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European River Commissions

Last modified: 2008-04-26 by
Keywords: danube | rhine | mosel | european river commissions | anchor (yellow) | anchor (white) | stars: 6 (yellow) | stars: 3 (white) | letters: cd (yellow) | letters: cd (blue) | letters: ced (white) |
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Danube Commission

Flag according to the official specifications

[Official flag, obverse]      [Official flag, reverse]

Flag of the Danube Commission, obverse and reverse - Image by Željko Heimer, 27 December 2003, after the official specifications

The Danube Commission was set up by the Danube Convention, UN No. 518. Convention Regarding the Regime of Navigation on the Danube. Signed at Belgrade, on 18 August 1948. Articles 18 and 28 prescribe the flag of the Commission and the use of flags by the river police vessels, as follows:

Article 18.
The Commission shall have its own seal and flag, which it may fly on its official buildings and vessels.

Article 28.
Vessels employed by Danubian States for river inspection (police) work must fly their national flag and, in addition, bear a distinctive and uniform mark; the descriptions and number of such vessels shall be communicated to the Commission. Such vessels, and the customs vessels of all Danubian States, may navigate the Danube only within the frontiers of the respective States whose flags they fly, and beyond such frontiers only with the consent of the Danubian States concerned.

Željko Heimer, 19 February 2006

The flag of the Danube Commission is dark blue with a red stripe at bottom fimbriated white and with the emblem in the blue stripe next to the hoist. The emblem consists of a yellow wreath with a ribbon at the base encircling a white field containing the initials of the Commission.

According to Flag Institute Specification Sheet #524 the Commission was established in 1949 while the flag was adopted on 14 December 1950. The proportions are given as 14:23, while the construction details (which according to the notes "follow official specifications") read as follows: for the hoist 32-2-16, and for the length 75. The emblem is "contained within a square of sides = 30% of flag width which is itself contained within a larger rectangle of sides = 25% of flag length and 35% of flag width". The illustrations show the flag with a symmetrical wreath.
Again according to the notes "these (specifications) provide for the initials to be in the Cyrillic alphabet on the obverse, and in Latin characters on the reverse".

Annexe 1, CD/SES 3/34 (To Article I of the Decision of the Third session of the Danube Commission on the ensign and seal - my translation), and an enlarged illustration of the flag appeared on the original letter from the Director of the Danube Commission to William Crampton. Unfortunately, the date is missing.
The "Description of the Flag" confirms the ("generally accepted" - généralement acceptées) proportions of 14:23 and the stripes at 64-4-32. It further states that the Cyrillic is on the obverse and the Latin inscription on the reverse - the French reads: ...les initiales de la Commission du Danube - (caractères russes); à l'envers du pavillon la couronne de laurier encadre les caractères latins "CD".
The illustration on the letter sets the emblem unevenly as per the Flag Institute specification sheet, and the wreath is regular. The larger of the two rectangles thus alignes with the flag edges top and hoist, while the smaller alignes with the fly and bottom edges of the first rectangle. This yields the emblem considerably smaller than shown in Album des Pavillons (with other differences there, as the Cyrillic vs. Latin).

The Flag Institute Specification Sheet shows dark blue, but the second Paragraph of the Description du pavillon in Annexe 1 (on which it was based) says: La partie supérieure de couleur bleu clair. So the matter of light blue verses dark blue remains unresolved.

Christopher Southworth, Ian Sumner & Željko Heimer, 27 December 2003

Flag shown in Album des Pavillons

[Flag of the Danube Commission]      [Reverse of the flag]

Flag of the Danube Commission, obverse and reverse - Image by Željko Heimer, 27 December 2003, after Album des Pavillons [pay00]

Here the emblem has Cyrillic letters on the reverse of the flag.

Pascal Vagnat, 7 June 1996

Alternative flag

[Alternative flag]      [Alternative flag, reverse]

Alternative flag of the Danube Commission, obverse and reverse - Image by Željko Heimer, 27 December 2003, after Album des Pavillons [pay00]

The alternative flag of the Commission is a dark blue flag with the Commission emblem next to the hoist. Since the obverse of the flag is shown with Cyrillic initials, by analogy with the main flag of the Commission, the reverse of the flag might have Latin initials.

Željko Heimer, 9 December 2003

Former flag

[CED former flag]

former flag of the Danube Commission - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 March 2004

The flag shown in Flaggenbuch [neu92] (1939) is horizontally divided red-white-blue-white-red (1:1:2:1:1) with the white letters "C.E.D." in the blue stripe.

Ivan Sache, 19 March 2004

Central Commission of the Rhine

Rhine Commission flag

Flag of the Central Commission of the Rhine - Image by Pascal Gross, 9 December 2003

The flag of the Central Commission of the Rhine, as shown in Album des Pavillons [pay00], is light blue with in upper half six five-pointed yellow stars arranged in an hexagonal pattern, and in lower half four dark blue stripes and a yellow anchor over those stripes.

Željko Heimer, 9 December 2003

Mosel Commission

Mosel Commission flag

Flag of the Mosel Commission - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 January 2008

Active since 1962 (based on a convention dating from 1956), the Mosel Commission aims and organization are comparable to the Danube and Rhine Commissions. The members of the Mosel Commission are France, Germany and Luxembourg. The seat of the Commission is Trier (Germany).

The Mosel Commission website shows the Commission logotype, a white anchor and three white five-pointed stars plus a few shadowy waves in front of the member states' national flags.
In answer to a question of mine (their e-mail 23 June 2003), they confirmed the use of a flag with entsprechendem Aufdruck (appropriate image) which I take to be the logotype on their website.

Jan Mertens, 10 December 2003

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