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Definition of ensign
EnsignEnsign En"sign, n. [L. enseigne, L. insignia, pl. of insigne a
distinctive mark, badge, flag; in + signum mark, sign. See
Sign, and cf. Insignia, 3d Ancient.]
1. A flag; a banner; a standard; esp., the national flag, or
a banner indicating nationality, carried by a ship or a
body of soldiers; -- as distinguished from flags
indicating divisions of the army, rank of naval officers,
or private signals, and the like.
Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still.
2. A signal displayed like a standard, to give notice.
He will lift an ensign to the nations from far.
--Is. v. 26.
3. Sign; badge of office, rank, or power; symbol.
The ensigns of our power about we bear. --Waller.
(a) Formerly, a commissioned officer of the army who
carried the ensign or flag of a company or regiment.
(b) A commissioned officer of the lowest grade in the
navy, corresponding to the grade of second lieutenant
in the army. --Ham. Nav. Encyc.
Note: In the British army the rank of ensign was abolished in
1871. In the United States army the rank is not
recognized; the regimental flags being carried by a
sergeant called the color sergeant.
Ensign bearer, one who carries a flag; an ensign.
Ensign En"sign, v. t.
1. To designate as by an ensign. [Obs.]
Henry but joined the roses that ensigned Particular
families. --B. Jonson.
2. To distinguish by a mark or ornament; esp. (Her.), by a
crown; thus, any charge which has a crown immediately
above or upon it, is said to be ensigned.
Meaning of ensign from wikipedia
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