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Gabon - Naval Flags

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by
Keywords: gabon | navy rank flag |
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3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 2 October 2001

Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) (modified)

A note in Album des Pavillons explains that this flag is hoisted instead of the masthead pennant when the ship is dressed (I believe that should mean both in "petit pavois" and "grand pavois"). The flag is white with a tricolour horizontally divided stripe at the hoist and with (what I believe to be) the Navy emblem in the middle of the white field. The emblem consists of the shield from the coat of arms held by the golden panthers (much as in the coat of arms) and behind it an anchor, a parachute and a coil of string.
The image in Album is, in my opinion, erroneous - it is missing lower portions of the anchor at least. On the other hand - my image is missing the coil around lower part of the shield - I was not able to draw it properly.
Željko Heimer
, 4 October 2001

A note on the recently updated Shipmate flag chart refers to this flag as the Gabonese "ensign".  However, this quoted "ensign" is only used to replace the masthead pennant when dressing a ship ("petit pavois"). Gabonese warships use a plain tricolor as both the ensign and jack.
Jan Zrzavy and Armand du Payrat, 14 February 2002



See also:


Chief of Naval Staff

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 2 October 2001

White swallow-tailed flag with horizontally divided tricolour stripe at hoist and with two anchors in saltire in upper fly.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Admiral

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 2 October 2001

Flag similar to Chief of Naval Staff, but instead of the anchors five golden five-pointed stars in the middle of the fly, arranged 1-3-1.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Vice-Admiral d'Escadre (Vice Admiral of the Squadron)

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 2 October 2001

As admiral, only four stars, 1-2-1.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Vice-Admiral

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

As Admiral, but with three stars vertically arranged, apparently along the vertical midline of the flag.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Rear-Admiral

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

As Admiral, but with three stars vertically arranged, apparently along the vertical midline of the flag.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Commander of the Fleet

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

Triangular pennant with a stripe at hoist horizontally divided in the national tricolour and white fly with black anchor.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Chief of Division or Senior Officer Afloat

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

Triangular pennant with a stripe at hoist horizontally divided in the national tricolour and white fly.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Commander of the Marine (Chief of the Navy)

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

Triangular pennant in the national colours.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Commander of a Vessel

3:4~  by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

Triangular horizontal triband black-white-black.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

I'm not sure what this pennant would be used for - the masthead pennant already indicates a vessel under command (in a way). I don't think that it is either for a naval rank (like "Capitaine de Vaisseau"). Maybe it serves to show the presence of the ship's captain on the ship - and not his deputy or something, when still a masthead pennant would be flown.

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


Masthead Pennant

2:15~  

by Željko Heimer, 6 October 2001

White triangular long pennant with the national tricolour stripes at hoist.
Source: Album des Pavillons 

I'm not sure what this pennant would be used for - the masthead pennant already indicates a vessel under command (in a way). I don't think that it is either for a naval rank (like "Capitaine de Vaisseau"). Maybe it serves to show the presence of the ship's captain on the ship - and not his deputy or something, when still a masthead pennant would be flown.

Željko Heimer, 4 October 2001


It's interesting that Gabon has such a full range of naval flags. I am not aware of the Gabonese navy being that big and important! In my (rather old) copy of "The Military Balance" (1986/87) the navy had a strength of 200.
Marcus Schmöger, 5 October 2001


According to Encyclopaedia Universalis Yearbook, Gabon had in 1997 4,700 soldiers, 10.6% of them serving in the Navy, i.e. c. 500 seamen. Answering your question would need starting a political debate. Gabon is probably the African country the most influenced by France, which has 600 soldiers permanently stationed there. It is not so surprising that the Naval system of France was 'translated' to Gabon. 

Ivan Sache, 6 October 2001

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