The topmost point of a flagstaff from which a flag can be flown, and which lies below the cap or finial
- see ‘finial’.
HEADING (or HEADER)
A piece of heavy material, usually canvas or double-ply bunting, along the
hoist edge of a flag, into which a rope is sewn as the hoistline, or into
which grommets are inserted to facilitate the hoisting of a flag - a hoist strip (see also
‘sleeve 2)’, ‘hoistline’, ‘grommet 1)’ and ‘hoist 1)’).
Please note that the increasingly (but by no means entirely) obsolete practice of fixing a flag to
its pole or staff by a series of attached loops is almost certainly based on the earlier use of ties –
see ‘loops’ (also ‘ring 4)’ and ‘ties’).
2) In US military, naval and some other usage, the rank flag of a commanding officer when flown
from their headquarters ashore – a designating (of headquarters) flag (see also
‘rank flag 1)’ and
‘flag of command’).
In largely naval usage a short piece of wood sewn into the top of a flag’s heading to allow the Inglefield
clip to be attached about five cm from the top, thus permitting the flag to be
hoisted right up to the truck, while enabling the top hoist corner of the flag to
remain straight and upright – but see ‘frame 2)’
(also ‘Appendix I’,
‘Inglefield clip’ and
HEAD OF STATE'S COLOUR (or COLOR)
That flag presented to a military formation by a country’s ruler see ‘colour 2)’ and ‘colours 2)’.
Flag of Rantzau, Germany (fotw);
Flag of Josipdol, Croatia (fotw);
Flag of Helmond, The Netherlands (fotw)
Please note that in English heraldry the style and positioning of a helm varies according to the rank of the bearer, and it is suggested that a suitable glossary or dictionary of heraldry be consulted for full details.
Helmet of a Knight in English Heraldry (Wikipedia)
1) In English usage, a flag of heraldic design, long and tapering, possibly with a rounded or double-rounded
(lanceolate or double-tailed descate) fly carrying the owner’s badge and motto (sometimes also a national symbol or
personal arms), and bordered in his livery colours. Originally used as an identifying symbol by medieval noblemen,
and still occasionally flown by those entitled to it (see also
‘badge in heraldry’,
‘banner of arms’, ‘double-tailed descate’,
‘lance pennon 1)’,
2) The headquarters flag of a Scottish nobleman or clan chief (and a standard
as defined above), it is
between 3.5 and 7.5m long (dependent upon rank) and tapers from 120 cm to 80 cm. The hoist carries either the
national flag or owner’s arms, whilst the tail is in the main livery colours and has the motto (usually on diagonal
bands) separated by the owner’s crest and other badges. The tail is generally split into two rounded
(double-tailed descate) ends (except for those chiefs who do not hold a title of nobility, baronetcy or knighthood
whose standards have a simple rounded or lanceolate end), and the whole is
edged or fringed with alternating livery colours (see also ‘battle standard’,
Heraldic standard of the Master Gunner St James’
Park UK (Graham Bartram); Heraldic Standard of
King Henry VI c1450, England (fotw)
a) With regard to 1), in English heraldry the entitlement to a heraldic standard is consequent upon the
granting or possession of a badge, but is not dependent upon rank (see also ‘badge in heraldry’).
b) Regarding 2) in Scottish heraldry the entitlement to a standard (and to heraldic flags other
than a banner of arms) is consequent upon a separate grant by the Lord Lyon King of Arms (see also
Please note that in UK usage the title is not obsolete, but that its role has changed, and no longer (as far as is known) carries the entitlement to a special flag see ‘diplomatic flags’.
HILTED (HILTED AND POMMELED or HILT)
The alternative heraldic terms used when the grip, pommel and cross/hand guard of a sword or dagger are of a different
tincture to its blade – but see note below and ‘hafted’ (also
Please note that, whilst acting in that role for many years, the Hinomaru/nisshoki was only formally adopted as the National Flag in 1999.
HIS MAJESTY’S JACK
In English RN usage now obsolete, an official term for the 1606 pattern union flag when
flown as a naval jack, and in use from c1640 – c1690 – the king’s jack or the jack – but see
‘British flag’ (also
‘naval jack’ under ‘jack’,
‘James Union’ and
‘union jack 2)’).
1) A historical flag of special significance.
2) In Canadian sailing club usage the official title for those defaced ensigns
granted to local yacht clubs by the British Admiralty (for use as an ensign)
before 1964, but now flown as a club flag (see also blue ensign 1) with its following note and