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Dictionary of Vexillology: G (Gradient Fill - Grumphion)

Last modified: 2022-04-02 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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The printing/computer graphics term that may be used when a charge, or a flag's field, is composed of two or more different colours that gradually merge into each other – fountain fill.

Christlich-Soziale Union, Bavaria, German ista di Pietro - Italia dei Valori L'Ulivo, Italy
Flag of the Christlich-Soziale Union, Bavaria, Germany (fotw); Flag of Lista di Pietro - Italia dei Valori (fotw); Flag of L'Ulivo, Italy (fotw)

Please note that a gradient fill is not found in heraldry and is very rarely employed in classic flag design, but may be seen on some modern (particularly commercial and especially printed) flags.

See ‘optical proportions’.

president of France
Current Presidential Flag of France (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms used to describe that section of a shield or banner of arms that is further subdivided by being impaled or quartered, and generally employed when one or more sets of quartered, quarterly or impaled arms are displayed with another either so divided or otherwise - a great quarter (see also ‘impaled’, ‘quarter’, ‘quartered’, ‘quartering’, ‘quarterly’ and ‘shield’).

 Arms of HM King William III  Royal Standard Queen Adelaide, UK  Standard of HM Queen Mary of Teck, UK
Arms of HM King William III 1689 – 1702, UK (fotw); Standard of HM Queen Adelaide 1830 – 1849, UK (fotw); Standard of HM Queen Mary of Teck 1867 – 1953, UK (fotw)

See ‘continental colors’.

Grand Union
Grand Union/Continental Colours 1775 – 1777, US (fotw)

See ‘coronet 2)’.

Grand-ducal bonnet
Lesser Arms of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (fotw)

see 'St. Nino's cross'

St. Nino's Cross
Flag of Ninotsminda, Georgia (fotw)

see 'memorial flag'

The term, now obsolete, for a banner showing all the quarterings of a deceased person's coat of arms for use at that person's funeral (see also ‘achievement of arms 2)’, ‘badge banner’, ‘banner 1)’, ‘banner of arms’, ‘bannerole’, ‘coat of arms 2)’, ‘grumphion’, ‘quartering’ and ‘livery banner’).

Royal Banner 1700, Spain
Great Banner/Royal Standard of HM King Philip V d1743, Spain (fotw)

Please note that according to English heraldry the sizes of a great banner were originally as follows: that of an Emperor; six feet square, a King; five feet square. a Prince or Duke; four feet square, a Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron, and Knight-baronet; three feet square.

A term, now obsolete, for the Scottish heraldic standard as flown from a fixed staff, and there are indications that it was the largest of three sizes (see also ‘battle standard’, ‘heraldic standard 2)’, and ‘pageant standard’).

[Great Standard]
Standard of the Laird of Clan Arbuthnott (The Flag Center)

The terms used for those US national flags whose canton shows the stars arranged in the form of a single larger star, and in civilian use (particularly – but not exclusively - upon merchant vessels) from 1818 until c1865 - the great luminary pattern (see also ‘Betsy Ross flag’, ‘continental colours’, ‘eagle standard’, ‘Franklin flag’, ‘old glory’, ‘quincunx’, ‘star-spangled banner’ and ‘stars and stripes’).

[Great Star flag] [Great Star flag] [Great Luminary Pattern]
Great Star Patterns of 26, 33 and 34 Stars (1837, 1859 and 1861), US (fotw)

1) In UK usage, the pattern of Union Flag displayed by military colours and originally authorized on 30 August 1900 (see also ‘colour 2)’, ‘colours 2)’ and ‘union jack 1)’).
2) In US usage, a term referring to the 1775 pattern of national flag and occasionally used in place of grand union or continental colours – see ‘continental colours’.

Great Union Great Union
The Great Union, UK (Martin Grieve); The Great/Grand Union 1775, US (fotw)

Please note with regard to 1) that this was an attempt to revive the pattern of union flag originally authorised in 1800, in that the white and red saltires are of even width with a fimbriation added, however, the fimbriation to the cross of St George was (due to an error in reading the blazon) mistakenly designed as too narrow.

Great Union
Union flag as authorized in 1800, UK (Željko Heimer)

See under ‘arms’.

Greater Arms of Bremen  Greater Arms of Sweden
Greater Arms of Bremen, Germany and of Sweden (fotw)

1) In vexillology the term for a cross whose four arms are straight-sided and of equal length, and which may, or may not, extend to edges of the flag, panel or canton it occupies (see also ‘acorn cross’ and ‘balkenkreuz’).
2) In heraldry as above – but see ‘cross-couped’ and ‘cross humetty’ (also ‘couped 2)’)

Greek Cross Greek Cross Greek Cross
Royal standard c1938, Greece (fotw); Flag of Unterägeri, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Iż-Żurrieq, Malta (fotw)

1) In UK usage the flag awarded to parks and other green spaces that have reached a national standard of excellence (see also ‘blue flag’).
2) In European usage (including the UK) the flag awarded to schools for reaching established goals in environmental education.

[Green Flag] [Green Flag] [Green Flag]
Green Flag Award flag, UK; Basic Design and Portuguese Variant (fotw and Official Website)

A heraldic term for the cooking implement upon which St Lawrence was traditionally martyred, and often associated with him – a grill (see also ‘latticed’).

[gridiron] [gridiron] [gridiron]
Flag of Villars le Grand, Switzerland (fotw): Arms of Kocierzew Południowy, Poland (fotw); Flag of Alvelos, Portugal (fotw)

In UK usage a term, now obsolete, for the red and white striped flag of the Honourable East India Company (see also ‘continental colours’, ‘ensign’, ‘jack’ and ‘red ensign’).

[HEIC flag] [England] [United Kingdom]
HEIC Flags, England c1600–1707; UK 1707–1801; UK 1801-1864 (fotw)

This flag was introduced as an ensign c1600 and worn as such outside home waters from c1676–1824, after which it was flown as a jack by vessels of the Bombay Marine until 1863.
b) Thirteen is the usual number of stripes shown, but that nine or eleven are occasionally seen in contemporary flag books.
c) Information suggests the existence of a gridiron flag bearing a Cross of St George overall (as illustrated below), and that it was worn by armed vessels of the HIEC, however, no further details can be confirmed at this present time.

 [HEIC flag]
Flag of the HIEC bearing a Cross of St George c1820 (fotw)

A (variously detailed) mythological creature that is part lion and part eagle, and which appears as a supporter or as a charge in a set of armorial bearings, on a banner of arms or a flag - gryphon (see also Appendix V’, ‘armorial bearings’, ‘coat of arms’, ‘heraldic beasts’, ‘phoenix’ and ‘supporters’).

[griffin example] [griffin example] [griffin example]
Flag of Rodalben, Germany (fotw); Flag of Troms, Norway (fotw); Flag of Gryfice, Poland (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘gridiron’.

[grill] [grill]
Arms and Flag of Jaraczewo, Poland (fotw)

See ‘millstone’ and the note below.

[grindstone] [grindstone]
Arms and Flag of Pedra Furada, Portugal (fotw)

Please note that a grindstone can also be the wheel upon which knives etc. are sharpened, and that such an implement has not - as far as can be confirmed - yet appeared on flags.

1) A hole or eyelet, reinforced by stitching or an inserted metal ring, usually found at both ends of the heading on the hoist of a flag, through which clips, attached to the halyard pass - see ‘Inglefield clip’  (also ‘Appendix I’, ‘clip and grommet’, 'hoist 2)', 'tack', and 'halyard').
2) See ‘rope grommet’.

Please note with regard to 1) that Lt (later Admiral) Edward Inglefield RN patented this system in 1890.

See ‘clip and grommet’.

clip and grommet example
Željko Heimer

1) In vexillology see ‘field 1)’.
2) In heraldry see ‘field 2)’.

ground example ground example
Flag and Arms of Negoslavci, Croatia (fotw)

See ‘command pennant’.

[Group Command Pennant, Spain]
Group Command Pennant, Spain (fotw)

A Scottish term, now obsolete, for a small funeral flag bearing a death's head.

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