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Flag plate in Gazier's dictionary (France, 1909)

Last modified: 2020-07-26 by ivan sache
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Gazier's dictionary

Gazier's dictionary was published in Paris by Librairie Armand Colin in 1909. It includes, p. 549, a plate entitled Principaux pavillons (Main flags at sea) [f9r09]. The vexillological accuracy of the plate is fairly low. Accordingly, we could consider that the vexillological awareness in the beginning of the 20th century was very weak. However, other dictionaries such as Bouasse-Lebel's encyclopaedia (end of the 19th century) and Larousse's dictionaries and encyclopaedias, include much more accurate flag plates.

Ivan Sache, 10 July 2005

The flag plate

[Flag plate]

Gazier's flag plate - Scan by Ivan Sache, 10 July 2005

On Gazier's plate, flags are shown in black and white (the dictionary is printed in black and white), and the colours of the fields are written directly on the flag images, which does not improve their legibility.
The plate shows seven rows of four flags each. Several images have gross mistakes, according to the modern standards of vexillology. It is clear, however, that the aim of the plate was a help to the quick identification of the most common flags rather than their accurate description.
I give below the list of the flags for each row, from left to right corners of the plate. I comment only the images deserving it. The original French names of the countries are given between square brackets.

First row
- France
- Germany [Allemagne]: Horizontally divided black-white-red flag with the double-headed eagle in the middle. António Martins points out that this design seems to be an incorrect depiction of the Foreign Office flag, 1892-1919 (Reichsdienstflaggen des Auswärtigen Amtes)
- Austria [Autriche]: Yellow flag with a border made of triangles (colour not mentioned) and the double-headed eagle in the middle. This might be a rectangular representation of the Imperial standard or an infantry flag.
- Belgium [Belgique]

Second row
- Denmark [Danemark]: Red flag with the white cross, swallow-tailed. This would be the splitflag, that is the service flag and naval ensign and jack.
- Spain [Espagne]: Horizontally divided red-yellow-red flag, with very thin yellow stripes and the arms in the middle. This would be, with arms properly skewed to the hoist, the war flag, service and naval ensign and jack.
- Greece [Grèce]: Flag with the cross in canton and horizontal stripes, the canton "lying" on the fifth stripe instead of the fourth.
- Holland [Hollande, sic]

Third row
- British Isles [Iles Britanniques, sic]: Red Ensign with the Union Jack in canton (marked red and blue, there was probably not enough space to write white), completely symmetrical.
- Italy [Italie]: Vertically divided green-white-red flag with the crowned arms in the middle. Would be the naval ensign.
- Norway [Norvège]: Double swallow-tailed flag. Would be the state and war flag.
- Portugal: The 1830 flag.

Fourth row
- Russia [Russie]: Yellow flag with the arms. Would be the Tzar's personal flag.
- Sweden [Suède]: Double swallow-tailed flag. Would be the state and war flag
- Switzerland [Suisse]: Red flag with a thinned white cross.
- Turkey [Turquie]: Red flag with thinned crescent and star.

Fifth row
- Montenegro-Serbia [Montenegro-Serbie, sic]: Horizontally divided red-blue-white flag.
- Romania [Roumanie]: Horizontally divided blue-yellow-red flag.
- Tunisia [Tunisie]: Red flag with mirrored emblem.
- Morocco-Tripoli [Maroc-Tripoli, sic]: Plain red flag.

Sixth row
- Egypt [Egypte]: Purple flag with thin crescent and stars.
- United States [Etats-Unis]: Stars and stripes with ten stars (3:2:3:2) in canton. It should have had 45 (1896-1908) or 46 stars (1908-1912, after the incorporation of Oklahoma). A ten-star Stars and Stripes does not seem to have ever existed.
- Mexico [Mexique]
- Brazil [Brésil]

Seventh row
- Chile [Chili]
- Peru [Pérou]
- Chine [Chine]: Yellow flag with the dragon. Would be the jack, if properly designed as a rectangle triangle.
- Japan [Japon]

Ivan Sache, 26 October 2006