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