Graduation Gonfalons: Where Pomp and Circumstance Truly Matter
March 20, 2018
It's the time of year when Universities and Colleges finalize commencement planning. Graduation is a great opportunity for Institutions and Students to express their pride through the display of Commencement Gonfalons. "Flying the colors" is a time-honored tradition motivating graduates to celebrate their personal and collective achievements. The Gonfalon is that perfect physical representation as graduates continue their life journey and give back to the Institution that has served them well.
The Historical Significance of Gonfalons
Gonfalons date back to the Middle Ages, where they were used as a means of identification. The earliest Gonfalons were typically flags or banners hung from crossbars. The shapes of the Gonfalons varied, with some coming to a point while others had streamers hanging from the bottom. Gonfalons were used to identify households, fighting units, or offices in medieval times. Gonfalons were decorated with badges, coats of arms, and other adornments for ornamental purpose. In medieval Florence, Italy, neighborhoods often gathered for meetings to discuss social and political topics. Each of the specific neighborhoods or districts would display their Gonfalons for recognition.
Throughout history, Gonfalons have been used significantly in religious ceremony, particularly by Christians in central Italy during the Middle Ages. The Gonfalons were made out of cloth or silk and elaborately decorated with colorful oils. They were works of art that employed several artisans and often took years to complete.
Gonfalons have even been depicted in the entertainment industry in starring roles. The fictional world of the popular HBO series "Game of Thrones" is a prime example of how the importance of the Gonfalon has been sewn into the fabric of our society, even in our entertainment. Although Game of Thrones is a fictional world, it places historically correct emphasis on the importance of the Gonfalon.
The Gonfalon has always been considered a declaration of pride and honor, acting as a representation of the standards, principles, and ideals of those who displayed one. Today, Gonfalons for graduation ceremonies are used in much the same way. In 1967, Vanderbilt University carried a procession of Gonfalons for the first time at commencement. Each Gonfalon bore the Vanderbilt University logo and was of a different color, where the different colors represented a specific academic field of study.
Graduating with Pride and Honor
Graduation Gonfalons are a time-honored tradition still practiced by colleges, universities, and schools worldwide. Graduating from a college or university is an achievement and a life-changing event. The students leaving your university will forever stand as a testament to your school. The event should be recognized with pride and fanfare. Graduation Gonfalons illustrate the symbiotic relationship between a university and its student body. Gonfalons and graduation ceremony banners are symbolic of the hard work and dedication put forth by each graduating class. Displaying a university logo and colors highlights unification of the student body and the academic establishment as they come together to ensure each graduating class sets forth on their individual journeys with proper celebration and recognition. Gonfalons are a symbol of the past and a promise for the future. When a university flies a Gonfalon and hosts a graduation procession, they are sending their graduating class into the world with honor.
Choose Wisely Your Gonfalon Maker
When it comes to choosing Gonfalons for graduation ceremonies, always count on a company that understands the historical and modern significance of Gonfalons and what they signify to a graduation ceremony. Southern Tailors Fabric Imaging has been making the highest quality Gonfalons for graduations for years. We know how to take a client's vision and turn it into a reality. Our graduation Gonfalons are worthy of the honor, pride, and symbolism a Gonfalon represents to universities and students alike.
In medieval times, making Gonfalons was a time-consuming process. Seamstresses, embroiderers, and painters were often a part of the process, which could take many months to complete, even for a relatively simple Gonfalon. King Henry III commissioned the embroiderer Mabel of St Edmunds to make an embroidered banner in 1243. The project took an estimated two years to complete and cost the king 10 pounds.
Not only has the Gonfalon's uses changed since medieval times, so have the technologies and methods used to produce them. The advancement of technology makes the process of creating Gonfalons faster, but Southern Tailors still makes all their custom Gonfalons with the same care and attention to detail practiced by the skilled artisans of the Middle Ages. We use the finest fabrics for graduation Gonfalons, dark oak wood for the Gonfalon pole, and we provide all the necessary Gonfalon hardware as well. Whatever the design, Southern Tailors Fabric Imaging can bring it to life using superior printing and imaging technology to ensure the highest quality Gonfalons for graduations.
In his book Gonfalons Are My Life, Neal A. Zucker, President of Southern Tailors, offers this pearl of wisdom: To begin at the beginning is often better than beginning at the end, unless you'd rather begin at the end and end at the beginning.
That is exactly the approach Southern Tailors takes when creating high quality Gonfalons for every customer. Every Gonfalon begins with a design and then undergoes the process of bringing to life a stunning Gonfalon worthy of a college or university. Each Gonfalon is inspected for the best quality before it leaves Southern Tailors, ensuring the final product adheres to our high standards of perfection. The end result is a truly majestic Gonfalon.
A Graduation Ceremony to Remember
Graduations are milestones. There's no better way to mark a milestone than to celebrate it with fanfare, and graduation Gonfalons are certainly a good way to bring excitement and fanfare to the party. Imagine the stage, an audience, and the sound of applause as university students receive their diplomas and embark on a journey that represents that university. Graduation Gonfalons are the ideal way to express pride for students, faculty, and the university as a whole.
A graduation Gonfalon is a visual representation of what a university stands for, the hard work and dedication to higher education demonstrated by student body, and the commitment to excellence by professors teaching at the university. When a graduation Gonfalon flies, it's symbolic of the beginning of a new life's journey and a validation of past accomplishments.
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