Gon"fa*lon (?), Gon"fa*non (?), n. [OE. gonfanoun, OF. gonfanon, F. gonfalon, the same word as F. confalon, name of a religious brotherhood, fr. OHG. gundfano war flag; gund war (used in comp., and akin to AS. gu[eth]) + fano cloth, flag; akin to E. vane; cf. AS. gu[eth]fana. See Vane, and cf. Confalon.]
The ensign or standard in use by certain princes or states, such as the mediaeval republics of Italy, and in more recent times by the pope.
A name popularly given to any flag which hangs from a crosspiece or frame instead of from the staff or the mast itself.
Standards and gonfalons, 'twixt van and rear,
Stream in the air.
© Webster 1913.