Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Gon’falon

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
or Gonfanon. An ensign or standard. A gonfalonier is a magistrate that has a gonfalon. (Italian, gonfalo’ne; French, gonfalon; Saxon, guth-fana, war-flag.) Chaucer uses the word gonfanon; Milton prefers gonfalon. Thus he says:—   1
“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.



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