Jump to content

Talk:British ensign

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


There are some inaccuracies in this page. EG use of the union flag is not illegal - it's not an authorised ensign however. Used as a "jack" ie at the forestaff in harbour it is legitimate. Equally defaced ensigns are defaced with symbols which may or may not be the badge or emblem of a yacht club. Minor points I know but inaccurate all the same... Simon (talk) 11:47, 29 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Exclusivity of Ensigns[edit]

Exclusivity is a hard-to-define term. The defaced red ensign, for example, is far rarer than blue, or defaced blue ensigns. The conditions of access are similar to defaced blue ensigns - ie a warrant for a designated organisation or yacht club and thence membership of such an organisation. The guidance from the Navy / Admiralty confirms that in terms of seniority, the Red Ensign is the UK's senior ensign. The white ensign is the most coveted as only RYS membership conveys eligibility - that or being a Royal Navy vessel. The subject of ensign ranking is always hotly debated. Simon (talk) 10:29, 29 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Not sure that the statement about the white ensign "is only used in the Royal Navy and the royal yacht squadron" is entirely accurate. When I was a Sea Scout we used a Red Ensign 'Defaced' with the Scout Symbol however the associate Sea Ranger Unit used a White Ensign. I was informed that there is dispensation where by all-female crews of civilian craft were pemitted to use the White Ensign, which given it is is 'more honourable' than the other ensigns they took advantage of this dispensation. Unfortunately I have no evidence for this other than my memory. If anyone can confirm this please add it to the main entry. user:MrWeeble

That sounds very dodgy to me. I've never heard of any such dispensation, and if the Sea Ranger ship did use the White Ensign and had been spotted by an RN ship it probably would have been rudely instructed to remove it. Proteus 18:38, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)


The article states that Nelson was a Vice Admiral of the Blue, whereas he is named as a Vice Admiral of the White in the article entitled "Admiral". Could someone settle this? 14:58, 8 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

He was both - go back to the Admirals article and take note of the comments on rank progression. The highest rank Nelson attained was Vice Admiral of the White, but before that he'd been Vice Admiral of the Blue. If it helps, consider Red, White and Blue to equate to First, Second and Third - Nelson was Vice Admiral of the Second Fleet at the end of his career, and before that he'd been Vice Admiral of the Third Fleet (and, before that, Rear Admiral in the Third, Second and finally First fleets).

Blue ensign[edit]

The blue ensign isn't the merchant navy ensign – they fly the 'red duster'. It's correct that all craft can fly the red ensign because technically they are all part of the merchant navy. I believe there are very specific conditions to be permitted to fly the undefaced blue ensign. Membership of certain yacht clubs, plus registration of the vessel, allows some people to fly a defaced blue ensign.

French ensigns[edit]

Why is there a paragraph on French ensigns in an article on British ensigns? The only reason I can find is that AVD wrote an article on French ensigns and is trying to "promote" it. A "see also" link is all that is needed. Homey 18:45, 4 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

My paragraph is very small. It is not an undue burden on the Bandwidth of Wikipedia. The material also is very relavent. It shows a direct complimentary usage in the French Colonial Possessions, with those of the British Commonwealth. This is relavent, it adds to the article, and is educational on a topic that is not well known.
As per promoting the "French Ensigns" article, I am linking the two.
ArmchairVexillologistDon 19:12, 4 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Probably more appropriate just to link it under "See also", since the title of the article is British ensigns, not Ensigns or Colonial Ensigns. Andrew Yong 10:26, 6 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Distress signal[edit]

When flown upside-down as a distress signal, is the entire ensign flag upside-down? This usage is mentioned on the Union Jack article, and there it says that it is noted on this page that the "pinwheeling" of the diagonal stripes is more exagegrated on the version of the union flag as flown at sea than on the regular UJ. It is, however, not noted on this page at all. It seems odd to me anyway, considering that the jack is in the canton on the normal version, but presumably in the bottom-left corner in the distress version. — PhilHibbs | talk 10:36, 9 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Red or Blue Ensigns for Colonial Flags[edit]

Nice story about the red and blue fleets, but I doubt the accuracy. Australia commonly used a defaced Red Ensign as it's national flag until 1953, when they fixed on the blue - some sources say because of communism. However, even by the 1956 Olympics, red ensigns were still the commonly used flags at civil occasions, c.f. Melbourne Olympics 1956, Royal Visit 1953 etc. 16:06, 21 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that the story (unreferenced) has the tinge of legend. Under the original 1652 re-organisation, the White, Red, and Blue squadrons were conceived as the van, centre and rear divisions of the Fleet. But the Fleet rarely, and by Nelson's day never, operated as a single body, and 'squadrons' were created and assigned at need, without any reference to 'colour.' When Nelson died as Vice-Admiral of the White, he was commanding the Mediterranean Squadron (which, accordingly, flew the White Ensign.) After Trafalgar command of the Med Squadron passed to Collingwood, and its ensigns would have thereupon 'turned blue.'Solicitr (talk) 16:29, 3 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Image copyright problem with Image:Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scout Ensign.png[edit]

The image Image:Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scout Ensign.png is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --21:05, 3 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

File:Royal Observer Corps Ensign.PNG Nominated for Deletion[edit]

An image used in this article, File:Royal Observer Corps Ensign.PNG, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests August 2011
What should I do?
A discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. If you feel the deletion can be contested then please do so (commons:COM:SPEEDY has further information). Otherwise consider finding a replacement image before deletion occurs.

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 00:01, 7 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on British ensign. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 5 June 2024).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 00:16, 9 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]