yards (7.20m), 1742, Ensign of 23 Breadths x 34 feet (10.40m) 1822, UK (fotw)

a) With regard to 2) this term describes one half of the width of bunting formerly employed in manufacture/calculation, with the width of such flags being expressed as a multiple of the number of breadths used.
b) The width of a breadth was recorded as being 11” (27.94 cm) in 1687, had become 10” (25.41 cm) by 1742, and had shrunk to its present size of 9” (22.84 cm) by the end of the 18th Century, with ½ a yard (18” or 45.72 cm) of fabric being used per breath employed thus giving a ratio of 11:18 in 1687, 5:9 in 1742 and 1:2 by 1800.

(v) To unfurl a flag that has been hoisted folded and rolled up in such a manner that a sharp tug at the halyard will cause it to fly free (see also ‘furl’ and ‘halyard’).

Please note the above is often used to mark the beginning of an event or the arrival of a VIP.

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

bretessed bretessed bretessed
Flag of Tržič, Slovenia (fotw); Flag of Koprivnica, Croatia (fotw); Flag of La Mézière, France (fotw)

See ‘blue ensign 3)’, ‘red ensign 3)’ and ‘white ensign 3)’ (also ‘canton flag’ and ‘ensign’).

Malaysia blue ensign New Zealand civil ensign Burma - naval ensign
Government Ensign of Malaysia (fotw): Civil Ensign of New Zealand (fotw); Naval Ensign of Myanmar 1947-1974 (fotw)

A now largely obsolete standard numeral colour code for cloth and flags established by Britain, and first published in 1934 (see also ‘Pantone Matching System’).

The original names for the 1606 pattern British union flag – the Britain flag or flag of Britain - but see ‘His Majesty’s Jack’ (also ‘interlaced’, ‘James Union’ and ‘union jack’).

Union flag 1601
Union Flag 1601 – 1801, UK (fotw)

Please note, evidence suggests that the terms British and Britain flag or flag of Britain ceased in official use after 1639.

In US naval usage now increasingly (if not entirely) obsolete, a pennant that is flown at the main masthead in place of the commission (or masthead) pennant to indicate the presence on board of an officer commanding a force, group or squadron of vessels (or carrier air wing), and who has authority over any officer flying a burgee command pennant, but who has not reached flag rank – see ‘burgee command pennant’ (also ‘broad pennant 1)’ with its following note, ‘command pennant’, ‘flag officer 1)’ and ‘masthead pennant’).

Broad Command Pennant
Broad Command Pennant, US (sea flags)

Please note however, that the US practice of displacing the commission (or masthead) pennant by the burgee or the broad command pennants differs from general naval practice where the various command pennants (excepting the broad pennant) are usually (but not invariably) flown in addition and subordinate to the masthead pennant.

1) Generically, a shorter and broader form of the masthead pennant, the fly of which is cut into a swallowtail – a triangular or tapered swallowtail.
2) Specifically in British RN and some other usage, a pennant as in 1) above that is flown at the main masthead in place of the commissioning (or masthead) pennant to indicate the presence on board of an officer with the rank of Commodore (see also ‘broad command pennant’, ‘burgee command pennant’, ‘flag of command’ and ‘masthead pennant 1)’).
3) In civil maritime usage, as 1) above (and often patterned after the relevant club burgee), a broad pennant is sometimes flown by the commodore and vice-commodore of a yacht or boating club - an officer’s, flag officer or yacht officer's broad pennant - but see ‘officer’s flags’ and ‘officer’s pennants’ (also ‘burgee’, ‘deface’ and ).
4) A (usually) longer version of 1) above, sometimes with rounded points (or a lanceolate fly) and flown from the main masthead to mark the presence aboard ship of a head of state or member of a royal family - a royal or monarch’s broad pennant and others (see also ‘lanceolate’ and ‘royal masthead pennant’).

Commodore Broad Pennant - UK Commodore Broad Pennant - Norway broad pennant
Flag of Ohio, US (fotw); Commodore’s Broad Pennant, Norway (fotw); Yacht Club Commodore’s Broad Pennant, Orange Lake Ice Yacht Club, US (fotw)

Please note, that in the US Navy and some others the rank of commodore - to which the broad pennant belongs - has been superseded by that of rear admiral (lower half) and the pennant accordingly replaced by an appropriate flag of command (see also ‘broad command pennant’, ‘flag of command 1)’ and ‘in abeyance’).

A Scottish term, now obsolete, for a flag hanging from a crossbar – a gonfalon (see ‘gonfalon’).

See ‘swastika

The Iceland Steamship Co Ltd
House Flag of The Iceland Steamship Co Ltd 1914 – c1943 (fotw)

A heraldic term for the colour brown (see also ‘mixed tinctures’).

[colour example]

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