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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Ensign


EN'SIGN, noun en'sine. [Latin insigne, insignia, from signum, a mark impressed, a sign.]

1. The flag or banner of a military band; a banner of colors; a standard; a figured cloth or piece of silk, attached to a staff, and usually with figures, colors or arms thereon, borne by an officer at the head of a company, troop or other band.

2. Any signal to assemble or to give notice.

He will lift up an ensign to the nations. Isaiah 5:26.

Ye shall be left as an ensign on a hill. Isaiah 30:17.

3. A badge; a mark of distinction, rank or office; as ensigns of power or virtue.

4. The officer who carries the flag or colors, being the lowest commissioned officer in a company of infantry.

5. Naval ensign is a large banner hoisted on a staff and carried over the poop or stern of a ship; used to distinguish ships of different nations, or to characterize different squadrons of the same navy.