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Shipping Companies' House Flags (Finland), F-H

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
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Fenno S.S. Ltd., O/Y

[Fenno S.S. Ltd., O/Y house flag] by Phil Nelson

Source: Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours

Finland-Sydamerika Linjen A/B

[Finland-Sydamerika Linjen A/B house flag] by Phil Nelson, revised 4 March 2002 by Elias Granqvist

Source: Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours

The shipping company flag for the now no more existing shipping company Finland-Sydamerika Linjen Ab is depicted wrongly. The image shows the letters Å L but it should be A L. My father, Jarl Erick B:son Lindberg was first mate as well as captain on many of the ships of the company until his death in 1955, and my brother has also been working as first mate on some of the ships of the company.
Styrbjörn E:son Lindberg, 3 March 2002, translated from Swedish by Elias Granqvist

Finnlines Ltd. O.Y.

[Finnlines Ltd. O.Y. house flag] by Phil Nelson
Source: Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours

According to Loughran 1979 the design is centred on the flag, despite contrary observations confirming the Stewart version, according to the company.
Neale Rosanoski, 2 December 2003

Angf. Akt. Finska Lloyd

[Finska Lloyd house flag] by Jarig Bakker
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]

Helsingfors - red flag, yellow Maltese cross.
Jarig Bakker, 6 February 2005

In the 'History of the Maltese Cross, as used by the order of St John of Jerusalem' by the Reverend Dr Michael Foster there appears a whole page of different kinds of crosses used by the Order. The one described and depicted above is termed a Cross Formee'. The Maltese cross on the other hand on the same page, looks like four arrowheads with the points meeting in the middle.
Andries Burgers, 7 February 2005

Finska Ångfartygs A/B

[Finska Angfartygs A/B house flag] by Phil Nelson

Source: Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours

Formed 1883. Brown 1982 shows a change with the central white band bearing the blue legend "EFFOA" being one of the names under which it was known. One of many companies to have bilingual Swedish/Finnish names with the latter being Suomen Höyrylaiva O/Y, it changed its name in 1982 to Effjohn International O/Y A/B.
Neale Rosanoski, 2 December 2003

Some information here:


There were 259,000 Finns that immigrated (emigrated, jm) to North America between the years of 1900-1923, and the only option available for crossing the Atlantic Ocean was by large steamship companies that regularly sailed the ports in England. In 1883 the Finland Steamship Company was formed, it was often called the F.A.A, Finska Angfartygs Aktiebolaget in Swedish. The Finnish name for this company was Suomen Hoyrylaiva Osakeyhtio. When Jacob decided to emigrate he did what all of our Finnish ancestors did and went to the nearest F.A.A agency and collected tickets on the next Steamship leaving for North America. Most of our ancestors, including Grandpa Seppala, opted for 3rd class, or maybe a better description is could only afford 3rd class! They had no real choice of what Steamship or the date of departure, the F.A.A made the decision depending on their profit margins and schedules.

But all you ever wanted to know is on this splendid site:

Founded in 1883 by Captain Lars Krogius to compete with the increasing number of steamers coming into service in the Baltic, and to maintain a regular service to the United Kingdom for Finland's agricultural and forestry products. In 1884 the first steamships, SIRIUS and ORION were completed, and the company expanded rapidly and owned eight ships by 1890 and 27 by 1899, totalling 30,000 gross tons. Originally winter traffic to Finland was considered impossible, and their ships were forced to sail south for the winter months. However, with the assistance of a loan from the State, the CAPELLA was built in 1888, able to withstand ice pressure, and in the winter of 1888-89 maintained a service between Hanko and Hull for most of the season. In the light of this, new ships were planned to meet ice conditions, and from 1898 to 1914 an uninterrupted service ran between Hanko and Hull.

The export of butter to the UK required regular sailings and vessels equipped with refrigerated cargo space, and the company placed its best ships on this service between Hanko and Hull, and later between Turku and Hull. They were also heavily involved in the transport of Finnish emigrants to Hull on their way to America and by 1932 had carried nearly half a million passengers on this route. (...)

During the 1914-1918 war, the company lost eight of the nine vessels that were beyond the Baltic at the outbreak of war, and as these ships were employed by the British Admiralty, they never received full compensation. Payment was dependent on the approval of the Russian Government and this was never received due to the Russian Revolution. However, the company's ships played an important role in the country's war of independence and lost many ships, but by 1919 economic conditions improved and the fleet expanded rapidly, comprising 44 vessels, totalling 55,000 tons by 1929.

The trade depression of the 1930s did not affect Finland's export trade to any great extent and the company continued to grow.

Apart from the war years, very little loss of tonnage occurred. The only major incident being the collision between the OBERON and ARCTURUS on 19th Dec.1930 in the Kattegat. The ships were commanded by brothers and collided in dense fog, the OBERON sinking almost immediately with the loss of 40 lives.

On the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the company owned 58 ships (80,000 tons) and operated 22 regular routes. They lost several ships, but were able to purchase others, and by 1943 owned 62 vessels. However, they were forced to surrender 25 ships, including their newest and best, to the Soviet Union as reparations after the end of the war. New ships were built and others purchased and by 1958 the number of ships owned was 55. At this time, cargo services were operated to most European countries as well as the east coast of North America. Passenger routes ran between Turku - Stockholm, Helsinki - Stockholm, Helsinki - Copenhagen and Helsinki - Lubeck.

Jan Mertens, 6 December 2003

(Rederi A/B) Houtskär

[(Rederi A/B) Houtskär house flag] by Phil Nelson

Source: Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours

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