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Gonfalon

or Gonfanon. An ensign or standard. A gonfalonier is a magistrate that has a gonfalon. (Italian, gonfalone; French, gonfalon; Saxon, guth-fana, war-flag.) Chaucer uses the word gonfanon; Milton prefers gonfalon. Thus he says:

Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced,
Standards and gonfalons, 'twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies [3 syl.], of orders, and degrees.

Paradise Lost, v. 589.

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