- See ‘garbe’.
and Arms of Horní Bludovice, Czech Republic (fotw)
- WHEEL CROSS
- See ‘sun cross’ (also celtic cross).
Possible Spanish Neo-Nazi Flag (fotw)
- See waft.
- WHIP PENNANT
- 1) See ‘masthead pennant 2)’.
- 2) See ‘wimpel’.
- In United States naval usage, a colloquial term for the commission pennant – see
‘masthead pennant 1)’.
Commission Pennant, US (Sea Flags)
- WHITE ENSIGN
- 1) In British maritime usage the ensign now worn by all vessels of the Royal Navy,
over naval establishments, and by the Royal Yacht Squadron but see 2) below
‘blue ensign 1)’
‘naval ensign’ under ‘ensign’, ‘red ensign
and ‘St George’s ensign’).
2) In English then British RN usage, now obsolete (and largely but not exclusively -
dependent upon the rank of the admiral in command), the second senior of three alternative
ensigns carried (undefaced) by a warship until 1864 see
blue ensign 2) and
red ensign 2).
3) Generically, any canton flag (either plain or defaced) with a white field – particularly (but not exclusively)
if flown at sea – a British-style ensign (see also
‘blue ensign 3)’,
‘canton flag 1)’,
‘red ensign 3)’).
White Ensign c1630 – 1702, England (fotw); White Ensign, UK (Graham Bartram); Naval Ensign of Australia (fotw);
Naval Ensign of Antigua Barbuda (fotw); Naval Ensign of Sri Lanka (fotw)
Please note with regard to 1) that the term may also be applied to any British
ensign with a white field.
Flag of The British Antarctic Territories (fotw);
Commissioner's flag, Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, UK (fotw)
- WHITE FLAG
- See ‘flag of truce’ (also
- 1) That dimension of a flag which is measured vertically from its upper to
its lower edge - the height (see also ‘Appendix I’,
‘fly’, ‘hoist’ and
- 2) The narrower or shorter dimension of a stripe or band within a flag - howsoever
orientated (see also ‘stripe’).
- 3) The vertical height of an emblem, arms, shield, charge or badge when it appears on a flag –
but see the note below, ‘height’ and
‘width across’ (also
'establishment of arms' and
Please note that definition 3) is given with regard to the consistent
use of proportions when describing a flag and its charges, however, it is suggested that when
giving the actual dimensions of any such charge the word ‘height’
should be used for its vertical measurement and the phrase ‘width across’
for its horizontal size (see also ‘dimensions’ and
- WIDTH ACROSS
- The horizontal measurement of an emblem, shield, charge or badge when detailing the dimensions –
but see ‘width 3)’ (also ‘dimensions’,
‘height’ and ‘proportions’).
- WIGWAG (or WIG-WAG)
- In largely US usage, a system of signalling, now obsolete, in which a single flag was waved according
to an established code, and based upon the direction of the arches made by the flag (see also
‘Morse code signalling with flags’
Vessel Flag of the Army Signal Corps, US (showing a pair of Wig-Wag Flags)
- 1) A usually streamer-like pennant in national/livery colours and/or a
sometimes simplified charge, that is flown in place of a national or other
flag to avoid the appearance of an empty flag pole - especially popular in
Northern Europe and Scandinavia but increasingly used in the UK – a vlaggenstok
wimpel, national pennant/wimpel or flagpole pennant – but see 2) below and
‘provincial wimpel’ (also
‘national colours 2)’,
‘national flag’ and
2) In largely Dutch usage as above, but also sometimes flown (on the same flagpole) in
addition to the national flag to express loyalty to a particular municipality/region, or to the
House of Orange – for example, a long orange streamer is often flown with the Dreikleur if a
member of the Royal Family is present (see also ‘dreikleur’).
The Wimpel/National Pennant of Denmark (fotw); The Wimpel/National
Pennant of Sweden (CS)
Please note that this term (or slight variations thereof) means pennant
or streamer in several European languages,
but has been adopted into English language vexillology in this context – and with the meaning given above - only.
In Danish and Swedish it is a VIMPEL, in Finnish viiri.
- WIND (WINDSURF or WINDSURFING) DANGER FLAG (or PENNANT)
- See ‘beach flag’.
Windsurfing Danger Flag and
Wind Danger Pennant, France (fotw)
- WIND VANE
- See ‘vane 3)’.
- WINDSOCK (or WINDCONE)
- 1) A flag-shaped like a sleeve, attached at the open end to a ring and pole,
and partially closed at the other – characteristic of traditional societies and
modern Japan (see also ‘draco’,
‘dragon flag’ and
- 2) As above and generally brightly coloured, but usually fully open at the
fly end, tapered and used at airports (largely) to indicate wind direction.
- See ‘vol’ and ‘volant’.
Flag of Arlesheim, Switzerland (fotw)
- WING MARKING(S)
- 1) The term that should be used to describe a fuselage marking when it is displayed
upon the wing (or wings) of a military aircraft - see ‘fuselage marking’
(also ‘aircraft marking(s)’, ‘roundel 1)’
and ‘fin flash’ .
2) See ‘roundel 1)’.
Wing/Fuselage Marking of The Philippines (fotw);
Wing/Fuselage Marking of
Botswana (fotw); Fuselage/Wing Marking of
- WOLFTEETH (WOLF-TEETH or WOLF’S TEETH)
- 1) On flags, in largely (but not exclusively) Hungarian and other central/eastern European
usage, a band of inward pointing, connected triangles either curved, wavy or straight-sided and
forming a border on one, two, three or four sides of a flag sharks teeth, a triangle or triangular border or a border of triangles (see also
- 2) In European heraldry, a charge formed by a series of generally curved triangles issuing
from the edges of a shield or banner of arms.
From left: The
War Flag of Hungary (CS & fotw);
Government Official Afloat, Austria (fotw); Coat of arms (Westkingdom);
The Flag of District XIII Budapest, Hungary (fotw)
a) With The term wolfteeth should only apply to
a border where the triangular charges face inward as shown above, and that when those
charges face both inward and outward the correct term is flammulets.
b) It may also be applied where the fly edge of a
flag is saw-toothed as illustrated above.
- WORSHIP PENNANT
- See ‘church pennant’.
Jewish Worship Pennant, US (CS & fotw)
- 1) On flags, two semi-circular crossed branches of varying types of intertwined
or plain foliage with or without flowers, that are often tied with a ribbon at their
crossing point and generally split at the top but see ‘garland 2)’
(also ‘garland 1)’and
- 2) In heraldry, a twisted band usually in the livery colours of a shield, generally
placed on top of the helmet and below the crest in a full set of armorial bearings
– a torse (see also ‘Appendix IV’,
‘coat of arms’,
‘helm, livery colours 1),
Arms and Flag of Guatemala (fotw); Arms and Flag of The Dominican Republic (fotw)
Please note that a circlet composed of foliage is
called a chaplet or garland in heraldry (see also
‘civic crown 2)’ and
- WREATH OF IMMORTELLES
- The silver replica of a laurel garland – or crown triumphal - placed at the
head of the colour pike or staff of certain British and Canadian regiments in
commemoration of particular distinction in action (see also
- The exact details are conjectural, but considered to be have been either an alternative
term, now obsolete, for a lance pennon or vane (see also
‘pennon 2)’ and ‘vane 1)’).