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House flags of Canadian Shipping Companies (page 1)

Last modified: 2005-04-02 by
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Algoma Central Marine

[Algoma Central Marine]
by Joseph McMillan

From the company website http://www.algonet.com :

Algoma Central was incorporated as Algoma Central Railway Company in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on August 11, 1899. The Corporation proudly celebrated its Centennial Anniversary throughout the year in 1999.

The Company was founded following the discovery of valuable iron ore in the Michipicoten area of Ontario's Algoma Region in the late 1800's. Francis H. Clergue, the Philadelphia promoter and industrialist, needed to move the ore from the Helen Mine to the harbour on Lake Superior. For this purpose, the Algoma Central Railway was incorporated by Special Act of the Parliament of Canada with capital of three million dollars.

Soon after the railway was in operation from the mine to Michipicoten, four steam vessels were purchased in 1900. This was the beginning of the Algoma Central Fleet.

The Company name was changed to The Algoma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Company in 1901. From this point on, Algoma Central carried on business as both a railway and a steamship company.

With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, expansion of the fleet was a high priority. Next came a name to change Algoma Central Railway in 1965, followed by the demand for self-unloaders and further expansion of the bulker fleet.

In 1973, Algoma Central Properties was established with major real estate holdings in the Sault. By 1984, Company revenue surpassed $100 million, and by 1987, Marine Division revenues alone exceeded $100 million. In 1990, the Company name was changed to Algoma Central Corporation.

Year 1992 saw the beginning of Algoma Central's Fleet Renewal Program which would ensure Algoma's competitiveness in the future.

With increased emphasis on marine, both the railway and the Algoma Region forest lands held by the Company were sold as the Company divested non-strategic assets.

As expansion of the fleet continued, Algoma Central acquired an interest in Marbulk Canada Inc. to provide a presence in ocean shipping. Algoma Tankers Limited was created with the purchase of liquid-petroleum tankers.

Algoma Central Properties Inc., now committed to the Niagara Region of Ontario, manages six valuable real estate properties in St. Catharines, in addition to its Sault holdings.

In January 2000, the Seaway Marine Transport marketing pool was formed resulting in new synergy and benefits to customers.

Today, Algoma Central Corporation proudly flies its house flag on 29 vessels sailing the Great Lakes.

Phil Nelson, 27 August 2000


According to Lloyds the shipping division was made a subsidiary in 1990 as Algoma Central Marine. Post WW2 Lloyds show the shipping at times under Algoma Steamships Ltd. and at others under the principal. This would appear to part of a reorganization that saw the principal become Algoma Central Corporation. The company site shows a logo which bears the name "Algoma Central Corporation' and possibly the company had a flag using this but as the 1982 edition of "Know your Ships" shows the funnel bearing the badge with 'Marine' on it as shown on this flag, it seems possible that the maritime division was using the flag prior to 1990.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


BC Ferries

Flag to April 2003
[BC Ferries prior to April 2003]
by Jarig Bakker

As part of a privatization restructuring, BC Ferries has a new flag effective April 1, 2003


Flag since April 2002. The design is a stylized wave representing white ships on blue seas (company website). The flag shown here comes from a flag logo shown on the company site but they have got it slightly wrong going by a photo they also show of an actual flag. The white wave starts from the bottom of the hoist, not partly up. Because the fly is flapping it is not possible to be sure where the wave ends in the fly but the projection line seems to be the top of the fly It also seems that on the funnel the 'waves' are shown as horizontal which is possibly aimed at reducing the fears of any passengers re sea sickness.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


Flag to April 2003
[BC Ferries prior to April 2003]
by Jorge Candeias

Flag to April 2003. The core of the flag flower should be yellow, not green. According to company site it is the 'Dogwood flag' and was used for 25 years.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


Black Diamond S.S. Co. Ltd.

[Black Diamond Steam Ship Co.] by Jarig Bakker Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]

Montereal - yellow flag, in center black diamond; in all corners black "BDSC".
Jarig Bakker, 14 February 2005


Canadian Government Merchant Marine

[Canadian Government Merchant Marine] by Jarig Bakker
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]

Montreal - blue burgee, red cross fimbriated white; in center yellow maple-leaf.
Jarig Bakker, 14 February 2005


Canadian Maritime

[Canadian Maritime]
by Jorge Candeias

Recently, in that newspaper supplement I usually take my houseflag information from, a new logo appeared. It's the logo of a Canadian shipping company, called Canada Maritime and, apparently, based in Montréal. They have a website at http://www.canmar.com/ that, despite being image-heavy, shows no flags. They do have pictures of some of their ships, though, with some flaggy things barely visible in low resolution.

Anyway, the logo is basically a drawing of a flying flag as seen in (a scan of the logo as appears in the newspaper - better images available on their site). Two designs are probable of the actual flag: a boring LOB bearing this logo on white, or simply this flag.
Jorge Candeias,


Formed as a joint venture by N.V. CMB S.A. and Canadian Pacific in 1984 with CP taking over fully in 1993. The flying flag from a pole logo appears to be on the funnels (not sure of the pole) so the flag certainly seems likely, whatever the design may actually be.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


Canadian National Steamships

[Canadian National Steamships]
by Ivan Sache

Canadian National Steamships - Montreal

Burgee-shaped flag with Norwegian colours and design. In the middle of the cross is placed a yellow disc fimbriated in red and yellow.
Shipping lines: Montreal - Quebec - Halifax - British Guinea, Montreal - Vancouver - South America - Austral.(ia?)

Steam cargos: 39; Cargo and passsenger steamboats: 8
Tonnage: ca 248,180 Regt. brutto

Source: Znamierowski shows p. 244 a plate of houseflags of North and South American shipping companies, dated 1933. The original source is 'Lloyd Reederei-Flaggen der Welt-Handelsflotte' [Lloyd Houseflags of the World Merchant Fleet], Bremen (Germany). The caption of the original plate says 'Lloyd Zigaretten + Bildersammlung: Reedereiflaggen', so the 'book' is an album for cigarette cards.
Ivan Sache, 24 March 2001


The design on the flag is not clear on many sources but it seems that it is a maple leaf. Brown 1929 and 1934 both show a large gold leaf throughout the cross fessepoint whereas later sources show a white circle containing the leaf apparently in yellow and green. Znamierowski has taken his image from the Lloyd Reedereiflaggen cigarette card album of 1933 which is the only one to take the easy way out which is rather understandable considering the small size of the emblem.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


[Canadian National Steamships]
by Jarig Bakker

From The National Maritime Museum:

The house flag of Canadian National Steamships, St Johns, Newfoundland. A dark blue pennant with a white-bordered red cross. A green yellow and red maple leaf is placed on a white disc in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached.
Jarig Bakker, 8 August 2004

Canadian Pacific Lines

[Canadian Pacific Lines]
by Al Fisher

CP Rail, since 1968
[Canadian Pacific Lines]
by Jarrig Bakker

CP Shipping, since 1968
[Canadian Pacific Lines]
by Jarig Bakker

Canadian Pacific is a Canadian company which owned ships, trains and planes.

Their former airline branch (Canadian Pacific Air or CP air) is the today CanadiXn Airlines (IATA code: CP )

X = a clever way to escape from the Canadian law that any name will appear in English and French. In order not to write both CanadiAn and CanadiEn on their planes , they put the company logo in the problematic font place.
Dov Gutterman, 27 January 1999


Canadian Pacific Railway Co. was incorporated 2.5.1882 as a Canadian company (principally US money) The checky flag originating from them from the way with the construction of the rail line land on either side of the track was allocated in alternate blocks to the railroad and the government and on maps these were showed by alternate blocks of red and white, a colour scheme adopted by the company when they went into ship owning, with a diminutive being used as a Jack (Flags of the World 1981). The name was changed 3.7.1991 to Canadian Pacific Ltd.

Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. was formed as Canadian Pacific Ocean Services Ltd. [CPOS] formed 1.10.1915. to manage the North Atlantic Fleet which was to include Allan Bros & Co. U.K. Ltd. which was implemented 10.1.1916 and officially incorporated 16.7.1916 with a head office London, U.K. It changed name 8.9.1921 to Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. becoming based Liverpool. i.e. Stewart, and other sources, are quite correct to domicile it as a UK company although the flag is associated with both Canada and UK. The successor to this, Canada Maritime Services Ltd. is based at Horley, U.K.

In 1968 the shipping operations became known as CP Ships as a trade name and has subsequently become officially CP Ships Inc. In the late 1980s CP made a move out of shipping but subsequently they have gone back into it with their fleet being under the name of various subsidiaries, most of them being acquired companies.

In 11/1968 when the various CP divisions were set up, a common corporate design was introduced with different colours for these divisions i.e. as CP Rail red, CP Air orange, CP Ships green, CP Transport blue, CP Hotels grey and CP Telecommunications yellow ochre (Flags of the World 1969). Although the logo is said to represent a "C" and shows as such on the funnels, the flag appears to be the reverse in that the triangle and circle are in the hoist and therefore only give the "C" view on the reverse side. Sources appear uncertain as a result and some show the triangle etc in the fly so as to enable this view, but the Josef Nüsse table flag confirms that they should indeed be placed in the hoist. The red version applies to shipping also as CP Rail continued to run some coastal shipping until around the end of the century.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


In more recent years (late 1960's) Canadian Pacific was reorganized into CP Rail, CP Ships, CP Hotels, CP Air, and a trucking firm, I think Smith? All of these used a modern logo that looks sort of like a Pac Man symbol (if you remember the video game!) In the 1950s CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) used a beaver over shield logo. I believe I remember this on a flag in pictures, and I definitely saw the CP Rail logo on a flag. CP Air has been spun off, and the parent company is now calling itself Canadian Pacific again.
Kevin McNamara, 10 May 2000


Canadian Pacific Navigation Company

[Canadian Pacific Navigation Company]
by Phil Nelson

This was a freight and passenger company operating in the British Columbia area between 1883 and 1901. The company was purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
Phil Nelson, 29 April 2000


Canada Steamship Lines Inc.

[Canadian Steamship Lines - current]
by Jorge Candeias

[Canadian Steamship Lines]
by Al Fisher

[Canadian National Steamships 1934]
by Ivan Sache

According to Lloyds it should read Canada Steamship Lines Inc. being formed as Canada Steam Ship Lines Ltd. in 1917, becoming Canada Steamship Lines (1975) Ltd. and then in 1981 became The CSL Group but retaining its identity as Canada Steamship Lines Inc. The 3rd version shown by Ivan is shown by Brown editions from 1926 to 1958. The 2nd by Al starts with Stewart 1953 and is picked up by Brown from 1978. The 1st version of Jorge is the current one.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


#371. The Canada Steamship Lines - Montreal

Horizontally divided red-white-red with a vertical blue stripe in the middle.

Shipping lines: Deep Sea and St. Laurent river

Cargo and passenger steamboats: 102

Tonnage: ca 308,650 Regt. brutto

Source: Znamierowski shows p. 244 a plate of houseflags of North and South American shipping companies, dated 1933. The original source is 'Lloyd Reederei-Flaggen der Welt-Handelsflotte' [Lloyd Houseflags of the World Merchant Fleet], Bremen (Germany). The caption of the original plate says 'Lloyd Zigaretten + Bildersammlung: Reedereiflaggen', so the 'book' is an album for cigarette cards.
Ivan Sache, 24 March 2001

See also:


Canadian-Australasian Line, Ltd.

[Canadian-Australian Lines]
by Jarig Bakker

[Canadian-Australian Lines]
by Jarig Bakker

Canadian-Australasian Line was formed 7/1931 jointly by Canadian Pacific Railway Co. and Union Steam Ship Co. of N.Z. Ltd. with the service ceasing 5/1953. This version is shown by Brown 1943 and 1959 but Talbot-Booth 1949 and Stewart 1953 and 1957 show the letters as black. Other earlier sources also show it using the flag of a predecessor, Canadian-Australian Royal Mail Steamship Co. Ltd., which had the blue letters "SCACo" in the appropriate white compartments starting from the chief, but that company did not have Canadian input.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003


From The National Maritime Museum:

The house flag of the Canadian Australasian Line, Vancouver. A rectangular white flag with a red saltire. The black sans serif letters 'C' and 'A' are in the side quarters. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and two Inglefield clips is attached. 'House Kootenay Park' is inscribed on the hoist. 'Kootenay Park' was one of the Second World War 10,000 dry cargo ships built in Canada for management by British Shipping Companies. There were three ships of this name launched between 1942 and 1944.

Shipping services on the Sydney-Victoria route were started by James Huddart who formed the Canadian-Australian Steamship Co. in 1893. This company was wound up in 1898 and others took over the services. The Canadian-Australasian Line Ltd was formed jointly by the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand and Canadian Pacific in 1931. The Union Steam Ship Co. remained as managers. Services ceased in 1941 and recommenced from 1948 until 1953 when the company was wound up.

Jarig Bakker, 8 August 2004
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