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Royal Navy Ensign (69" x 35") opinions?

Article about: Hi all, wondered if anyone had any opinions on this RN Ensign (69" x 35") I picked up recently, regarding possible time period/ where it might have been used? It appears to be made

  1. #1
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    Default Royal Navy Ensign (69" x 35") opinions?

    Hi all, wondered if anyone had any opinions on this RN Ensign (69" x 35") I picked up recently, regarding possible time period/ where it might have been used? It appears to be made of a fairly coarse (wool?) bunting, and appears hand-sewn! I know hand-sewing was used in the American Civil War but....

    The white sections have yellowed a little with age, it may have been in a smokers house at some point?

    I may try to make some small repairs to prevent further damage if I can. Also any opinions on removing the stains, general cleaning (or leaving the flag as is) would be much appreciated.



    Regards, Paul
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    Hi Paul, You have an interesting ensign there and one which I would buy or trade from you if possible. It is, I believe you will find, an early RAF ensign in a form that was regected for use by the Admiralty on the grounds that it was too close in design to thje White Ensign. It was replaced by the current style RAF Ensign.
    Cheers Michael R

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    An unusual example and as Michael stated it is of the design for the proposed RAF ensign (same as the RN white ensign but with no St. Georges cross), though as far as I am aware it was never accepted for use. Perhaps a pre production sample version, who knows.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  5. #5

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    Very interesting and rare example. Great to hear the history behind this flag from the fella's, I had never heard of this before so I have learnt something new (again )! Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  6. #6
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    Hi Michael (Jerry, Leon), apologies for the slow response. I've been on holiday, and that included from the internet (!), and am slowly catching up. You're right that it matches the RAF prototype Ensign.

    On another forum the discussion also included thoughts that it matched the Ensign of the Royal Yacht Club (later renamed as the Royal Yacht Squadron, in 1833). However, on the grounds that it was too similar to the RN Ensign it was 'banned' in 1821. This would make the flag very old (but plausible??). I would have thought a 1920 ish RAF prototype Ensign might be machine sewn, but it's also possible that hand-sewn flags were still being made then.

    From the Royal Yacht Squadron's own website:-

    "A plain white burgee graced the masthead of members’ yachts; they also wore a plain white ensign with the union in the canton. In 1821 this was changed to a red burgee and ensign."

    "In 1829 the Admiralty issued a warrant to wear what is now the Navy’s white ensign."

    All in all, an intriguing flag!

    I've attached a picture of another example of this type of flag, it was for sale on "flagguys.com" at one point as "unidentified" (seems to have gone now), but was identified elsewhere as an early Royal Yacht Club example, but could just as easily have been an RAF 1920 Ensign!

    Best regards, Paul

    (Michael - I have no plans to sell it at the moment, but I will definitely bear you in mind if I do decide to.)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #7

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    Hi Paul, Thank you for your comments and reply. If I was a gambling man, my money would be on a first pattern RAF ensgn and almost certainly none factory manufactured. A lot of ensigns and signal flags etc. were made in "flag lofts" ergo by the service concerned. I have several RAF mast head rank flags manufactured for use by RAF Mount Batten (RAF Marine Craft Depot) by the Station Workshops. These were used as mast head flags and pennants as well as markers for parades etc., to distinguish either the resident commander or a visiting senior officer or Royalty. An interesting point is that most military produced flags have holes cut into the flag fields and the insignia then sewn into the hole whereas factory produced flags usually have any insignia applied to the field which is a far cheaper method. I have a 2 yard Royal Navy Nazi flag made in a flag loft using the method as described which makes the flag look odd when viewed from the reverse as the swastica is back to front.

    Hope that you find this of interest??
    Cheers Michael

  8. #8

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    Hi Leon, It is amazing what little gems I/we pick up on this Forum!!! I realy like reading some of the comments!!!!!
    Cheers Michael

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    Quote by Michael Ryan View Post
    Hi Paul, Thank you for your comments and reply. If I was a gambling man, my money would be on a first pattern RAF ensgn and almost certainly none factory manufactured. A lot of ensigns and signal flags etc. were made in "flag lofts" ergo by the service concerned. I have several RAF mast head rank flags manufactured for use by RAF Mount Batten (RAF Marine Craft Depot) by the Station Workshops. These were used as mast head flags and pennants as well as markers for parades etc., to distinguish either the resident commander or a visiting senior officer or Royalty. An interesting point is that most military produced flags have holes cut into the flag fields and the insignia then sewn into the hole whereas factory produced flags usually have any insignia applied to the field which is a far cheaper method. I have a 2 yard Royal Navy Nazi flag made in a flag loft using the method as described which makes the flag look odd when viewed from the reverse as the swastica is back to front.

    Hope that you find this of interest??
    Cheers Michael
    Hi Michael, I do. It sounds like you have quite a collection!

    Best regards, Paul

  10. #10

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    Hi Paul, Thank you for your message. Flags are a side line as my primary collecting fields are German edged weapons, badges and medals, RAF and RN badges, car flags and uniforms and German (E/W/TR), Russian, US and British headdress. So you never know, I may have something to tempt you out of your flag!!!
    Cheers Michael
    PS Where abouts in the UK are you??

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