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Can anyone tell me why HMS ships flew the red duster and when they switched over to the white ensign thanks ........ see HMS Warrior in my Gallery (Thumb)
 

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Nowadays, ships intended for the RN fly the Red Ensign when they are still in the hands of the builders and until they are first commissioned. In Nelson's time the fleet was so large that it was arranged in divisions, red,white and blue and RN ships flew the ensign appropriate to the division. Presumably HMS Warrior left the RN at some stage and was in the hands of the restoration people in Hartlepool, in which event she would fly the Red Ensign.

Fred
 

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The "Bounty" of Captain Bligh fame also flew the red ensign.
He was a much malinged person as he was one oof the first to adopt the three watch systeme and he did for most part have his crews best interests at heart.
Was recently watching the "Hornblower "series on TV and the navel ships were flying the red & blue ensigns. I was under the impression that the Capatin had to be RN reserve and also some of the crew for that to happen Have the rules changed?
 

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Ensigns

Glen,

Originally there were three Royal Navy squadrons, of the Red, White and Blue, and they took these colours from those of the Union Jack.

The division was made in the 1680s, because the Red Ensigns of England and Scotland had already been established as merchant flags a Red Ensign with the Union in the canton became the merchant flag of Great Britain upon Union in 1707. This led to confusion as to whether the ship was a merchantman or a member of the red squadron?

In 1864 it was decided to end this confusion. As a result the White Ensign was reserved to the Royal Navy, the Blue Ensign undefaced to the Royal Naval Reserve and defaced with the appropriate departmental or territorial badge to government service, and the Red Ensign to the 'merchant navy'.


Chris.
 

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We have three vessels that I am aware of in Oz that still fly the White Ensign, two in Sydney and one in Fremantle. They are technically still in commission as special dispensations were made for them. We may have a few more, I know of a number of naval vessels still extant but am not sure what flag they can actually fly.
And as an aside, its also impressive the number of people who actually still salute the flag when boarding and departing even though they have long departed the Navy.
 

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Santos,

Excellent explanation and absolutely spot-on!

Gulpers
 

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Often, ships of the British merchant marine had the privilege of flying the Blue Ensign rather than the Red Duster. The numbers varied throughout the years, but if the captain and a certain number of the officers and crew were members of the RNVR, the ship was accorded that honour, which was looked upon as a mark of distinction.

Bruce C.
 

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Red Ensign

Whilst this thread is still active and we have such an international membership, I just thought I might also pass on a bit of history I discovered some time ago, about the origin of the Ensigns and some National Flags.

As I previous stated in the 17th & 18th Century the Royal Navy was divided into three Squadrons, the Red, the White and the Blue.

They were allotted patrol areas and so the Red Squadron patrolled the Caribbean and the North Altantic, the Blue Squadron patrolled the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the South Atlantic and the White Squadron looked after the British Isles, the French coast and the Mediterranean.

Now here is the interesting bit. The National Flags of British Colonies, now independant countries in their own right, more often than not have incorporated the same colour as the Squadron that protected them. For example New Zealand and Australia have Blue and Bermuda has Red.

Just thought I would mention it. (Thumb)

Chris.
 

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I would like to add that two years ago I was trying to buy a Red Duster from a flag shop here in the states,they had none in stock so they ordered me one, when it arrived I opened the box and looked at it and there was something wrong with it,it didn't look right. I went on the internet to get the history of the flag and low and behold they had sent me the old British Colonial flag which was a forerunner of the Red Duster. I took it back and tried again,no luck so I had a friend in Cardiff buy one for me and send it to me and I raised for the first time on MN day this year.
John
 

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Good man John in the USA. Your perseverence paid off. Greetings from North Wales.

Rgds,

Gulpers
 

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Thank you Gulpers. Yes when I opened the box I knew it was the wrong flag because the white back round in the union jack was missing. What they sold me was the Red Ensign of the years 1707 thru 1801. But until the store owner and myself checked the internet I thought they had made a mistake in making it. Its was the Right flag for the wrong century. John
 

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People talk about the red ensign i never sailed under it, I allway,s sailed under the blue ensign, With Cunard and Elder Dempster
 

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lakercapt said:
The "Bounty" of Captain Bligh fame also flew the red ensign.
He was a much malinged person as he was one oof the first to adopt the three watch systeme and he did for most part have his crews best interests at heart.
Was recently watching the "Hornblower "series on TV and the navel ships were flying the red & blue ensigns. I was under the impression that the Capatin had to be RN reserve and also some of the crew for that to happen Have the rules changed?
Bounty flew the Red Ensign as Bligh did not have a commision, he was a Master not commander.
 

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Now here is the interesting bit. The National Flags of British Colonies, now independant countries in their own right, more often than not have incorporated the same colour as the Squadron that protected them. For example New Zealand and Australia have Blue and Bermuda has Red.

Just thought I would mention it. (Thumb)

Chris.[/QUOTE]

Could this be a coincidence, Chris?

The Australian national flag came about as the result of a competition in 1901. The first flag was similar to today's but there were civil and governent versions, red and blue backgrounds respectively.

On the original version, the Federation Star had six points, representing the five states and one Territory. In 1906, Australia acquired the colony of Papua New Guinea and a seventh state was added. When the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) came into being they didn't add to the star (good job as PNG was eventually lost, of course).

Presumeably, the reason Australian Merchant ships now fly the Australian Red Ensign is because of it's initial use for civil purposes. The Royal Australian Navy have the national flag with a white background and blue stars - the Australian White Ensign.

The Australian National flag, with dark blue background, was not actually gazetted until 1954 when the Menzies government passed an act of parliament.

It's interesting that other Commonwealth countries have persisted with the 'Red Engsign' tradition - New Zealand, India, Pakistan (I think), any others?

John T.
 

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WARRIOR is no longer a commissioned Royal Navy ship she is a museum exhibit and no longer entitled to wear the White Ensign. VICTORY is still a commissioned RN ship and is the flagship of the C in C Portsmouth and wears the White Ensign.

from froggie
 

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Hi
WARRIOR is no longer a commissioned Royal Navy ship she is a museum exhibit and no longer entitled to wear the White Ensign. VICTORY is still a commissioned RN ship and is the flagship of the C in C Portsmouth and wears the White Ensign.

from froggie
Is the Belfast still in commission? I thought she was a museum ship. Same with the Plymouth and the others that were at Liverpool.
Another sippet of info I've seen. One of the Australian museum ships had to get special permission to continue to fly the White ensign. Does this apply to the above ships?


Regards
Karl
 
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