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Ensign

(French, enseigner.)

Of ancient Athens.
An owl.

America.
The Stars and Stripes.

The British Navy. The Union Jack (q. v.). The white ensign (Royal Navy) is the banner of St. George with the Jack cantoned in the first quarter. The red ensign is that of the merchant service.

The blue ensign is that of the navy reserve.

China.
A dragon.

Ancient Corinth.
A flying horse —i.e. Pegasos. Ancient Danes. A raven.

Ancient Egypt.
A bull, a crocodile, a vulture. England (in the Tudor era). St. George's cross. Ancient France. The cape of St. Martin; then the oriflamme. The Franks (Ripuarian). A sword with the point upwards. The Franks (Salian). A bull's head.

The Gauls.
A wolf, bear, bull, cock. The ancient Lacedemonians. The Greek capital letter L (lambda). The ancient Messenians. The Greek letter mu (M).

The ancient Persians.
A golden eagle with outstretched wings on a white field; a dove; the sun. The Paisdadian dynasty of Persia. A blacksmith's apron. (See Standard.)

The ancient Romans.
An eagle for the legion; a wolf, a horse, a boar, etc. Romulus. A handful of hay or fern (manipulus).

The ancient Saxons.
A trotting horse. The ancient Thebans. A sphinx.

The Turks.
Horses' tails. The ancient Welsh. A dragon.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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