The word "pennant" has Dutch roots. Its original meaning is a narrow long flag, forked at the end. Along with the main flag, it was intended to be hoisted on a warship. This pursued several goals at once: to more accurately indicate the nationality of the ship, and also to indicate whether a high-ranking commander, for example, the commander of a fleet, squadron, was on board.
If there were chiefs on board, a flag was raised, which was called a "braid pennant", it had a strictly defined color. According to naval regulations, such ships, which were damaged during a storm or battle, had to be assisted first. Pennants were often worn by merchant or cargo ships, but in order not to be confused with the military, they had to use pennants of a different shape and color.
Later this word received a much broader interpretation. Almost any triangular-shaped flag, as well as an image containing any identification marks, began to be called a pennant. Such as state symbols, for example, the coat of arms of a country, or its flag, or the text of its anthem. It can also be the emblem of a sports club, public organization, educational institution, etc.
A similar image can be applied to fabric, and be also triangular in shape, like a flag. In this case, the pennant is trimmed along the edge of two adjacent, longer sides with dense braid, which is not hemmed to the short side and has a margin of length. This is necessary so that it is convenient to hang it on a hook or a special cord. A football fan is probably familiar with the pennants of many popular clubs, both Russian and foreign.
In addition to fabric, wood or metal alloy can serve as a material for the pennant. In exceptional, most important cases, a pennant with state symbols is made of metals that are most resistant to adverse environmental influences. For example, this was the case when spacecraft delivered pennants with the emblem of the USSR to the surface of the Moon and Venus. Or when pennants with the coat of arms of the Russian Federation were lowered to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, at the point of the North Pole.