Understanding Flag Collection


Collecting flags is a past time that is fast becoming popular. It may be not as common as the usual hobbies of stamp or coin collecting but it is as enjoyable.

The science of studying flags is called vexillology. Before the Internet, It used to be a hard collection to complete. Collecting stamps is quite easy because you can find them being circulated in the postal service. Coins are the next to stamps because they are also in circulation. But flags have a certain respect accorded them. They represent your country so that handling one is congruent to your reverence for your nation. That is one reason why people don’t easily share their flags for a collection. But times have changed. Flags from every nation can now be bought easily on the web. So, a social studies teacher can choose to show students the original items instead of just photographs.

Flags come in many sizes, and there is a proper term for each size. Let us look into the terms in use concerning flags.

The pole that holds a flag is called a flagpole or flagstaff, which is more preferable. The hoist is the side or edge of the flag adjacent to the flagstaff. It is also the term used for the vertical width of the flag. The fly is the side or edge opposite the hoist. This term is sometimes used to mean the length of the flag horizontally. The field is the color of the background used on the flag. The charge is any of the symbols, designs, figures, or emblems that are used on the flag. Fimbriation refers to a border or edging that separates two unlike colors. The badge denotes a coat of arms, shield, or heraldic symbol placed on the flag.

Canton refers to one fourth of the flag but usually it is the upper hoist area to the left. The field of stars on the US flag is an example of a canton. The cross that spans to all sides of the flag is a saltier. The flag of Scotland is a good model for a saltier which represents the cross of St. Andrew. Flags are different from Pennants and banners since the last two are displayed draping downward. We see from the way the badges and charges are laid out, they are designed with the longer sides vertical to the ground.

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