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Royal Yugoslavia (1918-1941): Ensigns

Last modified: 2006-07-22 by
Keywords: naval ensign | financial control | harbour police | reserve naval officer | honour naval ensign | coat of arms: yugoslavia | anchors: 2 crossed (blue) | crown (yellow) | anchor: fouled (white) |
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Naval ensign

[Naval ensign]

Naval ensign - Image by by Željko Heimer, 12 November 2003

The naval ensign (literally "war flag", ratna zastava, since in Serbian there is no specific word for an ensign) is prescribed in Article 1 of the 1922 law.
The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-red, with the national coat of arms off-set to the hoist. The ratio of the flag is 2:3. The vertical axis of the coat of arms is placed half the flag height from the hoist. The height of the coat of arms (not icluding the orb and cross atop the crown) is half the flag height.
Neubecker (1939) [neu39] gives for the height of the orb and cross an additional 1/30 of the flag height but that is certainly a value "from practice" since the law does not prescribe it. Neubecker also gives the total crown height as 5/30 and the shield height 11/30 of the flag height.
The coat of arms is set so that the upper border of the shield lies on the border between the blue and white stripes of the flag. The 11 unit high shield would therefore overlap the red stripe for 10% of its width (that is 10 units).

The 1937 law did not change this flag.

Željko Heimer, 12 November 2003


Financial Control ensign

[Financial Control ensign]

Financial Control ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003

The Financial Control ensign (zastava jedinica financijske kontrole) is prescribed in the 1937 law. The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-red with the national coat of arms placed in the blue stripe near the hoist.
The height of the coat of arms is 3/10 of the height of the flag and its vertical axis is set at 1/8 of the flag length from the hoist.

Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003


Harbour Police ensign

[Harbour police ensign]

Harbour Police ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 12 November 2003

The Harbour Police ensign (literally "flag of the Harbour Police", zastava lučke policije) is prescribed in Article 4 of the 1922 law.
The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-red, with two blue anchors crossed in saltire in the middle of the white stripe. The ratio of the flag is 2:3.
The law does not determine the anchor size. Flaggenbuch 1939 [neu39] gives the height of the emblem as 90% of the height of the white stripe.
I have no idea how much this special state ensign was used in practice. Probably only the largest posts had ships.

The 1937 law did not change this flag.

Željko Heimer, 12 November 2003


Reserve Naval Officer's ensign

[Reserve officer, first flag]         [Reserve officer, second flag]

Reserve Naval Officer's ensign, left, first version (1922), right, second version (1937) - Images by Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003

The Reserve Naval Officer ensign (literally "flag for Reserve Naval Officers", zastava za rezervne pomorske oficire) is prescribed in Article 3 of the 1922 law.
The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-red, with a white fouled anchor surmonted with the yellow royal crown in the blue stripe near the hoist. The ratio of the flag is 2:3.
The law determines the distance between the hoist and the anchor as 1/3 of the height of the blue stripe, and the width of the anchor to be equal to that also. It does not say anything about the height of the emblem.
It would be interesting to find out if this special ensign was ever warranted. The Ministry of Traffic was responsible (by the 1922 law) to produce rules for the granting of the ensign and probably had a register of granted warrants.

Flaggenbuch [neu39] shows the emblem entirely yellow (as prescribed in the 1937 law) but sets it a bit further from the hoist (20% more). This possibly follows the 1937 law (or one inbetween).

Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003


Honour Naval ensign

The Honour Naval ensign (počasna ratna zastava) is prescribed in the 1937 law. It was granted to certain naval ships as a symbol of merit. It is entirely equal to the usual naval ensign of the period. The only difference was that the Honour ensign was (presumably) ceremoniously presented to the unit deserving it.
The law prescribes that the grantee was allowed to include his own personal emblem - a coat of arms or an other personal symbol - in the flag in some unobtrusive place, preferably in the upper hoist in the blue field.

[Honour Naval ensign?]

Honour Naval ensign? - Image by Željko Heimer, 1 August 2004

The above design is shown by some sources as the Honour Naval ensign, but its real status is unknown.

Željko Heimer, 1 August 2004

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