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Thread: Asking about the flags used by the Royal Navy.

  1. #1

    Default Asking about the flags used by the Royal Navy.

    Hello, I am discussing with a colleague in a forum about the flags used by the Royal Navy in the periods between 1700 and 1800.
    I would like to know what criteria were used to use the colors white, blue and red for each ship of the Royal Navy. I would appreciate if someone can make a little explanation about it.
    Thank you in advance.

    Julián

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Changes in command flags in February (1702)



    In February 1702 the Senior Naval Lord Sir George Rooke sent instructions to the Navy Board requesting a new structure for command flags to be flown.



    Lord High Admiral



    Lord Admiral the Royal standard flown at the main mast.




    Red ensign flown at the aft mast.



    Vice and Rear Admirals in red squadron




    Vice and Rear Admirals of the Lord Admirals squadron fly plain red flags at the main mast .




    Red ensign flown at the aft mast.



    Admiral of the White.




    Flag of the union at the main mast.




    White ensign flown at the aft mast.



    Vice and Rear Admirals in white squadron




    Vice Admiral fly's union flag at the fore mast and Rear Admiral of the squadron fly's the union flag at the mizzen mast.




    Both flag officers the white ensign flown at the aft mast.



    Admiral of the Blue




    Plain blue flag flown at the fore mast




    Blue ensign flown at the aft mast.




    Changes in command flags from March (1702 to 1864)




    On 24 March 1702 the
    First Lord of the Admiralty instructed the Senior Naval Lord Admiral Sir George Rooke and Board of Admiralty to have designed new command flags for flag officers. These would remain in place with some minor changes until 1805 when the rank of Admiral of the Red is introduced and included the following:



    Admiral of the Fleet




    Flag of the union flown at main to gallant masthead as his proper flag the union flag was used as a maritime flag in 1606 during the reign of
    James VI and I (1566 – 1625), though the actual union of the kingdoms England and Scotland did not occur until 1707.



    Admiral of the Fleet to fly the Union Flag of the Union later Great Britain (1606–1801) as his proper flag.




    Admiral of the Fleet to fly the Union Flag of the United Kingdom (1801–current) as his proper flag.




    Admirals



    Flags flown at main to gallant masthead as his proper flag.





    Admiral of the Red Squadron command flag 1805 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and United Kingdom.





    Admiral of the White Squadron command flag 1625 to 1702 for use in the Kingdom of England and Great Britain.



    Admiral of the White Squadron command flag 1702 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Admiral of the Blue Squadron command flag 1625 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.



    Vice Admirals


    Flags flown at the fore gallant masthead as his proper flag.




    Vice Admiral of the Red Squadron command flag 1702 to 1805 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain.




    Vice Admiral of the Red Squadron command flag 1805 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Vice Admiral of the White Squadron command flag 1702 to 1805 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain.




    Vice Admiral of the White Squadron command flag 1805 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Vice Admiral of the Blue Squadron command flag 1702 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.



    Rear Admirals



    Flags flown at the mizzen top gallant masthead as his proper flag.




    Rear Admiral of the Red Squadron command flag 1702 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Rear Admiral of the White Squadron command flag 1702 to 1805 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Rear Admiral of the White Squadron command flag 1805 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron command flag 1702 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Commodores



    Broad pennants flown at the mizzen top gallant masthead as his proper flag.



    Commodore first class Red Squadron command flag 1826 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and United Kingdom.




    Commodore first class White Squadron command flag 1826 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and United Kingdom.





    Commodore second class all squadrons a plain blue command flag 1826 to 1864 for use in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom.




    Order of precedence from 1805
    The squadrons ranked in order red, white, and blue, with admirals ranked according to their squadron with their command flags flown in their respective positions:



    1.
    Admiral of the Fleet
    2.
    Admiral of the red
    3.
    Admiral of the white
    4.
    Admiral of the blue
    5.
    Vice admiral of the red
    6.
    Vice admiral of the white
    7.
    Vice-Admiral of the blue
    8.
    Rear admiral of the red
    9.
    Rear Admiral of the white
    10.
    Rear admiral of the blue
    11.
    Commodore of the red
    12.
    Commodore of the white
    13.
    Commodore of the blue
    Attached Images Attached Images                     
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  3. #3

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    Thank you Rob, very appreciated.

  4. #4
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    My pleasure Julián.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  5. #5

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    That was an ANSWER....

    Need to spread rep before fire the rep-broadside again, Rob.

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    Captain of the Fleet
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    Well that reply was informative Rob, here is another question though, was their any criteria for which squadron, be it Red, White or Blue ships were assigned and did they stay in that squadron or was it as needed ?

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    Admiral of the Blue.
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    As far as I know flag officers were moved at the whim of the Admiralty for a variety of reasons as they saw fit. It may be illness, a refit of their ship, although sometimes in this case they shifted their flag to another vessel.
    Exigencies of the service, or just influence at Court or in the Govenment all played a part in the deployment of Flag Officers. Even Nelson had great difficulty in keeping his band of brothers with him when he was posted to another command.

    I must also thank you for the Rep you gave me for my post Chris.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    You could also sail on direct order of the admiralty wich was very popular among the captains (but not common) due to the change in the share of the admiral of any price.

  9. #9
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Usually restricted to Frigates or unrated ships on special duty.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Yes. Frigates were the big prize catchers.

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    By the way, There's a difference in your commodore's pennants in shape. I've seen the shape you have on the white one on both the blue ad red ones too. Is there a difference in from what year they are?

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