2. The scholarly study of the history, symbolism, etiquette, design, manufacture, and other aspects of standards: Vexillology can include a wide variety of fields that apply to flags and their uses.
3. Etymology: from Latin vexillum, a term used by the Romans to refer to a kind of standard with a fabric hung from a horizontal crossbar on a pole. It is the closest equivalent in the classical languages to what we call a flag today.
In his book, Dr. Smith says, "While the use of flags goes back to the earliest days of human civilization, the study of that usage in a serious fashion is so recent that the term for it (vexillology, coined by the author of this book) did not appear in print until 1959. This has resulted in a lack of uniformity in flag terms and, worse still, a lack of source material concerning actual usage on which standardization might be based."