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Dictionary of Vexillology: H (Habited - Haurient)

Last modified: 2024-06-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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The alternative heraldic terms used to describe the customary clothing (the "habit") of a monk or friar – habillé – but see ‘vested’ (also ‘clad’).

Münchenwiler, Switzerland habited habited
Flag of Münchenwiler, Switzerland (fotw); Princely Standard, Monaco (fotw); Flag of Rieden, Switzerland (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms used when the handle of a hammer or an axe/mace (or of a similar tool/weapon) is of a different tincture to its head – but see ‘hilted’ (also ‘barbed’, ‘garnished’, ‘ploughshare’, ‘shafted’ and ‘tincture’).

Lhota u Vsetína, Czechia Curtilles, Switzerland hafted
Flag of Lhota u Vsetína, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Curtilles, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Edenkoben, Germany (fotw)

The German term for a round-bottomed shield - see 'Spanish-style shield'.

Flag of Strausberg, Germany (fotw)

(v & adj) To fly a flag at a point below its normal position, with the upper edge of the flag about a third of the length of the flag pole, or at least a flag’s width, from the truck, as a sign of mourning (see also ‘dip, at the’, ‘draping’, ‘flag pole’, ‘full mast’, ‘length’ and ‘truck’).

South Carolina
National Flag of the US at Half Mast (

Please note that a flag should, if the proper procedure is followed, be first raised right up to the truck before being lowered to its half-mast position, and raised once again to the truck before being lowered completely.

A term sometimes (inaccurately) used in place of crescent – see ‘crescent 1)’.

South Carolina
Flag of South Carolina, US (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘nimbus

Koprivnicko-Ivanec, Croatia Koprivnicko-Ivanec, Croatia
Flag and Arms of Koprivničko-Ivanec, Croatia (fotw)

A length of thin rope or cable by means of which flags might be hoisted and lowered on a flag pole, mast or yardarm (see also ‘Appendix I’, ‘flag pole’, ‘mast’ and ‘yardarm’).

A specific form of the mural crown and related directly to the city of Hamburg, Germany – see ‘mural crown 1)

mural crown
Example (fotw)

1) In Spanish military usage and possibly some others, a metal guard fixed to the staff of a military colour so as to protect the bearer’s right hand (originally in combat) – a gardamano (see also ‘colour 2)’, ‘colours 2)’ and ‘staff 2)’).
2) See ‘saber

British North Borneo Company
A Handguard According to Spanish Regulations (Reglamento de Banderas Actualizado)

The terms sometimes used to describe the hilt and pommel of a sword or dagger and the haft of a hammer, axe or other tool – but see ‘hafted’ and ‘hilted’ (also ‘shafted’).

Drahenice, Czechia handled example handled example
Flag of Drahenice, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Tasovice, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Dolce, Czechia (fotw)

A Scottish term, now obsolete, for a miniature square banner.

A 16th/17th Century variant spelling, now obsolete, of ensign – see ‘ensign 1)’ and ‘ensign 4)’ (also 'ancient 2)').

Handsigne Handsigne
Handsigne/Ensign, English c1590 (fotw); Handsigne/Ensign, English c1620 (fotw)

A small flag, usually made of either fabric or paper, fitted to a short stick and intended to be waved by hand (see also ‘flaglet’ and ‘table flag’).

A long vertically orientated flag - originally of Germanic origin and now characteristic of both German speaking and other Central European countries – a vertical flag - it is square-ended or swallow tailed, usually consists of the main flag charge and livery colours (with its first or main colour at the dexter edge) and is specifically designed to be hung by its top edge from a horizontal pole attached to a building - not to be confused with the banner as defined herein and the similar (but usually shorter and more elaborately designed) gonfalon - see ‘banner 2’ and the note below (also ‘bannerhead’, ‘flag charge’, ‘gonfalon 1)’, ‘inner edge’, ‘livery colours’, ‘outer edge’, ‘outrigger flag’, ‘rotated’ and ‘vertically hoisted flag 1)’).

hanging flag  hanging flag  hanging flag  
Hanging flags of Rosenheim, Memmingen and Brandenburg, Germany (fotw)

a) The Editors have adopted strict German vexillological practice in that they have drawn a precisely defined distinction between a hanging flag and a banner, however:
b) These terms are often (sometimes officially) regarded as synonymous and are considered interchangeable..

See ‘Hanseatic cross’.

Hanseatic cross
Cavalry Pennant c1814, Lübeck (fotw)

The term (together with its abbreviation) is translated from the German Hanseatenkreuz with this being a war-service medal issued by the former Hanseatic cities of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen from 1915 - 1918, and which is sometimes used to describe a red, cross pattée of Germanic, particularly (but not exclusively) Hanseatic origin – see ‘cross pattée’ (also ‘cross 2)’ and ‘iron cross’).

Hanseatic crosses German Society for Rescuing the Shipwrecked Vegesack, Bremen, Germany
Hanseatic Crosses of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen (Hanseatic Cities), Flag and Arms of Vegesack, Bremen, Germany (fotw)

a) The above terms should only be used when the cross pattée being described is red and/or is of a Hanseatic origin.
b) Information suggests that this term (describing a cross as defined above) dates from the early 19th century and the formation of volunteer corps from the former Hanseatic cities who took such a cross as one of their emblems.

Hamburg Citizen’s Militia 1814 – 1858
Flag of the Hamburg Citizen’s Militia 1814 – 1858 (fotw)

1) In modern heraldry the term that can be used when a domesticated animal (most often a horse) is shown fitted with its harness – but see 2) below.
2) See ‘harnysed’.

harnessed harnessed harnessed
Flag of Cressier, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Seuzach, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Hilfikon, Switzerland (fotw)

In traditional heraldry the term used when a human figure is clad in armour – but see ‘vambraced’ (also ‘armoured’ and ‘armed 2)’, ‘harnessed 1)’ and the note below).

Collex-Bossy, Switzerland harnysed State flag of Lithuania
Flag of Collex-Bossy, Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Pag, Croatia (fotw); State Flag of Lithuania (fotw)

Please note that this is an obsolete spelling of the word harnessed. and should be used when referring to the harness (or suit of armour) worn in battle during the Medieval period.

A Japanese phrase covering the generic term flag – see ‘daimyo flags’ (also ‘flag 1)’ and ‘hinomaru’).

Hata Sashimona
Flag of Ii, daimyo of Hikone 19th C, Japan (fotw)

1) In heraldry, a widely employed system of lines, dots and slashes used to indicate tinctures on a monochrome illustration – the Petra Santa method (see also ‘tinctures’ and ‘monochrome 1)’).
2) In vexillology, as 1) above but also used randomly to give a textural appearance to certain charges (see also ‘charge 1)’).

From left: Gules, Azure, Vert. Purpure, Sable, Or and Argent

Please note with regard to 1) that this method of depicting tinctures on a black and white illustration was created in 1638, however, it is suggested that a glossary or dictionary of heraldry be consulted if full details are required.

See ‘achievement 2)’.

Hatchment/Achievement of Arms of the Late Sir Winston Churchill, UK (Churchill Society)

The heraldic term used when a fish is in the erect position (see also ‘naiant’ and ‘urinant’).

fish haurient fish haurient fish haurient
Flag of Nordreisa, Norway (fotw); Flag of Ribnica na Pohorju, Slovenia (fotw); Flag of Figaró-Montmany, Spain (fotw)

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