Swallowtail and burgee are types of flags, often associated with maritime contexts and organizations.
A swallowtail flag is characterized by its V-shaped or split tail, resembling the forked tail of a swallow bird. This design distinguishes the flag when it flies, and it is commonly used in military and naval contexts. In some instances, specific design elements or emblems may be added to the body of the flag, serving to identify a particular regiment, division, or naval vessel.
On the other hand, a burgee is a distinguishing flag, denoting the recreational boating affiliation of its bearer. It is usually triangular in shape and is flown to indicate the membership of a yacht or boating club. Each yacht or boating club has its unique burgee design, often incorporating club-specific colors, logos, or other distinguishing features. When boats or yachts from the same club meet or pass each other on open waters, their respective burgees serve as a means of identification and camaraderie.
In yachting customs, flying a burgee can also serve a more functional purpose, signifying certain intentions or requests. For instance, a specific burgee might be raised to invite fellow members aboard or to signal the initiation of a club meeting or social event. Through these fluttering symbols, sailors and yachtsmen communicate their affiliations and intentions, reinforcing the tight-knit community feeling that is often found among seafarers.