The correct terms are "referenced" and "referencing" tables in RDBMS; "parent" and "child" are from network databases. They have meaning when following pointer chains. The use of bit flags is from assembly language programming, not declarative coding.
This hierarchy looks like a job for nested sets anyway.
Thanks for alerting me to the proper RDBMS terms; I was raised on and corrupted by HP Network databases. I too complain when developers use flat file terms like records and fields. I was thinking of FKs as sort of multiple parent inheritance since I've done a lot of .net programming too. What is the proper visual model for this in place of my thinking of it as an inverted b-tree? Is it nested sets?
Microsoft uses plenty of bit columns in their system tables and T-SQL lacks support for boolean TRUE/FALSE data types so I'm not sure what you are suggesting we all should do since we are affected and limited by our development language.
I'd love to see someone implement this as a nested set as long as it doesn't turn into a mess of overly complex code with a need for tally tables, hacks, and tricks.