A glossary of the American flag.
A narrow strip of canvas along the edge of the flag that goes next to the staff. Sometimes called the “heading.”
The blue field in the upper left corner of the flag.
In the military service, a national flag carried by unmounted units is called a “color.” The expression “the colors” is used generally in referring to the flag.
To dip the flag is to lower it at salute. Refers to a flag of an organization, state or city. The U.S. flag is never dipped.
In the Navy, the national flag is usually spoken of as the “ensign.”
The object on the top of a flag pole – generally an arrow, ball or eagle.
The length of the flag.
Fringe or Gold
Gold braiding placed along the three edges of the flag away from the pole.
The eyelet through which the halyard is fastened to the flag.
To lower the flag some distance (not necessarily halfway down) from the top of the staff, as a sign of mourning.
The rope used to raise the flag. Also called a hoist rope.
The width of the flag. To hoist the flag is to raise it to the top of the staff.
Refers to the U.S. flag. This famous name may have been coined in 1831. Some friends presented Capt. William Driver with a 24-star flag. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze, he exclaimed, “Old Glory!”
The highest point to which a flag can be raised.
Point of Honor
On the U.S. flag, this is the blue field and stars (union).
Flag pole. On a ship it may be referred to as a mast.
The blue background with white stars, symbolizing the union of the states.