Last updated: July 17, 2019


Also written PENNANT. Flag shape. Strictly speaking, a pennon (or pennant) is a flag that is larger at the hoist (the half closest to the pole or spar of halyard) than at the fly (the furthest half). It can be tapered, triangular or swallow-tailed. Most burgees are pennon-shaped. In French, the word pennon designates a sail’s tell-tales. In the age of chivalry, the pennon was the personal enseign of the knight bachelor. Etymology: from the Latin penna, “feather’ or “wing”.

“From a standard of streamer a man may flee but not from his banner or pennon bearing his arms” xvith c.

Illustration: The Royal Navy’s commissioning pennant