What is Vexilllology?


The vexillology is the science devoted to the study of flags, whether the dimensions, colors or elements that can form a flag. The vast majority of countries have a vexillological association that validates their own flags or advises and approves the creation of new flags or modification of existing ones. All these associations are united in the FIAV (international federation of vexillological associations) where a congress is organized every two years. The term comes from the Latin vexillology vexillum.

The symbols in many cases are sacred to many people and cause very deep feelings, such as may be the flag of a country or region, are feelings that passed from parents to children. The origin of these brands is very old, from prehistoric times, where people formed groups to live. Within these groups usually there was always a leader, this guy used to wear a badge, it was a piece of clothing, a stick with feathers or horns, or a spear with an emblem. This label is known as vexilloid.

The vexilloids evolved and were made of wood or metal, later also were painted. Another use of vexilloids was that they could be used to hold a meeting, indicate a macha and in case of attack or defense guide the movements of warriors.
The oldest known vexilloid is a metal to the head of an eagle, used in Persia. Data from about 5,000 years A.C.., the Romans also copied using vexilloids such as Aquila, one of the banners of the Roman legions.

Signums of the Roman Legions:

signum aquila romana

A representation of older vexilloids known is the palette of King Narmer (Egypt ) from 3000 B.C. which it is exposed in the Cairo Museum .

paleta de narmer

The warrior Genghis Khan in his armies carried a spear with a metal ball or ponytail tied. This emblem was later used by Turkish armies.

Genghis Khan mongol

Genghis Khan and emblems recognized facts with ponytails. It was one of the greatest empires conquered most of Asia.

The Aztecs also had their own vexiloides that were made with many feathers and metals such as gold, silver and copper.


The vexilloids were the ancestor of what we know today as flags. The first flag known dates back to 1500 B.C. found in China, the Chinese were the first to manufacture silk and knit fabric, there appeared the first flag.

The oldest Chinese flag:

primera bandera

3D representation of the first Chinese flag:

Hierarchy of Chinese society was seen in the number of flags used by the emperor, nobility, army commanders and governors. The most common symbols within the flags were the dragon tiger, hawk, turtle and snake. Eventually the flags changed shape, square to triangular.

The use of flags Mongols also seized after the conquest of China, these were some of their banners:


mongols flags


The first flag known in Europe belonged to the Greek navy . It was formed by the emblem of an admiral ship and a purple background . In the paintings of Paestum frescoes of 330 B.C. exhibited at the National Museum of Naples samnitas there are two flags, the oldest in Europe.

Flag samnita at the Museum of Naples:

bandera samnita


The Romans had a square red flag normally and could the number of the unit, or emperor emblem face appear. She was named Vexillum.


vexillum romano

Each clan of Japanese samurais had their own flag:

samurai bandera


Small banner (sashimono) used in Japan carrying back some soldiers during battle.

Small banner (sashimono) used in Japan carrying back some soldiers during battle.

Units of the Ottoman Empire Egypt:

imperio otomano


Ottoman Empire vexilloid.

Ottoman Empire vexilloid.


Flags used by the seventeenth-century French infantry:

infanteria francesa

From here the flags evolved as we know them today, measures of different colors, usually rectangular in shape and abide by the following standards:
tipus de banderes tipus de banderes2 tipus de banderes3 tipus de banderes4

The territorial (or country) oldest flag is the flag of Denmark which is used since 1219:

bandera dinamarca 1219




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Flags of the day