Definitions for vexillumvɛkˈsɪl əm; vɛkˈsɪl ə

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word vexillum

Webster Dictionary

  1. Vexillum(noun)

    a flag or standard

  2. Vexillum(noun)

    a company of troops serving under one standard

  3. Vexillum(noun)

    a banner

  4. Vexillum(noun)

    the sign of the cross

  5. Vexillum(noun)

    the upper petal of a papilionaceous flower; the standard

  6. Vexillum(noun)

    the rhachis and web of a feather taken together; the vane

  7. Origin: [L., a standard, a flag.]


  1. Vexillum

    The vexillum was a flag-like object used as a military standard by units in the Ancient Roman army. The word is itself a diminutive for the Latin word, velum, sail, which confirms the historical evidence that vexilla were literally "little sails" i.e. flag-like standards. In the vexillum the cloth was draped from a horizontal crossbar suspended from the staff; this is unlike most modern flags in which the 'hoist' of the cloth is attached directly to the vertical staff. The bearer of a vexillum was known as a vexillarius or vexillifer. Just as in the case of the regimental colors or flag of Early Modern Western regiments, the vexillum was a treasured symbol of the military unit that it represented and it was closely defended in combat. It was however regarded as less important than a legion's aquila or eagle, and may have represented a sub-division of a legion, though this is not entirely clear from surviving sources.

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