American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A banner suspended from a crosspiece, especially as a standard in an ecclesiastical procession or as the ensign of a medieval Italian republic.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Originally, a banderole or small pennon attached to a lance or spear; an ensign or standard, especially one having two or three streamers or tails, fixed on a frame made to turn like a ship's vane, or suspended from a cross-yard, as in the case of the papal or ecclesiastical gonfalon. See labarum. The person intrusted with the gonfalon in the medieval republican cities of Italy was often the chief person in the state.
- n. A standard or ensign, consisting of a pole with a crosspiece from which a banner is suspended, especially as used in church processions, but also for civic and military display.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The ensign or standard in use by certain princes or states, such as the mediæval republics of Italy, and in more recent times by the pope.
- n. A name popularly given to any flag which hangs from a crosspiece or frame instead of from the staff or the mast itself.
- From Italian gonfalone. (Wiktionary)
- Italian gonfalone, of Germanic origin; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
““For years now,” Vivar said quietly, “the gonfalon has been a royal treasure, but always my family has been its guardians.”
“This man unfurled his gonfalon, and destroyed the houses of the Galletti, on account of a member of that family having slain one of the Florentine people in France.”
“This was the largest of them all, and at the peak of her stubby mast she flew the snarling leopard head gonfalon and the gaudy colours of the House of Trok Uruk.”
“Above the gate of the stockade flew the gonfalon that Mintaka recognized at once: on it was depicted the severed head of a wild boar with its tongue lolling from the corner of its tusked jaws.”
“There was still no sign of Vivar, nor of Louisa, nor of the gonfalon.”
“He had been wrong about the southern attack, but if he was wrong now then the city, the gonfalon, and all his own men would be lost.”
“The old gonfalon, Louisa told Sharpe, was sewn into the new.”
“Not an old, threadbare, motheaten flag which crumbled to the air, but a new and glorious white banner of shining silk, crossed with red; the gonfalon of Santiago, and as it spread, so the bells began to ring.”
“He had not come to Santiago de Compostela for the gonfalon.”
“That streamer of silk was everything he hated in Spain; it stood for the old ways, for the domination of church over ideas, for the tyranny of a God he had rejected, and so the Count raked back his spurs and drove his horse into the men who guarded the gonfalon.”
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