Distinguishing Flags

Ships Employed in the Service of a Public Office.

Art. 28, p. 10, of Addenda to Queen's Regulations.

Ships and Vessels employed in the service of any public office shall carry a Blue Ensign, and a Small Blue Flag with a Union described in a canton at the upper corner thereof next to the staff as a Jack ; but in the centre of such Ensign and Jack there shall lie described the Seal or Badge of the office to which they belong. Commission Officers, serving with the permission of the Admiralty as Mail Agents in Contract Vessels, may when in their boats wear therein a similar Blue Pendant; but when such Pendant is displayed, the Ensign, with the Seal or such of the office to which the vessel belongs, must also be displayed in the boat.


Art. 25, p. 10, of Addenda to Queen's Regulations.

The following are the regulations as to the Flags to be borne by any Vessel maintained by any Colony under the clauses of the Colonial Defence Act, 28 Vic. cap 14 :

  1. Any Vessel provided and used under the 3rd Section of the said Act shall wear the Blue Ensign, with the Seal or Badge of the Colony in the fly thereof, and a Blue Pendant.
  2. All Vessels belonging to, or permanently in the service of the Colonies but not commissioned as Vessels of War under the Act above referred to, shall wear a similar Blue Ensign, but not the Pendant.


(Naval Reserve Flag.)

Art. 27, p. 11, of Addenda to Queen's Regulations

British Merchant Ships fulfilling the following conditions, be allowed to wear the Blue Ensign of Her Majesty's Fleet.


  1. The Officer Commanding the ship must be an Officer of the Royal Naval Reserve.
  2. Ten of the crew must be men belonging to the Royal Naval Reserve.
  3. Before hoisting the Blue Ensign the ship must be provided with an Admiralty Warrant.

NOTE 1.- Ships failing to fulfil the above conditions, unless such failure is caused by death or other circumstances over which the Owners have no control, will no longer be entitled to wear the Blue Ensign.

NOTE 2.-Officers Commanding H.M. Ships meeting with ships carrying the Blue Ensign will be authorised to go on board such ships at any convenient opportunity, and see that these conditions are strictly carried out, provided that they are superior in rank to the officer R.N.R.

NOTE 3. Applications for permission to wear the Blue Ensigns will be forwarded to the Admiralty from the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, who will issue regulations as to the mode of proceeding.

NOTE 4.-All former instructions respecting the Blue Ensign are hereby cancelled.

By Command of their Lordships,

C Paget .

To all Commanders-in-Chiefs, &c.

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