Academic Heraldry
Flags, Banners and Gonfalons
in Academic Ceremonies

Flags, Banners and Gonfalons can make events more colorful, more pronounced and more memorable. They can express unity and diversity within the academic community.

Gonfalons are correct for Convocations, Commencements and other special events. Gonfalons (GON-fah-lons) are Banners that hang from a crossbar, usually supported by a pole, so they can be carried in processions, and used to dress the stage. They usually incorporate symbolic images of the institution and its subdivisions, and often include faculty colors of the disciplines they represent. Gonfalons have been used in Academic Ceremonies for centuries.

Good Banner designs:

  • are SIMPLE, bold and free of intricate detail, because they must be seen from a distance.
  • use RELEVANT and MEANINGFUL symbols.
  • have good CONTRAST using dark and light colors.

Traditional heraldic design “devices” can be used to “difference” each Banner.The shape of the lower edge can be square, pointed, swallow-tailed, or crenelated. Carrying the Banners in a procession can be a high honor granted to outstanding students.

Banners can be used in the procession to separate the ranks of graduates.

Banners can be used as “gathering points” before an event. Make the Banners accessible for photo opportunities after the event. Banners and flags can stir powerful emotions. They are symbols that focus feelings of pride and allegiance to the institutions they represent.

Traditional colors used in academic ceremonies:

Academic Costume Code

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