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Dictionary of Vexillology: A (Affrontant - Ajouré)

Last modified: 2019-04-24 by rob raeside
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An alternative heraldic term sometimes used in place of combatant or respectant - see ‘combatant’ and ‘respectant’.

[affrontant example]  [affrontant example]  [affrontant example]  [affrontant example]
Arms and Flag of Leuzigen, Switzerland (Wikipedia & fotw); Arms and Flag of Marrum/Westernijkerk, The Netherlands (Wikipedia & 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.

Møre og Romsdal, Norway Møre og Romsdal, Norway Møre og Romsdal, Norway Møre og Romsdal, Norway Hersberg, Switzerland Hersberg, Switzerland Oberönz, Switzerland
Flag and Arms of Møre og Romsdal, Norway (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag and Arms of Strizivojna, Croatia (fotw); Flag and Arms of Hersberg, Switzerland (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag of Oberönz, Switzerland (fotw)

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

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 or Lamb of God (see also ‘nimbus’).

Kunovice, Czech Republic Gotland, Sweden arms of Preston, UK flag of Preston, UK  arms of Knin, Croatia flag of Knin, Croatia
Flag of Kunovice, Czech Republic (fotw); Flag of Gotland, Sweden (fotw); Arms and flag of Preston, UK (fotw); Arms and Flag of Knin, Croatia (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
Roundel and Fin flash, Greece (fotw)

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

Air Force Flag Belarus UK Air Force Ensign US Air Force Flag Air Force Colour, Croatia SA Air Force Flag
Air Force Flag, Belarus (fotw); Air Force Ensign, UK (fotw); Air Force Flag, US (fotw); Air Force Colour, Croatia (fotw); Air Force Ensign, South Africa (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 (see also ‘roundel 1)’).
2) Generically see ‘aircraft marking(s)’.

aircraft insignia aircraft insignia aircraft insignia aircraft insignia aircraft insignia aircraft insignia
Aircraft Insignia/Markings, Guatemala (fotw); Aircraft Insignia/Markings, Panama (fotw); Aircraft Insignia/Markings, Croatia (fotw & Wikipedia)

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

aircraft insignia aircraft insignia
Aircraft Insignia/Markings 1919 - 1943, USAF (Wikipedia)

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  roundel fin flash fin flash roundel
Roundel and Fin Flash for Combat Aircraft, UK (Graham Bartram); Roundel and Fin Flash, France c1917; 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

See ‘corporate flag’.

Qantas  LOT  CLS 
Flag of Qantas, Australia (fotw); Flag of LOT Airline, Poland c1930 – c1940 (fotw); Pennant of ČLS Airline, Czechoslovakia 1927 – 1938 (fotw)

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

Greek roundel  Greek fin flash Borba, Portugal Borba, Portugal
Flag of the Balearic Islands, Spain (fotw); Flag of Palau-Sator, Spain (fotw); Arms and Flag of Borba, 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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