Flag Shapes | A Definitive Guide

Do you know your teardrops from your trapezoids?

Our definitive guide to flag shapes will help you on your way to mastering vexillology, that is, the study of flags and flying flags.

Banner Flags

morley college feather banner flag

Feather Flag or Flag Banner

As the name suggests, this is a rectangular or banner shaped flag.

This type of flag is a traditional shape which dates back as far as x BC and has been used for regal occasions, on battlefields, market stalls to name but a few.

Banner flags can be secured to a permanent flagpole, on a car forecourt for example, or a portable flagpole, as is used by many offices, shops and events stands today.

Bunting

fabric bunting printingBunting tends to be a collection of triangular shaped flags sewn onto header tape. It is commonly displayed at fetes and public gatherings.

As a point of interest a singular triangular flag can be referred to as a Vimpel, often accompanied with an attachment, such as string or rope, for example.

Bunting is secured to structures like walls, for example, using pins or clips.

 

Burgees

pennant flag or burgee with skull and cross bonesAlso known as pennant flags, a burgee can be any shape, although they are commonly triangular (this is where the link to the pennant comes from)

Burgees are very popular with boating and yachting clubs and are used to fly club colours and crests with pride!

This type of flag is secured to a small pole using eyelets or a toggle and cord.

 

Feather Flags

giant flagsAlso known as sail flags, a feather flag is often banner shaped, with a distinctive curve at the top.

The name ‘feather’ comes from the fact that when the flag has a ‘scoop’ on the bottom, it looks like a large bird feather.

Feather Flags are commonly installed onto a portable flagpole and placed in a base or wall bracket.

 

Forestay Flags

forestay sailing flagsForestays can also be any shape, but they tend to be rectangular or banner shaped (this is the long blue banner flag on the front of the vessel pictured on the left)

This type of flag can be mounted onto a flag pole for example, otherwise secured to rope or rigging.

Forestay Flags are a great way of promoting a charter, business (or business sponsor) charity website addresses and more, due to the fact they tend to be quite long in length (dependent on the size of vessel)

Teardrop Flags

cornish pirates teardrop flagTeardrop Flags get their name from having a curved ‘tear’ shaped flag.

The types of flags are commonly used by sports, outdoors and health brands as advertising.

This modern and unique shape is assembled with a pole system fixed under tension.

 

Traditional Flags

Traditional flag printingTraditional Flags are commonly rectangular in shape.

These form of flags are widely used across the globe, especially on state buildings and royal palaces.

Flags of this nature are secured to a permanent flagpole, using a toggle and cord, so the flag can be hoisted easily.

Have you enjoyed reading our Flag Shapes Guide?

Further Reading

Feather Flags Guide

Teardrop Flags Guide