- S (or SAFETY AFLOAT) PENNANT
- In US naval usage, a triangular pennant that is flown (from the port or starboard
yardarm when in port) to indicate that the vessel has won an annual safety award
competition (see also award flag).
Safety Afloat Pennant, USN (seaflags)
- The heraldic term for the colour black (see ‘Appendix III’
and ‘rule of tincture’).
- SAFE CONDUCT FLAG
- 1) A special flag of internationally recognized design – such as that of the
Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Crystal and others – which (by international agreement)
protects personnel engaged in medical succour, ambulances, civil and field hospitals
and hospital ships against military action – a Geneva Convention flag, or flag
of protection (see also
‘international flag’ and
- 2) The Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Crystal and other recognized flag designs
(together with arm brassards or painted symbols) are also used to indicate the
facilities and personnel of these organisations rendering aid to the survivors
and casualties of natural or human disasters (see also
‘international flag’ and
Red Cross Flag Red Crescent Flag Red Crystal Flag
Please note that on 8 December 2005 the International
Committee of the Red Cross adopted a Protocol (Protocol III) authorizing a red
crystal (diamond shape) as an additional non-religious and politically neutral
symbol, however, please also note that the flags of the Red Cross and of its associated
organizations are at the same time international flags, safe conduct, flags of
protection and Geneva
- SAFETY FLAG
- 1) In Japanese usage one of several green and white flags symbolizing safe conditions in various situations.
2) See beach flag and storm warning flag (also airfield safety flag and red flag 1)).
Safety Flag for General Use, Japan (fotw);
Health Flag; Japan (fotw);
Health and Safety Flag, Japan (fotw)
- SAILOR’S MAST
- In largely German usage, a flag pole or mast (most often) erected ashore for the
multiple display of barge or inland waterway related flags for decorative purposes,
and equipped with a long gaff and yard – a display mast or bargemen’s association
display mast (see also
‘stayed mast’ and
Please note that this term is a translation of the German
schiffermast, and that use of such masts seems to be restricted to associations of
bargemen or similar.
- SAINT ANDREW’S CROSS
- 1) See ‘saltire’.
- 2) A white saltire on a blue field – the national flag of
Scotland or the Scottish saltire (see also,
St. George's Cross 2),
St. Patrick's Cross and
union jack 1)).
- 3) A blue saltire on a white field – the naval ensign of the
Russian Federation (and formerly of the Russian Empire)
- a St. Andrew's ensign, Andreevskiĭ, Andreevsky or Ahndreeyeeskeey.
National Flag of Scotland (fotw); Naval Ensign
of Russia (fotw)
Please note that whilst the term St George's Cross
generally refers only to a red cross on a white field, the Cross of St Andrew,
due to a tradition that the saint was crucified on a diagonal cross, has come
to be regarded by many as a saltire of any colour or metal on a field of any colour
or metal. Although this is considered inaccurate in English heraldic or vexillological
usage, it is common in countries and languages where a term equivalent to
“saltire” does not exist.
- SAINT ANDREW’S ENSIGN
- See ‘St Andrew’s cross 3)’ above.
Naval Ensign of Russia (fotw)
- SAINT ANTHONY’S CROSS
- See ‘cross tau’ in ‘appendix VIII’.
Flag of Sint Anthonis, The Netherlands (fotw)
- SAINT GEORGE-TYPE CROSS
- See ‘cross 1)’
(also ‘St George’s Cross 3)’).
Flag of Blanes, Spain (fotw)
- SAINT GEORGE'S CANTON
- See ‘canton of St. George’.
Flag of the
Honourable East India Company c1710, England
- SAINT GEORGE’S CROSS
- 1) Generically, see ‘cross 1)’.
- 2) Specifically, the Cross (as above) of St George - the national flag of
England and the flag of the ancient Republic of Genoa
- a Cross of St George. (see also
‘canton of St. George’, ‘St. Andrew's Cross’ and ‘St George’s ensign’,
St. Patrick's Cross and
union jack 1)).
- 3) Any red cross on a white field - but see note b) below.
From left: National Flag of England (fotw); Arms and Flag of Genoa, Italy (fotw); Arms
and flag of Donji Miholjac, Croatia (Željko Heimer)
a) Any cross of St
George whose arms are of equal length is also a Greek cross (see also 'Greek cross').
b) In Balkan and
Central European usage a white cross on red is also sometimes referred to as the Cross of St George.
- ST GEORGE’S ENSIGN
- In English later British RN usage now obsolete, the term to describe a white ensign charged with
a Cross of St George overall (as per the present pattern), and formerly used in order to differentiate
it from one having a plain fly (see also
‘canton of St. George’ and ‘St George’s Cross 2)’ and
‘white ensign 1)’).
From left: White Ensign, England 1702 – 1707; With Plain Fly c1630 - 1707;
White Ensign, UK 1707 – 1801; With Plain Fly 1707 – c1730 (CS)
Please note that white ensigns bearing a Cross of St George overall
were introduced in 1702 and were at first restricted to use outside home waters, however, the
version with a plain fly had disappeared by 1744.
- SAINT JAMES’ CROSS
- See ‘cross of Santiago’ in ‘appendix VIII’.
Cross of the Order of Santiago (fotw)
- SAINT NINO'S CROSS
- A cross, both of whose horizontal arms point downwards and considered symbolic of the
Georgian Orthodox Church a grapevine cross but see note below (also cross 2) and
Flag of Ninotsminda, Georgia (fotw); Flag of
Sighnaghi, Georgia (fotw); Flag of
Kaspi, Georgia (fotw)
Please note that the flag of the Georgian Orthodox Church may (occasionally) be charged with a
cross of this type, however, when it is hoisted from a conventional flagpole the downward
sloping arms will point towards the fly.
Flag of the Georgian Orthodox Church bearing a St Ninns Cross (Tomislav Todorovic)
- SAINT PATRICK'S CROSS
- A red saltire on a white field (see also
'saltire', and 'St Andrew's Cross 2)',
St. George's Cross 2)) and union jack 1)).
Please note that this saltire has no known links
to the saint, but when adopted for the British Union Flag was a symbol of the
knightly Order of St Patrick (see also
- See ‘appendix V’.
Flag of Villarepos, Switzerland (fotw)
- A cross whose arms are of equal width, which usually intersect in the centre of the
flag. canton or panel they occupy, and which generally (but not exclusively) run from the upper hoist corner to the lower fly corner, and from
the lower hoist corner to the upper fly corner of a flag, canton or panel - a
diagonal or diagonally-centred cross (see
‘layered saltire’, ‘orthogonal’,
‘panel, in saltire,
per saltire, ragged cross, St Andrew’s Cross’
and St. Patrick's Cross).
From left: National Flag of Jamaica (fotw);
Arms and Flag of Lαb, Slovakia (fotw); National Flag of
Flag of Prachatice city,
Czech Republic (fotw); War Ensign of Sweden
1815 - 1844 (fotw)
- See ‘in saltire’.
Flag of Wohlenschwil, Switzerland (fotw)
- SALUTE TO THE FLAG
- That custom, often prescribed by law or regulation, which requires military
personnel to salute and civilians to remove their hats or place the right hand
over their heart when a flag is raised or lowered, or when it passes in parade
(see also ‘flag salute’).
- The heraldic term for blood-red - see shades of tincture in Appendix III.
- 1) A band of material, usually in the national colours and sometimes
bearing the national arms, worn across the chest by a head of state,
especially (but not exclusively) in South America, or by some civic officials
(see also national colours 2) and
state arms 2) under arms).
- A similar symbol (although usually but not invariably - based on political rather than national colours) used by political organizations (see also
political flags 1)).
The Presidential Sash of Uruguay (fotw); The Presidential Sash of Honduras (Eugene Ipavec); Civic Sash of France; Political Sash of the Womens Suffragette Movement 1917, US
a) The civic sash of France is most often (although not invariably) seen with the blue stripe uppermost, it is usually fringed/decorated and sometimes worn around the waste rather than across the chest.
b) Sashes are also worn with some military and civilian awards.
- See ‘daimyo flags and its
- The French for “leaping”, which is also sometimes used in place of, or in addition to, the heraldic
terms rampant or salient – see ‘rampant’ and ‘salient’ in ‘appendix V’
(also ‘erect’ in ‘appendix V’).
Flag of Betten, Switzerland (fotw)
- See ‘serrated’ (also ‘wolfteeth’).
Flag of Magellan Region, Chile (fotw)
- SCALLOP SHELL
- See ‘escallop’.
Morissen, Switzerland (fotw)
- 1) (adj) Where the edges of a flag are cut into repeated semi-circular shapes
- an indented edge.
2) (adj) The term may also be used when the top edge of a shield is seen with two (or more) semi-circular cut-outs
(see also shield).
Example; Merchant Flag, Portugal 16th/17th Century (fotw)
Please note however, that a division line within
a flag or shield is not scalloped, but is more correctly described as either engrailed
or invected (see ‘engrailed’ and
- SCANDINAVIAN CROSS
- A cross with arms of equal width, whose horizontal arm runs along the centre
of the flag, but whose vertical arm is off-centred towards the hoist – a Nordic,
or off-centred Cross.
National Flag of Norway (CS); National Flag of
Sweden (CS); Åland Islands,
Finland (fotw); Shetland Islands, Scotland (fotw);
Unofficial Flag of Swedish People of Finnish Descent (Elias Granqvist)
Please note that this term should only be used for those flags which are
from, or have a connection with the Scandinavian region, otherwise see
‘off-centred cross 2)’
- SCANDINAVIAN-TYPE (or SCANDINAVIAN-STYLE) CROSS
- See ‘off-centred cross 2)’.
Domingos Martins, Brazil (fotw)
- A small ecclesiastical banner fixed to the top of a bishop’s crosier (see
Flag and Arms of Světlα , Czech Republic (fotw);
Flag of Abtwil, Switzerland (fotw)
- SCEPTRE (or SCEPTER)
- A symbolic/ornamental rod or wand, and largely (but by no means exclusively) the
symbol of a monarchs temporal power (see also crown and
Flag and Arms of Montenegro (fotw); Flag of
Engelberg, Switzerland (fotw); Arms and Flag of
- See 'tugh’.
Source: National Music Museum, used with permission
- SCHWEBENDES TATZENKREUZ
- See ‘cross pattée’ and ‘cross couped’ in ‘appendix VIII’.
- 1) A form of flag where a rectangular or triangular tongue extends from the upper fly
corner of the flag, or where it has a strip along its top edge that extends beyond the fly
to become a tongue (see also engrailed fly,
‘stepped fly’ and
- 2) The tail as described above.
15th C Flag of Zurich, Switzerland (CS); Flag of Wloclawek
City, Poland (fotw)
Please note, it is suggested that in the original German this term refers only to the tail.
- SCOTTISH SALTIRE
- See St Andrew's Cross 2).
National flag of Scotland (fotw)
- A usually narrow ribbon of varying length and elaboration; it is normally
(but not exclusively) placed below the shield in a set of armorial bearings or
an emblem, and is inscribed with a motto or the name of a state or other
entity – a ribbon – but see ‘ribbon scroll 2)’
(also ‘Appendix IV’,
‘coat of arms’,
The Presidential Flag and National Emblem of Brazil (fotw); The National Flag and Emblem of
Brunei (fotw); The Flag and Arms of The State of
New Jersey, US (fotw)
- SCYTHIAN CAP
- See ‘cap of liberty’.
National Arms of Haiti (fotw)