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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gonfalon \Gon"fa*lon\, Gonfanon \Gon"fa*non\, n. [OE. gonfanoun, OF. gonfanon, F. gonfalon, the same word as F. confalon, name of a religious brotherhood, fr. OHG. gundfano war flag; gund war (used in comp., and akin to AS. g[=u][eth]) + fano cloth, flag; akin to E. vane; cf. AS. g[=u][eth]fana. See Vane, and cf. Confalon.] 1. The ensign or standard in use by certain princes or states, such as the medi[ae]val republics of Italy, and in more recent times by the pope. [1913 Webster] 2. A name popularly given to any flag which hangs from a crosspiece or frame instead of from the staff or the mast itself. [1913 Webster] Standards and gonfalons, 'twixt van and rear, Stream in the air. --Milton. [1913 Webster]