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House flags of British shipping companies (12)

Last modified: 2004-06-12 by
Keywords: lion | caledonian | house flag | cammel laird | camel | shipbuilding | canting | cl&co | disc (yellow) | bowring | saltire | cairn | canadian pacific |
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C. T. Bowring & Co., Ltd.

[C.T. Bowring & Co., Ltd. houseflag] by Ivan Sache, 14 March 2004

The flag is white with a red saltire.


Cairn Line of Steamships Ltd

[Cairn Line of Steamships Ltd houseflag] by Al Fisher, 27 Jan 1999

This company was known as Cairns, Noble & Co. in the 1950's.
James Dignan, 8 October 2003

Cairn Line of Steamships Ltd. This flag is actually that of William Thomson & Sons who were, according to Talbot-Booth, absorbed around 1891 and then purchased in 1907 which sounds rather back to front. They themselves originated in 1833 as Cairns & Young which had a red flag with a white delta triangle bearing the intertwined black letters "CY" [see image below], the triangle being a symbolic "cairn". They then became Cairns, Young & Noble in 1892 and it is from around this time that they became known as the Cairn Line of Steamships using the previous flag minus the lettering. Both the Cairns and the Thomson flag were used from 1907 and then in 1928 the company was taken over by Furness Withy and it appears that this saw the official formation of the Cairn Line of Steamship Ltd. to operate the shipping under the quartered Thomson flag although sources note that the old Cairn flag was still to be sighted on occasions.
Neale Rosanoski, 19 February 2004

[Cairn Line of Steamships Ltd houseflag] by Rob Raeside


Caledonian MacBrayne, Hebridean and Clyde Ferries

[Caledonian MacBrayne houseflag] by Jorge Candeias and Jan Oskar Engene, 14 Feb 1999

This one is a triangular flag, red, with a black triangular stripe along the top and a yellow disc charged with a red something vaguely looking like a bear.
Jorge Candeias, 14 Feb 1999

Iíve a copy of their brochure in front of me ó the animal is a lion, a rather chubby one granted, but a lion all the same.
Ian Sumner, 15 Feb 1999

Indeed this "bear-like creature" is actually the Lion Rampant, the Scottish national symbol. I agree it doesn't look much like a lion in this rendition
John Jones, 11 April 2003

Caledonian MacBrayne, Hebridean & Clyde Ferries. As John states the animal is derived from the Scottish lion rampant although apparently the tail was altered from a "waving" position to one "close to the back" in order to fit into the disc. The black edging at the top is unusual but possibly it is meant to be line with the funnel which is red bearing the emblem and has a black top.

[Caledonian Steam Packet houseflag] by Rob Raeside
The company was formed in 1973 by the merger of the Caledonian Steam Packet Co. Ltd. and David MacBrayne Ltd. The Caledonian SP Co. was formed in 1889 and had a "navy" yellow pennant bearing the red lion rampant.

[David MacBrayne houseflag] by Rob Raeside

David MacBrayne Ltd., with origins dating from 1851, used a blue pennant with overlapping saltires of red over white with sources of the latter varying as to the amount of field which the saltires occupied with some squashing them up into the first 1/3 or so of the flag.

[David MacBrayne old houseflag] by Rob Raeside

The original flag of the new company combined the two by moving the saltires towards the fly and placing the yellow disc with the lion in the hoist. I get the impression that the change to the current flag occurred in the early 1990s. Duncan Haws includes it in his 1994 Merchant Fleets No. 26 but does not show the upper black edging and he also shows the lion as guardant. As he also shows this for the funnel and photos prove that is not the case, I have my reservations although his version may have resulted from a proposal. One point of uncertainty that I have with all these flags is their proportions with sources tending to show them as in a more triangular format whereas the early flags, especially, may have been long and narrow pennants.
Neale Rosanoski, 19 February 2004


Cammel Laird & Co.

[Cammel Laird & Co. houseflag]
by Jorge Candeias, 21 Mar 1999

Dark blue with a white oval centered bordered in a weird shade of purple/brown and charged with the sillouette of a camel facing the hoist in dark gold.
Jorge Candeias, 21 Mar 1999

Other sites:

Former flag

[Cammel Laird & Co. old houseflag]
by Jorge Candeias, 21 Mar 1999

The (a?) historical flag of this company: White with an outline of a camel centered and facing the fly and the initials "CL&Co" below the camel, all in red.
Jorge Candeias, 23 Mar 1999

There was another flag for this shipbuilding company in the Observer Book of Flags [eva59], with following text:

Many shipbuilding companies also have their own House Flags. Such a flag is displayed, along with that of the prospective owners, while a vessel is being launched. It may also be flown during her trials, to be replaced, as soon as these are satisfactorily completed, by that of the owners to signify that she has changed hands. ... that of Cammell Laird and Co. is an amusing example of punning heraldry.
Jarig Bakker, 01 Mar 1999

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