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Blue Civil Ensigns used until 1762 (Spain)

Last modified: 2005-03-05 by
Keywords: saltire (white) | cross: saltire (white) | stripes (blue-white) |
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Blue Civil Ensign abolished 1762

[Blue Civil Ensign abolished 1762 (Spain)]
by José Carlos Alegría

Calvo and Grávalos 1983 shows a blue flag with a white burgundy cross, saying that it was a merchant flag used until the late 1770s.

Santiago Dotor, 19 October 2000

The red Burgundy cross on white became the main Spanish civil, state and war ensign from 1517 until 1665. In 1665, it remains as civil ensign, while the state and war ensigns became white with the royal arms in several designs. Probably because of the former traditional usage as war ensign of the red saltire on white, many merchant ships flew different versions of the Burgundy cross as civil ensigns. Some Basque ships used a red saltire on blue, and some expeditions to the Netherlands used the red Burgundy saltire over blue and white stripes. But probably the most regularly used civil variant was blue with a white Burgundy saltire. This version was so popular among merchant captains, that it had to be prohibited by law in 1762. Source: Calvo and Grávalos 1983.

José Carlos Alegría, 30 December 2001


Blue-White Civil Ensign used in the Spanish Netherlands

[Blue-White Civil Ensign used in the Spanish Netherlands (Spain)]
by José Carlos Alegría

Probably because of the former [before 1665] traditional usage as war ensign of the red Burgundy cross on white, many merchant ships flew different versions of the Burgundy cross as civil ensigns. (...) Some expeditions to the Netherlands used the red Burgundy saltire over blue and white stripes.

José Carlos Alegría, 30 December 2001

Flag used by the Spanish Navy in Flanders ca. 1547. Source: Fernández Gaytan 1985.

Sergio Camero, 4 May 2002

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