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House flags of Paraguayan shipping companies

Last modified: 2009-01-17 by
Keywords: paraguay | flota mercante del estado | star: 5 points (red on white) | diamond (white) | compañia paraguaya de navegación de ultramar | copanu |
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Compañia Paraguaya de Navegación de Ultramar S.A.

FMDE house flag
image by Jan Mertens, 29 Sep 2008

Yet another Nigoco firm was Compañia Paraguaya de Navegación de Ultramar S.A. (i.e. Paraguayan Overseas Navigation Co., Ltd) established at Asunción. The following information was found in the 1995 book ‘Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co’s Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Nigoco)’ by F. Haalmeijer & B. Scholten.

Nigoco started sailing to Paraguay in the nineteen fifties, using small coasters, with a view to break Dodero’s quasi-monopoly and to avoid transhipment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Meat, cotton, wood and other produce were transported but negociating the River Paraguay was difficult and only possible by daylight.

At the behest of the Paraguayan government a new company was founded in 1960 operating a coaster, painted gray and having a military crew, in a commercial role! Nigoco chartered this ship for the Flota Mercante del Estado del Paraguay, linking Paraguay to Antwerp and Hamburg.

Between 1963 and 1988 the Compañia Paraguaya de Navegación de Ultramar was an operator of Nigoco ships.

The complicated house flag: basically horizontally divided red-blue-red, the central blue stripe bears a white stripe of one third width; on that central stripe rests a white canton bearing a blue logo composed of the intials ‘c’, ‘p’, ‘N’ and ‘U’ made to resemble an anchor; and to complicate matters the horizontal blue stripe, still bearing its white companion, changes into a vertical one at fly end.

The company still exists. It is now a fully Paraguayan firm – also named ‘Copanu’ - engaged in local maritime traffic linking Paraguayan ports to Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay. Three container ships are operated. In addition there is the local agency for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The house flag as shown on Copanu official website differs from the one drawn by Martin Heere in that the red space between the canton and the blue vertical stripe is a square or, to put it differently, at least the drawings show a difference in ratio (earlier 1:2 to current 3:5, I believe).
Jan Mertens, 29 Sep 2008

Other sites:

Flota Mercante del Estado

FMDE house flag
image by Jarig Bakker, 13 Sep 2005

After Brown’s Flags and Funnels, 1995 [lgr95], Flota Mercante del Estado, Asuncion — white flag, three thin horizontal lines in the center of red-blue-red, idem vertical; in center white diamond outlined red, red 5-pointed star.
Jarig Bakker, 13 Sep 2005

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