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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Canadian Pale - Captured Flag)

Last modified: 2019-04-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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A term used when the central stripe in a vertical triband has internal proportions of 1-2-1 as in the Canadian national flag – but see note below and ‘unequal triband’ (also ‘proportions 2)’, ‘pale’, ‘triband’ and ‘tricolour’).

Canada Northwest Territories, Canada Brantford, Ontario Kelowna, BC
National Flag of Canada (fotw); Flag of North West Territories, Canada (fotw); Flag of Brantford, Canada (fotw); Flag of Kelowna, Canada (fotw) 

Please note, it is suggested that the entry on pale and/or a suitable glossary or heraldic dictionary be consulted before using this term, and that if used at all it should apply only to Canadian Flags.

The flag of the Cantabrian independence movement showing a wheel-like emblem that is considered symbolic of the ancient Cantabrians of Northern Spain.

[Cantabrian Lebarum]
The Cantabrian Labarum (fotw)

Bearers of the ‘cantabrum’.

An ancient Roman cavalry standard of uncertain configuration - but see note below.

Please note - not to be confused with a cantabrian labarum, although, this is believed (by some sources) to be a later interpretation of the ancient design - (see 'cantabrian labarum').

An originally heraldic term for when the design on a shield or any quartering thereof, on a banner of arms or a flag forms a pun on the name or attributes of the entity or person represented – allusive arms or armes parlantes  (see also ‘armorial bearings’).

[Queens Mothers flag - canting] [Greifensee, Switzerland - canting] [Greifensee, Switzerland - canting]  [Brodski Stupnick flag - canting]  [Brodski Stupnick arms - canting]  [Bila Tserkva - canting]
Standard of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, UK (fotw); Flag and Arms of Greifensee, Switzerland (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag and Arms of Brodski Stupnick, Croatia fotw); flag of Bila Tserkva, Ukraine (fotw)

The Royal Standard of Her Late Majesty The Queen Mother showed the Royal Arms of Great Britain impaled with quartered Bows and Lions for her family name of Bowes-Lyon,
b) The German for griffon is Greif.
c) Stupisis is the Croatian for column.
d) Bila Tserkva means white church in Ukrainian.

1) Commonly, all or part of the upper hoist – or first - quarter of a flag’s field that has not vertical divisions and/or otherwise undivided - the canton (see also ‘Appendix I’, ‘inner canton’ and ‘quarter 1)’).
2) A rectangular (or square) area of colour or design different from the field in the above position, which may occupy exactly one quarter of the flag or a larger or smaller area (see also ‘canton flag’ below, ‘covering’, ‘quarter 1)’ and 'Union’).
3) One of the four quarters of a flag, divided horizontally and vertically into: (1) the upper hoist or upper hoist canton, (2) the upper fly or upper fly canton, (3) the lower hoist or lower hoist canton and (4) the lower fly or lower fly canton corresponding to quarters one to four of a shield divided quarterly (see also ‘Appendix I’, ‘grand quarter’, ‘quarter 2)’, ‘quarterly’, ‘hoist’ and ‘fly’).
4) In heraldry as definition 2) except (although apparently of no fixed size) heraldic use frequently suggests that a canton should occupy one-third of the chief (see also ‘cantoned 1)’ and ‘chief’).

[absence example] [absence example] [absence example] [absence example] [absence example]
National Flag of Liechtenstein (fotw); Flag of Kelantan, Malaysia (fotw); National Flag of Liberia (fotw)

Please note that “canton” is also the title by which the major sub-divisions of several countries (states, counties etc.) are known (see also ‘cantonal arms’ and ‘cantonal flag’).

[absence example] [absence example] [absence example]
Flag of Schwyz canton, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Zenica-Doboj Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina (fotw); Flag of El Guabo Canton, Ecuador (fotw)

The arms of a territorial division within a country, particularly if that subdivision is called a canton – e.g., one of those cantons (regions) that make up the Swiss Confederation, or those of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Costa Rica - see ‘state arms 3)’ under ‘arms’ (also ‘cantonal flag’).

[Berne arms] [Posavina arms] [Una-Sana arms]
Arms of Bern, Switzerland (Wikipedia); Arms of Posavina, Bosnia-Herzegovina (fotw); Arms of Una-Sana, Bosnia-Herzegovina (fotw)

The sub-national flag of a territorial division within a country, particularly if that subdivision is is called a canton - e.g. one of the cantons which make up the Swiss Confederation, or of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Costa Rica (see also ‘cantonal arms’ and ‘sub-national flag’).

Posavina, Bosnia-Herzegovina Una-Sana, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Flag of Bern, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Posavina, Bosnia-Herzegovina (fotw); Flag of Una-Sana, Bosnia-Herzegovina (fotw)

The newly introduced term for a right-angled, triangular panel set with its legs (or catheti) along the hoist and upper edge of a flag as illustrated below – but see ‘triangular panel 1)’.

Posavina, Bosnia-Herzegovina Imues , Colombia
Unit Colour 67th Military Police Battalion, Croatia (Željko Heimer); Flag of Imues, Columbia (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘cross cantonée’.

Cantoned cross Cantoned cross
Flag and Arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem c1200 (CS & Wikipedia)

1) See ‘cross cantonée’ (also ‘canton 4)’).
2) A heraldic term sometimes (incorrectly) used to describe a charge or charges set in the cantons of a shield that does not carry a cross or saltire - cantonée (see also ‘saltire’).

cantoned cantoned cantoned cantoned
Example; Flag of Précigné, France (fotw); Arms and Flag of Figueiró dos Vinhos, Portugal (fotw)

1) A term used to describe the canton of a flag, or to describe the flag itself, when its canton consists of another flag, as in for example the civil ensigns of Australia and India, and the island flag of Nevis – a nationally cantoned flag  (see also ‘armorial ensign 2)’, ‘British style ensign’, ‘canton 2)’, ‘canton of St. George’, ‘civil ensign’ under ‘ensign’ and ‘colonial flag’).
2) See ‘cantonal flag’.

canton flags canton flags canton flags canton flags
Civil Ensign of Australia (fotw); Civil Ensign of India (fotw); War Ensign of Brunei (fotw); Flag of the Island of Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis (fotw)

The term used when a flag’s canton is formed by the red cross of St George on its white field – a St George’s canton (see also ‘canton 2)’, ‘canton flag’, ‘St George’s Cross 2)’ and ‘St. George's ensign’.

Some English Ensigns c1590 – 1707 (fotw)

See ‘badge 3)’.

Cap Badge of the Grenadier Guards, UK (Wikipedia)

An ancient symbol in the form of a soft red cap which, as a consequence of having been adopted by various revolutionary movements during the 18th century, has come to be regarded as a symbol of resistance against monarchical or imperialist oppression – a liberty, Phrygian or Scythian cap.

cap of liberty cap of liberty cap of liberty cap of liberty
Current National Emblem, Presidential Flag Afloat, and the Flag of the Army of the Andes 1817-18, Argentina (fotw); Seal from the Reverse of the National Flag of Paraguay (Mello Luchtenberg)

See ‘stand of colours 1)’ and ‘venn’.

captain's colour captain's colour captain's colour captain's colour captain's colour captain's colour
Examples of First – the Third Captain’s Colours in Venn A and Venn B, English c1641 (fotw & CS)

See ‘trophy flag’.

captured flag
Flag Captured at Blakely, Alabama 1 April 1865 (

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