Ruffles and flourishes

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Ruffles and flourishes are preceding fanfare for honors music, ceremonial music for distinguished people.

By country[edit]


In the Israeli Defence Forces, ruffles and flourishes are sounded as a guard of honor presents arms to signify the honors music that will follow. Depending on the status of the person receiving the honors, and will receive between one and three ruffles and flourishes in the honor of the recipient.


Italy uses ruffles and flourishes, particularly at ceremonies where the raising of the Italian national flag takes place.[1] The music that is sounded is known as "Onori" ("Honors") and is played usually before the performance of an abridged version of "Il Canto degli Italiani".

South Korea[edit]

South Korea uses ruffles and flourishes, with a total of four played before the South Korean national anthem,[2] or the "Phoenix Hymn", which is the official honors music for the president of South Korea.


The official ruffles and flourishes for the President of the Philippines is played four times before the playing of "Lupang Hinirang" or "Parangal sa Pangulo" (English: "Honorable Salute to the President"). During military events, the ruffles and flourishes are sounded alongside a 21-gun artillery salute.[3][4]

United States[edit]

Four ruffles and flourishes (the maximum in the U.S.) played by a U.S. military band in 1994 before the then-dual South African national anthems. In the U.S. ruffles and flourishes are often played before national anthems, whether of the U.S. or other countries, as part of official ceremonies.

U.S. ruffles are played on drums, and flourishes are played on bugles. The President of the United States receives four ruffles and flourishes before "Hail to the Chief" and the Vice President of the United States receives four ruffles and flourishes before "Hail, Columbia". In the U.S., four ruffles and flourishes is the maximum number played.[5] Four ruffles and flourishes are played before national anthems, whether of the U.S. or foreign countries.[6][7]

Although roughly equivalent, the United States Navy has a different "Table of Honors" – some civilian officials more, others less; often different musical tunes – and includes in its arsenal of formal Honors one more, which is specific to naval traditions: Sideboys, an even number of seamen (in this list eight for guests with quadruple or triple ruffles and flourishes, six for lower ranking dignitaries) posted at the gangway when the dignitary boards or leaves the ship, historically to help (or even hoist) him aboard, currently as a ceremonial sort of guard of honor.

Vatican City[edit]

Vatican City also uses ruffles and flourishes during the newly-elected Pope's first public appearance and follows the abridge version of Inno e Marcia Pontificale and 2-line version of Italian National Anthem and the Inno e Marcia Pontificale is repeated again with preceding ruffles and flourishes. The newly-elected Pope delivers after a thanksgiving address.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ La Banda Militare: Italian and International Military Music (January 30, 2013). "Inno Nazionale (Schieramento della Bandiera Nazionale)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 1 November 2018 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ 강민구 (10 February 2018). "1984년 국군의날기념식 (건군36주년)". Archived from the original on 2019-11-10 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ Wreath-laying Ceremony 11/20/2018, archived from the original on 2021-12-12, retrieved March 4, 2021
  4. ^ LordDaine. "Philippines (Presidential) / Filipinas (Presidential)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-12 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ p. 58
  6. ^ "Kenyan President Arrival Ceremony, Oct 6 2003 - Video". C-SPAN. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  7. ^ "South African President Arrival Ceremony, Oct 4 1994 - Video". C-SPAN. 4 October 1994. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Flag and anthem of Vatican City (instrumental)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-12 – via
  9. ^ "Watch Pope Francis Make His First Appearance". Archived from the original on 2021-12-12 – via