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Socialist Yugoslavia: Naval flags (1956-1991)

Last modified: 2006-07-22 by
Keywords: star (red) | president | naval ensign | border guard ensign | torches: 5 (red) | torches: 6 (red) | minister of defense |
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The laws on the naval flags

New regulations on the naval flags were issued in 1956, replacing the 1949 regulations:

The new regulations retain the naval ensign established in 1949, drop out the honour ensign, rename the border guard ensign and introduce the naval jack and a whole new set of rank and command flags and pennants, based on the Royal Navy flags used before the Second World War.

In 1963 the name of the state was changed to Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and the national coat of arms was modified.
The national flag was not changed, but those flags that included the coat of arms were modified:

As far as I know, there were no official laws and regulations introducing the change formally in the set of naval flags, and I believe that this was formally done only in the 1970s with the following regulations:

mentioned by Vladimir Isaić [isa01].

Anyway, the maritime encyclopedia Pomorska enciklopedija, published in 1964, already shows the change in the coat of arms, so we may consider that the change was being carried out de facto immediatly (or probably as soon as it was possible to provide ships with a new set of flags, presumably depending on funding).

All these flags were obsolete early in the 1990s. I do not know if the Navy dropped their use altogether (say, once the country dropped the star from the national flag in 1992) or if they were still used. At least some ensign must have been in use, presumably also a jack, since all the ships at the time were moored in the Korot bay. Certainly, the new naval ensigns were adopted in 1993, and the set of command and rank flags and pennants was prescribed in 1995. I believe that 1993 can be the latest date for these flags at best.

Željko Heimer, 22 October 2003


Naval ensign

[Naval flag]

Naval ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003

The naval ensign was a red flag with the national tricolour flag in the canton fimbriated with a white line. In the middle of the tricolour flag is set a yellow-bordered red five-pointed star within a yellow-golden wreath.

Sources:

Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003


Naval jack

[Naval jack, 1956]         [Jack, 1963]

Naval jack - Images by Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003
Left, first version (1956-1963)
Right, second version (1963-1991)

The naval jack (Pramčana zastava brodova Jugoslavenske ratne mornarice) was a red 2:3 flag, with the national coat of arms in the middle. In 1963 the coat of arms was changed, adding a sixth torch, so the jack was amended accordingly.

Sources:

Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003


Border Guard ensign

[Border Guard Ensign]

Border Guard ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003

The former People's Defence Ensign was renamed Border Guard Ensign (Zastava brodova graničnih jedinica) but otherwise was not changed in design.

Sources:

Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003


Flag of the President of the Republic

[President's flag, 1956]         [President's flag, 1963]

Flag of the President of the Republic - Images by Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003
Left, first version (1956-1963)
Right, second version (1963-1991)

The flag of the President of the Republic (Zastava predsjednika Republike) was a square national tricolour flag with the national coat of arms in the middle and bordered with tricolour triangles. The same basic design for the flag of the head of the state was used by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which had inherited of it from Austria-Hungary. Today, the successor states of Yugoslavia use similarly patterned flags for their presidents, and the pattern can also be seen in other states succeding Austria-Hungary.

In 1963, the national coat of arms was changed, and the flag of the President was amended accordingly.

Sources:

Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003


Flag of the Minister of Defense

[Minister of Defense's flag, 1956]         [Minister of Defense's flag, 1963]

Flag of the Minister of Defense - Images by Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003
Left, first version (1956-1963)
Right, second version (1963-1991)

The flag of the Minister of Defense (Zastava drž;avnog sekretara za poslove narodne obrane; literally, flag of the state secretary for the national defense issues; the title of the minister gradually changed during the rest of the XXth century) was a white flag with a border made of tricolour bars and the national coat of arms in the middle.

In 1963, the national coat of arms was changed, and the flag of the Minister of Defense was amended accordingly.

Sources:

Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003


Masthead pennant

[Masthead pennant]

Masthead pennant - Image by Željko Heimer, 26 October 2003

The Masthead pennant (Plamenac komandanta broda) was a red pennant of equal width until the half of the fly and then decreasing triangularly until the tricolour tassel at the fly. At the hoist there is the Yugoslav tricolour flag with the yellow bordered red five-pointed star within the wreath as in the naval ensign.

As for the 1949 masthead pennant, there might have been slight change in the shape of the pennant, but, basically, it remained identical and continued to be used until the 1990s. Then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia dropped out the star and wreath and continued to use a similar pennant.

Source: Pomorska enciklopedija VII: Zastava, Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod, Zagreb, 1964.

Željko Heimer, 19 October 2003

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