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armorial ensign

heraldic symbol carried on a flag or shield. The term is much misunderstood because of the popular use of ensign as a generic term for flag. A grant of arms or a matriculation (registration of armorial bearings) may in its text use the term ensigns armorial to mean the heraldic design of the bearer's arms. See heraldry.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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