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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Crancelin - Cypher)

Last modified: 2022-10-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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The alternative heraldic term for a crown of rue - see ‘crown of rue’.

crancelin crancelin
Arms of Saxony, Germany (fotw); Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Saxony 1815–1918 (fotw)

1)A decorative scarf, usually in national or livery colours and often richly decorated, generally tied with a bow to the staff below the finial, normally (but by no means exclusively) used with military flags and sometimes displayed with a cockade (see also ‘cockade 1)’, ‘cord(s) 1)’, ‘draping’, ‘finial’, ‘livery colours’, ‘national colours 2)’ and ‘staff 2)’).
2) Long black ribbons tied to the staff of a military colour below the finial to signify mourning by the regiment or unit concerned for the loss of members of that regiment, or when participating in a military or state funeral - but see ‘draping’.

Presidential Standard - France - 1940-1943 National Flag of Mexico
Presidential Standard, France 1940 – 1943 (fotw & CS); National Flag of Mexico (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1) that in French military usage, and possibly in others, the cravat is employed (including use with car flags) to differentiate between ranks and functions (see also ‘fanion 3)’, ‘jack of honour’, ‘lanyard 1)’ and ‘lanyard pennant’.

In vexillology, a term that is sometimes used to describe the battlements of a tower, castle or wall in place of its heraldic equivalents – see ‘embattled’.

Triemen, NL
Flag of Judeţul Cahul 1998-2003, Moldova (fotw)

Alternative heraldic terms to embattled - see ‘embattled’.

crenelled crenelled
Arms and Flag of Pyskowice, Poland (fotw)

1) In vexillology, a charge in the shape of a crescent moon formed by two interlinked circles of varying size, generally (but not invariably) shown with the open horns towards the fly – a quarter-moon (see also ‘disc’ and ‘waning or waxing moon’).
2) In heraldry a charge in the form of a crescent moon whose horns unless otherwise specified point upwards – but see ‘moon 2)’ with following notes, and the note b) below (also ‘lunel’).

crescent crescent Odèn, Spain
Naval Flag of the Ottoman Empire c1840 (fotw); Former Flag of Obdam, The Netherlands (fotw); Flag  of Odèn, Spain (fotw)

a) With regard to 1) the crescent is often (but not invariably) considered to be symbolic of Islam.
b) Regarding 2) a crescent whose horns point downward (as illustrated above) may be termed inverted or reversed – see ‘reversed 2)’.

1) The heraldic term for a symbol that is usually (but not invariably) attached to the helm, is almost always set above a torse and generally ensigned over the shield (see also ‘Appendix IV’, ‘armorial bearings’, ‘coat of arms’, ‘ensigned’, ‘helm’, ‘shield’ and ‘wreath 2)’).
2) See ‘ship’s crest’.
3) See ‘military crest’.
4) The term is sometimes used to describe a shield or set of armorial bearing – but see note below.

[crest] [crest] [crest]
Arms of Josipdol, Croatia (fotw); Ship’s crest of HMS Sovereign (Wikipedia); State Military Crest of New Mexico, US (fotw)

Please note that the term crest should only be used as specifically defined defined in 1), 2) and 3) above, and should not be considered as a synonym for a coat of arms or set of armorial bearings (see also ‘armorial bearings’ and ‘coat of arms’).

See ‘meal pennant’.

[crew's meal pennant]
Crew’s Meal Pennant, US (fotw)

See ‘wattle(d) 1)

[Croatian wattle]
Flag of Ustasha Youth 1941 - 1945, Croatia (fotw)

1) A ceremonial headpiece consisting of a circlet (almost invariably) made of precious metal and adorned with pearls/gemstones – see note a) below (also ‘coronet 1)’, ‘coronet 2)’, ‘orb’ and ‘sceptre’).
2) A variously detailed charge symbolizing the status or identity of a particular institution or organization (see also ‘astral crown’, ‘crown of arms’, ‘civic crown 2)’, ‘mural crown 1)’, ‘provincial crown’ and ‘naval crown’.
3) In heraldry see ‘antique crown 2)’, ‘civic crown 1)’, ‘crown triumphal’, ‘ensigned’ and ‘mural crown 2)’.

[crown] [crown] [crown]
Royal Crowns, Denmark, England and Spain (fotw)

a) With regard to 1), a crown with a curved bar or bars across the top and a cap within generally (but not invariably) signifies a reigning monarch, however, the actual design will usually be specific to a given country and considerable variations exist.
b) Regarding 3), in heraldry the term "crown" has a wider use than those referenced above, and it is suggested that a specialist glossary or dictionary of heraldry be consulted for full details.

A translation of the Spanish term Banderas Coronelas and referring to a Queen’s, King’s or Imperial Colour - see ‘colour 2)’ and ‘colours 2)’.

Crown colours example Crown colours example
Crown/King’s Colour of the Royal Infantry Guard 1794, Spain (fotw); Crown/Queen’s Colour of the Regiment of Chasseurs Isabel II 1841-1844, Spain (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘ensigned’ (also ‘crown’).

Crowned example  Crowned example Crowned example
Lesser Arms and Grand-Ducal Standard of Luxembourg (fotw); State Arms of Norway (fotw)

A newly introduced term – and a translation of the German Wappenkrone - that may be used to describe the type of crown which is created from a series related arms, and possibly inspired by the pavisade – see ‘pavisade’ (also ‘coat of arms 2)’, ‘hamburgian coronet’, ‘leafy crown’, ‘mural crown 1)’ and ‘provincial crown 2)’.

Crown of Arms Crown of Arms
Middle Arms and State Flag of Baden-Württemberg, Germany (fotw)

The heraldic term for a coronet placed in bend – or diagonally – across rather than above a shield or quarter – a crancelin (see also ‘bend’, ‘coronet’, ‘in bend’, ‘quarter’ and ‘shield 1)’)

Crown of Rue Crown of Rue Crown of Rue
Flag of Saxony, Germany (fotw); Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Saxony 1815–1918 (fotw); Flag of Land Hadeln, Germany (fotw)

In Christian, particularly Iberian tradition, the term for a crown bearing a dove set on its central point (see also ‘marian crown’ and its following note).

Crown of the Holy Spirit Crown of the Holy Spirit  Crown of the Holy Spirit
Flag and Arms of Ilha, Portugal (fotw); Flag of Feteira, Portugal (fotw)

The heraldic term for a closed garland or chaplet, usually composed of laurel leaves, and based on the ancient Roman triumphal ornament (see also ‘civic crown 2)’, ‘decking’, ‘garland’ and ‘wreath of immortelles’).


In some Christian usages the ceremonial staff of a prelate - a bishop or archbishop’s crook or pastoral staff (see also ‘mitre’ and ‘stringed’).

crozier crozier crozier
Flag of Bassenge, Belgium (fotw); Arms of Santo Tirso, Portugal (fotw); Flag of Dugo Selo, Croatia (fotw)

The term, and a translation from the Portuguese, that is used in largely South European heraldry when a charge (such as an orb or crown) is ensigned with a cross - see ‘ensigned’.

cruciferous cruciferous cruciferous
Flag of Vila Nova do Campo, Portugal (fotw); Arms and Flag of São Salvador do Campo, Portugal (fotw)

A term for the central point at which the two triangles formed by a swallow-tailed cut in the fly meet (see also ‘orthogonal’, ‘palm’ and ‘swallow-tail(ed)’).

crutch crutch
Naval Ensign of Germany (fotw); Flag of Námestovo, Slovakia (fotw)

A translation of the German term Kruckenkreuz - in heraldry see ‘cross potent’).

crutch cross
A flag of the Christian Falangist Party, Germany (fotw)

A flag or ensign, different from the national/state flag or government ensign or a pennant, which specifically identifies the installations or vessels of a country’s customs service (see also ‘national flag’, ‘government ensign’ and ‘service ensign’ under ‘ensign’, and ‘state flag’).

customs flags customs flags customs flags
Customs Flag/Jack, Israel; Customs Flag, Sudan (fotw); Customs Flag, Cambodia (fotw)

See ‘friendship flag’.

cut and paste flag
Canada-US Friendship/Cut-and-Paste Flag (fotw)

Vexillological research and/or the publication of vexillological information using electronic means, particularly the Internet or other electronic delivery systems.

See ‘royal cypher 1)’ and ‘monogram’.

French cypher
Cypher of the French Republic (CS)

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