Skip to main content
UtM } ICHT "JOSE
; :.:,; s
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD:
BLAZONRY, AND ASSOCIATIONS.
PERSONAL FLAGS -MEDl/tVAL PERIOD.
FLAGS OF THE WORLD:
BLAZONRY, AND ASSOCIATIONS,
BANNER OF THE CRUSADER TO THE BURGEE OF THE
FLAGS NATIONAL, COLONIAL, PERSONAL:
THE ENSIGNS OF MIGHTY EMPIRES;
THE SYMBOLS OF LOST CAUSES.
F. EDWARD HULME, F.L.S., F.S.A.,
Familiar Wild Plovers," "History, Principles and Practice of Heraldry,'
"Birth and Development of Ornament," &c., <~r.
FREDERICK WARNE & CO,
AND NEW Y O R K
[All rights nsen-ed ]
TABLE OF. CONTENTS.
The necessity of some special Sign to distinguish Individuals. Tribes,
and Nations the Standards of Antiquity Egyptian, Assyrian,
Persian, Greek, and Roman the Vexillum the Labarum of
Constantine Invocation of Religion the Flags of the Enemy
Early Flags of Religious Character Flags of Saints at Funeral
Obsequies Company and Guild Flags of the Mediaeval Period
Political Colours Various kinds of Flags the Banner Rolls
of Arms Roll of Karlaverok The Flag called the Royal Stan-
dard is really the Royal Banner Main-sail Banners Trumpet
Banners Ladies embroidering Banners for the Cause Knights'
Banneret Form of Investiture the Standard the Percy Badges
and Motto Arctic Sledge-flags the Rank governing the size
of the Standard Standards at State Funerals the Pennon-
Knights' Pennonciers the Pennoncelle Mr. Rolt as Chief
Mourner Lord Mayor's Show the Pennant the Streamer
Tudor Badges Livery Colours the Guidon Bunting Flag
Devising a Branch of Heraldry Colours chiefly used in Flags
Flags bearing Inscriptions Significance of the Red Flag of the
Yellow of the White -of the Black Dipping the Flag -the
Sovereignty of the Sea Right of Salute insisted on Political
changes rendering Flags obsolete ... ... ... ... I
The Royal Standard the Three Lions of England the Lion
Rampant of Scotland Scottish sensitiveness as to precedence
the Scottish Tressure the Harp of Ireland Early Irish
Flags Brian Boru the Royal Standards from Richard I.
to Victoria Claim to the Fleurs-de-lys of France Quartering
Hanover the Union Flag St. George for England War
Cry Observance of St. George's Day the Cross of St.
George Early Naval Flags the London Trained Bands the
Cross of St. Andrew the " Blue Blanket "Flags of the
Covenanters Relics of St. Andrew Union of England and
Scotland the First Union Flag Importance of accuracy in
representations of it the Union Jack Flags of the Common-
wealth and Protectorate Union of Great Britain and Ireland
CHAPTER II. (continued)
the Cross of St. Patrick Labours of St. Patrick in Ireland-
Proclamation of George III. as to Flags, etc. the Second
Union Flag Heraldic Difficulties in its Construction Sugges-
tions by Critics Regulations as to Fortress Flags the White
Ensign of the Royal Navy Saluting the Flag the Navy the
Safeguard of Britain the Blue Ensign the Royal Naval Reserve
the Red Ensign of the Mercantile Marine Value of Flag-lore 29
Army Flags the Queen's Colour the Regimental Colour the
Honours and Devices the Flag of the 24th Regiment Facings
Flag of the King's Own Borderers What the Flag Symbolises
Colours of the Guards the Assaye Flag Cavalry Flags
Presentation of Colours Chelsea College Chapel Flags of the
Buffs in Canterbury Cathedral Flags of the Scottish Regiments
in St. Giles's Cathedral Burning of Rebel Flags by the Hang-
man Special Flags for various Official Personages Special
Flags for different Government Departments the Lord High
Admiral the Mail Flag White Ensign of the Royal Yacht
Squadron Yacht Ensigns and Burgees House or Company
Flags How to express Colours with Lines the Allan Tricolor
Port Flags the British Empire the Colonial Blue Ensign
and Pendant the Colonial Defence Act Colonial Mercantile
Flag Admiralty Warrant Flag of the Governor of a Colony
the Green Garland the Arms of the Dominion of Canada-
Badges of the various Colonies Daniel Webster on the Might
of England Bacon on the Command of the Ocean ... ... 6x
The Flag of Columbus Early Settlements in North America the
Birth of the United States Early Revolutionary and State
Flags the Pine-tree Flag the Rattle-snake Flag the Stars
and Stripes Early Variations of it the Arms of Washington-
Entry of New States into the Union the Eagle the Flag of
the President Secession of the Southern States State Flags
again the Stars and Bars the Southern Cross -the Birth of
the German Empire the Influence of War Songs Flags of the
Empire Flags of the smaller German States the Austro-
Hungary Monarchy the Flags of Russia the Crosses of St.
Andrew and St. George again the Flags of France St. Martin
the Oriflamme the Fleurs-de-lys Their Origin the White
Cross the White Flag of the Bourbons the Tricolor the Red
CHAPTER IV. (continued)
Flag the Flags of Spain of Portugal the Consummation of
Italian Unity the Arms of Savoy the Flags of Italy of the
Temporal Power of the Papacy the Flag of Denmark its
Celestial Origin the Flags of Norway and Sweden of Switzer-
land Cantonal Colours the Geneva Convention the Flags of
Holland of Belgium of Greece the Crescent of Turkey
the Tughra the Flags of Roumania, Servia, and Bulgaria
Flags of Mexico, and of the States of Southern and Central
America of Japan the Rising Sun the Chrysanthemum
the Flags of China. Siam and Corea of Sarawak of the Orange
Free State, Liberia, Congo State, and the Transvaal Republic 86
Flags as a Means of Signalling Army Signalling the Morse
Alphabet Navy Signalling First Attempts at Sea Signals-
Old Signal Books in Library of Royal United Service Institution
" England s expects that every man will do his duty " Sinking
Signal Codes on defeat Present System of Signalling in
Royal Navy Pilot Signals Weather Signalling by Flags
the International Signal Code First Published in 1857
Seventy-eight Thousand Different Signals possible Why no
Vowels used Lloyd's Signal Stations ... ... ... 127
ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO TEXT ... ... ... ... ... 141
INDEX TO COLOURED PLATES ... ... ... ... ... 149
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
The necessity of some special Sign to distinguish Individuals, Tribes, and
Nations the Standards of Antiquity Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and
Roman the Vexillum The Labarum of Constantino Invocation of Religion
the Flags of the Enemy Early Flags of Religious Character Flags of Saints at
Funeral Obsequies Company and Guild Flags of the Mediaeval Period Political
Colours Various kinds of Flags -the Banner Rolls of Arms Roll of Karla-
verok The Flag called the Royal Standard is really the Royal Banner Main-
sail Banners Trumpet Banners Ladies embroidering Banners for the Cause
Knights' Banneret Form of Investiture the Standard the Percy Badges and
Motto Arctic Sledge-flags the Rank governing the size of the Standard
Standards at State Funerals the Pennon Knights-Pennonciers the Pennon-
celle Mr. Roll as Chief Mourner Lord Mayor's Show the Pennant the
Streamer Tudor Badges Livery Colours the Guidon Bunting Flag Devising
a Branch of Heraldry Colours chiefly used in Flags Flags bearing Inscriptions
Significance of the Red Flag of the Yellow of the White -of the Black-
Dipping the Flag the Sovereignty of the Sea Right of Salute insisted on
Political Changes rendering Flags obsolete.
SO soon as man passes from the lowest stage of barbarism the
necessity for some special sign, distinguishing man from man,
tribe from tribe, nation from nation, makes itself felt; and this
prime necessity once met, around the symbol chosen spirit-stirring
memories quickly gather that endear it, and make it the emblem
of the power and dignity of those by whom it is borne. The painted
semblance of grizzly bear, or beaver, or rattlesnake on the canvas
walls of the tepi of the prairie Brave, the special chequering of
colours that compose the tartan * of the Highland clansman, are
examples of this ; and as we pass from individual or local tribe to
mighty nations, the same influence is still at work, and the dis-
tinctive Union Flag of Britain, the tricolor of France, the gold
and scarlet bars of the flag of Spain, all alike appeal with irresistible
force to the patriotism of those born beneath their folds, and speak
to them of the glories and greatness of the historic past, the duties
of the present, and the hopes of the future inspiring those who
gaze upon their proud blazonry with the determination to be no
unworthy sons of their fathers, but to live, and if need be to die,
for the dear home-land of which these are the symbol.
* " Every Isle differs from each other In their Fancy of making PI
in Breadth and Colours. This Humour is as different through the ma
lands in so far that they who have seen those Places are able at the
Plad to guess the Place of his Residence." Martin's " Description of
1703. See also "Old and Rare Scottish Tartans," by Donald Stew
actual pieces woven in silk to a reduced scale. The latest tartan, t
detissd by Prince Albert in the yeat 1848.
ds, as to the Stripes
n Land of the High-
irst View of a man's
le Western Islands,"
rt, all illustrated by
at of Balmoral, waa
2 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
The standards used by the nations of antiquity differed in nature
from the flags that in mediaeval and modern days have taken their
place. These earlier symbols were ordinary devices wrought in
metal, and carried at the head of poles or spears. Thus the hosts
of Egypt marched to war beneath the shadow of the various sacred
animals that typified their deities, or the fan-like arrangement of
feathers that symbolised the majesty of Pharoah, while the
Assyrian standards, to be readily seen represented on the slabs
from the palaces of Khorsabad and Kyonjik, in the British
Museum and elsewhere, were circular disks of metal containing
various distinctive devices. Both these and the Egyptian stand-
ards often have in addition a small flag-like streamer attached
to the staff immediately below the device. The Greeks in like
manner employed the Owl of Athene, and such -like religious and
patriotic symbols of the protection of the deities, though Homer,
it will be remembered, makes Agamemnon use a piece of purple
cloth as a rallying point for his followers. The sculptures of
Persepolis show us that the Persians adopted the figure of the Sun,
the eagle, and the like. In Rome a hand erect, or the figures of
the horse, wolf, and other animals were used, but at a later period
the eagle alone was employed. Pliny tells us that " Caius Marius
in his second consulship ordained that the Roman legions should
only have the Eagle for their standard. For before that time the
Eagle marched foremost with four others, wolves, minatours, horses,
and bears each one in its proper order. Not many years past the
Eagle alone began to be advanced in battle, and the rest were left
behind in the camp. But Marius rejected them altogether, and
since this it is observed that scarcely is there a camp of a Legion
wintered at any time without having a pair of Eagles." The eagle,
we need scarcely stay to point out, obtained this pre-eminence as
being the bird of Jove. The Vexillum, or cavalry flag, was, accord-
ing to Livy, a square piece of cloth fixed to a cross bar at the end
of a spear ; this was often richly fringed, and was either plain or
bore certain devices upon it, and was strictly and properly a flag.
The ensigns which distinguished the allied forces from the legions
of the Romans were also of this character. Examples of these
vexilla may be seen on the sculptured columns of Trajan and
Antoninus, the arch of Titus, and upon various coins and medals
of ancient Rome.
The Imperial Standard or Labarum carried before Constantino
and his successors resembled the cavalry Vexillum.* It was of
purple silk, richly embroidered with gold, and though ordinarily
In mediaeval days the pastoral staff or crook of the bishop often had a small scarf
attached to it. This was known as the vexillum, and was supposed to be derived from th
Labarum, or standard of the first Christian emperor, Const inline the Great.
THB FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 3
suspended from a horizontal cross-bar, was occasionally displayed
in accordance with our modern usage by attachment by one of its
sides to the staff.
The Roman standards were guarded with religious veneration
in the temples of the metropolis and of the chief cities of
the Empire, and modern practice has followed herein the
ancient precedent. As in classic days the protection of Jove
was invoked, so in later days the blessing of Jehovah, the Lord
of Hosts, has been sought. At the presentation of colours to a
regiment a solemn service of prayer and praise is held, and when
these colours return in honour, shot-rent from victorious conflict,
they are reverently placed in stately abbey, venerable cathedral,
or parish church, never more to issue from the peace and rest of
the home of God until by lapse of years they crumble into indis-
The Israelites carried the sacred standard of the Maccabees,
with the initial letters of the Hebrew text, " Who is like unto Thee,
O God, amongst the gods ? " The Emperor Constantine caused
the sacred monogram of Christ to be placed on the Labarum, and
when the armies of Christendom went forth to rescue the Holy
Land from the infidel they received their cross-embroidered
standards from the foot of the altar. Pope Alexander II. sent a
consecrated white banner to Duke William previous to his
expedition against Harold, and we read in the " Beehive of the
Romish Church," published in 1580, how "the Spaniardes
christen, conjure, and hallow their Ensignes, naming one Barbara,
another Katherine," after the names of saints whose aid they
invoked in the stress of battle. We may see this invocation again
very well in Figs. 147, 148 : flags borne by the colonists of Massa-
chusetts when they arrayed themselves against the mercenaries
of King George, and appealed to the God of Battles in behalf of the
freedom and justice denied by those who bore rule over them.
This recognition of the King of kings has led also to the
captured banners of the enemy being solemnly suspended in
gratitude and thanksgiving in the house of God. Thus Speed tells
us that on the dispersal and defeat of the Armada, Queen Elizabeth
commanded solemn thanksgiving to be celebrated at the Cathedral
Church of St. Paul's, in her chief city of London, which accord-
ingly was done upon Sunday, the 8th of September, when eleven of
the Spanish ensigns were hung, to the great joy of the beholders, as
"psalmes of praise" for England's deliverance from sore peril. Very
appropriately, too, hi the Chapel of the Royal College at Chelsea,
the home of the old soldiers who helped to win them, hang the
flags taken at Barrosa, Martinique, Bhurtpore, Seringapatam,
Salamanca, Waterloo, and many another hard-fought struggle ;
4 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
and thus, in like manner, is the tomb of Napoleon I., in Paris,
surrounded by trophies of captured flags. On March 3oth, 1814,
the evening before the entry of the Allies into Paris, about 1,500
flags the victorious trophies of Napoleon were burnt in the
Court of the Eglise des Invalides, to prevent their falling into the
hands of the enemy.
Early flags were almost purely of a religious character.* The
first notice of banners in England is in Bede's description of the
interview between the heathen King Ethelbert and Augustine, the
missionary from Rome, where the followers of the latter are
described as bearing banners on which were displayed silver
crosses; and we need scarcely pause to point out that in Roman
Catholic countries, where the ritual is emotional and sensuous,
banners of this type are still largely employed to add to the pomp
of religious processions. Heraldic and political devices upon flags
are of later date, and even when these came freely into use their
presence did not supplant the ecclesiastical symbols. The national
banner of England for centuries the ruddy cross of her patron
Saint George (Fig. 91) was a religious one, and, whatever
other banners were carried, this was ever foremost in the field. The
Royal banner of Great Britain and Ireland that we see in Fig. 44,
in its rich blazonry of the lions of England and Scotland and the
Irish harp, is a good example of the heraldic flag, while our Union
flag (Fig. go), equally symbolizes the three nations of the United
Kingdom, but this time by the allied crosses of the three patron
saints, St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick, and it is therefore
a lineal descendant and exemplar of the religious influence that was
The ecclesiastical flags were often purely pictorial in character,
being actual representations of the Persons of the Trinity, of the
Virgin Mother, or of divers saints. At other times the monasteries
and other religious houses bore banners of heraldic character ; as
the leading ecclesiastics were both lords temporal and lords
spiritual, taking their places in the ranks of fighting men and lead-
ing on the field the body of dependants and retainers that they were
required to maintain in aid of the national defence. In such case
* In Favyn's book, " Le The'atre d'honneur et de Chevalerie," published in Paris some
two hundred and fifty years ago, we read of " Le grand estendard de satin bleu celeste
double en riche broderie de fleurs de lys d'or de Chypre a une grande croix plein de satin
blanc, qui est la croix de France.
" Le grand estendard Saint Michel ange gardien de la France, de satin bleu celeste de
riche broderie d'or de Chypre, seme d'estoiles d'or.
" Le grand estendard de 1'ordre du benoist Saint-Esprit, faict de double satin verd 3
une columbe d'argent, rayonn d'or de riche broderie, le rest sem6 de flauimes d'or."
Joan of Arc had a white standard powdered over with gold fleurs-de-lys, and in the
centre a figure of Christ sitting on a rainbow, and holding a globe. On either side ah
angel in the posture of adoration, and, underneath, the words " J hesu, Maria." On anothof
she had the Annunciation, and the words " Ave Maria." These were painted at Toui 3t
'' par James Power, E-cossais, 1'eintre du Hoi."
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. 5
the distinguishing banner of the contingent conformed in character
to the heraldic cognisances of the other nobles in the host.
Fig. 77, for instance, was the banner of St. Alban's Abbey. In a
poem on the capture of Rouen by the English, in the year 1418,
written by an eye-witness of the scenes described, we read how the
"To the Castelle firste he rode
And sythen the citie all abrode,
Lengthe and brede he it mette
And riche baneres up he sette
Upon the Porte Seint Hillare
A Baner of the Trynyte ;
And at Porte Kaux he sette ever a
A Baner of the Quene of Heven ;
And at Porte Martvile he upplyt
Of Seint George a Baner breight."
and not until this recognition of Divine and saintly aid was made
" He sette upon the Castelle to stonde
The armys of Fraunce and Englond."
Henry V., at Agincourt, in like manner displayed at his head-
quarters on the field not only his own arms, but, in place of special
honour and prominence, the banners of the Trinity, of St. George,
and of St. Edward. These banners of religious significance were
often borne from the monasteries to the field of battle, while monks
and priests in attendance on them invoked the aid of Heaven
during the strife. In an old statement of accounts, still existing,
we read that Edward I. made a payment of 8d. a day to a priest
of Beverley for earring throughout one of his campaigns a banner
bearing the figure of St. John. St. Wilfred's banner from Ripon,
together with this banner of St. John from Beverley, were brought
on to the field at Northallerton ; the flag of St. Denis was carried
in the armies of St. Louis and of Philip le Bel, and the banner of
St. Cuthbert of Durham was borrowed by the Earl of Surrey in his
expedition against Scotland in the reign of Henry VIII. This
banner had the valuable reputation of securing victory to those
who fought under it. It was suspended from a horizontal bar
below a spear head, and was a yard or so in breadth and a little
more than this in depth ; the bottom edge had five deep indenta-
tions. The banner was of red velvet sumptuously enriched with
gold embroidery, and in the centre was a piece of white velvet,
half a yard square, having a cross of red velvet upon it. This
central portion covered and protected a relic of the saint. The
victory of Neville's Cross, October i7th, 1346, was held to be largely
6 in* WAGS of THE
due to the presence of this sacred banner, and the triumph at
Flodden was also ascribed to it.
Daring the prevalence of Roman Catholicism in England, we
find that banners of religious type entered largely into the funeral
obsequies of persons of distinction : thus at the burial of Arthur,
Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Henry VII., we find a banner of
the Trinity, another with the cross and instruments of the Passion
depicted upon it ; another of the Virgin Mary, and yet another with
a representation of St. George. Such banners, as in the present
instance, were ordinarily four in number, and carried immediately
round the body at the four corners of the bier. Thus we read in
the diary of an old chronicler, Machyn, who lived in the reigns of
Edward VI., Mary, and Elisabeth, that at the burial of the Countess
of Arundel, October zyth, 1557, " cam iiij herroldes in ther cotes of
armes, and bare iiij baners of emages at the iiij corners." Again,
on " Aprell xxix, 1554, was bered my Lady Dudley in Saint Mar-
garett in Westminster, with iiij baners of emages." Another item
deals with the funeral of the Duchess of Northumberland, and here
again "the iiij baners of ymages" again recur. Anyone having
the old records, church inventories, and the like before them, would
find it easy enough, as easy as needless, to multiply illustrations of
this funeral use of pictured banners. These " emages " or " ymages "
of old Machyn are of course not images in the sense of sculptured
or carved things, but are painted and embroidered representations
of various saints. Machyn, as a greatly interested looker-on at all
the spectacles of his day, is most entertaining, but his spelling,
according to the severer notions of the present day, is a little weak,
as, for instance, in the following words that we have culled at
random from his pages : prossessyon, gaffelyns, fezyssyoun,
dysquyet, neckclygens, gorgyusle, berehyng, wypyd, pelere, artelere,
and dyssys of spyssys. The context ordinarily makes the meaning
clear, but as our readers have not that advantage, we give the same
words according to modern orthography procession, javelins,
physician, disquiet, negligence, gorgeously, burying, whipped, pillory,
artillery, dishes of spices.
The various companies and guilds of the mediaeval period had
their special flags that came out, as do those of their successors
of the present day, on the various occasions of civic pageantry ;
and in many cases, as may be seen in the illuminated MSS. in the
British Museum and elsewhere, they were carried to battle as the
insignia of the companies of men provided at the expense of those
corporations. Thus in one example that has come under our notice
we see a banner bearing a chevron between hammer, trowels, and
builder's square; in another between an axe and two pairs of
compasses, while a third on its azure field bears a pair of golden
THB FLAGS Of THE WORLD. ?
shears. In the representation of a battle between Philip d'Artevelde
and the Flemings against the French, many of the flags therein
introduced bear the most extraordinary devices, boots and shoes,
drinking- vessels, anvils, and the like, that owe their presence there
to the fact that various trade guilds sent their contingents of men
to the fight. In a French work on mediaeval guilds we find the
candle-makers of Bayeux marching beneath a black banner with
three white candles on it, the locksmiths of La Rochelle having a
scarlet flag with four golden keys on it. The lawyers of Loudoun
had a flag with a large eye on it (a single eye to business being, we
presume, understood), while those of Laval had a blue banner with
three golden mouths thereon. In like manner the metal-workers
of Laval carried a black flag with a silver hammer and files de-
picted on it, those of Niort had a red flag with a silver cup and a
fork and spoon in gold on either side. The metal-workers of
Ypres also carried a red flag, and on this was represented a golden
flagon and two buckles of gold. Should some national stress this
year or next lead our City Companies, the Fishmongers, the Car-
penters, the Vintners, and others to contribute contingents to the
defence of the country, and to send them forth beneath the banners
of the guilds, history would but repeat itself.
In matters political the two great opposing parties have their
distinctive colours, and these have ordinarily been buff and blue,
though the association of buff with the Liberal party and " true
blue " with the Conservatives has been by no means so entirely a
matter of course as persons who have not looked into the matter
might be disposed to imagine. The local colours are often those
that were once the livery colours of the principal family in the
district, and were assumed by its adherents for the family's sake
quite independently of its political creed. The notion of livery te
now an unpleasant one, but in mediaeval days the colours of the
great houses were worn by the whole country-side, and the wearing
carried with it no suggestion either of toadyism or servitude. As
this influence was hereditary and at one time all-powerful, the
colour of the Castle, or Abbey, or Great House, became stereotyped
in that district as the symbol of the party of which these princely
establishments were the local centre and visible evidence, and the
colour still often survives locally, though the political and social
system that originated it has passed away in these days of
It would clearly be a great political gain if one colour were all
over Great Britain the definite emblem of one side, as many
illiterate voters are greatly influenced by the colours worn by
the candidates for their suffrages, and have sufficient sense of con-
sistency of principle to vote always for the flag that first claimed
8 THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD.
their allegiance, though it may very possibly be that if they move
to another county it is the emblem of a totally distinct party, and
typifies opinions to which the voter has always been opposed. At
a late election a Yorkshire Conservative, who had acquired a vote
for Bournemouth, was told that he must " vote pink," but this he
very steadily refused to do. He declared that he would " never
vote owt else but th' old true blue," so the Liberal party secured his
vote ; and this sort of thing at a General Election is going on all over
the country. The town of Royston, for instance, stands partly in
Hertfordshire and partly in Cambridgeshire, and in the former
county the Conservatives and in the latter the Liberals are the
blue party ; hence the significance of the colour in one street of
the little town is entirely different to that it bears in another. At
Horsham in Sussex we have observed that the Conservative colour
is pale pink, while in Richmond in Surrey it is a deep orange.
The orange was adopted by the Whigs out of compliment to
William III., who was Prince of Orange.
In the old chronicles and ballads reference is made to many
forms of flags now obsolete. The term flag is a generic one, and
covers all the specific kinds. It is suggested that the word is
derived from the Anglo-Saxon verb fleogan, to fly or float in the
wind, or from the old German flackern, to flutter. Ensign is an
alternative word formed on the idea of the display of insignia,
badges, or devices, and was formerly much used where we should
now employ the word colours. The company officers in a regiment
who were until late years termed ensigns were at a still earlier
period more correctly termed ensign-bearers. Milton, it will be
recalled, describes a " Bannered host under spread ensigns march-
ing." Sir Walter Scott greatly enlarges our vocabulary when he
writes in " Marmion " of where
"A thousand streamers flaunted fair,
. Various in shape, device, and hue,
Green, sanguine, purple, red, and blue,
Broad, narrow, swallow-tailed, and square,
Scroll, pennon, pensil, bandrol, there
O'er the pavilions flew,"
while Milton again writes of
" Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced.
Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, orders, and degrees."
We have seen that the pomp of funeral display led to the use
of pictorial flags of religious type, and with these were associated
others that dealt with the mundane rank and position of the
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. O,
deceased. Thus we find Edmonson, in his book on Heraldry,
writing as follows : " The armorial ensigns, as fixed by the officers
of arms, and through long and continued usage established as
proper to be carried in funeral processions, are pennons, guidons,
cornets, standards, banners, and banner-rolls, having thereon
depicted the arms, quarterings, badges, crests, supporters, and
devices of the defunct : together with all such other trophies of
honour as in his lifetime he was entitled to display, carry, or wear
in the .field ; banners charged with the armorial ensigns of such
dignities, titles, offices, civil and military, as were possessed or
enjoyed by the defunct at the time of his decease, and banner-rolls
of his own matches and lineal descent both on the paternal and
maternal side. In case the defunct was an Archbishop, banner-
rolls of the arms and insignia of the sees to which he had been
elected and translated, and if he was a merchant or eminent trader
pennons of the particular city, corporation, guild, fraternity, craft,
or company whereof he had been a member." However true the
beautiful stanza of Gray
" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth ere gave,
Await at last the inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave "
the survivors of the deceased most naturally and most justly bore
to their rest those to whom honour was due with the full respect to
which their career on earth entitled them.
The names bestowed upon the different kinds of flags have
varied from time to time, the various authorities of mediaeval
and modern days not being quite of one mind sometimes, so that
while the more salient forms are easily identifiable, some little ele-
ment of doubt creeps in when we would endeavour to bestow with
absolute precision a name to a certain less common form before us,
or a definite form to a name that we encounter in some old writer.
Whatever looseness of nomenclature, however, may be encountered
on the fringe of our subject, the bestowal of the leading terms is
sufficiently definite, and it is to these we now turn our attention,
reflecting for our comfort that it is of far greater value to us to
know all about a form that is of frequent recurrence, and to which
abundant reference is made, than to be able to quite satisfactorily
decide what special name some abnormal form should carry, or
what special form is meant by a name that perhaps only occurs
once or twice in the whole range of literature, and even that perhaps
by some poet or romance writer who has thought more of the
general effect of his description than of the technical accuracy
of the terms in which he has clothed it.
10 THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD.
The Banner first engages our attention. This was ordinarily, in
the earlier days of chivalry, a square flag, though in later examples
it may be found somewhat greater in length than in depth, and in
some early examples it is considerably greater in depth than in its
degree of projection outwards from the lance. In the technical
language of the subject, the part of a flag nearest the pole is called
the hoist, and the outer part the fly. Fig. 37 is a good illustra-
tion of this elongated form. It has been suggested that the short-
ness of the fly in such cases was in order that the greater fluttering
in the wind that such a form as Fig. 30 would produce might be
prevented, as this constant tugging at the lance-head would be dis-
agreeable to the holder, while it might, in the rush of the charge,
prevent that accuracy of aim that one would desire to give one's
adversary the full benefit of at such a crisis in his career. Pretty
as this may be as a theory, there is probably not much in it, or
the form in those warlike days of chivalry would have been more
generally adopted. According to an ancient authority the banner
of an emperor should be six feet square ; of a king, five ; of a prince
or duke, four ; and of an earl, marquis, viscount, or baron three feet
square. When we consider that the great function of the banner
was to bear upon its surface the coat-of-arms of its owner, and that
this coat was emblazoned upon it and filled up its entire surface
in just the same way that we find these changes represented upon
his shield, it is evident that no form that departed far either hi
length or breadth from the square would be suitable for their dis-
play. Though heraldically it is allowable to compress or extend
any form from its normal proportions when the exigencies of space
demand it,* it is'clearly better to escape this when possible.! The
arms depicted in Fig. 37 are certainly not the better for the
elongation to which they have been subjected, while per contra the
bearings on any of the banners in Figs, i, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or n,
have had no despite done them, the square form being clearly well-
adapted for their due display.
The Rolls of Arms prepared on various occasions by the
mediaeval and later heralds form an admirable storehouse of
examples. Some of these have been reproduced in facsimile, and
are, therefore, more or less readily accessible. We have before
us as we write the roll of the arms of the Sovereign and of the
* Thus the Cross of St. George would be normally represented as in Fig. 91, but we
find it much elongated in Figs. 12 and 14, much widened out in Figs vj and 56, and yet
more so on the shield of the arms of the Dominion of Canada in Fig. 129.
t We do not pause to explain the meaning of any heraldic terms that we are obliged to
employ. Such terms may be readily found in any technical book on blazonry, and we have
ourselves, in " The History, Principles and Practice of Heraldry," gone very thoroughly
into the meaning and use of the various forms that enter into the blazonry of shield or
banner, and do not, therefore, repeat these matters here.
THS FLAGS OF THE WORLD. XX
spiritual and temporal peers who sat in Parliament In the year
1515, and another excellent example that has been reproduced is
the roll of Karlaverok. This Karlaverok was a fortress on the
north side of Solway Frith, which it was necessary for Edward I.
to reduce on his invasion of Scotland in the year 1300, and this
investiture and all the details of the siege are minutely described
by a contemporary writer, who gives the arms and names of all
the nobles there engaged. As soon as the castle fell into Edward's
hands he caused his banner and that of St. Edmund (Fig. 17), and
St. Edward (Fig. 19), to be displayed upon its battlements. The
roll is written in Norman French, of which the following passage
may be given as an example :
" La ont meinte riche garnement
Erode sur cendeaus et samis
Meint beau penon en lance mis
Meint baniere desploie."
That is to say, there were in modern English wording many rich
devices embroidered on silk and satin, many a beautiful pennon
fixed on lance, many a banner displayed. The writer says:
" First, I will tell you of the names and arms, especially of the
banners, if you will listen how." Of these numerous banners we
give some few examples : Fig. i belongs to him " who with a light
heart, doing good to all, bore a yellow banner and pennon with a
black saltire engrailed, and is called John Botetourte." Fig. 2 is
the banner of Sire Ralph de Monthermer ; Fig. 3 the devices of
Touches, " a knight of good-fame " ; while Fig. 4, " the blue with
crescents of brilliant gold," was the flag of William de Ridre.
" Sire John de Holderton, who at all times appears well and
promptly in arms," bore No. 6, the fretted silver on the scarlet
field ; while Fig. 5 is the cognisance of " Hugh Bardolph, a man of
good appearance, rich, valiant, and courteous." Fig 7 is the well-
known lion of the Percys, and is here the banner of Henri de
Percy ; we meet with it again in Fig. 14. Fig. 8 is " the banner of
good Hugh de Courtenay," while Fig. 9 is that of the valiant
Aymer de Valence. Fig 10 bears the barbels of John de Bar,
while the last example we need give (Fig. 1 1) is the banner of Sire
William de Grandison. Of whom gallant, courteous Englishmen as
they were, we can now but say that " they are dust, their swords
are rust," and deny them not the pious hope " their souls are with
the saints, we trust."
The well-known flag (Fig. 44), that everyone recognises as the
Royal Standard, is nevertheless misnamed, as it should undoubtedly
be called the Royal Banner, since it bears the arms of the
Sovereign in precisely the same way that any of our preceding
12 THE FLAGS OP THE WOULD.
examples bear the arms of the knights with whom they were
associated. A standard, as we shall see presently, is an entirely
different kind of flag ; nevertheless, the term Royal Standard is so
firmly established that it is hopeless now to think of altering it,
and as it would be but pedantry to ignore it, and substitute in its
place, whenever we have occasion to refer to it, its proper title
the Royal Banner we must, having once made our protest, be
content to let the matter stand. Figs. 22, 43, 44, 194, 226, and 245
are all royal or imperial banners, but popular usage insists that we
shall call them royal or imperial "standards," so, henceforth,
rightly or wrongly, through our pages standards they must be.
The banners of the Knights of the Garter, richly emblazoned
with their armorial bearings, are suspended over their stalls in St.
George's Chapel, Windsor, while those of the Knights of the Bath
are similarly displayed in the Chapel of Henry VII. in Westminster
The whole of the great mainsail of a mediaeval ship was often
emblazoned with arms, and formed one large banner. This usage
may be very well seen in the illuminations, seals, etc., of that period.
As early as the year 1247 we n d Otho, Count of Gueldres, repre-
sented as bearing on his seal a square banner charged with his
arms, a lion rampant ; and in a window in the Cathedral of Our
Lady, at Chartres, is a figure of Simon de Montfort, Earl of
Leicester from 1236 to 1265. He is depicted as bearing in his
right hand a banner of red and white, as shown in Fig. 18.
References in the old writers to the banner are very numerous.
Thus in the " Story of Thebes " we read of "the fell beastes," that
were " wrought and bete upon their bannres displaied brode "
when men went forth to war. Lydgate, in the " Battle of
Agincourt," writes :
"By myn baner sleyn will y be
Or y will turne my backe or me yelde."
The same writer declares that at the siege of Harfleur by
Henry V., in September, 1415, the king
"Mustred his meyne faire before the town,
And many other lordes, I dar will say,
With baners bryghte and many penoun."
The trumpeters of the Life Guards and Horse Guards have the
Royal Banner attached to their instruments, a survival that recalls
the lines of Chaucer :
" On every trump hanging a brode bannere
Of fine tartarium, full richly bete."
THB FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 1$
An interesting reference is found in a letter of Queen Katharine
of Arragon to Thomas Wolsey, dated Richmond, August isth,
1513, while King Henry VIII. was in France. Speaking of war
with the Scots, her Majesty says : " My hert is veray good to
it, and I am horrible besy with making standards, banners, and
While the men are buckling on their armour for the coming
strife, wives, sisters, sweethearts, daughters, with proud hearts,
give their aid, and with busy fingers despite the tear that will
sometimes blur the vision of the gay embroidery swiftly and
deftly labour with loving care on the devices that will nerve the
warriors to living steel in the shock of battle. The Queen of
England, so zealously busy in her task of love, is but a type and
exemplar of thousands of her sex before and since. The raven
standard of the Danish invaders of Northumbria was worked by
the daughters of Regnar Lodbrok, and in the great rebellion in the
West of England many a gentlewoman suffered sorely in the foul
and Bloody Assize for her zealous share in providing the insurgents
with the standards around which they rallied. The Covenanters of
Scotland, the soldiers of Garibaldi freeing Italy from the Bourbons,
the levies of Kossuth in Hungary, the Poles in the deadly grip of
Russia, the armies of the Confederate States in America, the
Volunteers who would fain free Greece from the yoke of the
Turk.f all fought to the death beneath the banners that fair
sympathisers with them, and with their cause, placed in their
hands. When two great nations, such as France aud Germany,
fall to blows, the whole armament, weapons, flags, and whatever
else may be necessary, is supplied from the government stores
according to regulation pattern, but in the case of insurgents
against authority struggling rightly or wrongly to be free, the
weapons may be scythe blades or whatever else comes first to hand,
while the standards borne to the field will bear the most extra-
ordinary devices upon them, devices that appeal powerfully at the
time to those fighting beneath their folds, but which give a shudder
to the purist in heraldic blazonry, as for instance, to quote but one
example, the rattle-snake flag with its motto "Beware how you
tread on me," adopted by the North American colonists in their
struggle against the troops of George III.
When a knight had performed on the field of battle some espe-
cially valiant or meritorious act, it was open to the Sovereign to
* <.*., badges.
t " Lord Gordon has arrived at Nauplia. He has brought the Greeks a number of
fnsigns, embroidered by Scotch ladies, and sent by thn>.' Salisbury c,d Winchote'
Jontnal, December *7th, 1824.
14 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
mark his sense of it by making him a knight-banneret. Thus, in
the reign of Edward III., John de Copeland was made a banneret
for his service in taking prisoner David Bruce, the King of Scot-
land, at the battle of Durham; Colonel John Smith, having rescued
the royal banner from the Parliamentarians at Edgehill, was in like
manner made a knight-banneret by Charles I. The title does not
seem to have been in existence before the reign of Edward I., and
after this bestowal by Charles I. we hear no more of it till 1743,
when the title was conferred upon several English officers by the
king, George II., upon the field of Dettingen. It was an essential
condition that the rank should be bestowed by the Sovereign on
the actual field of battle and beneath the royal banner. General
Sir William Erskine was given this rank by George III. on his
return from the Continent in 1764, after the battle of Emsdorff ;
but as the investiture took place beneath the standard of the isth
Light Dragoons and in Hyde Park, it was deemed hopelessly
irregular, and, the royal will and action notwithstanding, his rank
was not generally recognised.
The ceremony of investiture was in the earlier days a very
simple one. The flag of the ordinary knight was of the form known
as the pennon a small, swallow-tailed flag like that borne by our
lancer regiments, of which Fig. 30 is an illustration. On being
summoned to the royal presence, the king took from him his lance,
and either cut or tore away the points of his flag, until he had
reduced it roughly to banner form, and then returned it to him
with such words of commendation as the occasion called for.
What the ceremony employed at so late a period as Dettingen was
we have not been able to trace. As the officers there honoured
were lanceless and pennonless, it is evident that the formula which
served in the Middle Ages was quite inapplicable, but it is equally
evident that in the thronging duties and responsibilities of the field
of battle the ceremony must always have been a very short and
The term Standard is appropriately applied to any flag of noble
size that answers in the main to the following conditions that it
should always have the Cross of St. George placed next to the
staff that the rest of the flag should be divided horizontally into
two or more stripes of colours, these being the prevailing colours
in the arms of the bearers or their livery colours, the edge of the
standard richly fringed or bordered, the motto and badges of
the owner introduced, the length considerably in excess of the
breadth, the ends split and rounded off. We find such standards
in use chiefly during the fifteenth century, though some charac-
teristic examples of both earlier and later dates may be encoun-
tered. Figs. 14 and 15 are very good typical illustrations. The
THE FLAGS OF THE WOBLD. 15
first of these (Fig. 14) is the Percy standard. The blue lion, the
crescent, and the fetterlock there seen are all badges of the family,
while the silver key betokens matrimonial alliance with the
Poynings,* the bugle-horn with the Bryans,f and the falchion with
the family of Fitzpayne. The ancient badge ot the Percys was
the white lion statant. Our readers will doubtless be familiar
with the lines
"Who, in field or foray slack,
Saw the blanch lion e'er give back?"
but Henry Percy, the fifth earl, 1489 to 1577, turned it into a blue
one. The silver crescent is the only badge of the family that has
remained in active and continuous use, and we find frequent refer-
ences to it in the old ballads so full of interesting heraldic
allusions as, for instance, in " The Rising of the N orth "
"Erie Percy there his ancyent spred,
The halfe-moon shining all soe faire,"
and in Claxton's " Lament "
" Now the Percy's crescent is set in blood."
The motto is ordinarily a very important part of the standard,
though it is occasionally missing. Its less or greater length or its
possible repetition may cut up the surface of the flag into a varying
number of spaces. The first space after the cross is always occu-
pied by the most important badge, and in a few cases the spaces
beyond are empty.
The motto of the Percys is of great historic interest. It is
referred to by Shakespeare, " Now Esperance ! Percy ! and set on,"
and we find in Drayton the line, " As still the people cried, A Percy,
Esperance!" In the " Mirror for Magistrates" (1574) we read,
" Add therefore this to Esperance, my word, who causeth blood-
shed shall not 'scape the sword." It was originally the war-cry of
the Percys, but it has undergone several modifications, and these
of a rather curious and interesting nature, since we see in the
sequence a steady advance from blatant egotism to an admission of a
higher power even than that of Percy. The war-cry of the first Earl
was originally, " Percy ! Percy 1" but he later substituted for it,
" Esperance, Percy." The second and third Earls took merely
' Esperance, " the fourth took " Esperance, ma comfort," and,
* This crowned key may be seen as early as 1359 on the seal of Sir Michael de
t The bugle horn appears as the crest of Sir William de Bryan on his brass, 1375.
1 6 THB FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
later on, " Esperance en Dieu ma comfort," and the fifth and
succeeding Earls took the " Esperance en Dieu." *
Fig. 15 is the standard of Sir Thomas de Swynnerton. The
swine is an example of the punning allusion to the bearer's name
that is so often seen in the charges of mediaeval heraldry.
Figs. 14 and 15 are typical standards, having the cross of St.
George, the striping of colours, the oblique lines of motto, the
elongated tapering form, and all the other features that we have
already quoted as belonging to the ideal standard, though one or
two of these may at times be absent. Thus, though exceptions are
rare, a standard is not necessarily particoloured for example, and,
as we have seen, the motto in other examples may be missing.
The Harleian MS. No. 2,358 lays down the rule that " every
Standard or guydhome is to hang in the Chiefe the Crosse of St.
George, to be slitte at the ende, and 'to conteyne the crest or sup-
porter, with the poesy, worde, and devise of the owner." That the
Cross of St. George, the national badge, must always be present
and in the most honourable position is full of significance, as it
means that whatever else of rank or family the bearer might be, he
was first and foremost an Englishman.
Figs. 13 and 16 are interesting modern examples of the Stan-
dard. They are from a series of sledge-flags used during the
Arctic Expedition of 1875-6, the devices upon them being those of
the officers in charge of each detachment.
When in earlier days a man raised a regiment for national
defence, he not only commanded it, but its flag often bore his arms
or device. Thus the standard of the dragoons raised by Henry,
Lord Cardross, in 1689 was of red silk, on which was represented
the Colonel's crest, a hand holding a dagger, and the motto " Forti-
tudine," while in the upper corner next the staff was the thistle of
Scotland, surmounted by the crown.
Our readers should now have no difficulty in sketching out for
themselves as an exercise the following : The standard of Henry V.,
white and blue, a white antelope standing between four red roses ;
the motto " Dieu et mon droit," and in the interspaces more red
tn *n old pedigree of the family is inscribed the lines :
" Esperance en Dieu,
Trust in hym, he is most true.
En Dieu Esperance,
In hym put thyne affiaunce.
Esperance in the worlde ? Nay,
The worlde variethe every day.
Esperance in riches? Nay, not so;
Riches slidethe, and some will go.
Esperance in ezaltacion of honour f
Nay, it widderethe away, lyke a flowtft,
Esperance en Dieu, in hym is all,
Which Is above Fortune's fall. 1
THfc FLAGS OP THE WORLD. 17
roses. The standard of Richard II., white and green, a white
hart couchant between four golden suns, the motto " Dieu et mon
droit," in the next space two golden suns, and in the next, four.
As further exercises, we may give the standard of Sir John
Awdeley, of gold and scarlet, having a Moor's head and three white
butterflies, the motto " Je le tiens," then two butterflies, then four ;
and the standard of Frogmorton, of four stripes of red and white,
having an elephant's head in black, surrounded by golden cres-
cents. While no one, either monarch or noble, could have more
than one banner, since this was composed of his heraldic arms,
a thing fixed and unchangeable, the same individual might have
two or three standards, since these were mainly made up of
badges that he could multiply at discretion, and a motto or poesy
that he might change every day if he chose. Hence, for instance,
the standards of Henry VII. were mostly green and white, since
these were the Tudor livery colours ; but in one was " a red firye
dragon," and in another " was peinted a donne kowe," while yet
another had a silver greyhound between red roses. Stowe and
other authorities tell us that the two first of these were borne at
Bosworth Field, and that after his victory there over Richard III.
these were borne by him in solemn state to St. Paul's Cathedral,
and there deposited on his triumphal entry into the metropolis.
The difference between the standard and the banner is very
clearly seen in the description of the flags borne at the funeral
obsequies of Queen Elizabeth " the great embroidered banner of
England " (Fig. 22), the banners of Wales, Ireland, Chester, and
Cornwall, and the standards of the dragon, greyhound, and falcon.
In like manner Stowe tells us that when King Henry VII. took the
field in 1513, he had with him the standard with the red dragon and
the banner of the arms of England, and Machyn tells that at the
funeral of Edward VI., " furst of all whent a grett company of
chylderyn in ther surples and clarkes syngyng and then ij harolds,
and then a standard with a dragon, and then a grett nombur of ye
servants in blake, and then anoder standard with a whyt grey-
hound." Later on in the procession came " ye grett baner of
armes in brodery and with dyvers odere baners."
Standards varied in size according to the rank of the person
entitled to them. A MS. of the time of Henry VII. gives the
following dimensions: For that of the king, a length of eight
yards ; for a duke, seven ; for an earl, six ; a marquis, six and a
half ; a viscount, five and a half ; a baron, five ; a knight banneret,
four and a half ; and for a knight, four yards. In view of these
figures one can easily realise the derivation of the word standard
a thing that is meant to stand ; to be rather fastened in the ground as
a rallying point than carried, like a banner, about the field of action.
l Tfcfc FLAGS of THfe WORLD.
At the funeral of Nelson we find his banner of arms and
standard borne in the procession, while around his coffin are the
bannerolls, square banner-like flags bearing the various arms of his
family lineage. We see these latter again in an old print of the
funeral procession of General Monk, in 1670, and in a still older
print of the burial of Sir Philip Sydney, four of his near kindred
carrying by the coffin these indications of his descent. At the
funeral of Queen Elizabeth we find six bannerolls of alliances on
the paternal side and six on the maternal. The standard of Nelson
bears his motto, " Palmam qui m&ruit ferat" but instead of the Cross
of St. George it has the union of the crosses of St. George, St.
Andrew, and St. Patrick, since in 1806, the year of his funeral, the
England of mediaeval days had expanded into the Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland. In the imposing funeral procession of
the great Duke of Wellington we find again amongst the flags not
only the national flag, regimental colours, and other insignia, but
the ten bannerolls of the Duke's pedigree and descent, and his
personal banner and standard.
Richard, Earl of Salisbury, in the year 1458, ordered that at
his interment " there be banners, standards, and other accoutre-
ments, according as was usual for a person of his degree " and
what was then held fitting, remains, in the case of State funerals,
equally so at the present day.
The Pennon is a small, narrow flag, forked or swallow-tailed at
its extremity. This was carried on the lance. Our readers will
recall the knight in " Marmion," who
"On high his forky pennon bore,
Like swallow's tail in shape and hue."
We read in the Roll of Karlaverok, as early as the year 1300, of
"Many a beautiful pennon fixed to a lance,
And many a banner displayed ; "
and of the knight in Chaucer's " Canterbury Tales," we hear that
"By hys bannere borne is hys pennon
Of golde full riche."
The pennon bore the arms of the knight, and they were in the
earlier days of chivalry so emblazoned upon it as to appear in their
proper position not when the lance was held erect but when held
horizontally for the charge. The earliest brass now extant, that of
Sir John Daubernoun, at Stoke d'Abernon Church, in Surrey,
represents the knight as bearing a lance with pennon. Its date is
1277, and the device is a golden chevron on a field of azure. In
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLfi. i
this example the pennon, instead of being forked, comes to a single
The pennon was the ensign of those knights who were not
bannerets, and the bearers of it were therefore sometimes called
pennonciers ; the term is derived from the Latin word for a feather,
penna, from the narrow, elongated form. The pennons of our
lancer regiments (Fig. 30) give one a good idea of the form, size,
and general effect of the ancient knightly pennon, though they do
not bear distinctive charges upon them, and thus fail in one notable
essential to recall to our minds the brilliant blazonry and variety of
device that must have been so marked and effective a feature when
the knights of old took the field. In a drawing of the year 1813, of
the Royal Horse Artillery, we find the men armed with lances, and
these with pennons of blue and white, as we see in Fig. 31.*
Of the thirty-seven pennons borne on lances by various knights
represented in the Bayeux tapestry, twenty-eight have triple points,
while others have two, four, or five. The devices upon these
pennons are very various and distinctive, though the date is before
the period of the definite establishment of heraldry. Examples
of these may be seen in Figs. 39, 40, 41, 42.
The pennoncelle, or pencel, is a diminutive of the pennon,
small as that itself is. Such flags were often supplied in large
quantities at any special time of rejoicing or of mourning. At the
burial in the year 1554 of " the nobull Duke of Norffok," we note
amongst other items " a dosen of banerolles of ys progene," a
standard, a " baner of damaske, and xij dosen penselles." At the
burial of Sir William Goring we find " ther was viij dosen of
penselles," while at the Lord Mayor's procession in 1555 we read
that there were " ij goodly pennes [State barges] deckt with flages
and stremers and a m penselles." This " m," or thousand, we can
perhaps scarcely take literally, though in another instance we find
" the cordes were hanged with innumerable pencelles."f
The statement of the cost of the funeral of Oliver Cromwell is
interesting, as we see therein the divers kinds of flags that graced
the ceremony. The total cost of the affair was ovar 28,000, and
the unhappy undertaker, a Mr. Rolt, was paid very little, if any,
of his bill. The items include " six gret banners wrought on rich
taffaty in oil, and gilt with fine gold," at 6 each. Five large
standards, similarly wrought, at a cost of 10 each ; six dozen
* The modern flag, known as the burgee, largely used in flag signalling, is like a
shortened pennon. It is sometimes also called a cornet.
t " Now the often changing fortune beganne also to channge the law of the battels. For
at the first, though it were terrible, yet Terror was deckt and broachie with rich furniture,
guilt swords, shining armours, pleasant pensils, that the eye with delight had scarce time
to be afraiHf ; but now all defiled with dust, blood, broken armour, mangled bodies, tooke
away the maske, and set forth Horror In his own horrible manner." SIR PHiLir SYDNEY.
2O THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD.
pennons, a yard long, at a sovereign each ; forty trumpet banners,
at forty shillings apiece ; thirty dozen of pennoncelles, a foot long,
at twenty shillings a dozen ; and twenty dozen ditto at twelve
shillings the dozen. Poor Rolt !
In "the accompte and reckonyng" for the Lord Mayor's Show
of 1617 we find " payde to Jacob Challoner, painter, for a greate
square banner, the Prince's Armes, the somme of seven pounds."
We also find, " More to him for the new payntyng and guyldyng
of ten trumpet banners, for payntyng and guyldyng of two long
pennons of the Lord Major's armes on callicoe," and many other
items that we need not set down, the total cost of the flag depart-
ment being 67 155. iod. t while for the Lord Mayor's Show
of the year 1685 we find that the charge for this item was the
handsome sum of 140.
The Pennant, or pendant, is a long narrow flag with pointed
end, and derives its name from the Latin word signifying to hang.
Examples of it may be seen in Figs. 20, 21, 23, 24, 36, 38, 100, 101,
102, and 103, and some of the flags employed in ship -signalling are
also of pennant form. It was in Tudor times called the streamer.
Though such a flag may at times be found pressed into the service
of city pageantry, it is more especially adapted for use at sea,
since the lofty mast, the open space far removed from telegraph-
wires, chimney-pots, and such-like hindrances to its free course,
and the crisp sea-breeze to boldly extend it to its full length, are
all essential to its due display. When we once begin to extend in
length, it is evident that almost anything is possible : the pendant
of a modern man-of-war is some twenty yards long, while its
breadth is barely six inches, and it is evident that such a flag as
that would scarcely get a fair chance in the general " survival of
the fittest" in Cheapside. It is charged at the head with the
Cross of St. George. Figs. 26, 27, 74 are Tudor examples of such
pendants, while Fig. 140 is a portion at least of the pendant flown
by colonial vessels on war service, while under the same necessarily
abbreviated conditions may be seen in Fig. 151 the pendant of
the United States Navy, in 157 that of Chili, and in 173 that
In mediaeval days many devices were introduced, the streamer
being made of sufficient width to allow of their display. Thus
Dugdale gives an account of the fitting up of the ship in which
Beauchamp, fifth Earl of Warwick, during the reign of Henry VI.,
went over to France. The original bill between this nobleman
and William Seburgh, " citizen and payntour of London," is still
extant, and we see from it that amongst other things provided
was "the grete stremour for the shippe xl yardes in length and
viij yardes in brede." These noble dimensions gave ample room for
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. 21
display of the badge of the Warwicks,* so we find it at the head
adorned with " a grete here holding a ragged staffe," and the rest
of its length " powdrid full of raggid staves,"
" A stately ship,
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails filled, and streamers waving."
Machyn tells us in his diary for August 3rd, 1553, how "The Queen
came riding to London, and so on to the Tower, makyng her entry
at Aldgate, and a grett nombur of stremars hanging about the sayd
gate, and all the strett unto Leydenhalle and unto the Tower were
layd with graffel, and all the crafts of London stood with their
banars and stremars hangyd over their beds." In the picture by
Volpe in the collection at Hampton Court of the Embarkation of
Henry VIII. from Dover in the year 1520, to meet Francis I. at
the Field of the Cloth of Gold, we find, very naturally, a great
variety and display of flags of all kinds. Figs. 20, 21, 23 are
streamers therein depicted, the portcullis, Tudor rose, and fleur-
de-lys being devices of the English king, while the particular ground
upon which they are displayed is in each case made up of green
and white, the Tudor livery colours. We may see these again in
Fig. 71, where the national flag of the Cross of St. George has its
white field barred with the Tudor green. In the year 1554 even
the naval uniform of England was white and green, both for officers
and mariners, and the City trained bands had white coats welted
with green. Queen Elizabeth, though of the Tudor race, took
scarlet and black as her livery colours ; the House of Plantaganet
white and red ; of York, murrey and blue ; of Lancaster, white and
blue ; of Stuart, red and yellow. The great nobles each also had their
special liveries ; thus in a grand review of troops on Blackheath,
on May i6th, 1552, we find that " the Yerle of Pembroke and ys
men of armes" had "cotes blake bordered with whyt," while the
retainers of the Lord Chamberlain were in red and white, those of
the Earl of Huntingdon in blue, and so forth.
In the description of one of the City pageants in honour of
Henry VII. we find among the " baggs " (i.e., badges), " a rede
rose and a wyght in his mydell, golde floures de luces, and port-
cullis also in golde," the " wallys " of the Pavilion whereon these
were displayed being " chekkyrs of whyte and grene."
The only other flag form to which we need make any very
definite reference is the Guidon. The word is derived from the
* " A streamer shall stand in the toppe of a shippe, or In the forecastle, and therein be
putt no annes, but a man's conceit or device, and may be of the lengths of twenty, forty, or
sixty yards." Harleian MS., No. 2,358, dealing witb " the Syze of Banners, Standardes,
Pennons, Guydhomes, Pencels, and Streamers,"
22 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
French guide -homme, but in the lax spelling of mediaeval days it
undergoes many perversions, such as guydhome, guydon, gytton,
geton, and such-like more or less barbarous renderings. Guidon
is the regulation name now applied to the small standards borne
by the squadrons of some of our cavalry regiments. The Queen's
guidon is borne by the first squadron ; this is always of crimson
silk ; tho others are the colour of the regimental facings. The
modern cavalry guidon :s square in form, and richly embroidered,
fringed, and tasselled. A mediaeval writer on the subject lays
down the la.v r hat a guydhome must be two and a half yardes
or three yardes loage, and therein shall be no armes putt, but
only the man's crest, cognizance, and device, and from that,
from his standard or streamer a man may flee ; but not from
his banner or pennon bearinge his armes." The guidon is largely
employed at State or ceremonious funeral processions ; we see it
borne, for instance, in the illustrations of the funeral of Monk in
1670, of Nelson in 1806, of Wellington in 1852. In all these cases
it is rounded hi form, as in Fig. 28. Like the standard, the guidon
bears motto and device, but it is smaller, and has not the elongated
form, nor does it bear the Cross of St. George.
In divers countries and periods very diverse forms may be
encountered, and to these various names have been assigned, but
it is needless to pursue their investigation at any length, as in some
cases the forms are quite obsolete ; in other cases, while its form is
known to us its name is lost, while in yet other instances we have
various old names of flags mentioned by the chroniclers and poets
to which we are unable now to assign any very definite notion of their
form. In some cases, again, the form we encounter may be of some
eccentric individuality that no man ever saw before, or ever wants
to see again, or, as in Fig. 33, so slightly divergent from ordinary
type as to scarcely need a distinctive name. One of the flags
represented in the Bayeux tapestry is semi-circular. Fig. 32 defies
classification, unless we regard it as a pennon that, by snipping,
has travelled three-quarters of the way towards being a banner.
Fig. 35, sketched from a MS. of the early part of the fourteenth
century, in the British Museum, is of somewhat curious and
abnormal form. It is of religious type, and bears the Agnus Dei.
The original is in a letter of Philippe de Mezieres, pleading
for peace and friendship between Charles VI. of France and
Richard II. of England.
Flags are nowadays ordinarily made of bunting, a woollen
fabric which, from the nature of its texture and its great toughness
and durability, is particularly fitted to stand wear and tear. It
comes from the Yorkshire mills in pieces of forty yards in length,
while the width varies from four to thirty-six inches. Flags are
THB FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 23
only printed when of small size, and when a sufficient number will
be required to justify the expense of cutting the blocks. Silk is
also used, but only for special purposes.
Flag-devising is really a branch of heraldry, and should be in ac-
cordance with its laws, both in the forms and the colours introduced.
Yellow in blazonry is the equivalent of gold, and white of silver,
and it is one of the requirements of heraldry that colour should not
be placed upon colour, nor metal on metal. Hence the red and blue
in the French tricolour (Fig. 191) are separated by white ; the black
and red of Belgium (Fig. 236) by yellow. Such unfortunate com-
binations as the yellow, blue, red, of Venezuela (Fig. 170) ; the
yellow, red, green of Bolivia (Fig. 171) ; the red and blue of Hayti
(Fig. 178) ; the white and yellow of Guatemala (Fig. 162), are viola-
tionsof the rule in countries far removed from the influence of heraldic
law. This latter instance is a peculiarly interesting one ; it is the
flag of Guatemala in 1851, while in 1858 this was changed to that
represented in Fig. 163. In the first case the red and the blue are in
contact, and the white and the yellow ; while in the second the
same colours are introduced, but with due regard to heraldic law,
and certainly with far more pleasing effect.
One sees the same obedience to this rule in the special flags
used for signalling, where great clearness of definition at consider-
able distances is an essential. Such combinations as blue and
black, red and blue, yellow and white, carry their own condem-
nation with them, as anyone may test by actual experiment ;
stripes of red and blue, for instance, at a little distance blending
into purple, while white and yellow are too much alike in strength,
and when the yellow has become a little faded and the white a little
dingy they appear almost identical. We have this latter combina-
tion in Fig. 198, the flag of the now vanished Papal States. It is
a very uncommon juxtaposition, and only occurs in this case from
a special religious symbolism into which we need not here enter.
The alternate red and green stripes in Fig. 63 are another viola-
tion of the rule, and have a very confusing effect.*
The colours of by far the greatest frequency of occurrence are
red, white, and blue ; yellow also is not uncommon ; orange is only
found once, in Fig. 249, where it has a special significance, since
this is the flag of the Orange Free State. Green occurs sparingly.
Italy (Fig. 197) is perhaps the best known example. We also find
it in the Brazilian flag (Fig. 169), the Mexican (Fig. 172), in the
Hungarian tricolor (Fig. 214), and in Figs. 199, 201, 209, the flags
While thus severe to our judgment on misguided foreigners It is only just to point out
that England itself is responsible for a combination as horrible as any in the green, red,
white, of the special flag that she bestowed on Heligoland, while it was yet a British
poisession. It may be seen in Fig. ;.
24 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
of smaller German States, but it is more especially associated with
Mohammedan States, as in Figs. 58, 63, 64, 235. Black is found but
seldom, but as heraldic requirements necessitate that it should be
combined either with white or yellow, it is, when seen, exceptionally
brilliant and effective. We see it, for example, in the Royal
Standard of Spain, (Fig. 194), in Figs. 207 and 208, flags of the
German Empire, in Fig. 226, the Imperial Standard of Russia,
and in Fig. 236, the brilliant tricolor of the Belgians.*
In orthodox flags anything of the nature of an inscription is
very seldom seen. We find a reference to order and progress on
the Brazilian flag (Fig. 169), while the Turkish Imperial Standard
(Fig. 238) bears on its scarlet folds the monogram of the Sultan ;
but these exceptions are rare.f We have seen that, on the con-
trary, on the flags of insurgents and malcontents the inscription
often counts for much. On the alteration of the style in the year
1752 this necessary change was made the subject of much ignorant
reproach of the government of the day, and was used as a weapon
of party warfare. An amusing instance of this feeling occurs in
the first plate of Hogarth's election series, where a malcontent, or
perhaps only a man anxious to earn a shilling, carries a big flag
inscribed, " Give us back our eleven days." The flags of the
Covenanters often bore mottoes or texts. Fig. 34 is a curious
example : the flag hoisted by the crew of H.M.S. Niger when they
opposed the mutineers in 1797 at Sheerness. It is preserved in the
Royal United Service Museum. It is, as we have seen, ordinarily
the insubordinate and rebellious who break out into inscriptions
of more or less piety or pungency, but we may conclude that the
loyal sailors fighting under the royal flag adopted this device in
addition as one means the more of fighting the rebels with their
During the Civil War between the Royalists and Parliamen-
tarians, we find a great use made of flags inscribed with mottoes.
Thus, on one we see five hands stretching at a crown defended by an
armed hand issuing from a cloud, and the motto, " Reddite Cassari."
In another we see an angel with a flaming sword treading a dragon
underfoot, and the motto, " Quis ut Deus," while yet another is
inscribed, " Courage pour la Cause." On a fourth we find an ermine,
and the motto, " Malo moriquam foedari " " It is better to die than
* The famous banner of the Knights Templars, called the Beau-seant, had Its upper
half black and lower white. The black symbolised the terror it should be to the foe,
and the white amity and goodwill to friends.
t The "house-flags" of the various shipping companies make a great use of letters:
thus the flag of the Orient Steam Navigation Company is white and divided into four
portions by a blue cross. In these four portions are placed in red the letters O. S. N. C.
In Fig. 120 we have the flag of the New Zealand Shipping Company, where the N.Z.S.
Co. are equally conspicuous. Any reference to a good list of house-flags, such as that
published by Griffin, would reveal scores of illustration* of this feature,.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 25
to be sullied," In allusion to the old belief that the ermine would die
rather than soil its fur. Hence it is the emblem of purity and
The blood-red flag is the symbol of mutiny and of revolution.
As a sign of disaffection it was twice, at the end of last century,
displayed in the Royal Navy. A mutiny broke out at Portsmouth
in April, 1797, for an advance of pay ; an Act of Parliament was
passed to sanction the increase of expenditure, and all who were
concerned in it received the royal pardon, but in June of the same
year, at Sheerness, the spirit of disaffection broke out afresh, and
on its suppression the ringleaders were executed. It is character-
istic that, aggrieved as these seamen were against the authorities,
when the King's birthday came round, on June 4th, though the
mutiny was then at its height, the red flags were lowered, the
vessels gaily dressed in the regulation bunting, and a royal
salute was fired. Having thus demonstrated their real loyalty to
their sovereign, the red flags were re-hoisted, and the dispute with
the Admiralty resumed in all its bitterness.
The white flag is the symbol of amity and of good will ; of
truce amidst strife, and of surrender when the cause is lost. The
yellow flag betokens infectious illness, and is displayed when there
is cholera, yellow fever, or such like dangerous malady on board
ship, and it is also hoisted on quarantine stations. The black flag
signifies mourning and death ; one of its best known uses in
these later days is to serve as an indication after an execution that
the requirements of the law have been duly carried out.
Honour and respect are expressed by " dipping " the flag. At
any parade of troops before the sovereign the regimental flags are
lowered as they pass the saluting point, and at sea the colours are
dipped by hauling them smartly down from the mast-head and
then promptly replacing them. They must not be suffered to
remain at all stationary when lowered, as a flag flying half-mast
high is a sign of mourning for death, for defeat, or for some other
national loss, and it is scarcely a mark of honour or respect to
imply that the arrival of the distinguished person is a cause of
grief or matter for regret.
In time of peace it is an insult to hoist the flag of one friendly
nation above another, so that each flag must be flown from its own
Even as early as the reign of Alfred England claimed the
sovereignty of the seas. Edward III. is more identified with our
early naval glories than any other English king ; he was styled
" King of the Seas," a name of which he appears to have been
very proud, and in his coinage of gold nobles he represented
himself with shield, and sword, and standing; in a ship " full royally
26 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
apparelled." He fought on the seas under many disadvantages of
numbers and ships : in one instance until his ship sank under him,
and at all times as a gallant Englishman.
If any commander of an English vessel met the ship of a
foreigner, and the latter refused to salute the English flag, it was
enacted that such ship, if taken, was the lawful prize of the
captain. A very notable example of this punctilious insistance on
the respect to the flag arose in May, 1554, when a Spanish fleet of
one hundred and sixty sail, escorting the King on his way to
England to his marriage with Queen Mary, fell in with the English
fleet under the command of Lord Howard, Lord High Admiral.
Philip would have passed the English fleet without paying the
customary honours, but the signal was at once made by Howard
for his twenty-eight ships to prepare for action, and a round shot
crashed into the side of the vessel of the Spanish Admiral. The
hint was promptly taken, and the whole Spanish fleet struck their
colours as homage to the English flag.
In the year 1635 the combined fleets of France and Holland
determined to dispute this claim of Great Britain, but on announc-
ing their intention of doing so an English fleet was at once
dispatched, whereupon they returned to their ports and decided that
discretion was preferable even to valour. In 1654, on the con-
elusion of peace between England and Holland, the Dutch
consented to acknowledge the English supremacy of the seas, the
article in the treaty declaring that "the ships of the Dutch as
well ships of war as others meeting any of the ships of war of the
English, in the British seas, shall strike their flags and lower their
topsails in such manner as hath ever been at any time heretofore
practised." After another period of conflict it was again formally
yielded by the Dutch in 1673.
Political changes are responsible for many variations in flags,
and the wear and tear of Time soon renders many of the devices
obsolete. On turning, for instance, to Nories' " Maritime Flags of
all Nations," a little book published in 1848, many of the flags are at
once seen to be now out of date. The particular year was one of
exceptional political agitation, and the author evidently felt that
his work was almost old-fashioned even on its issue. "The
accompanying illustrations," he says, " having been completed prior
to the recent revolutionary movements on the Continent of Europe,
it has been deemed expedient to issue the plate in its present state,
rather than adopt the various tri-coloured flags, which cannot be
regarded as permanently established in the present unsettled state
of political affairs. 1 ' The Russian American Company's flag,
Fig. 59, that of the States of the Church, of the Kingdom of
Sardinia, the Turkish Imperial StanJvdi Fig. 64. and many other?
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 27
that he gives, are all now superseded. For Venice he gives two
flags, that for war and that for the merchant service. In each case
the flag is scarlet, having a broad band of blue, which we may take
to typify the sea, near its lower edge. From this rises in gold the
winged lion of St. Mark, having in the war ensign a sword in his
right paw, and in the peaceful colours of commerce a cross. Of
thirty-five " flags of all nations," given as a supplement to the
Illustrated London News in 1858, we note that eleven are now
obsolete : the East India Company, for instance, being now extinct,
the Ionian Islands ceded to Greece, Tuscany and Naples absorbed
into Italy, and so forth.
In Figs. 52 and 53 we have examples of early Spanish flags, and
in 54 and 55 of Portuguese, each and all being taken from a very
quaint map of the year 1502. This map may be said to be
practically the countries lying round the Atlantic Ocean, giving a
good slice of Africa, a portion of the Mediterranean basin, the
British Isles, most of South America, a little of North America, the
West Indies,* etc., the object of the map being to show the division
that Pope Alexander VI. kindly made between those faithful
daughters of the Church Spain and Portugal of all the un-
claimed portions of the world. Figs. 52 and 53 are types of flags
flying on various Spanish possessions, while Figs. 54 and 55 are
placed at different points on the map where Portugal held sway.
On one place in Africa we see that No. 54 is surmounted by a white
flag bearing the Cross of St. George, so we may conclude that
Pope Alexander notwithstanding England captured it from the
Portuguese. At one African town we see the black men dancing
round the Portuguese flag, while a little way off three of their
brethren are hanging on a gallows, showing that civilization had set
in with considerable severity there. The next illustration on this
plate (Fig. 56) is taken from a sheet of flags published in 1735 ; it
represents the " Guiny Company's Ensign," a trading company,
like the East India, Fig. 57, now no longer in existence. Fig. 62
is the flag of Savoy, an ancient sovereignty that, within the memory
of many of our readers, has expanded into the kingdom of Italy.
The break up of the Napoleonic regime in France, the crushing out
of the Confederate States in North America, the dismissal from the
throne of the Emperor of Brazil, have all, within comparatively
recent years, led to the superannuation and disestablishment of a
goodly number of flags and their final disappearance.
We propose now to deal with the flags of the various nation-
alities, commencing, naturally, with those of our own country.
* The map is freely embellished with illustrations. In South America, for instance
four immense crimson parrots about fill up Brazil, while in Africa the parrots are green,
Many of these figured details are very quaint.
38 THE FLAGS OF THB WORLD.
We were told by a government official that the Universal Code of
signals issued by England had led to a good deal of heartburning,
as it is prefaced by a plate of the various national flags, the Union
Flag of Great Britain and Ireland being placed first. But until
some means can be devised by which each nationality can head the
list, some sort of precedence seems inevitable. At first sight it
seems as though susceptibilities might be saved by adopting an
alphabetical arrangement, but this is soon found to be a mistake,
as it places such powerful States as Russia and the United States
nearly at the bottom of the list. A writer, Von Rosenfeld, who
published a book on flags in Vienna in 1853, very naturally
adopted this arrangement, but the calls of patriotism would not
even then allow him to be quite consistent, since he places his
material as follows : Austria, Annam, Argentine, Belgium, Bolivia,
and so forth, where it is evident Annam should lead the world and
Austria be content to come in third. Apart from the difficulty of
asking Spain, for instance, to admit that Bulgaria was so much
in front of her, or to expect Japan to allow China so great a
precedence as the alphabetical arrangement favours, a second
obstacle is found in the fact that the names of these various
States as we Englishmen know them are not in many cases those
by which they know themselves or are known by others. Thus
a Frenchman would be quite content with the alphabetical
arrangement that in English places his beloved country before
Germany, but the Teuton would at once claim precedence, de-
claring that Deutschland must come before "la belle France,"
and the Espagnol would not see why he should be banished to
the back row just because we choose to call him a Spaniard.
In the meantime, pending the Millenium, the flag that more
than three hundred millions of people, the wide world over, look
up to as the symbol of justice and liberty, will serve very well
as a starting point, and then the great Daughter across the
Western Ocean, that sprung from the Old Home, shall claim a
worthy place next in our regard. The Continent of Europe must
clearly come next, and such American nationalities as lie outside
the United States, together with Asia and Africa, will bring up
The Royal Standard the Three Lions of England the Lion Rampant of
Scotland Scottish sensitiveness as to precedence the Scottish Tressure the
Harp of Ireland Early Irish Flags Brian Boru the Royal Standards from
Richard I. to Victoria Claim to the Fleurs-de-Lys of France Quartering Hanover
the Union Flag St. George for England War Cry Observance of St.
George's Day the Cross of St. George Early Naval Flags the London
Trained Bands the Cross of St. Andrew the "Blue Blanket "Flags of the
Covenanters Relics of St. Andrew Union of England and Scotland the First
Union Flag Importance of accuracy in representations of it the Union Jack
Flags of the Commonwealth and Protectorate Union of Great Britain and
Ireland the Cross of St. Patrick Labours of St. Patrick in Ireland Proclama-
tion of George III. as to Flags, etc. the Second Union Flag Heraldic Difficulties
in its Construction Suggestions by Critics Regulations as to Fortress Flags
the White Ensign of the Royal Navy Saluting the Flag the Navy the Safe-
guard of Britain the Blue Ensign the Royal Naval Reserve the Red Ensign
of the Mercantile Marine Value of Flag-lore.
J7OREMOST amongst the flags of the British Empire the Royal
1 Standard takes its position as the symbol of the tie that unites all
into one great State. Its glowing blazonry of blue and scarlet and
gold is brought before us in Fig. 44. The three golden lions on the
scarlet ground are the device of England, the golden harp on the
azure field is the device of Ireland, while the ruddy lion rampant on
the field of gold * stands for Scotland. It may perhaps appear to
some of our readers that the standard of the Empire should not be
confined to such narrow limits ; that the great Dominion of Canada,
India, Australia, the ever-growing South Africa, might justly claim
a place. Precedent, too, might be urged, since in previous reigns,
Nassau, Hanover, and other States have found a resting-place in its
folds, and there is much to be said in favour of a wider representa-
tion of the greater component parts of our world-wide Empire ; but
two great practical difficulties arise : the first is that the grand sim-
plicity of the flag would be lost if eight or ten different devices were
substituted for the three ; and secondly, it would very possibly give
rise to a good deal of jealousy and ill-feeling, since it would be im-
possible to introduce all. As it at present stands, it represents
the central home of the Empire, the little historic seed-plot from
whence all else has sprung, and to which all turn their eyes as the
* "The dazzling field,
Where in proud Scotland's royal shield,
The ruddy lion ramped In gold." Scott.
30 Tttfc FLAGS OF THfe WOfeLD.
centre of the national life. All equally agree to venerate the dear
mother land, but it is perhaps a little too much to expect that the
people of Jamaica or Hong Kong would feel the same veneration for
the beaver and maple-leaves of Canada, the golden Sun of India,
or the Southern Cross of Australasia. As it must clearly be all or
none, it seems that only one solution of the problem, the present
one, is possible. In the same way the Union flag (Fig. 90) is liter-
ally but the symbol of England, Scotland, and Ireland, but far and
away outside its primary significance, it floats on every sea the
emblem of that Greater Britain in which all its sons have equal
pride, and where all share equal honour as brethren of one family.
The earliest Royal Standard bore but the three lions of England,
and we shall see presently that in different reigns various modifica-
tions of its blazonry arose, either the result of conquest or of dynastic
possessions. Thus Figs. 43 and 44, though they bear a superficial
likeness, tell a very different story; the first of these, that of
George HE., laying claim in its fourth quartering to lordship over
Hanover and other German States, and in its second quarter to the
entirely shadowy and obsolete claim over France, as typified by the
golden fleurs-de-lys on the field of azure.
How the three lions of England arose is by no means clear. Two
lions were assigned as the arms of William the Conqueror, but there
is no real evidence that he bore them. Heraldry had not then
become a definite science, and when it did a custom sprang up of
assigning to those who lived and died before its birth certain arms,
the kindly theory being that such persons, had they been then living,
would undoubtedly have borne arms, and that it was hard, there-
fore, that the mere accident of being born a hundred years too soon
should debar them from possessing such recognition of their rank.
Even so late as Henry II. the bearing is still traditional, and it is
said that on his marriage with Alianore, eldest daughter of William,
Duke of Aquitaine and Guienne, he incorporated with his own two
lions the single lion that (it is asserted) was the device of his father-
in-law. All this, however, is theory and surmise, and we do not
really find ourselves on the solid ground of fact until we come to the
reign of Richard Cceur-de-Lion. Upon his second Great Seal we
have the three lions just as they are represented in Figs. 22, 43, 44,
and as they have been borne for centuries by successive sovereigns
on their arms, standards, and coinage, and as our readers may see
them this day on the Royal Standard and on much of the money
they may take out of their pockets. The date of this Great Seal
of King Richard is 1195 A.D., so we have, at all events, a period of
over seven hundred years, waiving a break during the Common-
wealth, in which the three golden lions on their scarlet field have
typified the might of England.
THB FLAGS OP THE WORLD. $1
the rampant lion within the tressure, the device of Scotland
seen in the second quarter of our Royal Standard, Fig. 44 is first
seen on the Great Seal of King Alexander II., about A.D. 1230, and
the same device, without any modification of colour or form*
was borne by all the Sovereigns of Scotland, and on the accession
of James to the throne of the United Kingdom, in the year 1603,
the ruddy lion ramping on the field of gold became an integral
part of the Standard.
The Scotch took considerable umbrage at their lion being
placed in the second place, while the lions of England were placed
first, as they asserted that Scotland was a more ancient kingdom
than England, and that in any case, on the death of Queen Elizabeth
of England, the Scottish monarch virtually annexed the Southern
Kingdom to his own, and kindly undertook to get the Southerners
out of a dynastic difficulty by looking after the interests of
England as well as ruling Scotland. This feeling of jealousy
was so bitter and so potent that for many years after the Union,
on all seals peculiar to Scottish business and on the flags dis-
played north of the Tweed, the arms of Scotland were placed in
the first quarter. It was also made a subject of complaint that in
the Union Flag the cross of St. George is placed over that of
St. Andrew (see Figs. 90, 91, 92), and that the lion of England acted
as the dexter support of the royal shield instead of giving place to
the Scottish Unicorn. One can only be thankful that Irish patriots
have been too sensible or too indifferent to insist upon yet another
modification, requiring that whensoever and wheresoever the Royal
Standard be hoisted in the Emerald Isle the Irish harp should be
placed in the first quarter. While it is clearly impossible to place
the device of each nationality first, it is very desirable and, in fact,
essential, that the National Arms and the Royal Standard should be
identical in arrangement in all parts of the kingdom. The notion
of unity would be very inadequately carried out if we had a
London version for Buckingham Palace, an Edinburgh version for
Holyrood, and presently found the Isle of Saints and "gallant
little Wales " insisting on two other variants, and the Isle of Mau
in insurrection because it was not allowed precedence of all four.
Even so lately as the year 1853, on the issue of the florin,
the old jealousy blazed up again. A statement was drawn up and
presented to Lord Lyon, King of Arms, setting forth anew the
old grievances of the lions in the Standard and the crosses
in the Flag of the Union, and adding that "the new two-shilling
* With only one exception the Sovereigns of Scotland never Quartered the arms o. any
other kingdom with their own. The only exception was when Mary Stuart claimed the
arms of England and placed them upon her standard, and thus gave irreparable provoca-
tion to Queen Elizabeth.
32 THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD.
piece, called a florin, which has lately been issued, bears apon
the reverse four crowned shields, the first or uppermost being the
three lions passant of England ; the second, or right hand proper,
the harp of Ireland; the third, or left hand proper, the lion
rampant of Scotland; the fourth, or lower, the three lions of
England repeated. Your petitioners beg to direct your Lordship's
attention to the position occupied by the arms of Scotland upon
this coin, which are placed in the third shield instead of the second,
a preference being given to the arms of Ireland over those of this
kingdom." It is curious that this document tacitly drops claim to
the first place. Probably most of our readers Scotch, Irish, or
English feel but little sense of grievance in the matter, and are
quite willing, if the coin be an insult, to pocket it.
The border surrounding the lion is heraldically known as the
tressure. The date and the cause of its introduction are lost in
antiquity. The mythical story is that it was added by Achaius,
King of Scotland, in the year 792, in token of alliance with
Charlemagne, but in all probability these princes scarcely knew of
the existence of each other. The French and the Scotch have
often been in alliance, and there can be little doubt but that the
fleurs-de-lys that adorn the tressure point to some such early associa-
tion of the two peoples ; an ancient writer, Nisbet, takes the same
view, as he affirms that " the Tressure fleurie encompasses the
lyon of Scotland to show that he should defend the Flower-de-
luses, and these to continue a defence to the lyon." The first
authentic illustration of the tressure in the arms of Scotland dates
from the year 1260. In the reign 01 James III., in the year 1471
it was ' ordaint that in tyme to cum thar suld be na double tresor
about his arrays, but that he suld ber armys of the lyoun, without
ony mur." If this ever took effect it must have been for a very
short time. We have seen no example of it.
Ireland joined England and Scotland in political union on
January ist, 1801, but its device the harp was placed on the
standard centuries before by right of conquest. The first known
suggestion for a real union on equal terms was made in the year
1642 in a pamphlet entitled " The Generall Junto, or the Councell
of Union ; chosen equally out of England, Scotland, and Ireland
for the better compacting of these nations into one monarchy. By
H. P." This H. P. was one Henry Parker. Fifty copies only of
this tract were issued, and those entirely for private circulation.
" To persuade to union and commend the benefit of it " says the
author " will be unnecessary. Divide et impera (divide and rule) is a
fit saying for one who aims at the dissipation and perdition of his
country. Honest counsellors have ever given contrary advice.
England and Ireland are inseparably knit ; no severance is possible
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. $3
bnt such as shall be violent and injurious. Ireland is am Integral
member of the Kingdom of England : both kingdoms are co-
invested and connexed, not more undivided than Wales or
The conquest of Ireland was entered upon in the year 1172,
in the reign of Henry II., but was scarcely completed until the
surrender of Limerick in 1691. Until 1542 it was styled not the
Kingdom but the Lordship of Ireland.
An early standard of Ireland has three golden crowns on a blue
field, and arranged over each other as we see the English lions
placed ; and a commission appointed in the reign of Edward IV., to
enquire what really were the arms of Ireland, reported in favour
of the three crowns. The early Irish coinage bears these three
crowns upon it, as on the coins of Henry V. and his successors.
Henry VIII. substituted the harp on the coins, but neither crowns
nor harps nor any other device for Ireland appear in the Royal
Standard until the year 1603, after which date the harp has
remained in continuous use till the present day.
In the Harleian MS., No. 304 in the British Museum, we find the
statement that " the armes of Irland is Gules iij old harpes gold,
stringed argent" (as in Fig. 87), and on the silver coinage for Ireland
of Queen Elizabeth the shield bears these three harps. At her
funeral Ireland was represented by a blue flag having a crowned
harp of gold upon it, and James I. adopted this, but without the
crown, as a quartering in his standard : its first appearance on the
Royal Standard of England.
Why Henry VIII. substituted the harp for the three crowns is
not really known. Some would have us believe that the king was
apprehensive that the three crowns might be taken as symbolising
the triple crown of the Pope ; while others suggest that Henry,
being presented by the Pope with the supposed harp of Brian Boru,
was induced to change the arms of Ireland by placing on her coins
the representation of this relic of her most celebrated native king.
The Earl of Northampton, writing in the reign of James I., suggests
yet a third explanation. " The best reason," saith he, " that I can
observe for the bearing thereof is, it resembles that country in being
such an instrument that it requires more cost to keep it in tune than
it is worth."*
* Brian Boru, who was killed in battle with the Danes, did much to civilise Ireland ;
and, amongst other things, introduced the harp. The ancient Irish harp at Trinity
College, Dublin, was long claimed as the identical instrument of Boru, but it has been
proved by the ornament upon it that it cannot be later than the fourteenth century. The
most primitive representation of the harp in Ireland is in a rude sculpture in a church near
Kilkeny. This is known to date from the ninth century. Though the harp has ever
shone in the poetry of the Irish people, they have but little claim to it. It has been by no
most ancient of instruments, figuring in the mural paintings of Egypt centuries before tba
34 THB FLAGS OP f Hfe
The Royal Standard should only be hoisted when the Sovereign
or some member of the royal family is actually within the palace or
castle, or at the saluting point, or on board the vessel where we see
it flying, though this rule is by no means observed in practice.
The only exception really permitted to this is that on certain royal
anniversaries it is hoisted at some few fortresses at home and abroad
that are specified in the Queen's Regulations.
The Royal Standard of England was, we have seen, in its earliest
form a scarlet flag, having three golden lions upon it, and it was so
borne by Richard I., John, Henry III., Edward I., and Edward II.
Edward III. also bore it for the first thirteen years of his reign, so
that this simple but beautiful flag was the royal banner for over
one hundred and fifty years. Edward III., on his claim in the year
1340 to be King of France as well as of England, quartered the
golden fleurs-de-lys of that kingdom with the lions of England.* This
remained the Royal Standard throughout the rest of his long reign.
Throughout the reign of Richard II. (1377 to 1399) the royal banner
was divided in half by an upright line, all on the outer half being
like that of Edward III., while the half next the staff was the
golden cross and martlets on the blue ground, assigned to Edward
the Confessor, his patron saint, as shown in Fig. 19. On the
accession of Henry IV. to the throne, the cross and martlets
disappeared, and he reverted to the simple quartering of France
Originally the fleurs-de-lys were scattered freely over the field,
stmte or sown, as it is termed heraldically, so that besides several
in the centre that showed their complete form, others at the
margin were more or less imperfect. On turning to Fig. 188, an
early French flag, we see this disposition of them very clearly.
Charles V. of France in the year 1365 reduced the number to
three, as in Fig. 184, whereupon Henry IV. of England followed suit ;
his Royal Standard is shown in Fig. 22. This remained the
Royal Standard throughout the reigns of Henry V., Henry VI.,
Edward IV., Edward V., Richard III., Henry VII., Henry VIII.,
Edward VI., Mary and Elizabeth a period of two hundred years.
On the accession of the House of Stuart, the flag was re-
arranged. Its first and fourth quarters were themselves quartered
again, these small quarterings being the French fleur-de-lys and the
English lions ; while the second quarter was the lion of Scotland,
and the third the Irish harp ; the first appearance of either of these
latter kingdoms in the Royal Standard. This form remained in
use throughout the reigns of James I., Charles I., Charles II., and
James II. The last semblance of dominion in France had long
* As may be sen beautifully enamelled on his tomb in Westminster Abbey.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 35
Since passed away, but it will be seen that alike on coinage, arms,
and Standard the fiction was preserved, and Londoners may see
at Whitehall the statue still standing of James II., bearing on its
pedestal the inscription "Jacobus secundus Dei Gratia Anglia,
Scotia, Francia et Hibernice Rex"
During the Protectorate, both the Union Flag and the Standard
underwent several modifications, but the form that the personal
Standard of Cromwell finally assumed may be seen in Fig. 83,
where the Cross of St. George for England, St. Andrew tor Scotland,
and the harp for Ireland, symbolise the three kingdoms, while over
all, on a shield, are placed the personal arms of the Protector a
silver lion rampant on a sable field.
William III., on his landing in England, displayed a standard
which varied in many respects from those of his royal predecessors,
since it contained not only the arms themselves, but these were
represented as displayed on an escutcheon, surmounted by the
crown, and supported on either side by the lion and unicorn.
Above all this was the inscription "For the Protestant Religion
and the Liberties of England,"* while beneath it was "je main-
tiendray." The arms on the shield are too complex for adequate
description without the aid of a diagram ; suffice it to say that in
addition to the insignia of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France,
were eight others dealing with the devices of smaller Continental
possessions appertaining to the new monarch. When matters had
settled down and his throne was assured, the aggressive inscription,
etc., disappeared, and the Royal Standard of William and his
Consort Mary, the daughter of King James, reverted to the form
used by the Stuart Sovereigns, plus in the centre a small escutcheon
bearing the arms of Nassau, these being a golden lion rampant,
surrounded by golden billets, upon a shield of azure.
The Royal Standard of Queen Anne bore the devices of
England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. On the accession of
George I. the arms of Hanover were added, and from 1714 to 1801
the flag was as shown in Fig. 43. The flag of Anne was very
similar to this, only instead of Hanover in the fourth quarter, the
arms of England and Scotland, as we see them in the first quarter,
were simply repeated in the fourth.
The Hanoverian quarter, Fig. 43, was made up as follows : The
two lions on the red field are the device of Brunswick ; the blue
lion rampant, surrounded by the red hearts, is the device of
Lunenburg ; the galloping white horse is for Saxony ; and over all
is the golden crown of Charlemagne as an indication of the claim
set up of being the successor of that potent Sovereign. The horse
* Another flag was a plain scarlet one, having this inscription :
Religion and the Liberty of England " in white upon it.
1 For the Protestant
36 THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD.
of Saxony is said to have been borne sable by the early kings,
previous to the conversion to Christianity of Witekind, A.D. 785.
Verstigan, however, tells us that the ensign of Hengist at the time
of the invasion of England by the Saxons was a leaping white horse
on a red ground. The white horse is still the county badge for
Kent. The flag, as we see it in Fig. 43, was that of George I. and
George II., and remained in use until the forty-second year
of the reign of George III.
On January 2nd, 1801, the Fleurs-de-lys of France were at length
removed, and the flag had its four quarters as follows : First and
fourth England, second Scotland, and third Ireland ; the arms of
Hanover being placed on a shield in the centre of the flag. This
remained the Royal Standard during the rest of the reign of
George III., and throughout the reigns of George IV. and
William IV. On the accession of Victoria the operation of the
Salique law severed the connexion of Hanover with England, and
the present Royal Standard is as shown in Fig. 44, being in its
arrangement similar to that of George IV. and William IV., except
that the small central shield, bearing the arms of Hanover, is now
We turn now to the National Flag. As the feudal constitution
of the fighting force passed away, the use of private banners disap-
peared, and men, instead of coming to the field as the retainers
of some great nobleman and fighting under his leadership and
beneath his flag, were welded into a national army under the direct
command of the king and such leaders as he might appoint. The
days when a great noble could change the fortunes of the day by
withdrawing his vassals or transferring himself and them, on the
eve of the fight, to the opposing party, were over, and men fought
no longer in the interests of Warwick or of Percy, but in the
cause of England and beneath the banner of St. George, the
national Patron Saint.
*' Thou, amongst those saints whom thou dost see,
Shall be a saint, and thine own nation's frend
And patron : thou Saint George shall called bee,
Saint George of Mery England, the sign of victoree."t
The following summary may be taken as correct in its broad facts : From about
to 1340, the Standard had the lions of England alone on it. From 1340 to 1377,
England and France together. 1377 to 1399, England, France, and the arms of Edward
195 to 1340, the Standard had the lions of England alone on it. From 1340 to 1377,
England and France together. 1377 to 1399, England, France, and the arms of Edward
the Confessor. 1399 to 1603, England and France. 1603 to 1649, England, France,
Scotl.-ir.d and Ireland. 1649 to 1659, Interregnum : a period of change and uncertainty,
when divers changes in the Standard were made that are scarcely worth detailing.
1659 to 1688, England, France, Scotland, and Ireland. 1688 to 1701, England, France,
Scotland, Ireland, and Nassau. 1701 to 1714, England, France, Scotland, and Ireland.
1714 to 1801, England, France, Scotland, Ireland, and Hanover. 1801 to 1837, England,
Scotland, Ireland, and Hanover. From 1837, England, Scotland, and Ireland,
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 37
At the siege of Antioch, according to Robertas Monachus, a
Benedictine of Rheims who flourished about the year 1120, and
wrote a history of the Crusade, " Our Souldiers being wearied with
the long continuance of the Battaile, and seeing that the number of
enemies decreased not, began to faint ; when suddenly an infinite
number of Heavenly Souldiers all in white descended from the
Mountains, the Standard-bearer and leaders of them being Saint
George, Saint Maurice, and Saint Demetrius, which when the Bishop
of Le Puy first beheld he cryed aloud unto his troopes, ' There are
they (saith he) the succours which in the name of God I promised
to you.' The issue of the miracle was this, that presently the
enemies did turne their backs and lost the field : these being slaine,
100,000 horse, beside foot innumerable, and in their trenches such
infinite store of victuals and munition found that served not only
to refresh the wearied Christians, but to confound the enemy." This
great victory at Antioch led to the recovery of Jerusalem. At the
Crusades England, Arragon, and Portugal all assumed St. George
as their patron saint.
Throughout the Middle Ages the war-cry of the English was the
name of this patron saint. " The blyssed and holy Martyr Saynt
George is patron of this realme of Englande, and the crye of men
of warre," we read in the "Golden Legend," and readers of
Shakespeare will readily recall illustrations. Thus in " King
Richard II." we read :
" Sound drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully,
God and St. George ! Richard and victory."
or again in " King Henry V." where the king at the siege of Harfleur
" The game's afoot,
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry, God for Harry, England, and St. George ! "
while in " King Henry VI." we find the line,
' Then strike up, drums God and St. George for us ! *' *
At the battle of Poitiers, September igth, 1356, upon the advance
of the English, the Constable of France threw himself, Lingard tells
us, across their path with the battle shout, " Mountjoy, St. Denis,"
which was at once answered by " St. George, St. George," and in
the onrush of the English the Duke and the greater part of his
* In the same way, we find he Scottish clansmen rushing to the fray to the cry of
" St. Andrew and our Right." In the ballad of Otterbourne we read that the Scots
" Uppoi Sent Andrewe loude they crye,
An I* vsse they show*e on hyghC"
38 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
followers were swept away, and in a few minutes slain. In an
interesting old poem on the siege of Rouen in 1418, written by an
eye-witness, we read that on the surrender of the city,
" Whanne the gate was openyd there
And thay weren ready in to fare,
Trumpis blew ther bemys of bras,
Pipis and clarionys forsoothe ther was.
And as they entrid thay gaf a schowte
With ther voyce that was full stowte,
Seint George 1 Seint George 1 thay criden on height
And seide, Welcome cure kynges righte ! "
We have before us, as we write, "The story of that most
blessed Saint and Souldier of Christ Jesus, St. George of Cappa-
docia," as detailed by Peter Heylyn, and published in 1633, and the
temptation to quote at length from it is great, as it is full of most
interesting matter, but into the history of St. George space forbids
us to go at any length. The author of the " Seven Champions of
Christendom " makes St. George to be born of English parentage
at Coventry, but for this there is no authority whatever, and all
other writers make Cappadocia his birthplace. The history of St.
George is more obscure than that of any name of equal eminence in
the Calendar. According to the " Acta Sanctorum " he was the son
of noble parents, became famous as a soldier, and, embracing
Christianity, was tortured to death at Nicomedia in the year 303.
"The hero won his well-earned place,
Amid the Saints, in death's dread hour;
And still the peasant seeks his grave,
And, next to God, reveres his power.
In many a Church his form is seen,
With sword, and shield, and helmet sheen ;
Ye know him by his shield of pride,
And by the dragon at his side."
As Patron Saint, the dragon vanquisher is still seen on our
crowns and sovereigns, and reference to such a book as Ruding's
history of our coinage will show that it has for centuries been a
In 1245, on St. George's Day, Frederic of Austria instituted an
order of knighthood and placed it under the guardianship of the
soldier-saint, and its white banner, bearing the ruddy cross, floated
in battle alongside that of the Empire. In like manner on St.
George's Day, in the year 1350, Edward III. of England instituted
the order of the Garter with great solemnity.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 39
St. George's Day, April 23rd, has too long been suffered to pass
almost unregarded. The annual festivals of St. Andrew, St. Patrick,
and St. David are never overlooked by the members of the various
nationalities, and it seems distinctly a thing to be regretted that the
Englishman should allow the name day of his Patron Saint to pass
unnoticed.* Whatever conduces to the recognition of national life
is valuable, and anything that reminds Englishmen of their common
ties and common duties and reminds them, too, of their glorious
heritage in the past should scarcely be allowed to fall into disuse.
Butler, in his " Lives of the Fathers and Martyrs," tell us that at
the great National Council, held at Oxford in 1222, it was com-
manded that the Feast of St. George should be kept. In the year
1415, by the Constitutions of Archbishop Chichely, St. George's
Day was made one of the greater feasts and ordered to be observed
the same as Christmas Day. In 1545 a special collect, epistle, and
gospel were prepared, and at the Reformation, when many of the
Saints' Days were swept away, this was preserved with all honour,
and it was not till the sixth year of the reign of Edward VI., when
another revision was made, that in " The Catalogue of such Festivals
as are to be Observed " St. George's day was omitted.
The Cross of St. George was worn as a badge.f over the armour,
by every English soldier in the fourteenth and subsequent centuries,
even if the custom did not prevail at a much earlier period. The
following extract from the ordinances made for the government of
the army with which Richard II. invaded Scotland in 1386, is a good
illustration of this, wherein it is ordered " that even man of what
estate, condicion, or nation thei be of, so that he be of owre partie,
bere a signe of the armes of Saint George, large, bothe before and
behynde, upon parell that yf he be slayne or wounded to deth, he
that hath so doon to hym shall not be putte to deth for defaulte of
the cross that he lacketh. And that non enemy do bere the same
token or crosse of Saint George, notwithstandyng if he be prisoner,
upon payne of deth." It was the flag of battle, and we see it
represented in the old prints and illuminations that deal with
military operations both on land and sea. Ordinarily it is the
Cross of St. George, pure and simple, as shown in Fig. 91, while at
* One interesting exception to this is that, on St. George s Day, the jth regiment
(Northumberland Fusiliers) holds full-dress parade, all wearing the rose, the national
emblem, in their headgear, and the officers on their sword-knots also. The colours, too,
are festooned with roses.
t " The x day of January hevy news came to London that the French had won Cales
(Calais), the whyche was the hevest tydyngs to England that ever was herd of.
" The xj day of January the Cete of London took up a thousand men, and mad them
whytt cotes and red crosses, and every ward of London iound men.
"The xxj day of January came a new commandement to my Lord Mayre that he
shuld make men redy in harnes with whyt cotes weltyd with green, and red crosses, by
the xxiij day of the same moneytlie to be at Leydenhalle lo go forward.
"The xviij day of May there was sent to the shyppes men in whyt cotes and red
crosses, and gones, to the Queen's shyppes." MACHVN'S DIARY.
40 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
other times, as in Figs. 66, 67, 68, it forms a portion only of the flag.
The red cross on the white field was the flag under which the great
seamen of Elizabeth's reign traded, explored, or fought ; the flag
that Drake bore round the world that Frobisher unfolded amidst
the Arctic solitudes that gallant Englishmen, the wide world over,
bore at the call of duty and died beneath, if need be, for the
honour of the old home land; and to this day the flag of the
English Admiral is the same simple and beautiful device, and
the white ensign of the British Navy, Fig. 95, is similar, ex-
cept that it bears, in addition, the Union; while the Union flag
itself, Fig. go, bears conspicuously the ruddy cross of the warrior
Figs. 26, 27, 74 and 140 are all sea-pennants bearing the Cross of
St. George. The first of these is from a painting of H.M.S. Tiger,
painted by Van de Velde, while Fig. 27 is flying from one of the
ships represented in the picture by Volpe of the embarkation of
Henry VIII. from Dover on his way to the Field of the Cloth of
Gold. Fig. 74 is from a picture of H.M.S. Lion, engaging the
French ship Elisabeth*, on July gth, 1745, the latter being fitted out
to escort the Young Pretender to Scotland. Though the red, white,
and blue stripes suggest the French tricolor, their employment in
the pennant has, of course, no reference to France. The Lion had
at the foremast the plain red streamer seen at Fig. 25. Fig. 140
is the pennant flown at the present day by all Colonial armed
vessels, while the pennant of the Royal Navy is purely white, with
the exception of the Cross of St. George. In a picture by Van de
Velde, the property of the Queen, representing a sea fight on
August nth, 1673, between the English, French, and Dutch, we
see some of the vessels with streamers similar to Fig. 140, thus
ante-dating the Colonial flag by over two hundred years.
As we have at the present time the white ensign, Fig. 95, the
special flag of the Royal Navy ; the blue ensign, Fig. 96, the dis-
tinguishing flag of the Royal Naval Reserve; and the red ensign,
Fig. 97, the flag of the Merchant Service, each with the Union in
the upper corner next the mast, so in earlier days we find the white
flag, Fig. 65, the red flag, Fig. 66, and the blue, each having in the
upper corner the Cross of St. George. Fig. 69 becomes, by the
addition of the blue, a curious modification of Fig. 66. It is from
a sea piece of the sixteenth century. It was displayed at the poop
of a vessel, while Fig. 79 is the Jack on the bowsprit.
A hundred years ago or so, we may see that there was a con-
siderable variety in the flags borne by our men-o'-war. Such
galleries as those at Hampton Court or Greenwich afford many
examples of this in the pictures there displayed. In a picture of a
battle off Dominica, on April *?th, 1782, we. find one qf the
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. 41
ships has two great square flags on the foremast, the upper one
being plain red, and the lower one half blue and half white in
horizontal stripes, while the main mast is surmounted by the Cross
of St. George, and below it a tricolor of red, white, and blue in
horizontal stripes. Other ships show equally curious variations,
though we need not stop to detail them, except that in one case both
fore and mizen masts are surmounted by plain red flags. In a
picture of Rodney's Action off Cape St. Vincent, on January i6th,
1780, we meet with all these flags again. In the representation of an
action between an English and French fleet on May 3rd, 1747, off
Cape Finisterre, we notice that the English ships have a blue ensign
at the poop, and one of them has a great plain blue flag at the fore-
mast, and a great plain red flag at the main-mast head. In a picture
of the taking of Portobello, November 2ist, 1739, we notice the
same thing again. These plain surfaces of blue or red are very
curious. It will naturally occur to the reader that these are signal
flags, but anyone seeing the pictures would scarcely continue to hold
that view, as their large size precludes the idea. In the picture of
H.M.S. Tiger that we have already referred to, the flag with five red
stripes that we have represented in Fig. 70 is at the poop, while from
the bow is hoisted a flag of four stripes, and from the three mast-
heads are flags, having three red stripes. These striped red and
white flags may often be seen.
Perhaps the most extraordinary grouping of flags may be seen in
a picture of a naval review in the reign of George I. It was on
exhibition at the Great Naval Exhibition at Chelsea, and is in
private ownership. All the vessels are dressed in immense flags,
and these are of the most varied description. It must be borne in
mind that these are government bunting, not the irresponsible
vagaries of private eccentricity. Besides the reasonable and
orthodox flags, such as those represented in Figs. 65, 66, and others
of equal propriety, we find one striped all over in red, white, blue,
red, white, blue, in six horizontal stripes. Another, with a yellow
cross on a white ground ; a third, a white eagle on a blue field ;
another, a red flag inscribed " For the Protestant Religion and the
Liberty of England " ; while another is like Fig. 65, only instead of
having a red cross on white, it has a blue one instead. An altogether
Figs. 67, 68, 72, and 78 are flags of the London Trained Bands
of the year 1643. The different regiments were known by the
colour of their flags, thus Fig. 67 is the flag of the blue regiment,
Fig. 68 of the yellow, Fig. 72 of the green, and Fig. 78 of the yellow
regiment auxiliaries. Other flags were as follows: white, with
red lozenges; green, with golden wavy rays; orange, with white
trefoils ; in each case the Cross of St. George being in the canton.
42 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
In a list before us of the Edinburgh Trained Bands for 1685 we find
that the different bodies are similarly distinguished by colours.*
On the union of the two crowns at the accession of James VI. of
Scotland and I. of England to the English throne, the Cross of
St. Andrew, Fig. 92, ;yas combined with that of St. George.
The Cross of St. Andrew has been held in the same high esteem
north of the Tweed that the Southrons have bestowed on the ensign
of St. George.* It will be seen that it is shaped like the letter X.
Tradition hath it that the Saint, deeming it far too great an honour
to be crucified as was his Lord, gained from his persecutors the
concession of this variation. It is legendarily asserted that this
form of cross appeared in the sky to Achaius, King of the Scots,
the night before a great battle with Athelstane, and, being victori-
ous, he went barefoot to the church of St. Andrew, and vowed to
adopt his cross as the national device. The sacred monogram that
replaced the Roman eagles under Constantine, the cross on the
flag of Denmark, the visions of Joan of Arc, and many other such-
like illustrations, readily occur to one's mind as indicative of the
natural desire to see the potent aid of Heaven visibly manifested
in justification of earthly ambitions, or a celestial support and
encouragement in time of national discomfiture.
Figs. 75 and 76 are examples of the Scottish red and blue
ensigns. The first of these is from a picture at Hampton Court,
where a large Scottish warship is represented as having a flag of
this character at the main, and smaller but similar colours at the
other mastheads and on the bowsprit.
The famous banner, the historic " blue blanket," borne by the
Scots in the Crusades, was on its return deposited over the altar of
St. Eloi in St. Giles' Church, Edinburgh, and the queen of James II.,
we read, painted on its field of azure the white Cross of St. Andrew,
the crown, and the thistle. St. Eloi was the patron saint of black-
smiths, and this craft was made the guardian of the flag, and it
became the symbol of the associated trades of ancient Edinburgh.
King James VI., when venting his indignation against his too inde-
pendent subjects, exclaimed, "The craftsmen think we should be
contented with their work, and if in anything they be controlled,
then up goes the blue blanket." The craftsmen were as indepen-
dent and difficult to manage as the London Trained Bands often
proved, but King James VI. found it expedient to confirm them in
* Thus we have the white, the blue, the white and orange, the green and red, the
purple, the blue and white, the orange and green, the red and yellow, the red and blue, the
red and white, and divers others. The orange company always took the lead. These
companies were for a long time in abeyance, and were superseded in 1798 by the formation
of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, but each year the Magistrates and Council still
appoint one of their number to be captain of the orange colours. His duty is to take
C|jar|e of the o|d colours and preserve tftero as an interesting relic of a bygnn* insfirntioi].
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 43
all their privileges, and ordered that the flag should at all times be
known as the Standard of the Crafts, and later Sovereigns found it
impossible to take away these privileges when they had once been
granted. This flag was borne at Flodden Field. Beside the cross,
crown, and thistle it bore on a scroll on the upper part of the flag
the inscription, " Fear God and honor the king with a long lyffe
and prosperous reigne," and on the lower portion the words, " And
we that is trades shall ever pray to be faithfull for the defence of
his Sacred Majesties' persone till deathe," an inscription that scarcely
seems to harmonise with the turbulent spirit that scandalised this
sovereign so greatly.
The flags borne by the Covenanters in their struggle for liberty
varied much in their details, but in the great majority of cases bore
upon them the Cross of St. Andrew, often accompanied by the
thistle, and in most cases by some form of inscription. Several of
these are still extant. In one that was borne at Bothwell Brig, and
now preserved in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries, Edin-
burgh, the four blue triangles (see Fig. 92 for these) are filled with
the words, " For Religion Couenants King and King-
domes." The Avondale flag was a white one, having the cross,
white on blue, as in Fig. 75, in the corner. On the field of the flag
was the inscription, " Avondale for Religion, Covenant, and King," *
and beneath this a thistle worked in the national green and crimson.
A very interesting Exhibition of Scottish national memorials was
held at Glasgow in 1888, and many of these old Covenant flags
were there displayed. At the great Heraldic Exhibition held in
Edinburgh in 1891, one of the most interesting things shown
was the Cavers Standard. This is of sage green silk, twelve feet
by three. It bears the Cross of St. Andrew next the staff, and
divers other devices are scattered over the rest of the flag. It
is in excellent preservation, and its special interest lies in the
fact that it is said to have been the standard of James, second
Earl of Douglas and Mar, and borne by his son at the battle of
Otterburn in the year 1388. If this be so it is one of the oldest
flags in existence.
On the signet-ring of Mary Queen of Scots the white Cross
of St. Andrew is not shown on its usual blue ground, but on a
ground striped blue and yellow, the royal colours; in the same
way that the St. George's Cross is shown in Fig. 71, not on a
It is remarkable that none of the flags extant bear the motto which the Parliament
on July jth, 1650, ordered "to be upoun haill culloris and standardis,"t.., " For Covenant,
Religion, King, and Kingdom." It is characteristic that each bodv claimed independence
even in this matter. Thus the Fenwick flag bore " Phinegh lor God, Country, and
Covenanted work of Reformations." Another flag has, " For Reformation in Church and
State, according to the Word of God and our Covenant," while yet another bears the in-
scription, " FQF Christ and His truth?, no quarters to ye active eneinies of ye Covenant,"
44 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
white ground, but on a ground striped white and green, the Tudor
Why St. Andrew was selected to be the Patron Saint of Scotland
has never been satisfactorily settled.* Some uncharitable enquirer
has hazarded the explanation that it was because it was this Apostle
who discovered the lad who had the loaves and fishes. Others
tell us that one Hungus, a Pictish prince, dreamt that the Saint was
to be his champion in a fight just then pending with the men of
Northumbria, and that a cross the symbol of the crucifixion of this
Apostle appeared in the sky, the celestial omen strengthening the
hearts and arms of the men of Hungus to such effect that the
Northumbrians were completely routed. Should neither of these
explanations appear sufficiently explanatory, we can offer yet a third.
On the martyrdom of St. Andrew, in the year 69, at Patras, in
Achaia, his remains were carefully preserved as relics, but in
the year 370, Regulus, one of the Greek monks who had them
in their keeping, was warned in a vision that the Emperor
Constantine was proposing to translate these remains to Constanti-
nople, and that he must at once visit the shrine and remove thence
an arm bone, three fingers of the right hand, and a tooth, and carry
them away over sea to the west. Regulus was much troubled at
the vision, but hastened to obey it, so putting the relics into a chest
he set sail with some half-dozen other ecclesiastics, to whom he
confided the celestial instructions that he had received. After a
stormy voyage the vessel was at last dashed upon a rock, and
Regulus and his companions landed on an unknown shore, and
found themselves in a dense and gloomy forest. Here they were
presently discovered by the aborigines, whose leader listened to
their story and gave them land on which to build a church for the
glory of God and the enshrining of the relics. This inhospitable
shore proved to be that of " Caledonia, stern and wild," and the
little forest church and hamlet that sprang up around it were the
nucleus that thence and to the present day have been known as St.
Andrews, a thriving, busy town in Fife, and for centuries the seat of
a ^bishopric. On July 5th, 1318, Robert the Bruce repaired hither
and testified his gratitude to God for the victory vouchsafed to
the Scots at Bannockburn by the intercession of St. Andrew,
guardian of the realm, when thirty thousand Scots defeated one
hundred thousand Englishmen. What St. George could have been
doing to allow this, seems a very legitimate question, but we can
scarcely wonder that the Scots should very gladly appoint so potent
a protector their patron, and look to him for succour in all their
On the blending of the two kingdoms into one under the
$v Andrew'* day is Nenrember y*k
THfc PLAGS OP THE WORLD. 45
sovereignty of King James,* it became necessary to devise a new
flag that should typify this union and blend together the emblems
of the puissant St. George and the no less honoured St. Andrew,
and the flag represented in Fig. 73 was the result the flag of the
United Kingdoms of England and Scotland, henceforth to be
known as Great Britain.
The Royal Ordinance f ran as follows : " Whereas some differ-
ence hath arisen between our subjects of South and North Britain,
travelling by seas, about the bearing of their flags, for the avoiding
of all such contentions hereafter we have, with the advice of our
Council, ordered that from henceforth all our subjects of this isle
and kingdom of Greater Britain, and the members thereof, shall
bear in their maintop the Red Cross, commonly called St. George's
Cross, and the White Cross, commonly called St. Andrew's Cross,
joined together, according to a form made by our Heralds, and sent
by us to our Admiral to be published to our said subjects : and in
their fore-top our subjects of South Britain shall wear the Red
Cross only, as they were wont, and our subjects of North Britain in
their fore-top the White Cross only, as they were accustomed.
Wherefore we will and command all our subjects to be comparable
and obedient to this our order, and that from henceforth they do
not use or bear their flags in any other sort, as they will answer the
contrary at their peril."
Such a proclamation was sorely needed, as there was much ill-
will and jealousy between the sailors and others of the two nation-
alities, and the Union flag itself, when " our heralds " produced it,
did not by any means please the North, and the right to carry in
fore-top the St. Andrew's Cross pure and simple was a concession
that failed to conciliate them. The great grievance was that, as we
see in Fig. 73, the Cross of St. George was placed in front of that of
St. Andrew, and the Scottish Privy Council, in a letter dated Edin-
burgh, August 7th, 1606, thus poured forth their feelings : " Most
sacred Soverayne, a greate nomber of the maisteris of the schippis
of this your Majesties kingdome hes verie havelie complenit to your
Majesties Counsell, that the forme and patrone of the flagges of
schippis sent down heir and command it to be ressavit and used be
the subjectis of both kingdomes is verie prejudicial! to the fredome
and dignitie of this Estate, and wil gif occasioun of reprotche to this
natioun quhairevir the said flage sal happin to be worne beyond sea,
* The question of the Union between England and Scotland was often mooted. In the
year 1291 Edward I., being victorious in the north, declared the two countries united, but
this did not last long. In 1363 Edward III. opened negotiations for a union of the two
crowns if King David of Scotland died without issue. In the reign of Edward VI. the
matter was again to the fore, but it was left to Queen Elizabeth to take the decisive step.
I April i2th, 1605.
46 ttife frLAcS ofr fkfe toofettt.
becaus, as your Sacred Majestie may persave, the Scottis CroCGt
callit Sanctandrois Croce, is twyse divydit, and the Inglishe Croce,
caflit Sanct George, drawne through the Scottis Croce, which is
thereby obscurit, and no token nor mark to be seene of the Scottis
armes. This will breid some heit and miscontentment betwix your
Majesties subjectis, and it is to be feirit that some inconvenientis
sail fall oute betwix thame, for our seyfaring men cannot be inducit
to resave that flage as it is set down. They have drawne two new
drauchtis and patrones as most indifferent for both kingdomes,
whiche they presentid to the Counsell, and craved our approbation
of the same, but we haif reserved that to your Majestie's princelie
determinatioun, as moir particularlie the Erll of Mar, who was
present, and herd their complaynt, and to whom we haif remittit
the discourse and delyverie of that mater, will informeyour Majestie
and let your Heynes see the errour of the first patrone and the
indifferencie of the two newe drauchties." These draughts are not
to be found, nor does it appear that any notice was taken of the
The Scottish Union flag, as carefully depicted in a scarce little
work published in 1701, and entitled "The Ensigns, Colours, and
Flags of the Ships at Sea, belonging to the several Princes and
States in the World," may be seen in Fig. 88. In it will be noted
that the Cross of St. Andrew is placed in front of that of St.
George anyone comparing Figs. 73 and 88 will readily see wherein
they differ. Though its appearance in a book of sea-flags would
seem to imply that such a flag had been made, we know of no other
instance of it. Fig. 84 was also suggested as a solution of the
problem, but here we get false heraldry, the blue in contact with
the red, and in any case a rather weak-looking arrangement.
The painful truth is that when two persons ride the same animal
they cannot both be in front, and no amount of heraldic ingenuity
will make two devices on a flag to be of equal value. The position
next the staff is accounted more honourable than that remote
from it, and the upper portion of the flag is more honourable than
the lower.* At first sight it might appear that matters are im-
partially dealt out in Fig. 81, but the position next the staff is given
to St. George, and in the quartered arrangement, Fig. 85, the
same holds true. Both these were suggestions made at the time
the difficulty was felt, but both were discarded in favour of the
arrangement shown in Fig. 73.
This Union Flag is not very often met with. It occurrs on one
of the great seals of Charles II., and is seen also as a Jack on the
* Thus in the Royal Standard of Spain, Fig. 194, the arms of Leon and Castile being
In the upper corner next the staff take precedence of honour over Arragon and all the
Other States therein introduced.
THE FLAGS OF f Htt WORLD. 47
bowsprits of ships in paintings of early naval battles. It may, by
good fortune, be seen also on the two colours of the 82nd regiment
that in the year 1783 were suspended in St. Giles', Edinburgh, and
a very good illustration of it may be seen in the National Gallery,
where, in a battle scene by Copley, representing the death of Major
Peirson, at St. Helier, Jersey, on January 6th, 1781, this Union flag
is conspicuous in the centre of the picture. We have it again in
Fig 57, the original flag of the East India Company ; the difference
between this and the second Union Flag, made on the admission of
Ireland's Cross of St. Patrick, may be very well seen on a com-
parison of Figs. 57 and 61. We have it again in Figs. 142 and 143,
flags of the revolting American Colonists before they had thrown off
all allegiance to the Old Country.
A knowledge of the history of the flag has not only interest, but
is of some little importance. We remember seeing a picture of the
sailing of the Mayflower, in which, by a curious lack of a little
technical knowledge, the flag depicted was the Union Flag of to-day,
which did not come into existence until the first year of the present
century, whereas the historic event represented in the picture took
place in the year 1620. In a fresco in the House of Lords, represent-
ing Charles II. landing in England,* the artist has introduced a boat
bearing the present Union Flag. In each of these cases it is
evident that it should have been the first Union that of England
and Scotland that the flag should have testified to.
Charles I. issued a proclamation on May 5th, 1634, forbidding
any but the Royal ships to carry the Union flag ; all merchantmen,
according to their nationality, being required to show either the
Cross of St. George or that of St. Andrew. Queen Anne, on
July 28th, 1707, required that merchant vessels should fly a red flag
"with a Union Jack described in a canton at the upper corner
thereof, next the staff," while the Union Flag, as before, was
reserved for the Royal Navy. This merchant flag, if we cut out the
inscription there shown, would be similar to Fig. 142. This is inter-
esting, because, after many changes, so lately as October i8th, 1864,
it was ordered that the red ensign once again should be the
distinguishing flag of the commercial marine; the present flag is
given in Fig. 97. It is further interesting because this proclamation
of Queen Anne's is the first time that the term Union Jack, so far
as we are aware, is officially used.
Technically, our national banner should be called the Union Flag,
though in ordinary parlance it is always called the Union Jack.
* In a picture in the collection at Hampton Court, representing the embarkation of
Charles II. from Holland, the ship has a large red flag charged with the Stuart arms in the
Centre, but so soon as his position in England was assured he reverted to the royal
standard of his Stuart predecessors and to the original form of the union flag, a form that
during the Protectorate was widely departed from.
48 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
The latter flag is a diminutive of the former, and the term ought
in strictness to be confined to the small Union Flag flown from the
Jack-staff on the bowsprit of a ship. The Union Flag is, besides
this, only used as the special distinguishing flag of an Admiral of
the Fleet, when it is hoisted at the main top-gallant mast-head, and
when the Sovereign is on board a vessel, in which case the Royal
Standard is flown at the main and the Union at the mizen. With
a white border round it, as in Fig. 104, it is the signal for a
pilot: hence this is called the Pilot Jack. The sea flags now in
use are the white, red, and blue ensigns, Figs. 95, 96, 97, to
be hereafter described, while the Union flag is devoted especially
to land service, being hoisted on fortresses and government offices,
and borne by the troops.
Why the flag should be called " Jack " at all has been the subject
of much controversy. It is ordinarily suggested that the deriva-
tion is from Jacques, the French word for James, the Union Jack
springing into existence under his auspices. Why it should be
given this French name does not seem very clear, except that
many of the terms used in blazonry are French in their origin.
It never seems to have been suggested that, granting the reference
to King James, the Latin Jacobus would be a more appropriate
explanation, as the Latin names of our kings have for centuries
supplanted the earlier Norman-French on their coins, seals, and
documents. Several other theories have been broached, of varying
degrees of improbability; one of these deriving it from the word
"jaque"* (hence our modern jacket), the surcoat worn over the
armour in mediaeval days. This, we have seen, had the Cross of
St. George always represented on it ; but there is no proof that
the jaque was ever worn with the union of the two crosses upon it,
so that the derivation breaks down just at the critical point. The
present flag came into existence in the reign of King George, but
no one ever dreams on this account, or any other, of calling it the
On the death of Charles I., the partnership between England
and Scotland was dissolved, and the Union Flag, Fig. 73, there-
fore, was disestablished, and was only restored in the general
Restoration, when the Commonwealth and Protectorate had run
their course, and Charles II. ascended the throne of his forefathers.
The earliest Commonwealth Flag was a simple reversion to the
Cross of St. George, Fig. 91. At a meeting of the Council of
State, held on February 22nd, 1648-49, it was " ordered that the
ships at sea in service of the State shall onely beare the red Crosse
* "Jaque, espece de petite casaque militaire qu'on portalt au moyen age sur le
nnes et sur la cuirasse.' BOUILLET, " Diet. Universel."
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 49
in a white flag. That the engravings upon the Sterne of ye ships
shall be the Armes of England and Ireland in two Scutcheons, as is
used in the Seals, and that a warrant be issued to ye Commissioners
of ye Navy to see it put in execution with all speed." The com-
munication thus ordered to be made to the Commissioners was in
form a letter from the President of the Council as follows : " To
ye Commissioners of ye Navy. Gentlemen, There hath beene a
report made to the Councell by Sir Henry Mildmay of your desire
to be informed what is to be borne in the flaggs of those Ships that
are in the Service of the State, and what to be upon the Sterne in
lieu of the Armes formerly thus engraven. Upon the consideration
of the Councell whereof, the Councell have resolved that they shall
beare the Red Crosse only in a white flagg, quite through the flagg.
And that upon the Sterne of the Shipps there shall be the Red
Crosse in one Escotcheon, and the Harpe in one other, being the
Armes of England and Ireland, both Escotcheons joyned accord-
ing to the pattern herewith sent unto you. And you are to take
care that these Flaggs may be provided with all expedition for the
Shipps for the Summer Guard, and that these engraveings may also
be altered according to this direction with all possible expedition.
Signed in ye name and by order of ye Councell of State appointed
by Authority of Parliament. Ol. Cromwell, Derby House, Feb-
ruary 23rd, 1648."
In a Council meeting held on March sth, considerably within a
month of the one we have just referred to, it is " ordered that the
Flagg that is to be borne by the Admiral, Vice-Admiral, and Rere-
Admiral be that now presented, viz., the Armes of England and
Ireland in two severall Escotcheons in a Red Flagg, within a
compartment."* This arrangement may be seen in Fig. 82. A
Commonwealth flag that is still preserved at the dockyard, Chat-
ham, differs slightly from this. The ground of the flag is red,
but the shields are placed directly upon it without any intervening
gold border, and around them is placed a large wreath of palm
and laurel in dark green colour.
In the year 1787 an interesting book called the " Respublica "
was published ; the author, Sir John Prestwich, deriving much of
his material from MSS. left by an ancestor of his who lived during
the Interregnum. In this the reader may find full descriptions of
many of the flags of the Parliamentarians. One of these is much
like the Chatham example already referred to, except that the
ground of the flag is blue, and that outside the shields, but within
the wreath, is found the inscription " Floreat Respublica."
* A contemporary representation of this Long Parliament flag may be seen on the
medals bestowed on the victorious naval commanders, where the principal ship in the sea-
fight represented on the reverse of the medal flies this flag at her masthead.
50 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
The flag of the Commonwealth was borne to victory at Dunbai ,
Worcester, and many another hard-fought field, and under its folds
Blake, Monk, and other gallant leaders gained glorious victories
over the Dutch and Spaniards, and made the English name
feared in every sea.
" Of wind's and water's rage they fearful be,
But much more fearful are your flags to see.
Day, that to those who sail upon the deep.
More wish'd for and more welcome is than sleep,
They dreaded to behold, lest the sun's light
With English streamers should salute their sight. " *
It was not until the year 1651 that Scotland was brought under
the sway of the Commonwealth, and the ordinance for its full union
with England and Ireland was not promulgated until April i2th,
1654. Somewhat later an Order of Council recognised the new
necessities of the case, and decreed that the Standard for the Pro-
tectorate be as shown in Fig. 83. England and Scotland are here
represented by their respective crosses, while Ireland, instead of
having the Cross of St. Patrick, is represented by the harp.
In Fig. 80 all three crosses are introduced, but there seems some-
what too much white in this latter flag for an altogether successful
effect, and the blue of the Irish quarter, balancing the blue of the
Scottish, is more pleasing. The Union Flag underwent yet another
modification, and instead of being like Figs. 82 or 86, the Union Flag
of James I., Fig. 73, was reverted to, and in the centre of the flag was
placed a golden harp "the Armes of England and Scotland
united, according to the anncient form, with the addicion of the
harpe." On the restoration of Charles II. this harp was removed,
and Ireland does not appear again in the Union Flag, Fig. 73,
until January ist, 1801.
A pattern farthing of this period preserved in the magnificent
numismatic collection in the British Museum shows on its reverse
a three-masted ship : at the stern is a large flag divided vertically,
like Fig. 86, into two compartments, the Cross of St. George in one
and the harp in the other ; the main and mizen masts are shown
with flags containing St. George's Cross only, as in Fig. 91, while
the foremasj bears a flag with St. Andrew's Cross upon it, a flag
similar to Fig. 92.
For nearly fifty years before its rise, and for nearly one hundred
and fifty years after the downfall of the Protectorate, that is to say
from 1602 to 1649 and from 1659 to 1801, the Union Flag was as
shown in Fig. 73, but in 1801 the Legislative Union of Ireland with
Great Britain was effected, and a new Union Flag, the one now in
* Andrew Marvell on the victory of Blake at Santa Cruz.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. -5!
use, was devised. This may be seen in Fig. 90, the noblest flag
that flies under heaven.
Though the National Flag is primarily just so much silk or
bunting, its design and colouring are full of meaning : and though
its prime cost may be but a few shillings, its value is priceless, for
the national honour is enwrapped in its folds, and the history c "
centuries is figured in the symbolism of its devices. It represents to
us all that patriotism means. It is the flag of freedom and of the
greatest empire that the world has ever known. Over three hundred
millions of people in quiet English shires, amid Canadian snows,
on the torrid plains of Hindustan, amidst the busy energy of the
great Australian group of colonies, or the tropical luxuriance of our
West Indian possessions are to-day enjoying liberty and peace
beneath its shelter. Countless thousands have freely given their
lives to preserve its blazonry unstained from dishonour and defeat,
and it rests with us now to keep the glorious record as unsullied as
of old ; never to unfurl our Union Flag in needless strife, but, when
once given to the breeze, to emulate the deeds of our forefathers,
and to inscribe on its folds fresh records of duty nobly done.
How the form known as St. Patrick's Cross, Fig. 93, became
associated with that worthy is not by any means clear. It is not
found amongst the emblems of Saints, and its use is in defiance of
all ecclesiastical tradition and custom, as St. Patrick never in the
martyrological sense had a cross at all, for though he endured much
persecution he was not actually called upon to lay down his life for
the Faith. It has been suggested, and with much appearance
of probability, that the X-like form of cross, both of the Irish
and of the Scotch, is derived from the sacred monogram on the
Labarum of Constantine, where the X is the first letter of the
Greek word for Christ. This symbolic meaning of the form might
readily be adopted in the early Irish Church, and thence be carried
by missionaries to Scotland.
A life of St. Patrick was written by Probus, who lived in the
seventh century, and another by Jocelin, a Cistercian monk of the
twelfth century, and this latter quotes freely from four other lives of
the Saint that were written by his disciples.
St. Patrick was born in Scotland, near where Glasgow now
stands. The date of his birth was somewhere near the close of the
fourth century, but as to the year authorities differ widely 372,
455, 464, and 493 being all given by various biographers.* His father
was of good family, and, while the future saint was still under the
paternal roof, God manifested to him by divers visions that he was
A the year of his birth is scarcely known within a century or so, k is too much to
expect the month or the day, but the day that is assigned to St. Patrick in the calendar is
52 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
destined for the great work of the conversion of Ireland, at that time
plunged in idolatry. Hence he resigned his birthright and social
position, and devoted himself entirely to the salvation of these
barbarians, suffering at their hands and for their sakes much perse-
cution. He was ordained deacon and priest, and was ultimately
made a bishop. He travelled over the whole of Ireland founding
monasteries and filling the country with churches and schools of
piety and learning. Animated by a spirit of perfect charity and
humility, he demonstrated not only the faith but the spirit of his
Master, and the result of his forty years of labour was to change
Ireland from a land of barbarism into a seat of learning and piety,
so that it received the title of the Island of Saints, and was for
centuries a land of mental and spiritual light.
On the Union of the Kingdom of Great Britain with Ireland in the
year 1801, the following notice was issued by Royal Authority : " Pro-
clamation, George R. Whereas by the First Article of the Articles
of Great Britain and Ireland it was declared : That the said King-
doms of Great Britain and Ireland should upon this day, being the
First Day of January, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight
Hundred and One, for ever after be united into One Kingdom, by
the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland : and
that the Royal Style and Titles appertaining to the Imperial Crown
of the said United Kingdom and its Dependencies, and also the
Ensigns Armorial, Flags, and Banners thereof, should be such as
We, by our Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the said
United Kingdom should appoint: We have thought fit, by and
with the advice of our Privy Council, to appoint and declare that
our Royal Style and Titles shall henceforth be accepted, taken, and
used as the same set forth in Manner and Form following : Georgius
Tertius, Dei Gratia, Britannarium Rex, Fidei Defensor ; and in the
English Tongue by these words : George the Third, by the Grace
of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King,
Defender of the Faith ; and that the Arms or Ensigns Armorial of
the said United Kingdom shall be Quarterly : first and fourth,
England : second, Scotland : third, Ireland : and it is Our Will
and Pleasure that there shall be borne thereon on an escutcheon of
pretence, the Arms of Our Domains in Germany, ensigned with
the Electoral Bonnet :* And that the Union Flag shall be Azure,
the Crosses Saltire of St. Andrew and St. Patrick Quarterly, per
Saltire counterchanged Argent and Gules : the latter fimbriated of
the second, surmounted by the Cross of St. George of the third,
fimbriated as the Saltire."
In the year 1816, In consequence of the Electorate of Hanover being raised to
ank of a Kingdom, the Hanoverian Royal Crown was subotiiiued for the Electoral
gear iu the royal arms on the shield and standard.
the rank 01 a Kingdom, toe Hanoverian Royal Crowi
headgear iu the royal arms on the shield and standard
TE FLAGS Of tHfe WORLD. 5$
The heralds who devised the new flag of the extended Union, Fig.
go, have been subjected to a very considerable amount of adverse
criticism, * but no one has really been able to suggest a better plan
than theirs. It will be noted in the illustration and in every Union
flag that is made, that the red Cross of St. Patrick, Fig. 93, is not in
the centre of the white Cross, Fig. 92, of St. Andrew. The scarlet
Cross of St. George is equally fringed on either side by the white
border or fimbriation that represents the original white field, Fig.
91, on which it was placed, and on the addition of the white cross
or saltire of St. Andrew on its field of blue, Fig. 92, it fitted in very
happily. When, however, another X-like cross had to be provided
for, on the admission of Ireland to the Union, a difficulty at once
arose. As the Irish Cross would, according to all rule and fairness,
be of the same width on the joint flag as that of St. Andrew,
the result of placing the second or red X over the first white one
would be to entirely obliterate the latter. Even then the Irish Cross
would not be rightly rendered, as it should be on a white ground,
and by this method it would be on a blue one, while if we placed
the Irish Cross on that of St. Andrew, but left a thin line of white
on either side, St. Andrew's Cross would still be obliterated, as the
thin fimbriation of white would be the just due of St. Patrick, and
would not stand for St. Andrew at all. Besides, Scottish indigna-
tion would not unjustly be aroused at the idea that their noble white
cross should become a mere edging to the symbol of St. Patrick.
Hence the somewhat awkward-looking compromise that breaks the
continuity of direction of the arms of the red cross of Ireland by its
portions being thrown out of the centre of the white oblique bands,
so that in each portion the crosses of Ireland and Scotland are
clearly distinguished from each other. This compromise notwith-
standing, no more effective or beautiful flag unfolds itself the round
world over than the Union flag of Great Britain and Ireland.
The crosses might have been quartered as we see them in
Fig. 80, but it is clearly better to preserve the idea of the unity
and blend all three crosses into one composition. No criticism
or objection has ever come from Ireland as to the Union flag, but
even so lately as 1853 the Scotch renewed their grievance against
the Cross of St. Andrew being placed behind that of St. George,
"and having a red stripe run through the arms thereof, for which
there is no precedent in law or heraldry." If ever an Irishman
cared to hunt up a grievance, surely here is one at last the cross
of his patron saint " a red stripe " I
* A writer in the Retrospective Review in the year 1827, thus relieves his feelings :" The
banner ot St. George, argent, and cross gules is still borne as part of the English flag,
though, from the disgraceful manner in which it has been amalgamated with the Crosses
of St. Andrew and St. Patrick, it has not only lost all its purity, but presents a melancholy
example of the ignorance of heraldry and total want of patriotism and taste which must
have characterised those to whom we unfortunately owe its arrangement,"
54 THfc FLAGS O* tHfc WORLD.
When the Union flag is flown, it should always be as we have
drawn it in Fig. 90, with the broad white stripe nearest to the head
of the flagstaff. It would be quite possible, our readers will see, on
a little study of the matter, to turn it with the red stripe upper-
most ; but this, as we have indicated, is incorrect : and, trivial as
the matter may appear, there is a right and a wrong hi it, and the
point must not be overlooked.
Many suggestions at the time of the Union were made by divers
writers in the public prints, such as the Gentleman's Magazine, and
the like. One version preserved the flag of the first Union, Fig.
73, but placed hi the centre a large green circle having within it the
golden harp of the Emerald Isle : but this is objectionable, as it
brings green on red, which is heraldically false, and as Ireland
has a cross as well as England and Scotland, it seems more
reasonable to keep the whole arrangement hi harmony. Another
version, and by no means a bad one, is shown in Fig. 89, where
each cross is distinct from the two others. This appeared in the
Gentleman's Magazine for March zoth. 1803, and, like all the other
suggestions, good, bad, and indifferent, suffered from the fatal
objection that it saw the light when the whole matter was already
settled and any alteration scarcely possible.
In view of the changes from the simple Cross of St. George to
its union later on with that of St. Andrew, and later on still the
union of both with that of St. Patrick, it is sufficiently evident that
Campbell's stirring appeal to the mariners of England to defend the
flag that for a thousand years has braved the battle and the breeze,
however excellent in spirit, does not fit in with the literal facts,
though we would not willingly change it for such a version as
Ye mariners of England,
That guard our native seas:
Whose flag has braved since eighteen-one,
The battle and the breeze.
The " Queen's Regulations " are very precise as to the hoisting
of the flag at the various home and foreign stations and fortresses.
Some few of these have the Royal Standard for use on Royal
Anniversaries and State occasions only, and these flags are issued
in two sizes either twenty-four by twelve feet, or twelve by six
feet according to the importance of the position; thus Dover,
Plymouth, and the Tower of London, for example, have the larger
size. In like manner the Union Flag is of two sizes : twelve by six
feet, or six by three feet. These flags at the various stations are
either hoisted on anniversaries only, or on Sundays in addition, or
else daily; thus Dover, besides its Standard, has a Union flag,
twelve by six, for special occasions, and another, six by three,
THE frLAGS OP THE WORLD. 55
which is hoisted daily. Our foreign stations, Bermuda, Cape of
Good Hope, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Halifax, St. Helena,
and so forth, are all equally rigidly provided for in Regulations.
There is no option anywhere in the matter. A particular fortress
has to fly a particular flag of a particular size on a particular day.
The white ensign, Fig. 95, is the distinguishing flag of the Royal
Navy. It is hoisted at the peak of all vessels in commission, or in
such other conspicuous position of honour as their rig or (as in the
case of some ironclads) absence of rig will permit. It is a large
white flag, having upon it the Cross of St. George, the portion of
the flag nearest the mast-head being occupied by the Union.*
Until 1864 the Royal Navy was divided into the white, the blue,
and the red squadrons, distinguished by the flags shown in Figs. 95,
96, and 97, but this arrangement, though it had lasted for over
two hundred years,f was found to have many inconveniences. It
was very puzzling to foreigners, and it was necessary that each
vessel should have three sets of colours, so as to be able to hoist
the orthodox flag for the squadron in which, for the time being,
it might be placed. It was also a difficulty that peaceful mer-
chantmen were carrying a red ensign, Fig. 97, exactly similar to
the war flag of the vessels of the red squadron. It was incon-
venient in action, too; hence, Nelson at Trafalgar ordered the
whole of his fleet to hoist the white ensign. An Order of Council,
dated October i8th, 1864, put an end to this use of differing flags,
declaring that henceforth the white ensign alone should be the flag
of the Royal Navy. In the old days the red was the highest, the
white the intermediate, and the blue the third in rank and dignity.
Her Majesty's ships, when at anchor in home ports and roads,
hoist their colours at 8 o'clock in the morning from March 25th to
September zoth, and the rest of the year an hour later ; and on
foreign stations, at either of these hours as the commanding officer
shall direct; and either abroad or at home they remain flying
throughout the day until sunset. J When at sea, on passing, meeting,
* All Her Majesty's Ships of War in Commission shall bear a white ensign with the
Red St. George Cross, and the Union In the upper Canton, and when it shall be thought
proper to do so, they may display the Union Jack at the bowsprit end." Queen's
f We read, for instance, in the Diary of Pepys that in the expedition of the Duke of
Buckingham, in the year 1627, against the Isle de Rh<< that " the Duke divided his fleet into
squadrons. Himself, ye Admirall, and General in chiefe, went in ye Triumphe, bearing
the Standard of England in ye maine topp, and Admirall particular of the bloody colours.
The Earl of Lindsay was Vice-Admirall to the Fleete in the Rainbowe, bearing the King's
usual colours in his foretopp, and a blew flag in his maine topp, and was admirall of tna
blew colours. The Lord Harvey was Rear Admirall in ye Repulse, bearing the King's
usual colours hi his mizen, and a white flag in the main topp, and was Admirall of >
squadron of white colours."
t On the hoisting of the Ensign all work stops, and all ranks muster on deck, standing
with hand raised to the cap in salute, while the ship's band plays the opening bar*
of the National Anthem.
56 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
joining or parting from any other of Her Majesty's ships or on
falling in with any other ship the flag is hoisted, and also when
in sight of land, and especially when passing any fort, battery,
lighthouse, or town.
When salutes are fired on the occasion of a foreign national
festival, such as the birthday of the sovereign, the flag of the nation
in question is hoisted at the main during the salute and for such
further time as the war ships of such nation are be-flagged, but if
none are present, then their flag remains up till sunset. Should a
British war vessel arrive at any foreign fortified port, the flag of
the foreign nation is hoisted at the main during the exchange of
It is a rank offence for any vessel to fly any ensign or pendant
similar to those used in the Royal Navy. It will at once be
boarded by any officer of Her Majesty's Service, the offending
colours seized, and the vessel reported. The penalty for the offence
is a very heavy one.
The admiral has as a flag the white flag with the Cross of
St. George thereon, Fig. 91, and this must be displayed at the main
top-gallant mast-head, since both the vice and rear-admirals are en-
titled to fly a similar flag, but the former of these displays his from
the fore, and the latter from the mizen top-gallant mast-head ; it
being not the flag alone but the position of it that is distinctive
of rank. The commodore's broad pendant is a very similar flag,
but it tapers slightly, and is swallow-tailed.
The " Naval Discipline Act," better known as " The Articles of
War," commences with the true and noble words " It is on the
Navy, under the Good Providence of God, that our Wealth, Pros-
perity, and Peace depend," and we may trust that the glorious
traditions of this great service may be maintained to the full as
effectually under the White Ensign as in any former period for the
' This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise ;
This fortress built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war ;
This happy breed of men, this little world ;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."
The blue ensign, Fig. 96, is the flag of the Royal Naval Reserve,
and may be flown by any merchant vessels that comply with the
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 57
Admiralty conditions respecting that service. Such vessels must be
commanded by officers of the Reserve, and at least one-third of their
crew must belong to it : they then, the structural conditions being
satisfactory, receive a Government subvention and an Admiralty
Warrant to fly the blue ensign. Officers commanding Her Majesty's
ships, meeting with ships carrying the blue ensign, are authorised to
go on board them at any convenient opportunity and see that these
conditions are strictly carried out, provided that they are of superior
rank to the officers of the Royal Naval Reserve. The men of the
Reserve receive an annual retainer and drill pay. The number of
men in the Reserve, at the time we write these lines, is 10,600 in the
first class and 10,800 in the second. The first class Reserve is
composed of the men on the long voyage ships, the second being
the fishermen and coasting crews. In addition to this there are
some 3,000 engineers and stokers, and some 1,500 or so of officers,
all equally prepared to rally to the pennant and to take their place
in the national defence.
This utilisation of the faster vessels of the Mercantile Marine
as cruisers in war time has seriously engaged the attention of the
Admiralty. The Government gives an annual subsidy, and then
claims the right to the vessel at a fixed charge in case of emergency.
Such vessels would be of immense service in time of war in many
ways : for scouting, for transporting troops, and for engaging such of
the enemy as she felt fairly a match for. When, some few years ago,
it seemed as though war with Russia was imminent, the Massilia and
the Rosftta of the Peninsula and Oriental Company's fleet were put
in commission by telegraph at Sydney and Hong Kong respectively.
These vessels were provided at once with warlike stores, and were
at gun practice off the ports referred to a few hours after the
receipt of instructions, and ready to go anywhere. This Company,
during the Crimean War, carried over sixty thousand men to the
scene of operations, and during the Indian Mutiny, the war in
the Soudan, and all other possible occasions, has rendered the
greatest aid to the State. The Teutonic and the Majestic, of the
White Star Line, each carry twelve Armstrong guns, and could
either of them land two thousand infantry at Halifax in five days,
or at Bombay in fourteen days, or at Hong Kong in twenty-one ;
and many other armed cruisers of the Mercantile Marine, that we
need not stay to particularise, could do as much, and as effectively,
flying the Blue Ensign as worthily as those we have named.
" Little England 1 Great in story 1
Mother of immortal men 1
Great in courage 1 Great in glory !
Dear to Freedom's tongue and pen |
5& THB FLAGS OF THB WORLD. .
If the world combine to brave thee,
English hearts will dare the fight,
English hands will glow to save thee.
Strong for England and the right!'
The Red Ensign, represented in Fig. 97, is the special flag of
the ordinary merchantman. "The Red Ensign" lays down the
'Merchant Shipping (Colours) Act" "usually worn by merchant
ships, without any defacement or modification whatsoever, is hereby
declared to be the proper national colour of all ships and boats
belonging to any subject of Her Majesty, except in the case of Her
Majesty's ships or boats, or in the case of any other ship or boat
for the time being allowed to wear any other national colours, in
pursuant of a Warrant from Her Majesty or from the Admiralty."
This Act goes on to say that any ship belonging to any subject
of the Queen shall, on a signal being made to her by one of Her
Majesty's ships, or on entering or leaving any foreign port, hoist the
red ensign, and if of fifty tons gross tonnage or upwards, on
entering or leaving any British port also, or incur a penalty not
exceeding one hundred pounds. A merchantman may also fly the
Union Jack from the bowsprit, but if so the flag, as in Fig. 104, must
have a broad white border.
The earliest form of red ensign is seen in Fig. 66. In a picture
at Hampton Court, representing the embarkation of William of
Orange for England, in the year 1688, his ship is shown as wearing
two flags, one a red one with St. George's Cross in the canton, as in
Fig. 66, while the other, also red, has the Union Flag in the canton.
We get, therefore, a regular sequence of red ensigns : that with St.
George's Cross alone in the corner next the masthead ; that with the
Union of St. George and St. Andrew this picture at Hampton
Court being the earliest example known of its use ; and, thirdly, that
of to-day with the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St.
Some little degree of flag-lore is valuable not only to the soldier,
the seaman, or the traveller, but to everyone. For want of this
knowledge, ludicrous and serious mistakes are often made. Discuss-
ing these matters with a man of good general knowledge, we found
that he had a notion that there were two kinds of " Union Jack,"
one, that had most red in it, being the Army flag ; while the other,
in which blue preponderated, was the flag of the Navy ! Outside a
large provincial theatre we saw a conspicuous notice indicating that
the piece then running was entitled " The Old Flag." To emphasise
this was a picture of a square of British linesmen surrounded by
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. 59
Zulus, while In the centre of the square rose the Royal Standard !
As a set-off to this we saw, not far off, a public house called the
" Royal Standard," flying from its roof the white Ensign I A friend of
ours brought home for his son a really capital toy model of an iron-
clad, with turrets, ram, fighting tops, etc., and yet flying the red
ensign of the harmless merchantman I
At a church we occasionally pass, the living being in the gift of
the Queen, the Royal Standard is hoisted on such Church festivals as
Christmas Day, while at other times, for no apparent reason, the
white Ensign is substituted the special flag of the War Navy.
Anyone venturing to point out to the authorities thereof that, as
the old church could scarcely take up its position as a unit in our
fighting fleet having, in fact, quite another mission hi the world the
special flag of the Royal Navy was not the most appropriate, would
probably derive from the interview the impression that, after all,
to the churchwardens a flag was a flag, and that it was quite
possible to make a mountain out of a molehill.
To one who knows anything about it, the eruption of silk
bunting, and baser fabrics innumerable that comes to the fore on
any occasion of national rejoicing, is a thing of horror, not merely
in the festal disfigurements of the patchwork counterpane or cotton
pockethandkerchief type, seeing that to some people any coloured
piece of stuff that will blow out in the wind is a valid decoration,
but in the painful ignorance shown La the treatment of recognised
ensigns. Some little time ago, for instance, we found ourselves in a
town gaily beflagged and radiant in bunting on the occasion of a
great popular rejoicing. The Royal Standard, betokening the
presence in the house of some member of the Royal Family, was
flying with a profusion that made it impossible to believe that all
the people displaying it could be entertaining such distinguished
guests. As a set-off, others were decking their houses with red
flags, the symbols of revolution and bloodshed, or with yellow ones,
leaving us to infer that such houses were to be avoided as nests of
yellow fever or such-like deadly infection. The Stars and Stripes of
the United States were, in almost every case, upside down, as
indeed were many others ; a thing that, except for the ignorance
that was its excuse, might be considered as an insult to the various
Foreign Powers, while the repeated reversal of the red ensign
implied a signal of distress. The good folks really meant no harm
to anybody, and they were quite happy to believe, as they strolled
in their thousands up the leading streets of the town, that their
decorations were a great success. At the same time, a little more
knowledge would have done them no harm. As it is an insult
to hoist one national flag below another, it is a rigid law that in
all official decorations national flags may not be so placed, but
6o THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
enthusiastic and irresponsible burgesses, in the depth of their
ignorance, ignore all such considerations of international courtesy,
and in the length of a short street commit sufficient indiscretion to
give umbrage to all mankind. It may be said that
" Happiness too swiftly flies,
Thought would destroy their Paradise"
that "he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow," that
" From ignorance our comfort flows,
The only wretched are the wise "
but despite all this philosophy, that "where ignorance is bliss 'tis
folly to be wise," no one is the worse for knowing something about
the matter with which he is dealing ; and if proverbial philosophy
is to count for anything in the matter, a not inappropriate moral
may be quoted as to the rushing in of fools where their betters
feel a judicious modesty. The confidence of knowledge is better
than the confidence of ignorance, and would certainly, in street
flagging, produce a more satisfactory result.
We have in Plate VI. some few examples of these vagaries from
sketches that we made at the time. Fig. 45, if it had not got the
Union in the canton, would nearly be the Danish flag, Fig. 225, but
the addition of the canton makes it sheer foolishness. Fig. 46 is a
good example of the notion that anything will do if it be only bright
enough : it is a mere piece of patchwork, not by any means the
only one in evidence. Figs. 47 and 50 explain themselves ; it is
evident that in one case the decorator started with a white ensign
and in the other with a blue one, and then, feeling that they were
a little small and insignificant looking, tacked on a goodly amount
of red material to bring them up to their notion of what would be
sufficiently conspicuous in size. Fig. 48 is very quaint : there is a
notion of the white ensign hovering about it, but the Royal Standard
employed as a canton in one quarter is outside all the proprieties,
and in any case all the arm of the cross that one would expect
to see below the canton is absorbed by it. The addition of the
two red tails to the Royal Standard in Fig. 49 is not by any
means legitimate, while in Fig. 51 the Royal Standard is made
the canton of a red ensign, and, as if this were not bad enough
in itself, the whole thing is flown upside down. Many of the
so-called flags had no semblance to anything, some were strange
and abnormal tricolors ; others, chequers : one, we remember, was
deep crimson, with a broad bordering round three of its edges of
light blue. Whatever opportunity of going wrong seemed to be at
all feasible appeared to be eagerly seized by some well-meaning
burgess, so that the result was a perfect museum of examples of
how not to do it, and therefore of immense interest.
Army Flags the Queen's Colour the Regimental Colour the Honours and
Devices the Flag of the 24th Regiment FacingsFlag of the King's Own
Borderers What the Flag Symbolises Colours of the Guards the Assaye Flag
Cavalry Flags Presentation of Colours Chelsea College Chapel Flags of the
Buffs in Canterbury Cathedral Flags of the Scottish Regiments in St. Giles's
Cathedral Burning of Rebel Flags by the Hangman Special Flags for various.
Official Personages Special Flags for different Government Departments The
Lord High Admiral The Mail Flag White Ensign of the Royal Yacht Squadron
Yacht Ensigns and Burgees House or Company Flags How to express
Colours with Lines the Allan Tricolor Port Flags the British Empire the
Colonial Blue Ensign and Pendant the Colonial Defence Act Colonial Mercan-
tile Flag Admiralty Warrant Flag of the Governor of a Colony the Green
Garland the Arms of the Dominion of Canada Badges of the various Colonies
Daniel Webster on the Might of England Bacon on the Command of the
TTAVING now dealt with the Union Flag and the Red and
^ Blue Ensigns, we proceed to see how these are modified by
the addition of various devices upon them.
The flags of the army claim the first place in our regard. Each
infantry regiment has two " colours," one being called the " Queen's
Colour," and the other the " Regimental Colour." On turning to
Barret's " Theorike and Practike of Modern Warres," a book pub-
lished in the year 1598, we find the following passage: "We
Englishmen do call them of late colours, by reason of the variety of
colours they be made of, whereby they be the better noted and
known." This we may doubtless accept as a sufficient explanation
of the word, and the passage is interesting, too, as approximately
fixing a date for the introduction of the term, and showing that it
has been in use for at least three hundred years.
The Queen's Colour in every regiment of the line is the flag of
the Union, Fig. 90, bearing in its centre the Imperial crown and
the number of the regiment beneath it in Roman figures worked in
gold, and its territorial designation.
The regimental Colour is of the colour of the facings of the
regiment, except when these are white, in which case the body of
the flag is not plain white all over, but bears upon it the Cross
of St. George. Whatever the colour, it bears in its upper corner
the Union, and in the centre of the flag the crown and title of
62 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
the regiment, and around it whatever devices, or badges, or other
distinctions have been specially conferred upon it, together with
the names of the actions in which the regiment has taken part, the
records of its gallant service in many a hard-fought struggle in the
Peninsula, on the sultry plains of India, beneath the burning sun of
Africa, or wherever else the call of honour and of duty has added to
its laurels. Thus the regimental flag of the ist regiment of the line
bears the proud record St. Lucia, Egmont-op-Zee, Egypt, Corunna,
Busaco, Salamanca, Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nive, Peninsula,
Niagara, Waterloo, Nagpore, Maheidpore, Ava, Alma, Inkermann,
Sebastopol, and several other records of struggles in which they
bore gallant share ; and many another regiment could show as fine
a record of service.
In Fig. 94 we have a representation of the regimental colour of
the 24th Regiment. As the facings of this distinguished corps are
green,* the body of the flag is of that colour. Beneath its territorial
designation will be seen its special badge, the Sphinx, bestowed
upon it for distinguished service in Egypt, and around are grouped
the names of famous victories which it contributed to win.
The 24th Regiment, now in the territorial arrangement in vogue
known as the 2nd Warwickshire, was first f jrmed in the year 1689.
In 1776 it embarked for Canada and greatly distinguished itself in
the American struggle. In 1801 we find it in Egypt, where by its
gallantry it won the right to bear the Sphinx, f From 1805 to 1810
it was fighting its way along at the Cape of Good Hope, and then
went on to India. In 1829 we fi n d it sent off to Canada again to
suppress rebellion, and it did not return to England till 1841. In 1846
we see it in the thick of the Punjaub struggle, taking its part right
well in the brilliant engagements of Chillianwallah and Goojerat, and
in 1857 it is in the thick of the sanguinary Mutiny in India; and, after
fifteen years in India, lands in 1861 in England once more. In 1874
we find it again at the Cape of Good Hope, and in 1877-78 engaged
in the Kaffir war, and in all times and in all places taking a gallant
share in upholding the national cause.
In 1804 a second battalion was added to the regiment. This
only existed ten years, but in that time it earned by its distinguished
* Other regiments with green facings are the jth, nth, igth, 36th, sgth, 46th, 4gth, 73rd,
etc. Regiments with blue facings are the ist, 4th, 6th, 7th, i3th, i8th, 2ist, 23rd, 25th, etc.,
while buff is found in the 2nd, 3rd, I4th, 22nd, 27th, 3ist, 4oth, etc. Amongst the regiments
with yellow facings are the gth, loth, izth, ijth, i6th, 2oth, 26th, 28th, 2gth, 3010, 34th,
37th, 38th, etc. White is met with in the iTth, 32nd, 4151, 43rd, 47th, sgth, 65th. Red is
not so common, since the colour i; that of the tunic ordinarily, but we see it in the 33rd,
48th, and 76th. Black is also less commonly used, but we find it in the facings of the
58th, 64th, 7oth, and 8gth Regiments.
t The " Black Watch," the gallant 42nd, and other regiments also bear the Sphinx for
their services in Egypt in 1801, where Napoleon received his first serious check from
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 63
bravery the names of the Peninsula battles for the flag,* and at the
conclusion of the struggle it was so weak in numbers that it was dis-
embodied. In 1858 a new second battalion was formed, and did good
service in Burmah, South Africa, etc. Both battalions were in Zulu-
land in 1879, and with the exception of one hundred men detailed for
special duty, the regiment, save nine men, was wiped out of exist-
ence in the fatal field of Isandhlwana. Lieutenants Melville and
Coghill tore the colours from their staffs and wrapped them around
their bodies, and after the fight was over and the enemy had retired
they were recovered. On the arrival of the colours in England they
were taken by Royal Command to Osborne, where the Queen
fastened to each a wreath of immortelles, and bestowed on the two
dead heroes the Victoria Cross as the highest acknowledgment
then possible to her of her deep appreciation of the sacrifice that
these young gallant officers had made for her, for England, and for
the honour of the flag. The colours, therefore, that we have
represented in Fig. 94, in all their broad blazon of gallant service,
even in the hour of defeat never fell into the hands of the enemy,
to be hung in triumph in some Zulu kraal, but were brought back in
honour and proud rejoicing, since defeat so valiantly met was no
disgrace, and the honour of the flag and of the gallant 24th was
As one more illustration of regimental colours we may instance
those of the 25th Regiment, the King's Own Borderers. Here the
groundwork of the flag is blue, with, of course, the Union in the
upper corner next the staff. In the centre of the flag is a representa-
tion of Edinburgh Castle, and within a band the words, " King's
Own Borderers." Outside this we have a wreath of rose, sham-
rock, and thistle, surmounted by the crown. Below this is a sphinx
for service in Egypt, and below this again the word " Martinique."
On either side is inscribed " Minden " and " Egmont op Zee," and
above all, " Afghanistan." In the upper outer angle of the flag is
the lion on the crown and the motto " In veritate religionis confido"
and in the lower outer angle the white horse of Hanover and the
motto "Nee aspera terrent"\ This was originally known as the
Edinburgh Regiment, as it was raised in four hours in 1689 to
defend that city ; but George III., for some reason more or less
* When a regiment consists of two battalions the distinctions won by each are
common to both, and are, quite justly, the property of the whole regiment.
t In like manner we find the Royal Marines bearing on their colours an anchor, first
granted to the corps as a badge in the year 1775. The lion and crown was added to this in
1795. In 1802, in honour of the gallant share taken by the Marines in the capture of
Bellisle, a laurel wreath was added to the other badges of honour, and in 1827 the motto
" Per Hare per Terram " and a globe, surmounted by the word " Gibraltar," was also placed
on their colours, as a testimony to the services of the Marines all over the world, and
notably at the taking of Gibraltar.
64 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
satisfactory to himself, changed the name to the one it has ever
since borne the King's Own Borderers.
In the year 1811 the Prince Regent, on behalf of the King,
issued an order to regulate the colours of the Army, and, amongst
other things, sanctioned the custom that had sprung up of inscribing
the names of victories on the flags. The custom of inscribing
these honours, the names of the actions fought, did not begin till
the battle of Minden, so that the victories of Marlborough and all
other glorious achievements prior to the year 1759 would have gone
unrecorded ; but in July, 1881, sanction was given for the Grenadiers
and the ist, 3rd, 8th, loth, isth, i6th, i8th, 2ist, 23rd, 24th, 26th,
and 27th Regiments of the Line to add Blenheim and Ramilies to
their colours. Oudenarde, Malplaquet, and Dettingen * were also
added to the colours of those regiments that were there engaged.
By the " Queen's Regulations " these colours are required to be
of silk, and to be three feet nine inches in length and three feet in
breadth ; the cords and tassels are to be of mixed crimson and
gold ; the staff is to be eight feet seven inches long, and surmounted
by a golden crown on which stands a lion. They are to be carried
on parade by the two junior lieutenants, and guarded by two
sergeants and two privates. These form what is called " the colour
party." The distinguishing badge of the colour-sergeant consists
of crossed colours, embroidered on the sleeve above the chevrons
of his rank.
It has taken something like a thousand years of time to build up
the British Empire, while the lavish outlay of toil and forethought of
statesmen, the ceaseless spending of blood and treasure, the brilliant
strategy by land and sea of a long line of distinguished com-
manders have all contributed to its birth and proud maintenance ;
and of all this devotion in the past and the determinate i to uphold
it in the future, the flag is the living concrete symbol. It is the
flag beneath whose folds Nelson and Wellington and countless
heroes more were carried to their rest ; it waved in triumph on the
Heights of Abraham, and its honour was safe with Elliot at
Gibraltar ; it was unfurled on many a battlefield in the Peninsula,
and nerved the arms of those who scaled the heights of the Alma
and stood unconquerable in the stubborn fight of Inkerman ; and it
waved triumphant in the breeze at Sebastopol. The sight of it was
strength, comfort, and hope in the dark days of Lucknow and
Cawnpore. It floated, a symbol of duty, over the heroes of the
burning Birkenhead, and to Ross, Parry, Franklin and McClure, in
the icy wastes of the far North it was an incentive to renewed
* Blenheim, August 2nd, 1704 ; Ramilies, May sarrt, 1706; Oudenarde, June 3Oth, 1708;
Malplaquet, September nth, 1709; Dettingen, June i6th, 1743; Minden, August
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 65
effort and a symbol of home. It was the flag of Speke and
Livingstone in savage Africa, of Burke and Wills in their explora-
tions in Australia ; and for the honour of England that it symbolises
men have thought no sacrifice too great.
The Queen's Colour is a pledge of loyalty to the Sovereign, an
emblem of the unity of all, while the second colour deals with the
honour that specially appertains to each regiment a subject of
legitimate pride in the past and an incentive to prove not unworthy
in the future of those who gained it such distinction.
For some recondite reason the Guards reverse the arrangement
that holds in the Line regiments, as with them the Queen's Colour is
crimson and bears the regimental devices and honours, while the
Union Flag is the Regimental Colour. William IV., in 1832, gave
the Grenadier Guards a special flag of crimson silk, bearing in its
centre the royal cypher W.R., interlaced in gold, and having grouped
together in the four corners the rose, thistle, and shamrock.
The Governor-General in India issued in the year 1803 a general
order that all the regiments engaged in Wellington's greatest Indian
victory Assaye should be entitled to the special distinction of a
third flag, and the Royal authority confirmed the honour. This flag,
borne by the 74th Highlanders, the 78th or Ross-shire Buffs, and
other distinguished regiments, was of white silk, having in its centre
an elephant, beneath this the regimental number, and around it a
wreath. On blue bands above and below were inscribed in gold the
words Assaye and Seringapatam. In the year 1830 the general use
on parade of these flags was discontinued by order, and they were
reserved for very special occasions.
The number of colours borne by the different regiments was
formerly very irregular : sometimes it was one to a company, some-
times only one to a whole regiment, now it is two to each battalion.
During the eighteenth century several regiments carried three
colours, and the 5th, or Northumberland Fusiliers, continued to do
so until 1833. By an unfortunate accident these were then all
burnt, and when the question of granting new colours came forward,
the right to carry the third was objected to, and the claim had to be
surrendered. King Charles's Royal Regiment of Foot Guards lost
eleven out of thirteen colours at Edgehill.
The Standards carried by the Life Guards, Horse Guards, and
Dragoon Guards are of crimson silk, thirty inches by twenty-seven;
and the guidons of the dragoon regiments are forty-one inches by
twenty-seven, are slit in the fly and have the outer corners
rounded off. The tassels and cords are of crimson silk and
gold, and each flag bears the R'oyal or other title of the regiment
in letters of gold in a circle, and beneath it the number of the
regiment, all being surmounted by the crown, surrounded by a
66 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
wreath of rose, shamrock, and thistle, and the honours. Where
a regiment has a particular badge, such device will be placed in the
centre, and the territorial and numerical position placed outside ;
thus the Scots Greys (the 2nd Royal Dragoons) bear as their badge
the Imperial Eagle of France, because at Waterloo this distinguished
regiment captured the eagle of the French 45th Regiment, on which
were inscribed the words Jena, Austerlitz, Wagram, Eylau, and
Friedland.* The 3rd Dragoons have as their badge the white horse
of Hanover, and, as record of good service, Salamanca, Vittoria,
Toulouse, Peninsula, Cabool, Moodkee, Sobraon, Ferozeshah, Pun-
jaub, Chillianwallah, Goojerat. The Lancers and Hussars, like the
Royal Engineers, the Royal Artillery, and the Rifle Brigade, have
no colours, and therefore bear their badges, devices, etc., on their
appointments. Thus, for instance, King George II. ordered the i7th
Light Dragoons (now the iyth Lancers) to wear the device of the
skull and cross-bones, and beneath it the words " or glory " on the
front of their caps and on the left breast. This device the " Death
or Glory Boys " still retain, like the famous Pomeranian Horse and
the Black Brunswickers, continental corps from whom the Anglo-
Hanoverian monarch doubtless derived the idea.f
The presentation of colours to a regiment is always an imposing
ceremony, as with prayer of consecration, martial music, and stirring
address they are delivered into its custody, but the bestowal of
the old colours in some honoured place of safe keeping is yet more
impressive. In the one case there are the hopes and dangers of the
future, while in the other the hopes have all been abundantly
realised, the dangers triumphantly passed, as the tattered colours
storm tossed, torn by shot and shell are borne in honour to their
last resting place, where, strife for ever over, they rest in peace
in the Sanctuary of God, a memorial to all men, until their last
shreds fall to decay, of duty nobly and fully done.
Visitors to Canterbury Cathedral will scarcely fail to have
noticed the flags therein suspended. The colours of the ist Battalion
of the Buffs (the East Kent Regiment) there find fitting resting
place, and the last of these were added so lately as October, 1892.+
On their entrance, with imposing military ceremony, into the
* This, with many other interesting trophies of war, may be seen in the Chapel of
Chelsea College. The Blenheim Colours are now nearly all consumed away with age: of
one but the staff remains, and many others are now as tender as tinder. French,
Russian, American, Chinese, and many other flags of former foes may there be seen quietly
fading away, as the old national animosities have likewise done.
t Amongst the various devices seen on the flags of the Parliamentarians, was one of
skull surrounded by a laurel crown, accompanied by the words " MOTS vel Victoria."
J There are the colours of other regiments as well. Those that we specially refer to
above will be found in what is known as the Warriors' Chapel. We deal with these
especially, because, as being the flags of the territorial regiment, they find, with particular
appropriateness, their resting place in Canterbury Cathedral.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 67
Cathedral, they were met by the clergy and choir, and a hymn of
thanksgiving for victory and of safe return from war was sung,
"Grateful, we bring from lands afar,
Torn, shattered, but unstained.
Banners that Thy servant blessed
Ere the stern conflict came ;
Lord, let their fragments ever rest
Where dwells Thy Holy name."
After a short service of prayer and praise the Dean of Canter-
bury addressed the great congregation. It might be asked, he said,
why they, who were the Ministers of the Prince of Peace, should
take such interest in these military proceedings. It was because
they recognised in them the greatest force for peace that there was
in our land, for it was through them that this country of ours had not
been trampled for centuries under the feet of any foreign foe, it was
through them that the Pax Britannica prevailed, and that every-
where where the British Flag was present it carried with it peace,
and tranquillity, and justice. It was through the help of the army
that the peaceful people of this country could carry on their
avocations and serve God and do His work in peace ; and therefore
the clergy gratefully acknowledged their services, and hoped and
prayed that everywhere the colours of each regiment might still be
not only unstained, but covered with laurels in struggling for right
and for justice.
Colonel Hobson then addressed the vast audience, reminding
the younger soldiers present that the regiment to which they had
the honour to belong was formed more than three hundred years
ago, and was, therefore, the oldest in the Army. It had won honour
and renown in every part of the world, and the colours which they
were that day appropriately laying to rest in the Warriors' Chapel
of Canterbury Cathedral represented as glorious a record as that of
any regiment in the British Army. The earliest existence of the
regiment dated from the movement set on foot in this country in the
latter half of the sixteenth century, to assist the cause of civil and
religious liberty in the Netherlands. The dragon, which is on the
colours, was the crest of the City of London, from whose Trained
Bands the regiment was formed in 1572; and the regimental march,
so familiar to them all, was given them by Queen Elizabeth. After
enumerating some few of the services that the regiment had
rendered, he concluded by saying : " The few words I have still to
say I want you young soldiers especially to listen to and to take to
heart. The colours of a regiment are symbolical of what ought to
be the watchword of an army duty ; the Queen's Colours duty to
68 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
your Sovereign and to your country ; the Regimental Colours duty
towards the regiment. In these days the material side of the
profession of arms is much insisted upon, but I tell you that an
army without something higher than that, however well cared for in
other respects, is a bad army, and that when thoughtfulness and
care for the good name of a regiment is sacrificed for selfish,
individual advancement, the regiment, as a whole, will suffer. The
spirit which animated the regiments of the British Army who
placed those names, of which we are so proud to-day, on those
colours was, duty first, self afterwards ; and it will be a bad day for
the British Army if that spirit is ever allowed to depart from it.
There was no position in the army, however humble, in which
men could not sustain the credit and honour of their regiment and
thus contribute to their country's welfare."
The Dean thereupon solemnly accepted the care of the colours
and pronounced the Benediction, and the whole audience then
joined heart and voice, with thrilling effect, in singing the National
It seems so natural to write of England and of Englishmen, so
stilted to put Great Britain and Ireland, that one may possibly
forget that, comprehensive as we intend the terms to be, we
may, perhaps, wound the susceptibilities of our fellow subjects and
brother Britons across the Tweed. Let us then turn to a companion
picture, and see how, with equal honour and devotion, the flags of
our gallant Highlanders are borne to their rest.
A movement was, some time ago, set on foot to gather in the
old flags from the various Scottish regiments and to place them all
in the Cathedral Church of Edinburgh. This was effected, and the
perspective effect of these, as they line the nave on either side, is
very fine. The oldest colours there are those of the Sand, the Duke
of Hamilton's regiment, presented in the year 1782, acd still in
When on November i4th, 1883, the old colours borne by the
various Scottish regiments were deposited in St. Giles' Cathedral,
they were escorted in all honour and military pomp from the Castle ;
and says one who was there : " When the colours came in sight, the
multitude raised a shout and cheered, but the impulse was but
momentary, for at sight of the array of shattered rags the noise of
the tumult died away, and a half- suppressed sound was heard as
through the hearts of the people there flashed a thrill of mingled
pride and pain. Those who saw it will never forget the scene. In
the centre the tattered silk of the Colours, and on the fringe and in
the background a wonder-stricken crowd, as past uncovered heads,
past dimmed eyes and quivering lips, the old flags were carried."
When the flags had been received with service of prayer and
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 69
praise, the meaning of it all was summed up in burning words
of love, devotion, and pride. " We have gathered to-day," said
the speaker, " for a noble purpose to receive with all honour into
this national church these flags, which have been borne by our
soldiers through many a hard fight and in many a distant land.
1 In the name of the Lord,' said the inspired Psalmist long ago, ' we
will set up our banners.' In the spirit in which he spoke, these
banners were first unfurled ; and in that great Name they were
blessed by God's ministers ere they were committed to those who
were to carry them, as a testimony that, as a nation, we believe in
God, and desire that He should guide our destinies alike in war
and in peace ; and now, after the lapse of years, they are brought
back to rest in God's house as a testimony to the same truth, that
we acknowledge Him as the supreme source of all our national
success and greatness. ' Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the
power, and the victory, and the majesty ! Both riches and honour
come of Thee, and in Thine hand it is to make great and to give
strength unto all.' It is in this spirit that we place these emblems
in Scotland's great historic church. The associations that gather
around these faded banners are of the tenderest and most touching
kind. They are such as cause the heart to swell and the tear to
come to the eye. Few, I feel sure, in this vast assemblage have
not felt in some degree their power. There are soldiers here whom
they carry back to old days, and to comrades with whom they stood
shoulder to shoulder in many a perilous hour. The old flag has for
the British soldier a meaning so deep and powerful that it is
impossible to put it into words. It is but a piece of silk, often
faded and tattered, and rent with shot: but it is a symbol, and
symbols are amongst the most sacred things on earth. It means
for the soldier his Queen and his country, and all the honour,
loyalty, truth, and heroism they demand of him. Therefore it is
that men will follow their colours down into the dreadful pit, and
would be willing to die twice for them rather than let them be
taken by an enemy ; and in the hour of defeat, like the heroes of
Isandhvhana, will fall pierced through with wounds, but with these
precious symbols, still untarnished, wrapped around them. And
though to the peaceful citizen these emblems can never mean all
they stand for to those who have served under them, even to him,
as they hang here, they may speak of things that it is good for him
to remember. They may well tell him of the history of his country,
and the wonderful way by which God has led her, and of the brave
men He has raised up to fight for her. Nor can we help specially
remembering that these are the colours of our Scottish regiments.
Scotland is a poor country compared to the great neighbour with
whom it is happily united, but it possesses a distinct national life
70 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
of its own which all true Scotchmen would not willingly let die.
We are proud of our Scotch regiments. We feel that they, of the
whole army, belong especially to ourselves ; and they too, as they
have swept on to battle with the cry, ' Scotland for ever ! ' feel,
we believe, that they belong specially to us. Providence, said
Napoleon sneeringly, is generally on the side of the strongest bat-
talions. Be it so ; but will anyone deny that the character of the
soldier has much to do with the strength of the battalion they
form ? And was it not the character of .our soldiers a character
fostered by the traditions of their native land, fostered still more,
perhaps, by the religious teaching of their native church and parish
school that made them strong on many a memorable day, and
never more than on that memorable day at Waterloo, when the
great commander I have named generously exclaimed, as he saw
his own ranks yielding before the onslaught, ' Les braves Ecossais!'
May the sight of these banners inspire every soldier who looks on
them, whether Lowland or Highland, to echo the desire to hand
down the name they bear without a blemish ! And should the day
ever come when we as a people are tempted to succumb to sloth
and luxury, first to undervalue, and finally to give up, national
power and privileges which are an heritage from God, and have been
dearly purchased by those who went before us may these emblems,
and the stirring memories that cling to them, help us in some degree
to wake up the last drop of blood left in our hearts, and nerve us
to bear ourselves like the children of our sires. ' We have heard
with our ears, O God, and our fathers have told us, what Thou
didst in their days in the times of old. For they got not the land
in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save
them, but Thy right hand and Thine arm, and the light of Thy
countenance, because Thou hadst a favour unto them. Through
Thee will we push down our enemies ; through Thy name will we
tread them under that rise up against us.' " This impressive and
imposing ceremony closed with the magnificent " Hallelujah
Chorus " of Handel, and the final Benediction.
That colours do not always perish in honour may be seen by
the following extract from the Scots' Magazine of June, 1746, where
the citizens of Edinburgh assisted at a very different function to
the one we have just described. " Fourteen rebel colours," says
the ancient newsman, "taken at Culloden, were brought into
Edinburgh on the 3ist May, and lodged in the castle. On Wed-
nesday, the 4th of June, at noon, they were brought down to the
Cross, the Pretender's own standard carried by the hangman, and
the rest by chimney sweepers. The sheriffs, accompanied by the
heralds, pursuivants, trumpeters, city constables, etc., and escorted
by the city guard, walked to the Cross, where a proclamation was
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. J1
made that the colours belonging to the rebels were ordered by the
Duke of Cumberland to be burnt by the hands of the common
hangman. The Pretender's standard was then put on a fire that
had been prepared, and afterwards all the rest one by one a
herald always proclaiming to whom each belonged, the trumpets
sounding, and the populace, of which there was a great number
Various government officials have their special flags. The flag
of the Union having been established by " Queen's Regulations "
for the naval service, as the distinguishing flag to be borne by
the admiral of the fleet, great inconvenience arose from the use of
the same flag when military authorities, diplomatic and consular
agents were embarking in boats or other vessels ; so it became
necessary to make some modification in the flag. It is therefore
now ordered that a general or other officer commanding a military
station shall have, in the centre of the Union, a blue shield bearing
the Royal initials, surmounted by a crown and surrounded by a
garland ; those in the diplomatic service shall have, in the centre
of the Union, a white shield bearing the Royal Arms, and sur-
rounded by a garland ; while consuls -general, consuls, or consular
agents have the Blue Ensign as their distinguishing flag, and in the
centre thereof the Royal Arms. The flag of the Lord- Lieutenant
of Ireland is the Union, and in its centre, as we may see in Fig.
106, a blue shield bearing the golden harp.
Different Government Departments have their special flags also.
Thus the Transport Service has the blue ensign with a golden
anchor, placed horizontally, in the fly, while the Victualling
Department has the blue ensign again, but this time as shown in
Fig. 98, with two crossed anchors. On the blue ensign of the Board
of Trade is found in the fly a white circle, and within this a ship
in full sail (see Fig. 105). The Ordnance Department flag, repre-
sented in Fig. 108, bears a shield with cannons and cannon balls
upon it, while vessels and boats employed on submarine mining
service are authorized to carry the blue ensign with as its special
badge a hand issuing from a mural crown, and grasping a thunder-
bolt. The Telegraph branch of the Post-Office has a very striking
device : a representation of Father Time with his hour glass
smashed by lightning. The red ensign is employed by the Custom
House and the Excise, in the first case having, as we see in
Fig. 107, a golden crown in the fly, and, in the second, a crown
and star. The flag of the Admiralty is a very striking one
(Fig. 99). This association of the anchor with the Admiralty
is a very natural one; we see it not only in our English flag,
but in those of France, Italy, Germany, Russia, etc. Our
Admiralty flag is hoisted on any ship when the Commissioners
72 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
of the Admiralty are on board,* and it is also hoisted at the fore
top-gallant mast of every ship on which the Queen may be on
board. Vessels carrying Her Majesty's mail fly on the fore-mast
a white burgee, having in its centre a crown, and on one side
of it the word " Royal " and on the other " Mail " ; the words
Royal Mail and the crown being in red on the white field of
The White Ensign, Fig. 95, the special flag of Her Majesty's
Navy, is, by very exceptional privilege, allowed to be flown by the
Royal Yacht Squadron. This distinction was conferred on that
Club in the year 1829, the Club itself being established in 1812. f
In the old days, when the Royal Navy used the red, white, and blue
ensigns, the red ensign was of the highest dignity ; and it was this
from 1821 to 1829 that the Royal Yacht Squadron flew, but, as the
red ensign was also used by merchant vessels, they adopted in 1829
the white ensign as being more distinctive. In 1842 the Admiralty
drew up a Minute that no warrant should be issued to any other
yacht club to fly the white ensign, and that those privileged Clubs
that already had it must henceforth forego it. Copies of the
minute were accordingly sent to the Royal Western of England,
Royal Thames, Royal Southern, and some two or three other
clubs, but, by some oversight, the Royal Western of Ireland was
overlooked, and that Club continued to use the white ensign until
the mistake was discovered by the Admiralty in the year 1857.
Since that date the Royal Yacht Squadron, which has always
been under the special patronage of Royalty, has been alone in
its use. Its value is purely sentimental ; it carries no substantial
privilege. A rather marked case arose, in fact, to the contrary in
1883, when Lord Annesley's yacht, the Seabird, was detained by
the Turkish authorities at the Dardanelles in consequence of her
bearing the white ensign. No foreign man-of-war is allowed to
pass the Dardanelles without special permission ; and the white
* There is now no Lord High Admiral of Great Britaxi ; his functions are analogous
to those of the Commander-ln-Chief of the Army; the last Lord High Admiral was
William IV., who received this appointment when Prince of Wales. The office is now
said to be " in commission " its functions are performed by the Lords Commissioners of
the Admiralty, a board uniting the dual control which is exercised over the land Forces
by the War Office and the Horse Guards. Commissions of Naval Officers are not signed
by the Queen, they are headed " By the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord
High Admiral of the United Kingdom," etc. ; and they are signed by two of the Lords.
t We find the Royal Yacht Club, in 1815, and the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in 1835,
flying what would be a white ensign if it had but the great Cross of St. George upon it ; an
entirely white flag having the Union in the corner next the staff. One may get a fair
notion of its effect by looking at Fig. 154, but imagining the Union in the place of the device
there seen. The Royal Yacht Club burgee at this period was plain white, without any
device whatever. The burgee of the other Club we have named has undergone many
changes. In 1823 it is scarlet, with the letters T.Y.C. in white; in 1831 the prefix Royal
has been gained, and the flag, still red, has the crown and the R.T.Y.C. in white upon it ;
while in 1834 we still find the crown and the sarac letters, but now. not wh^e on r-d but
rec! on white.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 73
ensign of the Royal Navy brought her within that category. On
account of this, all yacht owners were warned that should they
wish to pass the Dardanelles under the white or blue ensign,
the latter being also the flag of the Royal Naval Reserve, they
must first obtain an Imperial Irad6, otherwise they were recom-
mended to display the red ensign. Austria-Hungary, Spain,
Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Norway, and France have each, in like
manner, given to the leading club of the country the privilege of
flying the naval flag. In America and Russia a special ensign
has been accorded to all yacht clubs, and all take equal rank.
Some years ago the Royal Cork Yacht Club wished to adopt a
green ensign, but the Admiralty refused to sanction a new colour.
The Blue Ensign is conferred on certain Yacht Clubs by special
Admiralty warrant. The Royal Eastern, Royal Barrow, Royal
Clyde, Royal Highland, Royal Northern, Royal Western of England,
Royal Cinque Ports, Royal Albert, Royal Dorset, etc., fly the Blue
Ensign pure and simple ; others have a distinguishing badge on
the fly, thus the Royal Irish has a golden harp and crown, the
Royal Ulster a white shield with the red hand, the Royal Cornwall
the Prince of Wales' Feathers, the Royal Harwich a golden
rampant lion, and so forth. The clubs flying the Red Ensign
change it slightly from that flown by the Merchant Service; thus
the Royal St. George, Royal Victoria, and Royal Portsmouth have a
golden crown in the centre of the Union canton, while the Royal
Yorkshire has a white rose and gold crown on the fly, and the
Royal Dart a golden dart and crown. Each club has also its
distinguishing burgee, and ordinarily of the same colour as its
ensign; thus, though the Royal Clyde and the Royal Highland
both fly the plain blue ensign, the Royal Clyde burgee has on it
the yellow shield and red lion rampant, while the Royal Highland
has the white cross of St. Andrew. Fig. 100 is the burgee of the
Ranelagh Club, Fig. 101 of the Yare, Fig. 102 of the Royal Thames,
Fig. 103 of the Dublin Bay Club.
Besides these club ensigns and burgees, each yacht bears its
owner's individual device, that is supposed to distinguish it from
all others, though one finds, in looking through a series of such
flags, that some of the simpler devices are borne by more than one
yacht. Every yacht club has its special burgee, which is flown
by each yacht in the club at her truck, but when the vessel is racing
the individual flag takes its place. Many of these flags, though
simple in character, are very effective and striking. The lower
flags on Plate XII. are good typical examples. Fig. 121 is the
yacht flag of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales the flag
of the well-known Britannia ; and Figs. 122 and 123 arc those
respectively of the equally-famed Aiha, and Valkyrie.
74 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Merchant vessels are permitted to adopt any House or Company
flag on condition that it does not resemble any national flag. Its
great use is that it should be clearly distinctive ; and many of the
flags employed are of strict heraldic propriety, and very attractive,
while others are about as unsatisfactory and bald as they well could
be. It would clearly be a painful and invidious thing to pick out
any of these latter, so we can only suggest that any of our readers
who have an opportunity of visiting busy ports, such as London,
Southampton, Bristol, Liverpool, should collect their own awful
examples and paint them in the margin of this page.
We may point out, by the way, that anyone sketching flags
would be greatly assisted by knowing tho symbols for the various
colours, as it may well be that anyone might have only a pencil in
his pocket when desiring to make such a memorandum. White is
expressed by simply leaving the paper plain, yellow by dotting the
surface over, red by a series of upright lines, blue by horizontal
lines, green by sloping lines, and black by a series of upright lines
crossed by others at right angles to them. These are the colours
used in books on heraldry, and they are very easily remembered.
On some of our coins the colours of the arms in the shield are thus
expressed, and on heraldic book-plates and the like they may be
also seen wherever, in fact, colour has to be expressed or notified
without the actual use of it. Our readers will find that if they
will sketch out in black and white some few of our examples they
will soon gain a useful facility that may stand them in good stead
whenever for this or any other purpose they want to make a colour
memorandum, and have only a pencil or pen and ink to make
In the upper portion of Plate XII. we have several illustrations
of Company flags. Fig. 109 is the well-known ensign of Green's
Blackwall Line, while Fig. no is that of the Cunard. The
Peninsular and Oriental flag (Fig. in) is divided by lines from
corner to corner into four triangles, the upper one white, the
lower yellow, the hoist blue, and the fly red. This division into
triangles is a rather favourite one; we see it again in Fig. 112,
the Flag of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company. In
the flag of the Demerara and Berbice Steamship Company the
upper and lower portions are white, and the two side portions red ;
in the flag of the vessels belonging to Galbraith, Pembroke and Co.,
the upper is red, the lower blue, and the two sides white. In
another company, that of Wesencraft of Newcastle, the colours are
the same as the P. and O. flag, though differently placed, the blue
being at the top, the red at the bottom, the yellow at the hoist,
and the white at the fly. Fig. 113 is the flag of the fleet of Devitt
and Moore, an Australian Line. Fig. 114 betokens the vessels of the
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 75
Canadian Pacific Company, and Fig. 115 the ships of the Castle
Line to South Africa. Fig. 116 is the Company flag of the Union
Steamship Company, of Southampton, while Fig. 117 is the device
of the Mediterranean and New York Steamship Company. Our
remaining illustrations are ; Fig. 118, the flag adopted by Messrs.
Houlden Brothers; Fig. 119, that of the popular White
Star Line; and Fig. 120, that of the New Zealand Shipping
Company. The well-known Allan Line has as its house flag
the three upright strips of blue, white, and red that we see in
the French tricolor, Fig. 191, plus a plain red burgee that is
always hoisted immediately above it. The Allan is the largest
private ship-owning company in the world ; in the course of the
year there are some two hundred arrivals and departures of
their vessels at or from Glasgow, and some fifty thousand people
are carried annually to or from America. During the Crimean
War many of the steamers of this line were chartered by the
French Government for the transport of their troops, and it is
in memory of this that the vessels of the Allan fleet adopt the
tricolor as their house flag.
That we have by no means exhausted this portion of our
subject is patent from the fact that in a book before us that
is specially devoted to these house flags seven hundred and eighty-
two examples are given, wherein we find not only stripes, crosses,
and such-like simple arrangements, but crescents, stars, anchors,
lions, stags, thistles, castles, bells, keys, crowns, tridents, and many
In earlier days merchant ships flew rather the flag of their port
than of their nation, so that a vessel was known to be of Plymouth,
Marseilles, Dantzic, or Bremen by the colours displayed. Thus
the flag of Marseilles was blue with a white cross upon it ; Texel,
a flag divided horizontally into two equal strips, the upper being
green and the lower black; Rotterdam was indicated by a flag
having six horizontal green stripes upon it, the interspaces being
white ; Cherbourg, blue, white, blue, white, horizontally arranged ;
Riga, a yellow cross on a blue ground.
The British Empire the Greater Britain across the seas, some
eighty times larger in area than the home islands of its birth
must now engage our attention. Its material greatness is amazing,
far exceeding that of any other empire the world has ever seen,
and its moral greatness is equal to its material. Wherever the
flag of Britain flies, there is settled law, property is protected,
religion is free ; it is no mere symbol of violence or rapine, or even
of conquest. It is what it is because it represents everywhere peace,
and civilization, and commerce. Protected by the Pax Britannica
dwell four hundred millions out of every race under heaven, the
76 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Mother of Nations extending to Jew, Parsee, Arab, Chinese, Black-
foot, Maori, the liberties that were won at Runnymead and in many
another stern fight for life and freedom. In every school-room in
the United States hangs the flag of their Union, the Stars and
Stripes ; and devotion to all that it symbolises is an essential part
of the teaching. We in turn might well in our systems of education
give a larger space to the history, laws, and literature of our great
Empire, taking a more comprehensive view than is now ordinarily
the case, studying the growth of the mighty States that have sprung
into existence through British energy, and attaching at least as
much importance to the lives of the men who have built up this
goodly heritage as to the culinary shortcomings of Alfred or the
schemes of Perkin Warbeck.
As regards the value of our Colonies to the Empire, the follow-
ing extract from a speech 'made by the Prince of Wales at the
Royal Colonial Institute may very aptly be quoted :
" We regard the Colonies as integral parts of the Empire, and
our warmest sympathies are with our brethren beyond the seas,
who are no less dear to 'us than if they dwelt in Surrey or Kent.
Mutual interests, as well as ties of affection, unite us as one people,
and so long as we hold together we are unassailable from without.
From a commercial point of view, the Colonies and India are
among the best customers for home manufacturers, it being com-
puted that no less than one-third of the total exports are absorbed
by them. They offer happy and prosperous homes to thousands
who are unable to gain a livelihood within the narrow limits of
these islands, owing to the pressure of over-population and con-
sequent over-competition. In transplanting themselves to our own
Colonies, instead of to foreign lands, they retain their privileges as
citizens of this great Empire, and live under the same flag as
subjects of the same Sovereign. As Professor Seeley remarks in
his very interesting work, ' The Expansion of England,' ' English-
men in all parts of the world remember that they are of one
blood and one religion ; that they have one history, and one
language and literature.' We are, in fact, a vast English nation,
and we should take great care not to allow the emigrants who
have gone forth from among us to imagine that they have in
the. slightest degree ceased to belong to the same community
Our statesmen ana thinkers have never failed to recognise
the brotherhood of Greater Britain. Of this fact it would
be easy enough to reproduce illustrations by the score. We
need, however, here but refer to the sentiments of the Earl
of Roseoery on the expansion of the Empire, where we find him
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 77
" Since 1868 the Empire has been growing by leaps and bounds.
That is, perhaps, not a process which everybody witnesses with
unmixed satisfaction. It is not always viewed with unmixed satis-
faction in circles outside these islands. There are two schools who
view with some apprehension the growth of our Empire. The first
is composed of those nations who, coming somewhat late into the
field, find that Great Britain has some of the best plots already
marked out. To those nations I will say that they must remember
that our Colonies were taken to use a well-known expression at
prairie value, and that we have made them what they are. We
may claim that whatever lands other nations may have touched
and rejected, and we have cultivated and improved, are fairly parts
of our Empire, which we may claim to possess by an indisputable
title. But there is another ground on which the extension of our
Empire is greatly attacked, and the attack comes from a quarter
nearer home. It is said that our Empire is already large enough,
and does not need extension. That would be true enough if the
world were elastic, but, unfortunately, it is not elastic, and we are
engaged at the present moment, in the language of mining, in
1 pegging out claims for the future.' We have to consider not what
we want now, but what we shall want in the future. We have to
consider what countries must be developed, either by ourselves or
some other nation, and we have to remember that it is part of our
responsibility and heritage to take care that the world, as far as
it can be moulded by us, shall receive an ' English-speaking ' com-
plexion, and not that of another nation. We have to look forward
beyond the chatter of platforms, and the passions of party, to the
future of the race of which we are at present the trustees, and we
should, in my opinion, grossly fail in the task that has been laid
upon us did we shrink from responsibilities, and decline to take our
share in a partition of the world which we have not forced on, but
which has been forced upon us."
Statistics of area of square miles, population, and so forth, can
be readily found by those who care to seek for them, and we need
give them no place here ; but let us at least try and realise just by
bare enumeration something of what this Greater Britain is. In
Europe it includes, besides the home islands, Gibraltar, Malta,
Cyprus. In Asia the great Indian Empire, Ceylop- Aden, Hong-
Kong, North Borneo, the Straits Settlements, Perim, Socotra,
Labuan. In America the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland,
Trinidad, Guiana, Honduras, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermudas,
Barbadoes, Falkland Isles, the Leeward and Windward Isles. In
Australasia New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tas-
mania, Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji, New Guinea. In Africa
the Cape Colony, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Zululand, Natal,
78 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Gold Coast, Lagos, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Mauritius, Seychelles,
Ascension, St. Helena. Our list is by no means a complete one.
Newfoundland was the earliest British colony, the settlement
being made about the year 1500. Many of our colonies have been
thus created by peaceful settlement, while others have fallen to us
in victorious fights with France, Holland, Spain, and other Powers,
or have been ceded by treaty.
The flags of our colonies are those of the Empire, with, in some
cases, special modifications. In all our colonies, for instance, the
Royal Standard, as we see it in England, is displayed on the fort-
resses on the anniversaries of the birth and coronation of the
The Blue Ensign is the flag borne by any vessel maintained
by any colony under the clauses of the Colonial Defence Act,
28 Vic., Cap. 14. The "Queen's Regulations" state that "Any
vessel provided and used, under the third section of the said Act,
shall wear the Blue Ensign, with the seal or badge of the Colony
in the fly thereof, and a blue pendant. All vessels belonging to, or
permanently in the service of, the Colony, but not commissioned as
vessels of war under the Act referred to, shall wear a similar blue
ensign, but not the pendant." In Figs. 127, 128, 130, and 135 we
have the Government Ensigns of four of our great Colonies Cape
Colony, Queensland, Canada, and Victoria while in Fig. 140 we
have the blue pendant.
This Colonial Defence Act of 1865 is so important in its bearings
on the possibilities of Naval defence that it seems well to quote
from it some of its provisions. Its object is to enable the several
Colonial possessions of Her Majesty to make better provision for
Naval defence, and, to that end, to provide and man vessels of war;
and also to raise a volunteer force to form part of the Royal
Naval Reserve, to be available for the general defence of the
Colony in case of need. This Act declares that " in any Colony it
shall be lawful for the proper Legislative Authority, with the
Approval of Her Majesty in Council, from Time to Time to make
Provision for effecting at the Expense of the Colony all or any of
the Purposes following:
" For providing, maintaining, and using a Vessel or Vessels
of War, subject to such Conditions and for such Purposes
as Her Majesty in Council from Time to Time approves.
" For raising and maintaining Seamen and others entered on
the Terms of being bound to serve as ordered in any such
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 79
" For raising and maintaining a Body of Volunteers entered on
the Terms of being bound to general Service in the Royal
Navy in Emergency, and, if in any Case the proper
Legislative Authority so directs, on the further Terms of
being bound to serve as ordered in any such Vessel as
" For appointing Commissioned, Warrant, and other Officers
to train and command or serve as Officers with any such
Men ashore or afloat, on such Terms and subject to such
Regulations as Her Majesty in Council from Time to Time
" For obtaining from the Admiralty the Services of Commis-
sioned, Warrant, and other Officers and of Men of the
Royal Navy for the last-mentioned Purposes :
" For enforcing good Order and Discipline among the Men and
Officers aforesaid while ashore or afloat within the Limits
of the Colony :
" For making the Men and Officers aforesaid, while ashore
or afloat within the Limits of the Colony or elsewhere,
subject to all Enactments and Regulations for the Time
being in force for the Discipline of the Royal Navy.
" Volunteers raised as aforesaid in any Colony shall form Part
of the Royal Naval Reserve, in addition to the Volunteers who may
be raised under the Act of 1859, but, except as in this Act expressly
provided, shall be subject exclusively to the Provisions made as
aforesaid by the proper Legislative Authority of the Colony.
" It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council from Time to
Time as Occasion requires, and on such Conditions as seem fit,
to authorize the Admiralty to issue to any Officer of the Royal
Navy volunteering for the Purpose a Special Commission for
Service in accordance with the Provisions of this Act.
" It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council from Time to
Time as Occasion requires, and on such Conditions as seem fit, to
authorize the Admiralty to accept any Offer for the Time being
made or to be made by the Government of a Colony, to place at
Her Majesty's Disposal any Vessel of War provided by that
Government and the Men and Officers from Time to Time serving
therein ; and while any Vessel accepted by the Admiralty under
such Authority is at the Disposal of Her Majesty, such Vessel shall
be deemed to all Intents a Vessel of War of the Royal Navy, and
8O THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
the Men and Officers from Time to Time serving in such Vessels
shall be deemed to all Intents Men and Officers of the Royal Navy,
and shall accordingly be subject to all Enactments and Regulations
for the Time being in force for the Discipline of the Royal Navy.
" It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council from Time to
Time as Occasion requires, and on such Conditions as seem fit, to
authorize the Admiralty to accept any Offer for the Time being
made or to be made by the Government of a Colony, to place at
Her Majesty's Disposal for general Service in the Royal Navy
the whole or any Part of the Body of Volunteers with all or any of
the Officers raised and appointed by that Government in accord-
ance with the Provisions of this Act ; and when any such Offer is
accepted such ot the Provisions of the Act of 1859 as relate to Men
of the Royal Naval Reserve raised in the United Kingdom when in
actual Service shall extend and apply to the Volunteers whose
Services are so accepted."
As the Act winds up by saying that " nothing in this Act shall
take away or abridge any power vested in or exerciseable by the
Legislature or Government of any Colony," it is evident that the
whole arrangement is a purely voluntary one.
The vessels of the Mercantile Marine registered as belonging
to any of the Colonies, fly the red ensign without any distinguish-
ing badge, so that a Victorian or Canadian merchantman coming
up the Thames or Mersey would probably fly a flag in all respects
similar (Fig. 97) to that of a merchant vessel owned in the United
Kingdom. There is, however, no objection to colonial merchant
vessels carrying distinctive flags with the badge of the Colony
thereon, in addition to the red ensign, provided that the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty give their warrant of authoriza-
tion. The red ensign differenced may be seen in Fig. 129, the
merchant flag of Canada,* and in Fig. 134 that of Victoria, the
device on this latter bearing the five stars, representing the con-
stellation of the Southern Cross a simple, appropriate, and beauti-
* "By THE COMMISSIONERS for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.
" WHEREAS, we deem it expedient that Canadian registered vessels shall be permitted
to wear the Red Ensign of Her Majesty's Fleet, with the Canadian Coat of Arms in the
" We do therefore, by virtue of the power and authority vested in us, hereby warrant
and authorize the Red Ensign of Her Majesty's Fleet, with the Canadian Coat of Arms
in the Fly, to be used on board vessels registered in the Dominion.
" Given under our hands and the seal of the Office of Admiralty, this second day ot
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD'. Si
* Governors of Her Majesty's Dominions in foreign parts, and
governors of all ranks and denominations administering the
governments of British Colonies and Dependencies shall " as set
forth in " Queen's Regulations " " fly the Union Jack with the arms
or badge of the Colony emblazoned in the centre thereof." Figs.
139 and 141 are iilustrations, the first being the special flag of the
Viceroy of India, and the second that of the Governor of Western'
Australia. The Governor-General of Canada has in the centre
of his flag the arms of the Dominion, while the Lieutenant-
Governors of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
Manitoba, British Columbia, and Prince Edward's Island have in
the centre of their flags the arms of their province alone. These
arms in each case are placed on a shield within a white circle, and
surrounded by a wreath. The Admiralty requirements are that
the Colonial badge on the governor's flag should be placed within
a "green garland," and this is understood to be of laurel; but
in 1870 Canada received the Imperial sanction to substitute the
leaves of the maple.*
Though the provinces that together make the Dominion of
Canada are seven in number, the Canadian shield only shows
the arms of four Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Bruns-
wick an arrangement that can be scarcely palatable to the other
The Queen's Warrant, published in the Canadian Gazette of
November 25th, 1869, is as follows :
"VICTORIA, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c.
"To Our Right Trusty and well-beloved Councillor, Edward
George Fitzalan Howard (commonly called Lord Edward George
Fitzalan Howard), Deputy to Our Right Trusty and Right entirely
beloved cousin, Henry Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Our
Hereditary Marshal of England greeting :
"WHEREAS, by virtue of, and under the authority of an Act
of Parliament, passed in the Twenty-ninth year of Our Reign,
entitled ' An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New
Brunswick, and the Government thereof," we were empowered
to declare after a certain day therein appointed, that the said
Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should
* The Maple Is to Canada what the Rose is to England, or the Shamrock to Ireland.
Hence, we find it on the coinage, etc. In the Canadian Militia List before us we find
It on the accoutrements of many of the regiments, enwreathing the motto or device.;
sometimes alone, and often in association with the rose, thistle, and shamrock.
82 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
form one Dominion under the name of Canada. And it was pro-
vided that on and after the day so appointed, Canada should be
divided into four Provinces, named, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick ; that the part of the then Province of Canada,
which formerly constituted the Province of Upper Canada, should
constitute the Province of Ontario ; and the part which formerly
constituted the Province of Lower Canada, should constitute the
Province of Quebec ; and that the Provinces of Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick should have the same limits as at the passing of
the said Act. And whereas we did by Our Royal Proclamation,
bearing date the Twenty-second day of May last, declare, ordain,
and command that, on and after the first day of July, 1867, the
said Provinces should form and be one Dominion under the name
of Canada accordingly.
" And forasmuch as it is Our Royal will and pleasure that, for
the greater honour and distinction of the said Provinces, certain
Armorial Ensigns should be assigned to them,
" KNOW YE, therefore, that We, of our Princely Grace and
special favour, have granted and assigned, and by these presents
do grant and assign the Armorial "Ensigns following, that is
to say :
" FOR THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO :
11 Vert, a sprig of three Leaves of Maple slipped, or, on a chief
Argent the Cross of St. George.
" FOR THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC :
" Or, on a Fess Gules between two Fleurs de Lis in chief Azure,
and a Sprig of three Leaves of Maple slipped vert in base, a Lion
passant guardant or.
" FOR THE PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA :
" Or, on a Fess Wavy Azure between three Thistles proper, a
Salmon Naiant Argent.
"FoR THE PROVINCE OF NEW BRUNSWICK:
Or, on waves a Lymphad, or Ancient Galley, with oars in action,
proper, on a chief Gules a Lion passant guardant or, as the same
are severally depicted in the margin hereof, to be borne for the
said respective Provinces on Seals, Shields, Banners, Flags, or
otherwise according to the Laws of Arms.
" And We are further pleased to declare that the said United
Provinces of Canada, being one Dominion under the name of
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 83
Canada, shall, upon all occasions that may be required, use a
common Seal, to be called the ' Great Seal of Canada,' which said
seal shall be composed of the Arms of the said Four Provinces
quarterly, all which armorial bearings are set forth in this Our
This latter point is a somewhat important one, as owing to the
semi-official endorsement given in many colonial publications, it
appears to be a popular misconception that as many different arms
as possible are to be crowded in. In one example before us five
are represented, the additional one being Manitoba. In a hand-
book on the history, production, and natural resources of Canada,
prepared by the Minister of Agriculture for the Colonial Exhi-
bition, held in London in 1886, the arms of the seven provinces
are given separately, grouped around a central shield that includes
them all. The whole arrangement is styled " Arms of the Do-
minion and of the Provinces of Canada."
When the Queen's Warrant was issued in 1869, Ontario,
Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were the only members
of the Confederation. Manitoba entered it in 1870, British
Columbia in 1871, and Prince Edward Island in 1873.
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht
Squadron, and the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club have the privilege
of flying the blue ensign.
Canada, unlike Australia, supplies no contingent towards the
Imperial Navy, but she has spent on public works over forty
million pounds sterling. By her great trans-continental railway
a valuable alternative route to the East is furnished ; she provides
graving docks at Quebec, Halifax, and Victoria ; trains an annual
contingent of forty thousand volunteers, supports a military college
at Kingston, of whose cadets between eighty and ninety are now
officers in the British Army ; and in many other ways contributes
to the well-being of the Empire, that Greater Britain, which
has been not unaptly termed " a World- Venice, with the sea for
The badges of the various Colonies of the Empire, as shown
in the official flag-book of the Admiralty, are very diverse in appear-
ance ; some pleasing and others less charming, perhaps, than fan-
tastic. It is needless to particularise them all. Some, like those of
Mauritius, Jamaica, and of Cape Colony (Fig. 127) are heraldic in
character, while others as Barbadoes, where Britannia rides the
waves in a chariot drawn by sea-horses, or South Australia, where
Britannia lands on a rocky shore on which a black man is seated
are symbolical. Queensland has the simple and pleasing device
we see in Fig. 128, the Maltese Cross, having a crown at its
centre. Newfoundland has a crown on a white disc and the
84 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Latinised name Terra, Nova beneath, and Fiji (Fig. 137) adopts
a like simple device, the crown and the word Fiji, while New
Guinea does not get even so far as this, but has the crown, and
beneath it the letters N. G. The gnu appears as the device of
Natal ; the black swan (Fig. 141) as the emblem of West Australia.
An elephant and palm-tree on a yellow ground stand for West
Africa, and an elephant and temple for Ceylon. British North
Borneo (Fig. 132), on a yellow disc has a red lion, and Tasmania
(Fig. 133), on a white ground has the same, though it will be noted
that the action of the two royal beasts is not quite the same.
The Straits Settlements have the curious device seen in Fig. 131.
New Zealand (Fig. 136) has a cross of stars on a blue field.
Victoria we have already seen in Figs. 134 and 135, while New
South Wales has upon the white field the Cross of St. George,
having in the centre one of the lions of England, and on each arm
a star an arrangement shown in Fig. 138. British East Africa
has the crown, and beneath it the golden sun shooting forth its
rays, one of the simplest, most appropriate, and most pleasing of
all the Colonial devices ; when placed in the centre of the Governor's
flag it is upon a white disc, and the sun has eight principal rays.
When for use on the red or blue ensigns, the sun has twelve prin-
cipal rays, and both golden sun and crown are placed directly upon
the field of the flag. St. Helena, Trinidad, Bermuda, British
Guiana, Leeward Isles, Labuan, Bahamas, and Hong Kong all
have devices in which ships are a leading feature in the Bermuda
device associated with the great floating dock, in the Hong Kong
with junks, and in the other cases variously differentiated from
each other, so that all are quite distinct in character. In the
device of the Leeward Isles, designed by Sir Benjamin Pine, a large
puzd-apple is growing in the foreground, and three smaller ones
away to the right. It is jocularly assumed that the centre one was
Sir Benjamin himself, and the three subordinate ones his family.
With Great Britain the command of the ocean is all-important-
By our sea-power our great Empire has been built up, and by it
alone can it endure. " A power to which Rome in the height of
her glory is not to be compared a power which has dotted over
the surface of the whole globe her possessions and military
posts, whose morning drum-beat, following the sun, and keeping
company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and
unbroken strain of the martial airs of England." So spoke Daniel
Webster in 1834, and our ever-growing responsibilities have greatly
increased since the more than sixty years when those words were
uttered. Let us in conclusion turn to the " True Greatness of
Kingdoms and Estates," written by Bacon, a great and patriotic
Englishman, where we may read the warning words :
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 85
11 We see the great effects of battles by sea ; the Battle of
Actium decided the empire of the world ; the Battle of Lepanto
arrested the greatness of the Turk.
" There be many examples where sea-fights have been final to
the war ; but this is when princes or States have set up their rest
upon the battles ; but this much is certain, that he who commands
the sea is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little
of the war as he will, whereas those that be strongest by land are
many times, nevertheless, in great straits.
" Surely at this day, with us of Europe, the vantage of strength
at sea (which is one of the dowries of this kingdom of Great Britain)
is great ; both because most of the kingdoms of Europe are not
merely ^inland, but girt with the sea most part of their compass,
and because the wealth of both Indies seems, in great part, but
an accessory to the command of the seas."
We are the sons of the men who won us this goodly heritage,
and it behoves us in turn to hand it on to our descendants in
undiminished dignity, a world-wide domain beneath the glorious
Union Flag that binds all in one great brotherhood.
The Flag of Columbus Early Settlements in North America the Birth of
the United States Early Revolutionary and State Flags the Pine-tree Flag
the Rattle-snake Flag the Stars and Stripes Early Variations of it the Arms
of Washington Entry of New States into the Union the Eagle the Flag of
the President Secession of the Southern States State Flags again the Stars
and Bars the Southern Cross the Birth of the German Empire the Influence
of War Songs Flags of the Empire Flags of the smaller German States the
Austro- Hungary Monarchy The Flags of Russia The Crosses of St. Andrew
and St. George again the Flags of France St. Martin The Oriflamme the
Fleurs-de-Iys Their Origin the White Cross the White Flag of the Bourbons
the Tricolor the Red Flag the Flags of Spain of Portugal the Consum-
mation of Italian Unity the Arms of Savoy the Flags of Italy of the
Temporal Power of the Papacy the Flag of Denmark its Celestial Origin
the Flags of Norway and Sweden of Switzerland Cantonal Colours the
Geneva Convention the Flags of Holland of Belgium of Greece the Crescent
of Turkey the Tughra the Flags of Roumania, Servia, and Bulgaria Flags
of Mexico and of the States of Southern and Central America of Japan the
Rising Sun the Chrysanthemum the Flags of China, Siam, and Corea of
Sarawak of the Orange Free State, Liberia, Congo State, and the Transvaal
'TTHE well-known Ensign (Fig. 146) of the United States of
America is the outcome of many changes ; the last of a long
series of National, State, and local devices.
The first flag planted on American ground was borne thither by
Christopher Columbus, in the year 1497, and bore on its folds the
arms of Leon and Castile, a flag divided into four and having upon
it, each twice repeated, the lion of Leon and the Castle of Castile :
the first red on white, the second white on red. These arms form
a portion of the present Spanish Standard, and may be seen in the
upper staff corner in Fig. 194. In this same year 1497 New-
foundland was discovered, but the first English settlement on the
mainland was not made until Sir Walter Raleigh took possession of
a tract of country in 1584, naming it Virginia, after Elizabeth, the
Virgin-Queen he served, and hoisting the Standard of Her Majesty,
bearing in its rich blazonry (Fig. 22) the ruddy lions of England
quartered with the golden lilies of France. The Dutch established
themselves, in the year 1614, in what is now the State of New
York; the French, having already founded a colony in Canada
in 1534, took possession of Louisiana, so called after their King
Louis, in 1718, while Florida, at first French, became Spanish, and
in 1763 was ceded to England.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 87
Three ships, bearing the earliest Pilgrim Fathers from England
to America, had already sailed from England in the year 1606, and
these were followed by the historic Mayflower and the Plymouth
Rock, in 1620. While these exiles for conscience sake established
for themselves a new England in the west, a colony of Scotchmen
in the year 1622 took possession of a tract of land which they named
Nova Scotia. Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey,
Carolina, Pennsylvania, and other colonies were successively
formed by parties of Englishmen the final outcome of peaceful
settlement, or the arbitrament of the sword, being that the
greater part of the eastern seaboard, and the country beyond it,
came under the sway of the English Crown, until injudicious
taxation and ill-advised repression led at length to open discon-
tent and disloyalty, and finally to revolution and the birth of
the great Republic of the West.
So long as the Colonists owed allegiance to the British crown,
one would naturally have taken for granted that they would have
been found beneath the national flag, but this was not altogether
the case. In the early days of New England the Puritans strongly
objected to the red cross on the flag : not from any disloyalty to
the old country, but from a conscientious objection to the use of a
symbol which they deemed idolatrous. By the year 1700, though
the Cross of St. George was still the leading device, the different
colonies began to employ special devices to distinguish their vessels
from those of England and of each other.* This, though it indicated
a certain jealousy and independence amongst the colonies them-
selves, was no proof of any desire for separation from the old
country, and even when, later on, the dispute between King and
Colonists became acute, we find them parting from the old flag
with great reluctance. Fig. 142 is a very good illustration of this ;
its date is 1775.
In the early stages of the Revolution each section adopted a
flag of its own, and it was only later on, when the desirability of
union and uniformity became evident, that the necessity for one
common flag was felt. Thus, the people of Massachusetts ranged
themselves beneath banners bearing pine trees ; the men of South
Carolina went in for rattle-snakes; the New Yorkers adopted a
white flag with a black beaver thereon ; the Rhode Islanders had
a white flag with a blue anchor upon it ; and, in like manner, each
contingent adopted its special devioe.
In Fig. 144, one of the flags of the insurgents at Bunker's Hill,
* Thus in a French book on flags (La Haye's), published in 1737, we see a "pavilion de
Nouvelle Anglcterre en Amerique." This is a blue flag, having on a white canton the
Cross of St. George, and in the first quarter ot this canton a globe, in allusion to America,
the new world.
88 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
June i7th, 1775, we see that the Cross of St. George is still pre-
served, and it might well fly in company with Fig. 67, a flag of the
London Trained Bands, except that in the corner we see the pine
tree. In Fig. 145 the English emblem has dropped out and the pine
tree has become much more conspicuous, and in Figs. 147 and 148
all suggestion of St. George or of the red or blue Ensigns has dis-
appeared. This arboreal device was not by any means a new one to
the men of Massachusetts. We find a mint established at Boston as
early as 1651, busily engaged in coining the silver captured from the
Spaniards by the Buccaneers. On one side was the date and value
of the coin, and, on the reverse, a tree in the centre and "In
Massachusetts" around it. It must be remembered that at the
time there was no king to resent this encroachment on the royal
prerogative, and no notice was taken of it by the Parliament or by
Cromwell. There was a tacit allowance of it afterwards, even by
Charles II., for more than twenty years. It will be remembered
that on his enquiry into the matter he was told by some courtier
that the device was intended for the Royal Oak, and the question
was allowed to drop.
South Carolina adopted the rattle-snake flag at the suggestion
of one Gadsden, a delegate to the General Congress of the South
Carolina Convention in 1776. On a yellow ground was placed a
rattlesnake, having thirteen rattles ; the reptile was coiled ready
to strike, and beneath was the warning motto, " Don't tread on
me." The number thirteen had reference to the thirteen re
volted States, as it was originally proposed that this flag should be
the navy flag for all the States. As an accessory to a portrait of
Commodore Hopkins, "Commander-in-chiei of the American fleet,
we see a flag of thirteen alternate red and white stripes. It has
no canton, but undulating diagonally across the stripes is a rattle-
snake. The idea was not altogether a new one, as we find the
Pennsylvania Gazette, in commenting twenty-five years previously
on the iniquity of the British Government in sending its convicts
to America, suggesting as a set off" that "a cargo of rattlesnakes
should be distributed in St. James's Park, Spring Gardens, and other
places of pleasure." At the commencement of any great struggle
by a revolting people there is often a great variety of device, and
it is only after a while that such a multiplicity is found to be a
danger. Hence we find that prior to the yellow rattlesnake flag,
South Carolina had, with equal enthusiasm, adopted the blue flag
with the crescent moon that we have figured in No. 158. :;:
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 89
In the year 1775 a committee was appointed to consider the
question of a single flag for the thirteen States. This ensign,
though it went far towards moulding these different sections intc
the United States, was a curious illustration of that reluctance
that we have already referred to, to sever themselves finally from
the Old Country, as the Committee recommended the retention
of the Union in the upper corner next the staff, but substituted for
the broad red field of the rest of the flag thirteen horizontally
disposed stripes, alternately red and white, the emblems of the
union into one of the thirteen colonies in their struggle against
oppression. We have this represented in Fig. 57. It was also the
flag of the East India Company.
On the final declaration of Independence, when the severance
from the Old Country was irrevocable, and the colonists became
a nation, the question of a national flag was one of the points
awaiting solution ; but it was not till about a year afterwards that a
decision was come to. The vessels commissioned by Washington
flew the flag we have figured in No. 147; this was approved in
April, 1776, and remained in use some little time, as did also
the one represented in Fig. 149. Sometimes we find the cross
and pine-tree removed and the whole flag nothing but the red and
white stripes. This flag composed of stripes alone was not
peculiar to the American navy, as a flag of similar design was for
a long time a well-known signal in the British fleet, being that used
for the red division to form up into line of battle.
Anyone looking over a collection of the common potter} 7
made from about a hundred and fifty years ago up to compara-
tively recent times will find that stirring contemporary events
are very freely introduced sea-fights, portraits of leading states-
men, generals, and so forth. These are often caricatures, as, for
example, the hundreds that may be seen in our various museums
and private collections derisive of " Boney," while others are as
historically correct as the potter's knowledge and skill could com-
pass. Anyone visiting the Corporation Museum at Brighton will
find a jug bearing the head of Zebulon M. Pike, an American
general ; trophies of flags are grouped around this, but the only
flag with any device upon it is a plain striped one. Another that
bears the head of Commodore Decatur, U.S.N., has below it a
cannon, on the left a trophy of flags and weapons, and on the right
a ship ; and a very similar jug may be seen in honour of Com-
modore Parry. In each of these cases the flags in the trophies and
on the ships are simply striped.
On August i4th, 1777, Congress resolved " that the flag of the
United States be thirteen stripes, alternately red and white, and
that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing
9O THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
a new constellation."* This was the birth of the national flag, " the
stars and stripes," and it would appear at first sight to be a final
settlement of the device, though in practice the result did not
work out at all uniformly, the number of stripes being unequal.
If we commence at the top with a white one, we shall have seven
white and six red, whereas if we begin with a red stripe we shall
get seven red and six white. Each of these renderings was for
some years in use, until it was authoritatively laid down that the
latter was the arrangement to be adopted. It seems a minor point,
but any of our readers who will re-draw Fig. 146 and transpose the
colours of the stripes, so that the upper and lower edges of the
flag are white instead of red, will be surprised to note how so
apparently trivial a change will affect the appearance of the flag.f
In like manner the stars were sometimes made with six points, and
at others with five. Even so late as 1779, we find such a striking
variation as a flag bearing stars with eight points, and its stripes
alternately red, blue, and white. The coins issued during the
presidency of Washington had five-pointed stars on them, but later
on they had six points. Nobody seems now to know why this
change was made.
As nothing was said in this resolution of Congress as to the
arrangement of the stars on the blue field, a further opening for
variety of treatment was found. In some of the early flags they
were arranged to represent the letters U.S., in others they were all
placed in a circle, in others again they were dispersed irregularly*
so as the better to suggest a constellation ; and it was finally ordered
that they should be placed in parallel horizontal rows, as we now
Though the stars did not appear in the American flag until
1777, we find in a poem in the Massachusetts Spy of March loth,
1774, on the outbreak of the rebellion, the lines
The American ensign now sparkles a star
Which shall shortly flame wide through the skies. "
* It may be somewhat of an assistance to our readers if we give a few chronological
details : The obnoxious duty on tea and other articles imposed by the British Parliament,
June, 1767. Tea thrown overboard in Boston harbour by the discontented populace,
November, 1773. The Boston Port Bill, by which that port was to be shut up until com-
pensation made to the East India Company tor the tea destroyed, passed March, 1774.
General Congress of the colonists at Philadelphia, September, 1774. Revolution, first
blood shed at Lexington, April, 1775. Washington appointed Commander-in-Chiei of the
American Armies, June, 1775. Thirteen colonies declare themselves independent,
July 4th, 1776. Independence of Colonies recognised by France in March, 1778, by Holland
in April, 1782, and by Great Britain in September, 1783. John Adams received as ambas-
sador from America by George III. in June, 1785, and first ambassador sent from Great
Britain to the United States, in 1791.
t In an old print before us of the fight between the Shannon and the Chesapeake, we see
that the latter hoists three American flags, all having the top and bottom stripes white,
and at the foremast a white flag inscribed with the enigmatical motto, " Free Trade and
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. QI
This poetic and prophetic flight is the earliest suggestion of the
stars in the national flag of the United States.
It has been held that the American Eagle and the stars and
stripes of the national flag were suggested by the crest and arms
of the Washington family. This statement has been often made ;
hence we find an American patriot writing: "It is not a little
curious that the poor, worn-out rag of feudalism, as many would
count it, should have expanded into the bright and ample banner
that now waves on every sea." But that it should be so seems
by no means an established fact. No reference is made to it
in Washington's correspondence, or in that of any of his con-
temporaries. The arms of the Washington family are a white
shield having two horizontal red bars, and above these a row of
three red stars ; and this certainly bears some little resemblance
to the American flag, but how much is mere coincidence, and
how much is adaptation it is impossible to say. These arms
may be seen on a brass in Solgrave Church, Huntingdon-
shire, on the tomb of Laurence Washington, the last lineal
ancestor who was buried in England. He was twice Mayor of
Northampton, in 1533 and in 1546, and the first President of
the United States was his great-great-grandson. He was a man
of considerable influence, and on the dissolution of the monas-
teries Henry gave him the Priory of St. Andrews, Northampton.
In the troublous times that succeeded, his son John went to
America, and lived for some twenty years on the banks of the
Another theory that has been advanced is that the blue quarter
was taken from the blue banner of the Scotch Covenanters, and was
therefore significant of the Solemn League and Covenant of the
United Colonies against oppression, while the stripes were a blending
of the red colours used in the army with the white flags used in the
navy. We give the theory for what it is worth, which we venture
to say is not very much ; but as it was advanced by an American
writer, we give it place.
Should our readers care to consider yet another theory, they
may learn that the genesis of the star-spangled banner was very
much less prosaic. Prose has it that a Committee of Council,
accompanied by General Washington, called on Mrs. Ross, an
upholstress of Arch Street, Philadelphia, and engaged her to make
a flag from a rough sketch that they brought with them, that she
in turn suggested one or two practical modifications, and that at
her wish Washington re-drew it there and then, that she at once
set to work on it, and in a few hours the first star-spangled flag
was floating in the breeze ; but the poet ignores the services of Mrs.
Ross altogether, and declares that
92 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
" When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of Night
And set the stars of glory there.
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skios,
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light :
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle-bearer down
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land."
This view was expressed by another great American in the
words : " As at the early dawn the stars shine forth even while it
grows light, and then, as the sun advances, that light breaks out
into banks and streaming lines of colour, the glowing red and
intense light striving together and ribbing the horizon with bars
effulgent, so on the American flag stars and beams of light shine
out together. Where this flag comes, and men behold it, they see
in its sacred emblazoning no ramping lions, and no fierce eagle,
no embattled castles, or insignia of imperial authority : they see
the symbols of light : it is the banner of dawn ; it means
Liberty I "
We have clearly now got a long way from the establishment in
Arch Street. This flag, which, after such glowing passages as the
foregoing, we should almost expect to find too sacred a thing for
change or criticism, has undergone some few modifications in its
details, though the original broad idea has remained untouched.
As the first conception was that each of the original thirteen
States was represented in the national flag by a star and a stripe,
other States, as they came into the Union, naturally expected the
same consideration : hence on the admission of Vermont in 1791,
and Kentucky in 1792, an Act was passed which increased the
number of stars and stripes from thirteen to fifteen. Later on
came Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, and so forth, and the flag was
presently made to consist of twenty stars and stripes, but it was
found to be so objectionable to be thus continually altering it that
it was settled in the year 1818 to go back to the original thirteen
stripes, but to add a star for each new State. Hence the stripes
show always the original number of the States at the birth of the
nation, while the stars show the present number in the Union.
It is interesting to trace the growth of the country, Illinois
being enrolled in the Union in 1818, Alabama in 1819, Maine in
1820, Missouri in 1821, Arkansas in 1836, Michigan in 1837, and so
on; but suffice it now to say that by 1891 the orlHaa' thirteen had
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 93
grown to forty-four, and it was announced that on and after the
4th of July of that year the national flag should bear this latter
number of stars. As there are still several territories awaiting
promotion to the rank of States, the constellation is even yet
" A song for our banner I The watchword recall
Which gave the Republic her station ;
United we stand, divided we fall,
It made, and preserves us, a nation !
The union of lakes, the union of lands,
The union of States none can sever ;
The union of hearts, the union of hands,
And the flag of our Union for ever."
The most striking modification of the flag is seen in the Revenue
Service. We have still the silver stars on the azure field and the
stripes of alternate red and white, but in this special case the
stripes, instead of being disposed horizontally, are placed verti-
cally, a slight enough difference apparently, but one which makes
a striking alteration in the appearance of the flag.
The pendant of the United States Navy is shown in Fig. 151 ;
the stars in it, it will be seen, are reduced to the original thirteen,
while the narrowness of the flag permits but two of the stripes.
The American Jack is simply the blue and white portion of
the National flag, Fig. 146, made into a separate flag.
The Commodore's broad pendant is a swallow-tailed blue flag,
with one white star in the centre. The Admiral's flag, hoisted at
the main, is shown in Fig. 143 ; the Vice-Admiral's flag, hoisted at
the fore, has three white stars on the blue field ; and the Rear-
Admiral's flag, hoisted at mizen, has two arranged vertically over
While in some nationalities the flag of the war navy differs from
that of the mercantile marine as in the case of Great Britain,
Germany, and Spain in others the same flag is used. This is so
in the United States, France, etc.
The Chief of the State, whether he be called Emperor, King,
President, or Sultan, has his own flag his personal Standard and
this special and personal flag, in the case of the President of the
United States, has on its blue field an eagle, bearing on its breast a
shield with the stars and stripes, and beneath it the national motto,
" E pluribus unum." As it has been suggested that the employment
of the eagle as a symbol of the State was derived from the crest of
Washington, it may not be inopportune to state that the crest in
question was not an eagle at all, but a raven. The idea of the
eagle, together with the word " Senate," and many such similar
94 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
things, no doubt arose from their use in ancient Rome, and afforded
an illustration the more of the pseudo-classicalism that was raging
in the eighteenth century in France and elsewhere.
The eagle appears on many of the early flags of America.
Fig. 150 is a curious example of its use. In an old engraving
we see a figure of Liberty defended by Washington, and above
them this flag. In another old print before us we see Washington
leaning on a cannon, and behind him a flag bearing the stars and
stripes, plus an eagle, that with outstretched wings fills up much
of the field, having in his beak a label with the " E pluribus unuin '
upon it, with one foot grasping the thunderbolts of War, and the
other the olive-branch of Peace.
Both these eagle-bearing flags, it will be seen, are associated
with the President; but in many of these early examples there
seems no necessary connection. Thus in one instance we see a
busy ship-building scene, and while the ship in the foreground has
at stern the stars and stripes, at the bowsprit it bears a Jack
that is identical with the blue and white portion of Fig. 150.
In a Presidential Standard proposed in 1818 the flag is
quartered. In the first quarter are twenty white stars on a blue
field ; in the second quarter is the eagle and thunderbolt ; in the
third a sitting figure emblematic of Liberty ; in the fourth, seven
red horizontal stripes alternating with six white ones. We found
the flag figured in an old American book, but are unable to say
whether such a flag was ever actually made, proposition and
adoption not being altogether the same thing.
History repeated itself on the secession from the Union, in the
year 1860, of North and South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi,
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, and
Tennessee. There was the same desire at first for individuality
in the different flags adopted by the seceding States, the same
unwillingness to break wholly away from the old flag, that we have
seen as features in the first revolt.
Louisiana adopted the flag shown in Fig. 156 ; this was em-
blematic of the origin and history of the State, Louisiana having
been settled by Louis Quatorze in 1718, ceded to Spain at the
peace of 1763, restored to France in 1802, sold by France to
America in 1803, and admitted as a State of the Union in 1812.
The Spanish Flag, Fig. 192, is red and yellow, hence the golden
star on the ruddy field, while the stripes of red, white and blue
are the colours found in the flags of France and America.
On the election of President Lincoln in November, 1860, South
Carolina, by vote of Convention, proclaimed her resumption of
independence as a Sovereign State, and on the i7th of the month
the new State Flag, having a green Palmetto palm in the centre of a
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 95
field of white, was hoisted in Charleston amidst the ringing of bells,
a salute of one hundred guns, and every possible sign of public
rejoicing. In January, 1861, the flag shown in Fig. 155 was substi-
tuted, the old crescent moon of the first rebellion, 1775, reappearing,
but in the Charleston Mercury, of January 2gth, 1861, we read that
" the Legislature last night again altered the design of the State
Flag. It now consists of a blue field with a white Palmetto palm tree
in the middle. The white crescent in the upper flagstaff corner
remains as before, but the horns pointing upwards. This may be
regarded as final." This flag is shown in Fig. 159. Fig. 160 is the
flag of Texas" the lone star " State.
' Hurrah for the Lone Star !
Up, up to the mast
With the honoured old bunting,
And nail it there fast.
The ship is in danger,
And Texans will fight
'Neath the flag of the Lone Star
For God and their right."
When it became necessary, as it almost immediately did, to
adopt one flag as the common Ensign of all the Confederate States,
a special committee was appointed to consider the matter, and to
study the numerous designs submitted to them. On presenting
their report the Chairman said " A flag should be simple, readily
made, and capable of being made up in bunting; it should be
different from the flag of any other country, place, or people : it
should be significant : it should be readily distinguishable at a
distance : the colours should be well contrasted and durable : and
lastly, and not the least important point, it should be effective and
handsome. The Committee humbly think that the flag which they
submit combines these requirements. It is very easy to make ; it
is entirely different from any other national flag. The three colours
of which it is composed red, white, and blue are the true
Republican Colours; they are emblematic of the three great virtues
valour, purity, and truth. Naval men assure us that it can be
recognised at a great distance. The colours contrast admirably,
and are lasting. In effect and appearance it must speak for itself."
The flag, thus highly and justly commended, was first hoisted on
March 4th, 1861, at Montgomery. It is represented in Fig 152, and
was quickly known as the " Stars and Bars."* Even the New York
Herald admitted that " the design of this flag is striking, and it has
' Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars."
WHITTIER, " Barbara Frietchle."
96 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
the merit of originality as well as of durability." The circle of
white stars was intended to correspond in number with the States
in the Confederacy, but no great attention seems to have been paid
to this. The flag may be seen engraved on the paper money of the
different Southern States, and on other Government papers. In
one example before us the stars are seven in number, and in
another nine are shown, the number of seceding States being
While the " Stars and Bars," Fig. 152, was quite a different flag
from Fig. 146, the " Stars and Stripes," it was found that, neverthe-
less, in the stress of battle confusion arose; so the battle flag,
Fig. 153, known as the " Southern Cross," became largely adopted,
though its use was never actually legalised. Here, again, we find
that though eleven should be the proper number of the stars, they
are in our illustration thirteen, while in one example we have found
seventeen. It would be found in practice very difficult to make a
pleasing arrangement of eleven stars ; given a central one, and two
on either side of it in the arms of the cross, and we get nine as a
result, with three on either side it will total to thirteen, and with four
it must take seventeen. In a few instances it may be seen without
the red portions a white flag with the blue cross and white stars.
One great objection to the Southern Cross was that it was not
adapted for sea service, since being alike in whatever way it was
looked at, it could not be reversed in case of distress. To obviate
this difficulty, at a Congress in Richmond in 1863 the form seen in
Fig. 154 was adopted* a plain white flag having the Southern Cross
as its Union ; but this, in turn, was objected to as being too much
like a flag of truce, so to meet this, in the following year, it was
ordered that the space between the Union and the outer edge of
the flag should be divided vertically in half, and that the outer half
should be red: an alteration that may have been necessary, but
which greatly spoiled the appearance of what was, before this, a
handsome and striking flag. As the struggle came to an end in the
following year, the " Stars and Bars " and the " Southern Cross "
perished in the general downfall of the Southern cause the
victories of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Shenandoah Valley,
Chattanooga, and many another hard-fought field, and the brilliant
strategy of Lee, Beauregard, Longstreet, Jackson, Early, Hood,
and many another gallant commander, being all in vain against
the unlimited resources of the North. Over six hundred and fifty
thousand human lives, over seven hundred millions of pounds
sterling, were spent in what an American writer delicately calls
" the late unpleasantness.
The Americans, jealous of the honour of their flag, have some-
times, to our insular notions, a rather odd way of showing it. Some
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 97
of our readers will remember how an American, some time ago,
undertook to carry the flag of his country through England. What-
ever visions he or his compatriots may have had of his defending
it gallantly against hostile attack were soon proved to be baseless.
Englishmen, cela va sans dire, have no hostility to the Americans,
and the populace urban, suburban, and rural everywhere
entered into the humour of the thing, and cheered the gallant
sergeant and his bunting wherever he appeared. All the risk and
terror of the exploit melted away in general acclamation and hearty
welcome. An Englishman told us that in descending a mountain
in Norway he met an American carrying something rolled up ; he
unfolded it, and displayed the Stars and Stripes, and said that he
had brought it to plant on the summit of the mountain. Why he
should do so is by no means apparent : but still, as it pleased him
and hurt no one else, it would be churlish, indeed, to demur to so
innocent a pastime. Our friend courteously raised his hat to the
symbol of the great daughter nation over the ocean, whereupon the
American heartily reciprocated, saying, " Thanks, stranger ; and
here's to the Union Jack."*
When the French declared war against Prussia, on July i6th,
1870, they were entirely unprepared for the enthusiasm and unity
with which the various German States rallied together against the
common opponent. It was thought that the Southern and Catholic
States would, at least, be neutral, if they did not side with France
against a Power that, during previous conflict wjth Austria, had
laid heavy hand on those that had then taken sides against her. But
this, after all, had been but a quarrel amongst themselves; and the
attempt of France to violate German soil was at once the signal for
Germans to stand shoulder to shoulder in one brotherhood against
the common foe. The separate interests and grievances of Bavarians,
Saxons, Hessians, Badeners, Brunswickers, Wurtemburgers, Han-
overians," were at once put aside, and united Germany, in solid
phalanx, rose in irresistible might. In the great historic Palace of
Versailles, in the hall dedicated " to all the glories of France," the
Confederate Princes of Germany, headed by the King of Bavaria,
* At a banquet at the Mansion House, when many leading Englishmen and eminent
Colonists gathered together to celebrate St. George's Day, the American Ambassador,
an honoured guest, said that he was very conscious that he was there at a gathering of
the clans. " There was a tradition that the mischievous boy was generally the favourite
of the household. His mother might confess it openly, his father secretly, but the rest of
the family said nothing about it. Now there was a mischievous boy who broke away
from home something more than a century ago, but let them not suppose that because he
left the home he or his descendants ever came back without a strong feeling that it is the
home." He .went on to say that he never met a body of representative Englishmen,
British men, speaking the same language that he did, without a sense of grave joy and
pleasure: the sense that they were his brethren in a great cause, and that he joined with
them, he and his people, in sustaining the best hopes and aspirations of the world's
civilization. Blood is thicker than water, and all right-minded Englishmen will read his
kindly words with pleasure, and give them heartiest reciprocation.
8 f Hfe FLA6S OF THfe WORLD.
conferred on the King of Prussia the title of Emperor of Germany,
bestowing on him the duty of representing all the German
States in international questions, and appointing him and his
successors the Commander-in-chief of the German forces. Thus,
on January lyth, 1871, amid the acclamation of the allied Sovereigns
and the deep bass of the cannon in the trenches surrounding the
beleagured capital of the common enemy, the principle of German
unity received its seal and consummation.
The War Ensign of the Empire is represented in Fig. 207. The
colours of Prussia, black and white, and the Prussian Eagle enter
largely into it, and perhaps it may at first sight appear that these
symbols of the Prussian State are even a little too conspicuous, but
it must be borne in mind that it is to the Sovereign of this State
the headship of all is given, and that the vital interests of Prussia
in the matter may be further illustrated by the fact that while she
has a population, in round numbers, of thirty millions, Bavaria has
but five, and Saxony three, while the Wurtemburgers and Badeners
between them make up about another three millions, and no other
State in the Empire comes at all near these figures. Prussia has
over 130,000 square miles of territory to fight for, while Bavaria has
but 29,292, and the next largest, Wurtemburg, has only an area of
7,531 ; in every way, political, commercial, or what not, the
interests of Prussia are overwhelmingly predominant.
The flag of West Prussia is the black, white, black, shewn in
Fig. 211, while the East Prussian flag is made up of but two hori-
zontal strips, the upper black and the lower white. Hence the
well-known war song, " Ich bin ein Preussen," * commences,
" I am a Prussian ! Know ye not my banner ?
Before me floats my flag of black and while !
My fathers died for freedom, 'twas their manner,
So say those colours floating in your sight."
* To the Germans, In their campaign against France, this and the " Watch upon the
Rhine " were worth many battalions as a spur and stimulus to heroic deeds. During the
American War both Federals and Confederates owed much to the influence of stirring
patriotic songs. There can be no doubt that the songs of Dibdin contributed not a little
to our own naval victories, and every cause that is worth fighting for evokes like stirring
strains. Perhaps one of the most marked illustrations of this is the birth of that grand
war-song known as the " Marseillaise." Rouget de 1'Isle, its author, was a captain of
French Engineers stationed in Strassbourg on the opening of the campaign against Austria
and Prussia in 1792. On the eve of the day that the contingent from that city was going
to join the main army of the Rhine, a question arose as to what air should be played at
their departure. Several were suggested and rejected, and Rouget de 1'Isle left the
meeting and retired to his own quarters, and before the gathering broke up had written
both words and music of " Le Chant de 1'Armee du Rhin." On returning to the meeting,
still in consultation on the various details of the morrow, he sang his composition, and it
was at once welcomed with delight. It flew like wildfire throughout France, and, owing
to the Marseillaise troops singing it on entering Paris, it derived the name by which it has
ever since been known. Its stirring words and the grand roll of the music aroused the
enthusiasm of the country, and at once made it the battle-song of France, to be at timea
proscribed, but never forgotten.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLO. 99
The black, white, and red canton in the staff-head corner of
the flag is also made into an independent flag, as at Fig. 208,
and used as a "Jack" in the Imperial Navy, while this same flag,
Fig. 208, minus the cross, is the flag of the Mercantile Marine.
On the 25th of October, 1867, on the establishment of the North
German Confederacy, at the conclusion of the Austro- Prussian
campaign, the King of Prussia sanctioned a proposal for a flag
common to all. We find in this decree that " the confederate
flag henceforth solely to bear the qualification of the national flag,
and as such to be exclusively on board the merchantmen of the
Confederacy, shall be composed of three equilateral stripes hori-
zontally arranged : the colour of the top one being black, the
middle stripe white, and that of the bottom stripe red." On the
inclusion of the South German States on the formation of the
German Empire, the latter still more potent and august body
retained the Confederacy Flag for its mercantile marine. Up to
the year 1867 no German national flag had ever flown on the
ocean, as the various States and free cities had their special
colours of merely local value.
The responsible Minister of the Crown, in a speech delivered
in the Diet in 1867, stated to the members that the combination
of colours was emblematic of a junction of the black-white Prussian
flag with the red-white ensign of the Hanseatic League. This
league of the sea-ports of Germany was organised in 1164 for their
mutual defence and for the interchange of commercial advantages.
As its strength and reputation increased, many other cities sought
to be admitted, but international jealousies disintegrated the
League, and by the year 1630 it was reduced from sixty-six cities
to three Lubeck, Hamburg, and Bremen. These three Hanse
towns still retain special privileges. The red and the white in the
German flag represents the commercial prosperity of the nation,
while the black and white symbolises the strong arm of the State
prepared to protect and foster it. The flags of these three cities
still retain the old colours, Lubeck being half white and half red,
Bremen red and white stripes, and Hamburg a white castle on
a red field.
The arms of the Hohenzollerns are quarterly arranged. The
first and fourth quarters are themselves quartered, black and white
for Zollern, while the second and third quarters are azure with a
golden stag for Sigmaringen. Friedrich VI., the first of the
Hohenzollerns, the Burggraf of Nurnberg, became Friedrich I.,
Elector of Brandenburg, in 1417. There were twelve in all of these
Hohenzollern Electors, and Friedrich III., the last of these,
became in 1701 the first King of Prussia. All the succeeding
Sovereigns have been of the same house, so that the black and
IOO THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
white in the flag of to-day is the black and white that for over
five hundred years has been emblazoned in the arms of the
The cross on the flag (Figs. 207 and 208) the " iron cross" so
highly prized as the reward of fine service is the cross of the
Teutonic Order, and dates from the close of the i2th century.
The history of the Teutonic Order, in its connexion with Prussia,
is dealt with very fully in the first volume of Carlyle's " Frederick
The Imperial Standard of Germany has the iron cross, black
with white border, on a yellow field, in the centre of all being a
shield bearing the arms of Prussia, surmounted by a crown and sur-
rounded by the collar of the Order of the Black Eagle. The yellow
groundwork of the flag is diapered over in each quarter with three
black eagles and a crown. The arms of the cross stretch out to
the four edges of the flag.
The Admiral's flag in the Imperial German Navy is square, and
consists of the black cross on a white ground the cross, as in the
standard, extending to the edges of the flag. The Vice-Admiral's
flag is similar, but has in the upper staff-space a black ball in
addition, while the Rear- Admiral has the same flag again, but with
the addition of a black ball in each of the quarters nearest the
mast. The Chief of the Admiralty has a white flag again with
the cross in the centre, but in this case there is a considerable
margin of white all round, and four red anchors are placed so that
they extend in a sloping direction from the corners of the flag
towards the inner angles of the cross. We get the characteristic
black and white again in the burgee of the Imperial Yacht Club,
which is thus quartered, an upright line meeting a horizontal one
in the centre of the burgee, and thus giving a first and fourth black
quarter and a second and third white one. The signal for a pilot
again is a white flag with a broad border of black ; if our readers
will take a mourning envelope with a good deep margin of black
to it, they will see the effect exactly.
German vessels engaged in trade on the East African coast fly
the black, white, red, but in the centre of the white stripe is a blue
anchor placed erect, while the Imperial Governor in East Africa
substitutes for the anchor the black eagle. The German East
Africa Company's flag is white cut into quarters by a narrow and
parallel-edged cross and a red canton with five white stars on it
in the quarter nearest the masthead.
While we find amongst the minor States of Germany Olden-
burg, Fig. 204, with a cross-bearing flag, the greater number are
made up of stripes disposed horizontally, and either two or three
in number. Thus Fig. 199 is the white-green of Saxony, Fig. 200
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. IOI
the black-red-yellow of Waldeck, Fig. 202 the blue-white of
Pomerania, Fig. 203 the black-red of Wurtemburg, Fig. 205
the red - yellow - blue of Mecklenburg - Strelitz, Fig. 206 the
blue-yellow of Brunswick, Fig. 209 the green - white of Saxe-
Coburg Gotha, Fig. 210 the blue-red-white of Schomberg Lippe,
Fig. 212 the red-white of Hesse. Others that we have not
figured are the red-yellow of Baden, the white-blue of Bavaria,
the yellow-white of Hanover, the yellow-red of Elsass, the
red-yellow of Lothringen.* To these, others might be added :
Sleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, Posen, Silesia, etc., all agreeing
in the same general character.
The Imperial Standard of the Austro- Hungarian monarchy is
yellow, and has in its centre the black double-headed eagle and
a bordering all round composed of equal-sided triangles turning
alternately their apices inwards and outwards ; the first of these
are alternately yellow and white, the second alternately scarlet and
black. On the displayed wings of the eagle are the arms of the
eleven provinces of the empire.
The war-ensign of the monarchy ir, represented in Fig. 213 ; it
is composed of three equal horizontal bands of red, white, red, and
bears in its centre beneath the Imperial crown a shield similarly
divided. This flag originated in 1786, when the Emperor Joseph II.
decreed its introduction. This shield was the heraldic device of
the ancient Dukes of Austria, and is known to have been in exist-
ence in the yeaftr 1191, as Duke Leopold Heldenthum bore these
arms at that date during the Crusades.
The "Oesterreich-Ungarische Monarchic," to give it its official
title, is under the command of one Sovereign, who is both Emperor
of Austria and King of Hungary, but each of these great States
has its own Parliament, Ministry, and Administration. Austria
had long held the Hungarians in most unwilling subjection, and
the disastrous outcome for Austria of the war with Prussia
made it absolutely essential to make peace with Hungary, the
Magyars seeing in the humiliation of Austria the opportunity that
they had long been awaiting of becoming once again an indepen-
dent State. A compromise was effected in February, 1867, by
which the Hungarians were willing to remain under the rule of the
Emperor of Austria, but only on condition that he submitted to be
crowned King of Hungary, and that in the dual monarchy thus
* The book on German costume by Kobel, printed at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1545.,
should be referred to, if possible, by the reader. It is, unfortunately, a very rare book.
The first edition of this splendid volume contains 144 large illustrations of standard-
bearers ; the figures are admirably drawn and very varied in attitude, while the flags they
carry are replete with interest, many of course being now quite obsolete, while others
there represented have come down to us through the three centuries in,f~*.
IO2 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
created they should have absolutely the same rights and freedom
as the Austrians. The Austrian flag, as we have seen, is red-white-
red, while the Hungarian is red-white-green, and a commission
being appointed to consider how these two flags could be blended
into one, introduced on March 6th, 1869, as the result of its delibe-
rations, the Austro- Hungarian national flag that we have represented
in Fig. 214.
The Austrian provinces have chiefly bi- or tri-color flags, the
stripes being arranged horizontally. Thus Bohemia is red-white ;
Tyrol is white-red ; Dalmatia is blue-yellow; Galicia is blue-red;
Croatia is red-white-blue ; Istria yellow-red-blue.
We are so used in England to the idea that cheering is a
spontaneous product that it seems strange to find that the official
welcome by the Austrian fleet to their Emperor is a salute of
twenty-one guns, followed by fifteen hurrahs. Each rank has its
special limit of honour ; thus a minister of State or field-marshal is
saluted by nineteen guns and eleven hurrahs ; a general by thirteen
and seven, while a commodore drops to eleven and three ; ambassa-
dors, archbishops, consuls, all have their definite share of gun-
powder and such specified amount of shouting as is held to be
befitting to their position.
The Imperial Standard of the Czar of all the Russias is the
brilliant yellow and black flag represented in Fig. 226. The
introduction of the black two-headed eagle dates back from the
year 1472, when Ivan the Great married Sophia, a niece of
Constantine Palaolagus, and thence assumed the arms of the
Greek Empire. On the breast of the eagle is an escutcheon
bearing on its red field in silver the figure of St. George slaying
the dragon, the whole being surrounded by the collar of the Order
of St. Andrew. On the displayed wings of the eagle are other
shields, too small for representation in our figure, bearing the arms
of Kiow, a silver angel on an azure field ; of Novgorod, two black
bears on a golden shield; of Voldermirz, a golden lion rampant on a
red shield ; of Kasan, a black wyvern on a silver ground, and so
forth. The flag of the Czarina is similar, except that it has a broad
blue bordering to it.
A new Standard is made for each Czar. It was originally borne
before him in battle, but this custom has fallen into disuse, and it is
now deposited with the rest of the regalia. On the heavy gold
brocade is embroidered the black eagle, and around this the arms of
the provinces of the Empire. From the eagle that surmounts the
staff are pendant the blue ribbons of the Order of St. Andrew,
embroidered in gold, with the dates of the foundation of the Russian
State in 862, the baptism by St. Vladimir in 986, the union of all
Russian possessions under the sceptre of John III. in 1497, and the
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 103
proclamation of the Empire by Peter the Great. Its dedication is
a great religious function, and its sacred character and its appeal
to a lofty patriotism duly enforced. Thus we find the Imperial
Chaplain addressing the present Czar before the consecration of the
standard as follows :
" Divine Providence has resolved, by the right of succession to
the Throne, to entrust to thee, as Supreme Head and Autocrat of
the Peoples of the Empire of all the Russias, this Sacred Banner,
an emblem of its unity and power.
" We pray the Heavenly Father for the union of all thy subjects
in loyalty and devotion to their Throne and Country, and in the
unselfish fulfilment of their patriotic duties.
"May this Banner inspire thy enemies with dread, may it be a
sign to thee of Divine Assistance, and in the name of God, of the
Orthodox Faith, of Right and of Justice ; may it help thee, in spite of
all obstacles, to lead thy people to prosperity, greatness, and glory."
After the Benediction, holy water was sprinkled upon the
standard, and the Czar, as the embodiment of the Nation, was
again addressed :
" The Almighty has been pleased, in the course of the law of
inheritance, to enthrone you as the Sovereign Ruler of all the
peoples of the Russian nation ; this sacred Standard is a token
of unity and power. We pray it may unite all thy subjects in
unquestioning loyalty to the Throne and Country, and in unselfish
fulfilment of each duty of a subject. May it be to thee a sign,
terrible to the foes of Russia, of the help given by the Lord God
to the glory of His Holy Name, that, through Orthodox Faith, not-
withstanding all limitations, thy people may be led to prosperity,
greatness, and glory ; so shall all nations know that God is on
The Russians venerate St. Andrew as their patron Saint,
believing that it was he who carried the doctrines of Christianity
into their midst. Origen asserts that he preached in Scythia.
Peter the Great instituted under his name and protection, in the
year 1698, the first and most noble order of Knighthood of the
Russian Empire as a reward for the valour of his officers in the
war against the Ottomans. The badge is the X-like cross of
St. Andrew displayed upon the Imperial Eagle and pendant froir
a broad blue ribbon. We have already seen that St. Andrew is
the Patron Saint of Scotland also, but in Scotland the cross,
Fig. 92, is white upon a field of blue, while in Russia, Fig. 217,
it is blue upon a field of white. This flag, Fig. 217, is the war
ensign, the flag of the Imperial Navy.
The creed of the Russian Church extols the worship of Saints,
and amongst the numerous subjects of veneration St. George takes
104 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
rank next to St. Andrew himself. Hence we see his presentment
on the Standard of the Czar, and hence Catherine II., in 1762,
instituted an order of knighthood in his honour. The badge is a
cross of gold, having in its centre a medallion with a figure of the
saint slaying the dragon ; the ribbon being yellow and black. St.
George, we need scarcely remind our readers, is the great warrior-
Saint of England too, but while we place his scarlet cross, Fig. 91,
on the field of white, the Russians reverse the arrangement and
place his white cross on scarlet.*
Fig. 215 is the Russian Union Jack that combines the crosses of
St. Andrew and St. George. Fig. 73 is the British Union Jack that
deals with precisely the same combination.
The flag of the Russian merchant service is represented in
Fig. 218. This was originally instead of being white, blue, red, a flag
of blue, white, red. Peter the Great borrowed this from the Dutch,
amongst whom he learnt ship-building. The Dutch flag, Fig. 237, it
will be seen is a tricolor of red, white, blue. Peter simply turned
this upside down, and afterwards, for greater distinction, charged the
central white space with a small blue St. Andrew's Cross, as we
see in Fig. 219, which represents this early form of flag. Later
on, for still greater clearness of distinction, the blue and the white
strips changed places, and so we get the modern Russian mer-
cantile flag, as shown in Fig. 218. It was evidently undesirable
that the flag of the great Empire of Russia should be the same
as that of a reversed Dutch ensign a signal of distress and
Based upon these two simple forms, the government Cross of
St. Andrew, Fig 217, and the commercial tricolor, Fig. 218, we get
a great variety of official flags. Thus Fig. 220 is a very happy
blending of the two forms in the flag of a Consul- General, since he
is an official of the State, and at the same time his duties
deal largely with commercial interests ; and much the same ground
may be taken as regards the blending of the two flags in Fig. 221,
the flag of a Russian Charg6 d' Affaires. Fig. 223 is the ensign of a
Russian transport ; if of the second division the field of the flag is
blue, and if of the third it is red, in each of these cases the crossed
anchors being white. The Russian signal for a pilot is the Jack
shown in. Fig. 215, but with a uroad white border to it.
* The Pamiot Azof, one of the most powerful ironclads of the Russian Navy, flies
at her mast-head the Cross of St. George (white on red), in memory of the gallant
service at Navarino in 1527 of her predecessor of that name. The Czar Nicholas decreed
that all future Pamiot Azofs in the navy should bear this distinguishing mark of honour.
Peter the Great built the first Pamiot Azof as a memorial of the great siege of Azof, and
the name has been handed down ever since. The influence of that piece of scarlet and
white bunting will doubtless be such that no Pamiot Azof will ever fall short of the
highest expectations that this exceptional honour would suggest.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 105
A Russian Ambassador or Minister Plenipotentiary flies the flag
shown in Fig. 222. In the Imperial Navy we find a considerable
variety of flag types. While the full Admiral flies the Imperial
Naval Flag, Fig. 217, that of the Vice-Admiral has along its bottom
edge a horizontal strip of blue, and that of the Rear-Admiral in
the same position a strip of red. The flag of the Minister of
Marine is the official flag, Fig. 217, except that instead of the four
plain white spaces there seen these triangles hold each of them a
golden anchor, the fluke end outwards. There are many other
modiiications that we need not here particularise.
Fig. 216 is the official flag of Poland ; the device in the canton
in the upper corner, the white eagle on the scarlet field, is the
ancient Polish flag, when Poland was yet a nation.
The early history of the French flag is lost in obscurity,
and it is not always easy to trace the various modifications
that it has undergone. At the earliest date of which we have
record we find the kings of the Franks marshalling their forces
under the plain blue flag known as the Chape de St. Martin.
Later on the red flag of St. Denis, known as the oriflamme,
came into use, and was held in great popular esteem, until by
the tenth century we find it accepted as the national flag, though
the blue flag still held its ground as a recognised flag. We may,
in fact, assume that as the Russians placed themselves beneath
the protection both of St. George and also of St. Andrew, so the
French felt that a double claim on saintly assistance would be
by no means amiss.
The Chape de St. Martin was originally in the keeping of the
monks of the Abbey of Marmoutiers, and popular belief held it to
be a portion of the actual blue cloak that the legend affirms the
Saint divided with the beggar suppliant. The Counts of Anjou
claimed the right to take this blue flag to battle with them. We
find it borne by Clovis in the year 507 against Alaric, and again
by Charlemagne at the battle of Narbonne ; and time after time it
led the hosts of France to victory. When the kings of France
transferred the seat of government to Paris, the great local Saint,
St. Denis, was held in high honour, and the scarlet flag of the
Abbey Church of St. Denis gradually ousted the blue flag of St.
Martin, and " St. Denis " became the war-cry of France.* Fig. 179
is a representation of the oriflamme from some ancient stained
glass, but ihe authorities differ somewhat ; thus the " Chronique de
Flandre " describes it as having three points and tassels of green
" Clisson, assura sa Maiestg du gain de la bataille, le roi lui r^pondit : ' Connestable,
Dteu le veeulte, nous Irons done avant au nom de Dieu et de Sainct Denis.' " Vtilson
de la Colombilre.
106 THE FLAGS OP THB WORLD.
silk attached thereto, while an English authority says, "The
celestial auriflamb, so by the French admired, was but of one
colour, a square redde banner." Du Cange gives no hint of its
shape, but affirms that it was simple, " sans portraiture d'autre
affaire." All therefore that seems quite definite is that it was a
plain scarlet flag. The last time that the sacred ensign was borne
to battle was at Agincourt on October 25th, 1415, when it certainly
failed to justify the confidence of its votaries.
The precise date when the golden fleurs-de-lys were added to the
blue flag is open to doubt, but we find the form at a very early date,
and from the first recognition of heraldic coats of arms this blazon
was the accepted cognizance of the kings of France. We see this
represented in Fig. 184. Originally the fleurs-de-lys were powdered,
as in Fig. 188, over the whole surface, but in the reign of Charles
V., A.D. 1365, the number was reduced to three.*
The meaning of the fleur-de-lys has given rise to much contro-
versy ; some will tell us that it is a lily flower or an iris, while others
affirm that it is a lance-head. Some authorities see in it an arbitrary
floral form assumed by King Louis,t and therefore the fleur-de-
Louis ; while others are so hard put to it that they tell us of a river
Lys in Flanders that was so notable for its profusion of yellow iris
that the flower became known as the fleur-de-Lys. The ancient
chronicles gravely record that they were lilies brought from Para-
dise by an angel to King Clovis in the year 496, on the eve of a
great battle fought near Cologne. Clovis made a vow that if he
were victorious he would embrace the Christian faith, and the angel
visitant and the celestial gift were a proof that his prayers were
heard and his vow accepted. As the belief that France was in an
especial degree under Divine protection was a very flattering one,
the lilies were held for centuries in great favour ; and the fleur-de-lys
did not finally disappear from the flag of France until the downfall
of Louis Philippe in the year 1848, a date within the recollection,
doubtless, of some of our readers. Finality, indeed, may not even
yet have been reached in the matter. As the bees of Napoleon I.
reappeared in the arms of Napoleon III., so the fleur-de-lys may yet
again appear on the ensigns of France. By virtue of a Napoleonic
decree in 1852 against factious or treasonable emblems, it was for-
bidden to introduce the fleur-de-lys in jewellery, tapestry, or any other
decorative way, lest its introduction might peril the position of a
* In a miniature of Charles II., A.D. 869, in a book of prayers, the royal sceptre termi-
nates in a fleur-de-lys. The crown of Hugh Capet, A.D. 957, in St. Denis, is formed of
fleur-de-lys, as is that of his successor, Robert le Sage, A.D. 996, Henry I., 1031, and
many others. To make the matter more complicated, we find on the crown of Uffa, first
king of the East Angles, A. D. 575, true fleurs-de-lys.
t One old writer asserts that Louis VII., on setting out in the year 1137 for the Crusade
chose the purple iris flower as bis emblem-
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. IO7
sovereign who rose to power by lavish bribery, and the free out-
pouring of blood. Napoleon the First, and at least by contrast
the Great, when at Auch enquired the reason why many of the
windows of the cathedral were partially concealed by paper, and
he was informed that it was because it was feared that he would
be offended at the sight of certain ancient emblems there repre-
sented. "What!" he exclaimed, "the fleurs-de-lys ? Uncover
them this moment. During eight centuries they guided the French
to glory, as my eagles do now, and they must always be dear to
France and held in reverence by her true children."
The white cross frequently appears on the early French flags.
Fig. 188, the flag of the French Guards in the year 1563, is a good
example of this. We find Favyn, in a book published in Paris
in 1620, " Le Theatre d'honneur et de Chevalerie," writing : " Le
grand estendard de satin bleu celeste en riche broderie de fleurs de
lys d'or a une grande croix plein de satin blanc, qui est la croix de
France." Figs. 180 and 181 are taken from a MS. executed in the
time of Louis XII., A.D. 1498, illustrating a battle scene ; these two
flags are placed by the side of the fleur-de-lys flag, Fig. 184.
When Louis XL, in 1479, organised the national infantry we find him
giving them as the national ensign a scarlet flag with white cross on
it ; and some two hundred years later we find the various provincial
levies beneath flags of various designs and colours, but all agreeing
in having tie white cross as the leading feature. Fig. 182, for
example, is that of the Solssonois. Desjardins, in his excellent
book on the French flag,* gives a great many illustrations of these.
In the Musee d'Artillerie in Paris we find a very valuable col-
lection of martial equipments from the time of Charlemagne, and
amongst these a fine series (original where possible, or, failing this
copies) of the flags of France from the year 1250.
The Huguenot party in France adopted the white flag, and when
King Henry III., 1574 to 1589, himself a Protestant, came to the
throne, the white flag became the royal ensign, and was fully
adopted in the next reign, that of Henry IV., the first king of the
house of Bourbon, as the national flag. The whole history of the
flag prior to the Great Revolution, is somewhat confused, and in
the year 1669, which we may consider about the middle of the
Bourbon or white flag period,f we find the order given by the
* " Recherches sur les Drapeaux Franjais, Oriflamme, banniere de France, Marques
nationales, Couleurs du roi, drapeaux de 1'armee, pavilions de la Marine." GUSTAVE
DESJARDINS, Paris, 1874.
Another good book to see is the " Histoire du drapeau de la Monarchic Francaise," by
t It may be helpful here to append for reference the chronology of the earlier
sovereigns of the House of Bourbon : Henry IV., " the Great," ascended the throne in
1589; Louis XIII., "the Just," 1610 ; Louis XiV., "the Great," 1643; Louis XV., "the
Well-beloved," 1715; Louis XVI., 1774, guillotined in January, 1793.
108 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Minister of the Marine that "the ensigns are to be blue, powdered
with yellow fleurs-de-lys, with a large white cross in the middle."
Merchant ships were to wear the same flag as the ships of war
except that in the canton corner was to be placed the device of
their province or town. Before the end of the year a new order
was issued to the effect that " the ensigns at the stern are to be in
all cases white," while the merchants were to fly the white flag
with the device of the port in the corner. The white flag was
sometimes plain, as in Fig. 183, and at other times provided with
yellow fleurs-de-lys. On the restoration of the Bourbons in 1814,
after the Republic, Consulate, and Empire, the white flag was again
the flag of the nation, and remained so until 1830, its last
appearance in France, unless or until the house of Bourbon again
arises to the throne, when the restoration of the drapeau blanc
would probably follow. The white flag has therefore been the
national ensign of France for over two hundred years.
In a book in the library of the Science and Art Department,
South Kensington, we found the flag represented in Fig. 185 figured
as the French Standard, with Fig. 187 apparently as an alternative,
while the National flag of France is represented as the tricolor
with bordering shown in Fig. 189, and the Admiral's flag is given
as pure white. The book is entitled " A Display of Naval Flags of
all Nations." It was published in Liverpool ; no date is given, but
we can arrive approximately at this, as the British Standard is
represented as including the arms of Hanover; this limits its
publication to between the years 1714 and 1837.
The well-known .tricolor of France, Fig. 191, dates from the
era of the Revolution and came into existence in 1789. It has, with
the exception of the short Bourbon Restoration, been the flag uf
France for over a century, and it remains so to this day, though it
underwent some few modifications ere it settled down to the present
form. Thus, for instance, on October 24th 1790, it was decreed
that the colour next the staff was to be red, the central strip white
and the outer blue, but on February isth, 1794, it was ordered that
" the flag prescribed by the National Assembly be abolished. The
national flag shall be formed of the three national colours in equal
bands placed vertically, the hoist being blue, the centre white, and
the fly red." On the Revolution of 1848, the provisional government
ordered on March sth that the colours were to run thus blue, red,
white, but the opposition to this was so strong that only two days
later the order was cancelled. In 1790 the tricolor was made the
Jack, and the ensign was as shown in Fig. 190. This ensign was
to be common to both the men-of-war and the flags of the merchant
navy, but the arrangement was not of long continuance. The
spirit of change that was felt in every department affected the flags
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. IOQ
likewise, and some little time elapsed before the matter was
The arms of Paris are a white galley on a red ground, and
above this are three golden fleurs-de-lys on a blue band or strip. On
July i4th, 1789, it was determined that a civic guard of forty
thousand men should be raised, and that its colours should be
those of the city, the gules and azure of the groundwork of the
escutcheon, to which, on the proposal of Lafayette, the white of the
royal drapeau blanc was added.
During the first and second Empire the Imperial Standard was
still the tricolor, but it bore in the centre of the white strip the
eagle ; and all three strips were richly diapered over with the
golden bees of the Napoleons. The national flag was the tricolor
pure and simple, both for the Imperial and the Commercial
Navy. As the flags of the army were borne on staffs surmounted
by a golden eagle, the term " eagle " was often applied to these
On the outbreak of the second Republic in 1848, the people
immediately on its proclamation demanded the adoption of the
ill-omened -red flag. Lamartine, the leading member of the
provisional Government, closed an impassioned address with the
words: " Citizen^, I will reject even to death this banner of blood,
and you should repudiate it still more than myself, for this red flag
you offer us has only made the circuit of the Champs de Mars
bathed in the blood of the people, while the tricolor has made the
circuit of the world, with the name, the glory, and the liberty of
your country." Louis Blanc and other members of the Govern-
ment were in favour of the red flag, and at last a compromise was
effected and the tricolor was accepted with the addition of a large
red rosette. Louis Blanc, not unreasonably, as a Republican,
pointed out that Lafayette had in 1789 associated the white of the
Bourbon flag with the red and blue of the arms of the City, and that
the tricolor flag was therefore the result of a compromise between the
king and the people, but that in 1848 the king having abdicated,
and monarchy done away with, there was no reason why any
suggestion of the kingly power should continue. Doubtless the
suppression of the flag of the barricades, the symbol of civil strife,
* Thus, at a grand military fete, on May loth, 1852, in the Champ de Mars, on restoring
this symbol, we find the Emperor addressing the troops : " The Roman eagle, adopted by
the Emperor Napoleon at the commencement of this century, was a brilliant symbol of
the grandeur of France. It disappeared amongst our calamities. It ought to return when
France, raised up again, should no more repudiate her high position. Soldiers ! Take
again the eagles which have so often led our fathers to glory." In 1855, in addressing a
detachment of the Imperial Guard prior to its departure for the Crimea, he exclaimed,
" The Imperial Guard, the heroic representative of military glory and honour, is here
before me. Receive then these eagles, which will lead you on to glory. Soon will you
hare planted them o the walls of Sebastopol ! "
tlO THE FLAGS OF THfi WORL0.
of anarchy and bloodshed, and the retaining of the tricolor was the
wiser and more patriotic course, though it required no mean
amount of courage and strong personal influence to effect the
The Imperial Eagle, so long a symbol of victory, has now in
these Republican days* disappeared from the national colours. The
flag of the French army is now surmounted by a wreath of laurel
traversed by a golden dart with the letters R.F. and the regi-
mental number, while on one face of the flag itself is, in the middle.
the inscription " Republique Fran9aise, Honneur et Patrie,"
each corner being occupied by a golden wreath enclosing the
number of the regiment. The name of the regiment and its
"honours" occupy the other side.
The pendant of the French man-of-war is simply, Fig. 186, the
tricolor elongated. The Admiral flies a swallow-tailed tricolor,
while the Rear-Admiral and the Vice-Admiral have flags of the
ordinary shape, like Fig. 191, except that the former officer has
two white stars on the blue strip near the top of it, and the latter
three. Maritime prefects have the three white stars on the blue
plus two crossed anchors in blue in the centre of the white strip.
The Governor of a French colony has such a special and dis-
tinctive flag as Fig. 96 would be if, instead of the Union canton
on the blue, we placed in similar place the tricolor. There are
naturally a great many other official flags, but the requirements
of our space forbid our going into any further description
The war and mercantile flags of Spain have undergone many
changes, and their early history is very difficult to unravel ; but on
May z8th, 1785, the flags were adopted that have continued in use
ever since. Fig. 192 is the flag of the Spanish Navy; it consists,
as will be seen, of three stripes a central yellow one, and a red one,
somewhat narrower, above and below. The original proportion
was that the yellow should be equal in width to the two red ones
combined. This central stripe is charged, near the hoist, with an
escutcheon containing the arms of Castile and Leon, and sur-
mounted by the royal crown. The mercantile flag, Fig. 193, is also
red and yellow. The yellow stripe in the centre is without the
escutcheon, and in width it should be equal to one-third of the
entire depth of the flag, the remaining thirds above and below it
being divided into two equal strips, the one red and the other
yellow. This simple striping of the two colours was doubtless
* First Republic, 1792 to 1799. The Consulata, 1799 to 1804. The first Empire,
1804 to 1814. The Restoration, Bourbon and Orleanist, 1814 to 1848, the second Republic,
1848 to 185*, the second Empire, 1853 to 1870, the third Republic from 1870.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. Ill
suggested by the arms of Arragon, the vertical red and yellow bars*
of which may be seen also in the Spanish Royal Standard, Fig. 194.
Spain, like Italy, has grown into one monarchy by the aggregation
of minor States. In the year 1031 we have the Union of Navarre
and Castile; in 1037 we nn( ^ L eon an d Asturias joining this same
growing kingdom, and in the year 1474 Ferdinand II. of Arragon
married Isabella of Castile, and thus united nearly the whole of the
Christian part of Spain into one monarchy. In 1492 this same
prince added to his dominions Moorish Spain by the conquest of
Legend hath it that in the year 873 the Carlovingian Prince
Charles the Bold honoured Geoffrey, Count of Barcelona, by
dipping his four fingers in the blood from the Count's wounds after
a battle in which they were allied, and drawing them down the
Count's golden shield, and that these ruddy bars were then and
there incorporated in the blazon. Barcelona was shortly afterwards
merged into the kingdom of Arragon, and its arms were adopted as
those of that kingdom. Its four upright strips of red, the marks of
the royal fingers, are just beyond the upper shield in Fig. 194.
The pendant of the Spanish Navy bears at its broad end a
golden space in which the arms and crown, as in Fig. 192, are
placed ; the rest of the streamer is a broad strip of yellow, bordered,
as in Fig. 192, by two slightly narrower strips of red.
The Royal Standard of Spain, Fig. 194, is of very elaborate
character, and many of its bearings are as inappropriate to the
historic facts of the present day as the retention in the arms of
Great Britain of the French fleurs-de-lys centuries after all claim to
its sovereignty had been lost. In the upper left hand part of the
flag we find quartered the lion of Leon and the castle of Castile. f
At the point we have marked " C " are the arms of Arragon. " D "
is the device of Sicily. The red and white stripes at " E" are the
arms of Austria; we have already encountered these in Fig. 213.
The flag of ancient Burgundy, oblique stripes of yellow and blue
within a red border, is placed at " F." The black lion on the
golden ground at " G " is the heraldic bearing of Flanders, while
the red eagle " H " is the device of Antwerp. At " I " we have the
The diary of Henry Machyn, " Citizen and Merchant Tayler of London," from which
we have already quoted, tells us how the writer saw the " Kyng's grace and dyvers
Spaneards," the said King being Philip of Spain, riding through the city attired in red
and yellow, the colours of Spain. In the cavalcade, Machyn tells us, were "men with
thrumpets in the same colors, and drumes made of ketylles, and baners in the same colors."
t This quarter of the flag, the arms of Leon and Castile, was the entire flag of the
time of Columbus. Isabella gave the great explorer a personal flag, a white swallow-
tailed ensign having in its centre a green cross and the letters F.Y. The quartered arms
of Leon and Castile are sculptured upon the monument in Westminster Abbey of Alianore,
the daughter of Ferdinand III., King, of Leon and Castile, and the wife of Edward I. of
England. The date of the tomb is 1290.
112 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
golden lion of Brabant, and above it at " J " the fleurs-de-lys and
chequers of ancient Burgundy. The upper small shield contains
the arms of Portugal, and the lower contains the fleurs-de-lys of
The Portuguese were an independent nation until Philip II. of
Spain overran the country, and annexed it in the year 1580 to his
own dominions, but in the year 1640 they threw off the Spanish
yoke, which had grown intolerable, and raised John, Duke of
Braganza, to the throne. The regal power has ever since remained
in this family.
The Royal Standard bears on its scarlet field the arms of
Portugal, surmounted by the regal crown. These arms were
originally only the white shield with the five smaller escutcheons
that we see in the centre of the present blazon. Would the scale of
our illustration (Fig. 195) permit it, each of these small escutcheons
should bear upon its surface five white circular spots. Portugal
was invaded by the Moors in the year 713, and the greater part of
the country was held by them for over three centuries. In the year
1139 Alphonso I. defeated an alliance of five great Moorish princes
at the Battle of Ourique, and the five escutcheons in the shield
represents the five-fold victory, while the five circles placed on each
escutcheon symbolise the five wounds of the Saviour in whose
strength he defeated the infidels. The scarlet border with its
castles was added by Alphonso III., after his marriage in 1252 with
the daughter of Alphonso the Wise, King of Castile, the arms of
which province, as we have already seen in discussing the Spanish
Standard, are a golden castle on a red field.
In an English poem, written by an eye-witness of the Siege of
Rouen in the year 1418, we find an interesting reference to the arms
of Portugal, where we read of
" The Kyngis herandis and pursiuantis,
In cotis of armys arryauntis.
The Englishe a beste, the Frensshe a floure
Of Portyugale bothe castelle and toure,
And other cotis of diversitie
As lordis beren in ther degre."*
The Portuguese ensign for her vessels of war and also for the
merchant service bears the shield and crown, but instead of the
* The following chronological items may prove of assistance. Crown of Navarre
passes to France, 1276. Ferdinand of Arragon re-conquers Navarre, 1512. Accession of
House of Austria to throne of Spain, 1516. Spain annexed Netherlands, 1556, and, shortly
after Philip II., husband of our Queen Mary, annexed Burgundy. Portugal united to
Spain, 1580. Portugal lost, 1640. Philip V. invades Naples, 1714. Charles III., King of
the Two Sicilies, succeeds to Spanish crown, 1759.
t The various heralds and pursuivants in their tabards blazoned with the lions of
England, the fleurs-de-lys of France, or the castles of Portugal
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD. 113
scarlet field we find the groundwork of the flag half blue, and half
white, as shown in Fig. 196. The choice of these special colours, no
doubt, arose from the arms on the original shield, the five blue
escutcheons on the white ground. The Portuguese Jack has the
national arms and royal crown in the centre of a white field, the
whole being surrounded by the broad border- of blue.
Italy, for centuries a geographical expression, is now one and
indivisible. Within the recollection of many of our readers the
peninsula was composed of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies, the
Pontifical States, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchies of
Parma and Modena. There was also in the north the Kingdom
of Sardinia, while Lombardy and Venetia were in the grip of
Austria. It is somewhat beside our present purpose to go into
the wonderful story of how Victor Emmanuel of Savoy, aided by
Cavour, Garibaldi, and many another noble patriot, by diplomacy,
by lives freely laid down on the Tchernaya, on the fields of Magenta
and Solferino, by the disaster at Sedan, by bold audacity at one
time, by patient waiting at another, was finally installed in Rome,
the Capital of United Italy, as king of a great and free nation of
over thirty millions of people. Suffice it now to say that this
Kingdom of Italy, as we now know it, did not achieve until the
year 1870 this full unity under one flag that had been for centuries
the dream of patriots who freely shed their blood on the battle-
field or the scaffold, or perished in the dungeons of Papal Rome,
or Naples, or Austria for this ideal.
On the downfall in 1861 of the Bourbon Government in the
Kingdom of the two Sicilies before the onslaught of the Volunteers
of Garibaldi, the first National Parliament met in Turin, and pro-
claimed Victor Emmanuel King of Italy. The title was at once
acknowledged by Great Britain, and, later on, by the other Powers,
and the capital of the rising State was transferred to Florence.
The Papal States were still under the protection of France, " the
eldest Son of the Church"; and the young Kingdom, unable to wrest
Rome from the French, had to wait with such patience as it could
command for the consummation of its hopes. The long-looked -for
day at last arrived, when amidst the tremendous defeats inflicted in
1870 by Germany on France, the French garrison in Rome was
withdrawn, and the Italians, after a short, sharp conflict with the
Papal troops, entered into possession of the Eternal City, and at
once made it the Capital of a State at last free throughout its
length and breadth no longer a geographical expression, but a
potent factor to be reckoned with and fully recognised.
Napoleon I. formed Italy into one kingdom in the year 1805, but
it was ruled by himself and the Viceroy, Eugene Beauharnois, he
appointed ; and on his overthrow this, like the various other political
It4 Hfe FLAGS Ofr Tttfe WORLD.
arrangements he devised, came to nought. The flag he bestowed
was a tricolor of green, white, and red, his idea being that, while
giving the new Kingdom a flag of its own, it should indicate by its
near resemblance to that of France the source to which it owed its
existence. In 1848, the great revolutionary period, this flag, which
had passed out of existence on the downfall of Napoleon, was re-
assumed by the Nationalists of the Peninsula, and accepted by the
King of Sardinia as the ensign of his own kingdom, and charged
by him with the arms of Savoy. This tricolor, so charged (see
Fig. 197) was the flag to which the eyes of all Italian patriots turned,
and it is to-day the flag of all Italy. The flag we have represented
is the ensign of the Merchant Service ; the flag of the armed forces
military and naval, is similar, save that the shield in the centre is
surmounted by the Royal Crown. The Royal Standard", the personal
flag of the King, has the arms of Savoy in the centre, on a white
ground, the whole having a broad bordering of blue.
This shield of Savoy, the white cross on the red field, was the
device of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, an order semi-
religious, semi-military, that owed its origin to the Crusades. In
the year 1310 the Knights captured Rhodes from the Saracens,
but being hard pressed by the infidels, Duke Amadeus IV., of
Savoy, came to the rescue, and the Grand Master of the Order
conferred upon him the cross that has ever since been borne in
the arms of Savoy. The Jack or bowsprit flag of the Italian man-
of-war, Fig. 234, is simply this shield of the Knights of St. John
squared into suitable flag-like form.
The Minister of Marine has the tricolor, but on the green portion
is placed erect a golden anchor. The vessels carrying the Royal
Mail fly a burgee of green, white, red, having a large white " P" on
the green ; and there are many other official flags, the insignia of
various authorities or different departments, but lack of space for-
bids our dwelling at greater length upon them.
The war flag of the defunct temporal power of the Pope was
white, and in its centre stood figures of St. Peter and St. Paul, and
above them the cross keys and tiara. Fig. 198 was the flag of the
merchant ships owned by the subjects of the States of the Church.
The combination of yellow and white is very curious. In the
banner borne by Godfrey, the Crusader King of Jerusalem, the
only tinctures introduced were the two metals, gold and silver,
five golden crosses being placed upon a silver field. This was
done of deliberate intention that it might be unlike all other devices,
as it is in all other cases deemed false heraldry to place metal on
metal. The theory that these metals were selected because of the
reference in the Psalms to the Holy City, may also be a very
possible one " Though ye have lien amongst the pots, yet shall ye
THfe frLAGS OF THE WORLiJ. H$
be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with
yellow gold." However this may be, the yellow and white of the
arms of Jerusalem was adopted by the Papal Government.
The Danish flag is the oldest now in existence. In the year
1219, King Waldemar of Denmark in a critical moment in his
stormy career, saw, or thought he saw, or said he saw, a cross in
the sky. He was then leading his troops to battle against the
Livonian pagans, and he gladly welcomed this answer to his prayers
for Divine succour, this assurance of celestial aid. This sign from
Heaven he forthwith adopted 'as the flag of his country, and called
it the Dannebrog, i.e., the strength of Denmark. As a definite
chronological fact, apart from all legend, this flag dates from the
thirteenth century. There was also an Order of Dannebrog insti-
tated in 1219, in further commemoration and honour of the miracle ;
and the name is a very popular one in the Danish Royal Navy, one
man-of-war after another succeeding to the appellation. One of
these Dannebrogs was blown up by the fire of Nelson's fleet in 1801.
The Danish Man-of-War Ensign is shown in Fig. 224. The
Royal Standard, like the Ensign, is swallow-tailed, but in the centre
of the cross is placed a white square, indicated in our illustration,
Fig. 224, by dots. This central, square space contains the Royal
Arms, surrounded by the Collars of the Orders of the Elephant and
of the Dannebrog. The merchant flag, Fig. 225, is rectangular.
In the year 1397, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark all formed one
kingdom under the rule of the latter, but in 1414 the Swedes
waged with more or less success an arduous struggle for liberty,
and their independence was definitely acknowledged in the year
1523. The flag of Sweden is the yellow cross on the blue ground
shown in Fig. 231. The blue and yellow are the colours of the
Swedish arms,* and they were then doubtless chosen for the flag
as the colours of freedom and independence.
Norway had no separate political existence until the year 1814,
but in that year the Norwegians seceded from Denmark, and
declared their independence. Their first flag was still a red flag
with a white cross on it, and the arms of Norway in the upper
corner next the flagstaff, but this being found to too closely resemble
the Danish flag, they substituted for it the device seen in Fig. 230,
which it will be noted is still the Danish flag, plus the blue cross on
the white one. The administration of Norway is entirely distinct
from Sweden, and it retains its own laws, but in 1814 the two
Kingdoms were united under one Sovereign. As a sign of the union
there is carried in the upper square, next to the flagstaff in the flage
of both countries, a union device, a combination of the Swedish
* At. three crosses in pale or.
Il6 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
and Norwegian National colours. After considerable dispute, the
Union Jack shown in Fig. 229 was accepted as the symbol of the
political relationship of the two nations. It is a very neat arrange-
ment, for if we look at the upper and lower portions we see the flag
(Fig. 230) of Norway, if we study the two lateral portions we find
they are the flag (Fig. 231) of Sweden. Both the Swedish and
Norwegian war flags are swallow-tailed, and have the outer limb of
the cross projecting ; we may see this very clearly in Fig. 228, where
the main body of the flag is Norwegian. The merchant flag is with
each nationality rectangular ; in Fig. 227 we have the flag of a
Swedish merchant vessel. Both in the Norwegian and Swedish
flags, as we may note in Figs. 227 and 228, it will be noticed that
the Union device is conspicuously present. The Norwegian man-
of-war flag, Fig. 228, would be that of a Norwegian merchant if
we cut off the points in the fly ; the Swedish merchant flag, Fig.
227, would be that of a Swedish man-of-war if instead of the
straight end we made it swallow-tailed. As Sovereign of Sweden,
the King places his arms in the centre of the large yellow cross ;
as Sovereign of Norway, in the centre of the large blue cross ;
hence we get the Swedish and Norwegian Royal Standards, the
one for use in the one country, and the other for service in the
other, the Union device being present in the upper corner in each
case, and the outer portion of the flags swallow-tailed. The
Standard is, in fact, the war flag plus the royal arms. The Post
Service has in the centre of the flag a white square, with a golden
horn and crown in it ; the Customs flag has a similar white square
at the junction of the arms of the cross, and in its centre is placed
a crowned " T."
Fig. 232, on the same sheet as the flags of Norway and Sweden,
is the simple and beautiful flag of Switzerland. Like the crosses of
St. George, St. Andrew, St. Patrick, or that on the flag of Denmark,
its device has a religious significance. Gautier tells us that : " La
premiere fois qu'il en est fait mention dans 1'histoire ecrite est dans
la Chronique du Bearnois Justinger. II dit, apres avoir fait 1'enu-
m6ration des forces des Suisses quittant Berne pour marcher centre
1'armde des nobles coalises en 1339 ' Et tous etaient marqu6s au
signe de la Sainte Croix, une croix blanche dans un 6cusson rouge,
par la raison que 1'affranchissement de la nation etait pour eux une
cause aussi sacr6e que la delivrance des lieux saints.' "
Its twenty-two cantons are united by a Constitution, under one
President and one flag, but each canton has its own cantonal
colours. Thus Basel is half black and half white ; St. Gallen, green
and white ; Geneva, red and yellow ; Aargau, black and blue ;
Glarus, red, black, and white ; Uri, yellow and black ; Berne, black
and red; Fribourg, black and white; Lucerne, blue and white;
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 1 17
Tessin, red and blue ; and so forth. In each case the stripes of
colour are disposed horizontally, and the one we have each time
mentioned first is the upper colour.
Within the walls of the City of Geneva was held, in 1863, an
International Conference, to consider how far the horrors of war
could be mitigated by aid to the sick and wounded. This Confer-
ence proposed that in time of war the neutrality should be fully
admitted of field and stationary hospitals, and also recognised in
the most complete manner by the belligerent Powers in the case of
all officials employed in sanitary work, volunteer nurses, the inhabi-
tants of the country who shall assist the wounded, and the wounded
themselves that an identical distinctive sign should be adopted
for the medical corps of all armies, and that an identical flag should
be used for all hospitals and ambulances, and for all houses contain-
ing wounded men. The distinctive mark of all such refuges is a
white flag with a red cross on^it the flag of Switzerland reversed
in colouring and all medical stores, carriages, and the like, bear
the same device upon them ; while the doctors, nurses, and assist-
ants, have a white armlet with the red cross upon it, the sacred
badge that proclaims their mission of mercy. In deference to the
religious feelings of Turkey a red crescent may be substituted for the
cross in campaigns where that country is one of the belligerents.
These valuable proposals were confirmed by a treaty in August,
1864, signed by the representatives of twelve Powers, and known as
the Geneva Convention. Since then all the civilised Powers in the
world, with the exception of the United States, have given in their
adhesion to it. In 1867 an International Conference was held at
Paris for still further developing and carrying out in a practical
manner the principles of the Geneva Conference, and another at
Berlin in 1869 for the same object. One notable feature of these
two Conferences was the extension of the principles accepted
for land conflict to naval warfare.
Holland, as an Independent State, came into existence in the
year 1579. From 1299 we find the country under the rule of the
Courts of Hainault, and in 1436 it came into the hands of the Dukes
of Burgundy, who in turn were subjugated by the Spaniards. The
tyranny and religious persecution to which the Netherlanders were
exposed by the Spaniards led to numerous revolts, which at last
developed into a War of Independence, under William, Prince of
Orange. The Hollanders adopted as their flag the colours of the
House of Orange orange, white, and blue. At first there was great
latitude of treatment, the number of the bars of each colour and
their order being very variable, but in 1599 it was definitely fixed
that the flag of the Netherlands was to be orange, white, blue,
in three horizontal stripes of equal width. How the orange became
Il8 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
changed to red is very doubtful ; Founder, writing in 1643, we see
refers to the Dutch flag as a tricolor of red, white, blue.
Fig. 237 represents the Royal Standard of Holland ; the army
and navy and commercial flags are similar, except that the Royal
Arms are not introduced.
During the general effervescence caused by the French Revo-
lution, the naval flag of Holland had in the upper staff-corner a
white canton, charged with a figure of Liberty, but the innovation
was not at all popular, as the sailors preferred the old tricolor
under which the great victories of Reuter and Van Tromp were
gained, and in 1806 it was deemed expedient to revert to it.
The brilliant scarlet, yellow, and black tricolor represented in
Fig. 236 is the flag of Belgium. The Standard has, in addition,
the Royal Arms placed in the centre of the yellow strip. The black,
yellow, and red, are the colours of the Duchy of Brabant, and these
were adopted as the national flag in 1831.
From 1477 onwards we find Belgium under Austrian domination,
and in 1566 it fell into the hands of Spain. In 1795, and for some
years following, it was held by France, and in 1814 was handed
over to the Prince of Orange, but in 1830 the Belgians rose against
the Hollanders, and before the end of the year their independence
was acknowledged by the Great Powers, and Leopold of Coburg, in
the following year, became first King of Belgium. Within a month
of his accession to the throne, the Dutch recommenced the struggle,
and it was only in 1839 that a final treaty of peace was signed in
London between Belgium and Holland, and its claims to inde-
pendence frankly recognised by the Dutch.
Greece, originally invaded by the Turks in the year 1350,
remained for nearly five hundred years under their oppressive yoke,
rising from time to time against their masters, only to expose their
country, on the failure of their attempts, to the greater tyranny
and the most dreadful excesses. Over ten thousand Greeks were
slaughtered in Cyprus in 1821, while the bombardment of Scio in
1822, and the horrible massacre on its capture, stand out in lurid
colours as one of the most atrocious deeds the world has ever
known : over forty thousand men, women, and children fell by the
sword. Seven thousand who had fled to the mountains were
induced to surrender by a promise of amnesty, and these, too, were
murdered. The towns and villages were fired, and the unfortunate
inhabitants, hemmed in by the Turks, perished in the flames or fell
beneath the swords of their relentless foes if they attempted to
escape. Small wonder, then, that the heart of Europe was stirred,
and that Lord Byron and thousands more took up the cause of
Greek independence, by contributions of arms and money, by fiery
denunciation, and with strong right hand. Missolonghi, Navarino,
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. IIQ
and many another scene of struggle we cannot here dwell upon,
suffice it to say that at last the victory was won and Greece
emerged, after a tremendous struggle, from the bondage of the
Turks, and took its place in Europe as a free and independent
nation, the Porte acknowledging the inexorable logic of the fait
accompli on April 25th, 1830. After a short Presidency under one
of the Greek nobles, Otho of Bavaria was elected King of Greece
in 1833, and the new Kingdom was fairly launched.
The Greeks adopted the blue and white, the colours of
Bavaria, as a delicate compliment to the Prince who accepted
their invitation to ascend the throne of Greece. The merchant flag
of Greece is shown in Fig. 233. It will be seen that it consists of
nine stripes, alternately blue and white, the canton being blue, with
a white cross in it. The navy flag is similar, except that in addition
there is placed a golden crown in the centre of the cross. The
Royal Standard is blue with a white cross ; the arms of the cross
are not, as in Fig. 233, of equal length, but the one next the staff is
shorter, as in the Danish flag, Fig. 225. In the open space at the
crossing of the arms is placed the Royal Arms.
The Turkish Empire has undergone many changes and vicissi-
tudes, and has in these latter days shrunk considerably. European
Turkey now consists of about seventy thousand square miles, while
Turkey in Asia, Syria, Asia Minor, Palestine, Armenia, etc., is over
seven hundred thousand.*
The crescent moon and star, Figs. 239 and 240, were adopted
by the Turks as their device on the capture of Constantinople by
Mahomet II., in 1453. They were originally the symbol of Diana,
the Patroness of Byzantium, and were adopted by the Ottomans as
a badge of triumph. Prior to that event, the crescent was a very
common charge in the armorial bearings of English Knights, but it
fell into considerable disuse when it became the special device of
the Mohamedans, though even so late as the year 1464 we find
Ren6, Duke of Anjou, founding an Order of Knighthood having as
its badge the crescent moon, encircled by a motto signifying
" praise by increasing." Though the crescent was, as we have seen,
originally a Pagan symbol, it remained throughout the rise and
development of the Greek Church the special mark of Constanti-
nople, and even now in Moscow and other Russian cities the
* The Turks, originally an Asiatic people, overran the provinces of the Eastern, or
Greek Empire, about the year 1300, but did notlcapture Constantinople until 1453. Thirty
years afterwards they obtained a footing in Italy, and in 1516 Egypt was added to the
Empire. The invading hosts spread terror throughout Europe, and in 1529 and in 1683
we find them besieging Vienna. Rhodes was captured from the Knights of St. John,
Greece subdued, Cyprus taken from the Venetians : but later on the tide of war turned
against them, and frequent hostilities with England, France, and Russia led to the gradual
weakening of the Turkish power.
120 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
crescent and the cross may be seen combined on the churches, the
object being to indicate the Byzantine origin of the Russian Church.
The crescent may be seen on the coins and medals of Augustus,
Trajan, and other Emperors. The origin of the symbol was as
follows : Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, meeting with
many unforeseen difficulties in carrying on the siege of the city, set
the soldiers to work one dark night to undermine the walls, but
the crescent moon appearing the design was discovered and the
scheme miscarried ; and in acknowledgment the Byzantines erected
a statue to Diana, and made the crescent moon the attribute of
the Goddess the symbol of their city.
The War Flag of Turkey is the crescent and star on the scarlet
field, as shown in Fig. 239. The flag of the Merchant Service seems
less definitely fixed. In the Official Flag Book* of the English
Admiralty, Fig. 239 is given as both the man-of-war flag and the
merchant flag for Turkey, Egypt, and Tripoli, while in an excellent
book on the subject, published at Vienna in 1883, Fig. 235 is given
as the flag of the commercial marine ; and we have also seen a plain
red flag with a star in the upper corner of the hoist, and another
divided into three horizontal bands, the upper and lower being red,
and the central one green.
The Military and Naval Sendee of Tunis has the flag represented
in Fig. 240, while the Tunisian commercial flag is simply, red,
without device of any kind.
In a map bearing the date 1502 the Turkish Dominions are
marked by a scarlet flag having three points and bearing three
black crescents, while in a sheet of flags with the comparatively
modern date of 1735, "Turk "is represented by a blue flag with
three crescents in white upon it.
The personal flag of the Sultan, corresponding to our Royal
Standard, is scarlet, and bears in its centre the device of the
reigning sovereign : hence it undergoes a change at each accession
to the throne. This device, known as the Tughra, is placed on the
coinage, postal stamps, etc.. as well as on the Royal Flag, and consists
of the name of the Sultan, the title Khan, and the epithet El muxaffar
daima, signifying the ever-victorious. The history of the Tughra is
curious : When Sultan Murad I. entered into a treaty of peace with
the Ragusans, he was not sufficiently scholarly to be able to affix
* There is such a general impression that officials are so very much bound up in highly-
starched red tape that we gladly take this opportunity of acknowledging the extreme
consideration with which all our enquiries have been met. The libraries of the Admiralty,
the Royal United Service Museum, the Guildhall, South Kensington, etc., have been
placed unreservedly at our service. The authorities of the Board of Trade, of Lloyds,
of the Royal Chelsea Hospital, of the Royal Naval Exhibition, the Agents-General of the
Colonies, have all most willingly given every possibH information, and we have received
from all to whom we have applied for information the greatest readiness to afford it, and
the most courteous respons.,
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 121
his signature to the document, so he wetted his open hand with ink
and pressed it on the paper, the first, second, and third fingers
making smears in fairly close proximity, while the thumb and
fourth finger were apart on either side. Within the mark thus
made, the Ottoman Scribes wrote the name of Murad, his title,
and the epithet that bore testimony to his ever-victorious career.
The Tughra remains the symbol of this, the three upright forms
being the three fingers of Murad, the rounded line to the left the
thumb, and the line to the right the little finger; these leading
forms do not vary, but the smaller characters change with the
change of sovereign. This Murad, sometimes called Amurath,
ascended the throne in the year 1362.*
The personal flag of the Khedive of Egypt is green, and has in
its centre the crescent and three white stars.
By the Treaty of Berlin, July 1878, the provinces of Moldavia and
Wallachia, formerly a portion of the Turkish Empire, and the
territory of the Dobrudscha, were recognised as an independent
State, and were formed into the kingdom "of Roumania somewhat
later, the sovereign who had previously held the rank of prince
being crowned king in March, 1881. The flag of Roumania is the
brilliant blue, yellow and red tricolor shown in Fig. 242.
The flag of Servia, another small kingdom of Eastern Europe, is
shown in Fig. 243 ; the royal standard is similar, except that the
arms are placed in the centre of the blue stripe. It will be seen that
the flag of Servia is that of Russia, Fig. 218, reversed. By the Berlin
Treaty of 1878, Servia received a large increase of territory, and was
created an independent State, its princely ruler being crowned king
in March, 1882.
The State of Bulgaria is another of the creations of the Berlin
Treaty. It is governed by a prince who is nominally under the
suzerainty of Turkey. Its war flag is shown in Fig. 241 ; the
mercantile flag has no leonine canton, but is simply a tricolor of
white, green, and red.
Having already dealt with the United States, we propose now to
turn our attention to the other Governments of the New World.
The simple and effective ensign of Chili is represented in Fig. 161.
This flag is used both by the Chilian men-of-war and by the vessels
of the mercantile marine. Fig. 157 is so much of the pendant of a
man-of-war as the limits of our page will permit. The Chilian Jack
is the blue canton and white star of Fig. 161, treated as a distinct
* The position of Sultan, though one of great dignity, has its serious drawbacks.
This all-conquering Murad was, after all, assassinated ; his son and successor, Bajuzet,
died in prison. Isa Belis the next holder of the throne, Solyman who succeeded
him, and Musa, who succeeded Solyman, were all in turn murdered by their brothers
Or other relatives.
122 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
flag, and the flags of the various naval ranks are also blue with a
varying number of white stars.
Fig. 164 is the merchant flag of New Granada; the Govern-
ment ensign has in addition the shield ot arms in the centre of the
blue stripe. It will be observed that the colours in this tricolor are
the same as those of Roumania, Fig. 242, only differently disposed.
New Granada is composed of nine small States, and in 1863 these
bound themselves into a closer confederation, and changed their
collective name from New Granada to that of the United
States of Colombia, and adopted a tricolor of yellow, blue, and red,
only disposed horizontally instead of'as in Fig. 164, vertically. This
sounds identical with the flag of Venezuela, but in the centre of
the Colombian flag is placed a different device, and the yellow
stripe takes up half the space, the other two being only half its width.
Fig. 165 is the flag of Uruguay, a State that was formerly a province
of Brazil, but declared its independence in the year 1825. The
next flag on our plate, Fig. 166, is the war ensign of Guatemala ;
the shield in the centre bears a scroll with the words ".Libertad 15
de Setiembre, 1821," surmounted by a parrot, surrounded by a
wreath, and having behind it crossed rifles and swords. The
merchant flag is the plain blue, white, blue, without the shield. In
the year 1525 the country was conquered by Don Pedro de
Alvarado, one of the companions of Cortes, and it remained subject
to Spain until 1821, when it gained its independence, the
" Libertad " of the scroll. It then went in vigorously for several
years of civil war, and the outcome of this was that the country
known under Spanish rule as Guatemala, a country embracing all
Central America, split up in 1839 into five Republics, all absolutely
independent of each other, viz., Guatemala, San Salvador,
Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
The next flag, Fig. 167, is the ensign of Costa Rica : the one
represented is that of the Merchant Service. The war ensign differs
from it in having in the centre the arms of the State, surrounded on
either side by a trophy of three flags, and beneath all a wreath.
Fig. 168, the flag of Paraguay, is very suggestive of the colours of
Holland, though the device in the centre serves to differentiate it.
Paraguay is the only State in America that has no sea-board, and
therefore no Mercantile Marine.
Brazil, discovered by the Portuguese in 1500, remained in their
possession until a revolutionary struggle in the year 1821 ended
in favour of the Brazilians, when an Empire was shortly after-
wards established. Compared to the other States of South America,
it has passed through long periods of rest and prosperity, but of
late years its political position has been one of considerable
uncertainty, the Emperor having been dismissed and the rival
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. . 123
ambitions for the Presidentship leading to civil war. These political
changes have necessarily produced modifications in the flag. The
present flag, Fig. 169, is not altogether unlike that of the late
Empire, though in this latter case the yellow diamond on the green
ground held a shield and Imperial crown, flanked by sprays of
coffee and tobacco. In the present flag this yellow diamond has
a blue sphere spotted over with stars and a white band running
across it, that bears in blue letters the legend Ordem e progressed
Fig. 173 is the upper portion of the man-of-war pendant, a blue
ground with white stars. Fig. 169 is the ensign, both of the War
and Merchant Navy of Brazil.
The yellow, blue, and red tricolor, Fig. 170, is the merchant
ensign of Venezuela ; the war flag has the same stripes, and in
addition the shield of the arms of the State is placed on the yellow
band at the staff corner. When the Spaniards arrived off the coast
in the year 1499, they found on landing that some of the native
Indians were living in huts built on piles, hence they called the
country Venezuela, or little Venice.
Bolivia, formerly comprised in the Spanish Vice- Royalty of
Colombia, derives its present name from Simon Bolivar, the leader
of the revolution that gained it its freedom. Its commercial flag is
shown in Fig. 171 ; the war flag only differs in having the arms of
the State placed in the centre of the red strip.
The familiar green, white, red of Italy is repeated in the
flag of Mexico, but instead of the cross of Savoy, we have the
eagle and serpent. The Mexican merchant ensign is the plain
tricolor of green, white, red, the central device we see in
Fig. 172 marking it as the war flag. Mexico was discovered in
1518, and conquered, with infamous cruelties, by Cortes. After a
lengthened revolutionary struggle, the yoke of Spain was finally
thrown off in 1829, an< 3 the independence of Mexico was recognised
by all the great European Powers.
Peru was discovered by the Spaniards in 1513, and was soon
afterwards, under the command of Pizarro, added to the dominions
of the King of Spain. Peru remained in subjection to the Spaniards
(who murdered the Incas and all their descendants, and committed
the most frightful cruelties) until 1826, when the independence of
the country, after a prolonged struggle, was completely achieved.
The Peruvian war ensign is given in Fig. 174, the merchant flag
being the plain red, white, red.
San Salvador, the smallest of the Central American Republics,
* " Order and progress." Not a very happily chosen motto, since, as a Brazilian
said to us, such a sentiment might equally be placed on the flags of all civilized nations,
order and progress not being features to take any special credit for, but to be enU'ely
taken for granted, and as a matter of course,
124 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
established itself in 1839, on the break-up of the Spanish State
of Guatemala. Its flag is shown in Fig. 175.
The country now held by the Argentine Republic was discovered
in 1517, and settled by the Spaniards in 1553. The war ensign is
represented in Fig. 176 ; the merchant ensign has the three stripes,
but the golden sun is missing.
The Government of Ecuador has Fig. 177 as its war flag, the
merchant ensign being without the ring of white stars. The last flag
on the sheet (Fig. 178) is the merchant flag of Haiti ; the Govern-
ment flag has the blue and red reduced to a broad border, the
central portion of the flag being white. In the centre of this white
portion stands a palm tree, and below it a trophy of arms and flags,
flanked on either side by a cannon.
The flag of the Cuban national forces in conflict with Spain
has at the hoist a triangular portion of blue, one side of this
triangle being the depth of the flag itself, and on this blue field is
a white, five-pointed star. The rest of the flag is made up of the
following horizontal and equal stripes red, white, red, white, red.
Japan known to the Japanese as Niphon, derived from Nitsu,
Sun, and Phon, the rising the Land of the Rising Sun,* has adopted
this rising sun as its emblem. Japan claims to possess a written
history of over 2,500 years, but the fairly authentic portion begins
with the year 660 B.C., when the present hereditary succession of
rulers commenced. English merchants visited Japan in 1612, and
the Portuguese almost a century before. By 1587 the converts of
the Portuguese Jesuit Missions numbered some six hundred
thousand. At this time some Spanish Franciscans appeared on the
scene, and political and religious discord soon followed. The
Japanese ruler took alarm at the Papal claim to universal
sovereignty, and the Buddhist Priesthood and the English and
Dutch Protestant traders fanned the flame of suspicion and jealousy.
This was done so effectually that the Japanese Government banished
all foreigners, and closed the country against them. This state of
things lasted for over two centuries, and it was only in the year
1853 that Japan was re-opened to the outside world. The flag of
Japan, the rising sun, is represented in Fig. 244. The red ball
without the rays is used as a Jack, in which case it is placed in the
centre of the white field. Fig. 245 is the Standard of the Emperor.
The chrysanthemum is the emblem of Japan, and its golden flower,
somewhat conventionally rendered it must be admitted, is the form
we see introduced in Fig. 245.! Figs. 246 and 248 are the transport
flag and the guard flag respectively of the Japanese war marine.
* Our English name, Japan, for this land of the Far East, is a corruption of the
Chinese name for it, Zipangn, a word of the same meaning, Land of the Rising Sun.
+ There are four Orders of Distinction in Japan ; the first is the Order of the
Chrysanthemum, and the second that of the Rising Sun.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 125
The Imperial Standard of China is yellow with a blue dragon.
The official flag book of the Admiralty gives the flag of a Chinese
Admiral as made up of the following horizontal stripes: yellow,
white, black, green, red, a blue dragon on a white ground being the
canton in the staff-head corner. The merchant ensign is shown in
Fig. 247. Amongst the Chinese flags captured in 1841, and pre-
served in the Royal United Service Institution, is one with a blue
centre with an inscription in white upon it, and with a broad
notched border of white ; another has its centre of a pale blue and
a darker blue dragon upon it, the whole being surrounded by a
broad and deeply-notched border of red.
The flag of Siam is scarlet with a white elephant thereon.
Before Xacca, the founder of the nation, was born his mother
dreamt that she brought forth a white elephant, and the Brahmins
affirm that Xacca, after a metempsychosis of eighty thousand
changes, concluded his very varied experiences as this white ele-
phant, and thence was received into the company of the Celestial
Deities. On this account the white elephant is held a sacred beast,
and the Siamese rejoice to place themselves beneath so potent a
protector. The flag of Korea bears the tiger. In the thickly,
wooded glens of the interior, the royal tiger is found in formidable
The flag of Sarawak, a territory of some forty thousand square
miles, on the north-west of Borneo, is shown in Fig. 252. The
Government was obtained in 1842 from the Sultan of Borneo by an
Englishman, Sir James Brooke, and it is still ruled by one of the
family, a nephew of the first Rajah.
In Africa, the only flags that we need particularize are those of
the Orange Free State, Liberia, the Congo State, and the South
The Orange Free State was founded by Dutch emigrants from
the Cape of Good Hope. It was proclaimed British territory in
1848, but by a Convention entered into in 1854, the inhabitants were
declared to be " to all intents and purposes, a free and independent
people, and their Government to be treated thenceforth as a free
and independent Government." The flag, Fig. 249, is the only
one that has orange in it, clearly in allusion to the name of the
State, while the canton of red, white, and blue, equally shows the
pride of the people in their Dutch origin.
The flag of the Independent Negro Republic of Liberia, is shown
in Fig. 250. The population largely consists of freed slaves,
emigrants from America and their descendants, plus the aborigines.
The flag, it will be seen, even to the thirteen stripes, is largely based
on that of the United States, though one would have thought that
that would have been about the last thing they would have selected.
126 THE FLAGS OP THE WORLO.
The Congo Free State in Central Africa was established in 1885
by the King of the Belgians; its flag is the golden star on the
blue ground that we see in Fig. 251, a device at once simple,
expressive and pleasing.
In 1840, a number of Dutch Boers, dissatisfied with the Govern-
ment of Cape Colony, established themselves in Natal, where their
treatment of the natives was so unjustifiable that a general rising
was imminent, and the British Government was compelled to
interfere, and itself take charge of the district. This the Boers
resented, so they crossed the Vaal and established themselves
afresh in the wilderness. In 1854, the British Government recognised
the Transvaal or South African Republic, and in 1881 a fresh
Convention was agreed to by which the Boers were confirmed in
full possession of the land, subject to the recognition of the British
suzerainty. The flag of the Transvaal Government is shown in
Now have we journeyed the whole world over and found in
every land the emblems of nationality and patriotism. Un-
familiar as many of these may appear to us, they each represent
a symbol endeared to thousands or hundreds of thousands of
hearts, and thus are they full of warm human interest. For these
various strips of gaily-coloured bunting, men have given without
hesitation their lives, have poured out blood and treasure without
stint or count of cost, and wherever they encounter them the wide
world over, the wanderers forget for a while the alien shore or
waste of ocean as their thoughts turns to the dear homeland.
Flags as a Means of Signalling Army Signalling -the Morse Alphabet-
Navy Signalling First Attempts at Sea Signals Old Signal Books in Library of
Royal United Service Institution" England expects that every man will do his
duty "Sinking Signal Codes on defeat Present System of Signalling in Royal
Navy Pilot Signals Weather Signalling by Flags the International Signal
Code First Published in 1857 Seventy-eight Thousand different Signals
possible Why no Vowels used Lloyd's Signal Stations.
"\ 1 7"E propose in this, our final chapter, to deal with the use of
* ^ flags as a means of signalling ; a branch of the subject by no
means wanting either in interest or in practical value.
The flags used for army signalling are only two in number if we
consider their design, though, as each of these is made in two sizes,
the actual outfit consists of four flags. The large size is three feet
square, and the smaller is two feet square ; the larger sizes are
clearly more visible, but on the other hand the smaller save weight
and consequently labour; and with good manipulation and clear
weather their messages can be followed by observers, with ordinary
service telescopes, up to a distance of twelve miles or so. The
poles are respectively five feet six inches long and three feet six
inches, and the flags themselves are either white with a blue
horizontal stripe across the centre, or wholly blue. Only one flag
is used at a time, the first being used when the background is dark
and the second when light, so as to ensure under all circumstances
the greatest visibility.
The person sending the signals should hold the flag pointing
upwards to the left, and with the pole making an angle of about 25,
with an imaginary vertical line passing down the centre of his body.
The signals are based upon the dot and dash system of Morse. The
dot or short stroke is made by waving the flag from the normal
position to the corresponding point on the right hand, while for the
dash or long stroke the flag is waved till the head of the pole nearly
touches the ground.
The Morse alphabet is so constructed that the letters of most
frequent occurrence are represented by the shortest symbols, and
no letter requires more than four of these for its expression, while
figures are all represented by five signs.
THE FLAGS OP THE WORLD.
The letters of the alphabet are thus represented :
F . .
H . .. .
K _ .
L . _ . .
N _ .
P . .
R . .
S . . .
U . . _
v . . . _
x_ . . _
2 . .
The following code is adopted to represent figures :
2 . . 1_
A space about equal in length to the dash is left between
each letter, and a time interval of about three times the duration
between each word. This alphabet, once learned, it is evident can
be utilized in many ways. Steamers, by means of short and long
whistles, can spell out messages to each other ; seamen, across a
harbour, can communicate by waving their arms ; prisoners by
opening and shutting their hands. It is also utilised in the light-
flashes of the heliograph, in telegraphy again, and in various
Classes are held at the School of Army Signalling at Aldershot,
and from thence the knowledge permeates the Army and the Auxiliary
Forces.* The requirements are steadiness, intelligence, quickness
of eye-sight and of action, and the power to spell correctly ; and it
takes a man from fifteen to twenty days, at five hours drill a day, to
learn the alphabet and the proper manipulation of the flags. The
standard of efficiency is ten words a minute with the large flag or
sixteen with the small. If our readers will take the trouble to count
the letters in the first sixteen words in this present sentence they
* Each spring and summer our Volunteers have long-distance practices. From the
account of one of these now before us, we see that the line extended from Reculvers on
the north coast of Kent, to Aldershot, a distance of over one hundred miles, messages from
one point to the other being rapidly and accurately transmitted by signalling parties on
the various eminences, such as Beacon Hill, Gravelly Hill, Box Hill, and St. Martha's
Hill, between the two extremities of the line.
TUB FLAGS OF TUB WORLD. T2Q
will find that they are sixty -nine in number, and they will further find,
if they take the additional trouble to translate these letters into
Morse, that it will take 105 dots and 60 dashes to do it. Our
readers will probably then go on to conclude that as it takes one
hundred and sixty-five motions of the flag, plus sixty-eight intervals
between the letters to signal these sixteen words, a speed of ten
words a minute is a very creditable performance either for the
sender to work off or for the receiver to read.
Besides the ordinary spelling out of the words, various arbitrary
signs are used, thus a continued succession of dots is
used to call attention to the fact that a message is going to be sent,
and a series of dashes means that it is finished.
G means " go on," R is a request to " move more to the right " and
L to " shift a little to the left " ; B means " use the blue flag," and W
" use the white flag," K.Q is "say when you are ready," F.I means
that figures are coming, and F.F indicates fhat the figures are
finished. Those who have to receive the message may see that
the background behind the transmitter is not quite satisfactory
for the due observation of the flags, and they may then flash back
H or O, meaning either " higher up " or " lower down," as the case
may be, and in case of any misunderstanding, they will signal I.M.I,
which means "please repeat," and as soon as all is clear, they will
signal R.T, meaning " all right."
As our man-of-war's-men are also instructed in this system of
signalling, communication can be established during an expedition
between the ships and the troops on shore. The signal for com-
munication is a white pendant with two black X.X on it. Should
this special flag not be forthcoming, the X.X . . . . (see code
of letters) is flashed at night or waved by the flag by day, and as
soon as the preparative dots have been acknowledged,
the message is dispatched. When the message is of a general
character, nothing more need be done, but when it is intended for a
particular vessel, the communication is preceded by the special
sign apportioned to that vessel.
Though the Morse system has its place, as we have seen, in the
drill of our blue-jackets, it does not altogether meet naval require-
ments. A man waving flags on board ship would be a scarcely
conspicuous enough object, and intermediate vessels in a squadron
would block out all view of him from those farthest off, hence naval
communications are ordinarily made by means of flags exhibited
from the mast head or other clearly visible position. Instead of one
flag being used, our men-of-war have over forty, and these are all
conspicuously distinct from each other. The messages are not spelt
out, as in land operations, but the flags are used in various com-
binations, and the meaning of the signal is found by reference to a
130 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
code-book. These flags, it is arithmetically evident, can be trans-
posed and grouped in some thousands of different ways, and
the code-book contains questions and answers to meet the very
varied requirements of naval service, and the special signal hoist
The first real attempt at sea-signalling was made during the
reign of Charles II., when a series of signs of the most arbitrary
character was devised, consisting for the most part of flags hoisted
in various parts of the ship, and altering their significance as their
locality was changed. The system was a very cumbrous one, and
in 1780 Kempenfeldt, the Commander of the ill-fated Royal George,
improved to some extent upon it, but even then the result was not
very brilliant. Lord Howe, in 1792, could only make a total of one
hundred and eighty-three signals. As yet, however, it had never
struck anybody how much simplicity and advantage would be gained
by employing numbered or lettered flags, and then using them in the
thousands of combinations that such a system rendered possible.
It is stated by various authorities and even authorities have a way
of copying from each other that flags were numbered for the first
time about the year 1799, but in the Library of the Royal United
Service Institution may be seen " An Essay on Signals, by an
Officer of the British Navy," bearing the date 1788.* The flags
were numbered i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and o, and they are repre-
sented in our illustrations by Figs. 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293,
294, 295, and 296. It will be seen that they are all of a very clear
and distinct character. When such a number as 444 was required,
it would appear to be necessary to have three flags like Fig. 290
the No. 4 of the series but to avoid this multiplication of identical
flags, a red triangular flag called a decimal, a white triangular
called a centenary, and a blue triangular called a millenary, were
used, and these were placed as required before the unit to be
repeated. By this plan 444 would be expressed by the yellow flag,
the No. 4, having below it the red and white pennants. Sometimes
these flags really meant numbers, and then the required number was
hoisted, plus a yellow swallow-tailed flag. Thus in answer to
" How many guns does she carry ? " if the response should be fifty,
the five and the nought flags, Figs. 290 and 296, plus the swallow.
tail or cornet, as it is technically called, would be hoisted, while the
same five-nought signal, without the cornet, would signify " whole
fleet change course four points to starboard."
If we want to find the English equivalent of some German word,
we turn to the German-English half of our dictionary, but if we
One may se here, too, the signal book of James. Duke of York, dating about 1665,
by means of which most of our sea-fights with the Dutch were conducted, and also the
code introduced by Kempenfeldt
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 13!
required the German equivalent of our English word, we should
refer to the English-German part of the book, and signal codes are
in like manner divided into flag-message and message-flag. By the
system we are at present discussing, we should find by referring to
the flag-message half of our book, that the three flags 7, 3, 6, meant,
" recall cruisers," while 8, 3, 6, signified " sprung a leak." On the
other hand, if we wished ourselves to send such an order we should
turn to the message-flag half of our code book, and under the
heading of " Cruisers," find all the references that could concern the
management of such vessels until we presently found " Cruisers,
recall 7, 3, 6," and then at once proceed to hoist those particular
flags. Only fourteen flags, the ten numerals, the three pennants,
and the cornet, suffice for sending many hundreds of messages, but
the anonymous author adds, " exclusive of this arrangement, I
would propose to have the most current signals in battle made with
one flag only, and these should be used on the day of battle only.
A similarity between these and the flags used as the numerical
signals ought as much as possible to be avoided." Figs. 279, 280,
281, 282, 283, 284, 285, and 286, are illustrations of some of these.
The striking design of the rising sun signifies " engage the enemy."
Fig. 280 is an order for " close action." Fig. 281 is an instruction
to " invert the line of battle by tacking," while Fig. 282 is a direction
to " force the enemy's line." It is needless to particularise them
all, suffice it to say that (each and all are of stirring significance.
Many minds were at work on the urgent problem of an adequate
system of sea-signalling, and numerous plans, therefore, were sug-
gested. It does not appear that the one we have just referred
to as an example of these endeavours to solve the difficulty was
The official " Signal Book for the Ships of War," compiled by the
Admiralty in 1799, and afterwards amplified in 1803 by Admiral
Sir Hope Popham, is of immense interest, as it was introduced into
the Navy for the first time in the fleet of Nelson, and it was there-
fore the code of Trafalgar. In the copy preserved in the Library
of the Royal United Service Museum is written, "this is a copy of
the signal book by means of which the battle of Trafalgar was
fought." All signals are by numbers. In the book in question,
those given have been pasted over others, but some of those under-
neath are still visible : thus the flag that once represented one here
stands for five, and the flag that heretofore was three is now seven.
" If the Admiral " an instruction in the book says " should have
reason to believe that the enemy has got possession of these signals,
he will make the signal for changing the figures of the flags. The
figure, which byithe new arrangement each flag is to represent, is to
be immediately entered in every ship's signal-book," and it is
13* THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
evident that one of these transpositions has been made here. The
ten flags of the code are represented in Figs. 269, 270, 271, 272, 273,
274, 275, 276, 277, and 278. It is very difficult to say really how the
flags were arranged for the world-famed " England expects that
every man will do his duty," as the numerical significance of the ten
flags was so often changed during the exigencies of war. The book
we have referred to makes Fig. 270 stand for i, Fig. 278 for 2, Fig. 275
for 3, Fig. 273 for 4, Fig. 269 for 5, etc., ; and while it declares that
it was by this code Trafalgar was fought, we have no evidence as to
who wrote this statement. It may have been the authoritative
statement of some one at the time in full possession of the facts, or
a mere surmise added a dozen years afterwards by some irre-
sponsible scribbler. On turning to the " Naval History" of James,
Vol. IV., p. 34, we read " there is not, that we are aware of, a single
publication which gives this message precisely as it was delivered.
The following is a minute of the several flags, as noted down on
board more than one ship in the fleet." He then proceeds to give
them, and the arrangement that he follows is that of our illustra-
tion, his i being Fig. 269 ; 2, Fig. 270; 3, Fig. 271 ; 4, Fig. 272 ; 5,
Fig. 273 ; 6, Fig. 274 ; 7, Fig. 275 ; 8, Fig. 276; 9, Fig. 277 ; and o
Fig. 278. If he may be accepted as a reliable authority, " England "
was expressed by the flags 2, 5, and 3 ; " expects," by 2, 6, and 9 ;
" that," by flags 8, 6, and 3 ; " every," by flags 2, 6, and i ; " man,"
by 4, 7, and i ; " will," by 9, 5, and 8; "do," by 2, 2 and o; and
"his," by 3, 7, o, those being the code numbers assigned to those
words in the vocabulary. This necessitated eight distinct hoists,
one group of flags for each word, but singularly enough the code
contained no signal for " duty," so that it was necessary to spell
this out letter by letter, making four hoists more, flag 4 being
for " d " ; 2 and i for " u " ; i and 9 for " t" ; and 2 and 5 for "y."
As given in one or two French historical works the signal is equally
short and expressive : " L'Angleterre compte que chacun fera son
devoir." The story of Nelson's signal is best told in the words of
the Victory's Signal Lieutenant, Pasco, the officer who received
Nelson's orders to make it. " His Lordship," Lieutenant Pasco
says, " came to me on the poop, and, after ordering certain signals
to be made, about a quarter to noon, said, ' Mr. Pasco, I want to say
to the fleet " England confides that every man will do his duty." '
He added, ' You must be quick," for I have one more to add, which
is for " close action." 't I replied, ' If your Lordship will permit
me to substitute " expects " for " confides " the signal will soon be
* The Victory at this time was somewhat less than a mile and a half troiu th<; eneui) i
t The signal for "close action" was flags i and 6. All flag signals are always read
from above downwards ; 6 and i would mean something entirely different to i and 6
*H FLAGS 09 tfH Wo*i.t, 33
, beauso thtt word " expeett " U in the vocabulary, and
f ' confided " muat be spelt.' * Hia Lordehjp replied In haste, and with
seeming aatisfaotion, That will do, Pasoo, make it directly.' As
the last hoist was hauled down, Nelson turned to Captain
Blackwood, who was standing by him, and said, ' Now I can do no
more. We must trust to the Great Disposer of all events, and the
justice of our cause ; I thank God for this great opportunity of
doing my duty.' " And Great Britain that day did not call upon her
sons in vain, nor was the appeal to the God of Battles unheard,
though the rejoicing of victory was turned into mourning at the loss
of him who had so nobly done his duty in the nation's service.
In the Royal Navy of the present day, a special code, requiring
forty-five different flags, is employed. Figs. 254 to 267 inclusive,
are examples of some of these.f This code, we need scarcely say,
is of a confidential nature, and is not published anywhere for all
the world to study. " The Commercial code of International
signals being now recognised by the principal maritime States of the
world, is, by Queen's regulations, made use of by our men-of-war
when communicating with foreign war-ships, or with merchant
vessels whether British or foreign. The signal codes of the Royal
Navy, when not actually in use, are kept in perforated metal
cylinders, so that in case of capture of the vessel they may at
once be thrown overboard. In the Library of the Royal United
Service Institution may be seen the Signal book of the U.S. frigate
Chesapeake, with bullets attached to it for the purpose of sinking it.
In the confusion incidental to the capture of the vessel by H.M.S.
Shannon^ it fell into the hands of the Britisher. Besides these
regulation signals of the American Navy, a second set, supplied to
privateers, was also captured, marked " Strictly confidential. The
commanders of private armed vessels are to keep this paper
connected with a piece of lead or other weight, and to Ihrow the
whole overboard before they shall strike their flag, that they may
be sunk." This also, instead of going to the bottom of the Atlantic,
may be seen within half a mile of Charing Cross.
Landsmen have a notion, remembering possibly that Nelson
went into action with the signal for close action flying, that when a
signal is made it is to be instantly obeyed, but the present system
of signalling is on somewhat different lines. The hoisting of a
signal on the flag ship is preparative. The ships leading the other
columns repeat the signal, hoisting their colours three-quarters of
Expects," it will be seen, is expressed by one hoist of flags, while " confides " would
have necessitated the pulling up and hauling down of eight distinct sets.
th a black b
J June ist,
t Special hoists are also used for special purposes, thus the display of the yellow flag,
with a black ball on it, is an intimation that torpedo practice is going on.
134 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLB.
the way up the mast. The other ships each hoist their " answering
pennants " to show that they have seen and understood the order.
Then when the repeating ships notice that all the other vessels
have answered, they hoist the signal right up as an intimation to
the Admiral that this is the case. Then it is that on the Admiral's
ship the signal is hauled down, thus giving the executive order for
its purport to be obeyed, so that the signal is cautionary of what
is coming, and the manoeuvre is only executed when to the eye no
instructions at all are to be seen. The answering pennant has
vertical stripes red, white, red, white, red.
Fig. 268 is the flag used by any vessel that wishes to communi-
cate with a coastguard station, or hoisted when one coastguard
station wants to send a message to another. Thus when Beachy
Head has any notification to make to the neighbouring post away
down at Burling Gap, the first thing to be done is to hoist at the
masthead Fig. 268. When the men on duty at Burling Gap see
this they hoist the answering pennant, meaning " all right, talk
away," and then the arms of the Beachy Head semaphore work
vigorously, or the gay signal flags flutter in the breeze and send
their message across the downs.
War vessels signal to each other at night by means of the
Morse system of short and long flashes,* and all the large steam-
ship lines have night signals peculiar to themselves, thus the night
signal of the Orient Line is red and blue lights burnt alternately.
Any vessel seeing this, knows that they are dealing with this
special Line and similarly report themselves, and after this due
introduction proceed to dot and dash to their heart's content.
The last two rows of flags on plate XXIII. are signals for pilots.
These are either the two flags standing for P. and T. in the Inter-
national Signal Code, a system we have yet to deal with, or it may
be a single flag, the special pilot flag of each nation. Fig. 297
is the pilot flag of the Argentine Republic ; Fig. 298, that of
Brazil ; Fig. 299, that of Ecuador. Fig. 300 is the pilot flag of
Greece; 301, that of Japan; and 304, that of Spain. France,
Mexico and Chili all adopt a flag like Fig. 278, a white flag
with broad blue border, while Great Britain, Fig, 104, Germany,
Fig. 302, Belgium, Fig. 303, Denmark, Fig. 305, Holland,
Fig. 306, Sweden, Austria^Hungary, Italy, all fly the national
flag of the country with a broad white border to it. Russia
takes the Jack, Fig. 215, for the same purpose, and places this
* This system was introduced by Captain Columb in 1862. On one occasion, during
heavy weather, from a steamer fifteen miles off shore he sent a message through a station
on the Isle of Wight across to Portsmouth, and recf-ived his answer back in thirteen
minutes! This was altogether too good to bd gainsaid or shelved, and the sj-siciu wij
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 135
white band around it, while the United States of America takes
the star-bestrewn azure canton from the national flag, Fig. 146,
and similarly surrounds it with the broad band of white.
Penalties are recoverable, as they clearly should be, if any
ship uses or displays signals which may be mistaken for either
pilot calls or signals of distress.
The United States uses flags for its weather signals at the
various meteorological stations. A violent storm is prognosticated
by a red flag with a black centre. A red pennant signifies " storm
approaching station," while a yellow pennant signifies " call at
station for special information." A plain white flag betokens fine
weather and a plain blue one rain or snow, and there are various
combinations of other flags that indicate direction, intensity,
velocity and so forth. It is evident that this employment of flags
could be made a very valuable one.
Another instance of its use with which we are acquainted, is at
the London office in St. Paul's Churchyard of the Draper's Record,
one of the largest in circulation of any trade paper in the world.
The citizen of London may see displayed from its roof by private
enterprise the whole of the forecasts issued by the Meteorological
Office, viz., the n a.m., the 3.30 p.m., and the 8.30 p.m. for the
South of England, which officially includes St. Paul's Churchyard.
A white flag is hoisted for clear weather, a blue one for rain, while
local showers are prognosticated by a flag half blue and half white.
Changeable weather is indicated by a flag like Fig. 267, and a
coming fog by a yellow flag with black ball in its centre, like
Fig. 258. Snow is foretold by a flag like Fig. 278, and squally
weather by a swallow-tailed flag, having its upper half black, and
the lower white. A plain red triangular flag is used to indicate
temperature ; when this is hoisted above other flags, it indicates
rising temperature ; when placed below, falling temperature ; and
when omitted we are to conclude that things are stationary. Thus
the red flag, then below it the white one, and then the blue hoisted
together, would mean that we might expect warmer weather, at first
fair, but succeeded by rain, while the blue flag above the red
would indicate that wet weather was before us, and a fall of
At the 1894 meeting of the National Rifle Association at Bisley
a system of this kind was inaugurated, in order to give those in
camp an idea of the weather that might be expected for the ensuing
twelve hours, the hoisting of a blue flag indicating fine weather or
moderate wind, a red one foretelling stormy weather or strong
wind ; green, pointing to unsettled weather or gusty wind, and a
yellow flag indicating thunder or rain storms. For shooting pur-
poses a knowledge of the strength of the wind is very valuable.
J6 VHB VMS OF VHS WORL&,
The development ot a code of flag signals seems to hav*
exercised a great fascination on many minds, and the result has
been that until the general adoption of the International code
things had got into a somewhat chaotic state. Some systems had
many excellent points in them, while others broke down under the
strain of practical use. In some cases, too, the claims of patriotism
influenced the choice, it being difficult for an Englishman or an
American to believe that the scheme of a Frenchman or German
could possibly be better than the home-grown article.
The systems best known in this country are the Admiralty codes
of 1808, 1816, and 1826, Lynn's in 1818, Squire's in 1820, Raper's
in 1828, Philipps 1 in 1836, Eardley Wilmot's in 1851, the code of
Rogers, the American, in 1854, the French code of Reynolds in
1855, and the system devised by Marryat in 1856, all being super-
seded by that of the Board of Trade.
The International code of signals was prepared and first pub-
lished in April, 1857, in accordance with the views and recom-
mendations of a Committee appointed by the Lords of the Privy
Council. Three members, Admiral Beechey, Captain Robcit
Fitzroy, and Mr. J. H. Brown, the Registrar-General of Seamen,
were named by the Board of Trade ; one member, Admiral Bethune,
by the Admiralty ; an elder brother, Captain Bax, was appointed as
a member by the Trinity House; Mr. W. C. Hammett and Captain
Halstead were the members named by Lloyds ; while the Liverpool
Shipowners' Association, and the General Shipowners' Society, each,
by the nomination of a member, had a voice in the discussion.
After a deliberation of more than a year, the examination of
the thirteeen then existing codes and due attention to any practical
suggestion made to them, a mature and valuable scheme was pro-
mulgated. Eighteen flags in all, viz., one burgee, four pennants, and
thirteen square flags, were employed, and these represented the
consonants of the alphabet. These are depicted in the three upper
rows on plate XXIV. Figs. 307 to 324, the letter it stands for in the
code being placed by each flag. These flags are combined in
various ways, either in twos, threes, or fours, and are always read
downwards, thus Fig. 325 must be read B.D.T.F ; if we read it the
reverse way, as F.T.D.B, it would have an entirely different
Of the two-flag signals we have three varieties. Should the
burgee, Fig. 307, be uppermost it constitutes what is termed an
attention signal; thus the hoisting of B.D signifies, "What ship is
that ? " If the upper flag be a pennant C.D.F. or G it is a
compass signal ; thus G.F means west-north-west-half-west. If a
square flag be uppermost it is an urgency signal ; thus, N.C signifies
' am in distress," or N.J " am driving, no more anchors to let go."
8ignali nude with three flftge aro not classified according to the
upper flag; they relate to subjects of general inquiry or communi*
cation of news. In the lower portion of Plate XXIV. we have given
five examples of these. Fig. 330, flags B.P.Q, asks " Do you wish
to be reported ? " while the hoisting of P.D.S, see Fig. 332, replies,
" Report me to Lloyds' Agent." Fig. 333, H.V.F, asks, " Do you
want assistance?" while Fig. 334, G.B.H, enquires, "Has any
accident happened ? " Fig. 331, made up of flags V.K.C, gives the
reassuring answer to both enquiries "All safe." As weather signals,
we find " barometer rising" indicated by G.F.W ; " barometer fall-
ing" by G.H.B ; and "barometer standing," by G.H.C. Fine weather
is prognosticated by the group H.M.S ; a breeze off sea is foretold
in the combination H.S.V; and a breeze off land by H.S.W.
Signals composed of four flags are divided into different sections
again, according to the form of the uppermost flag employed. If
this upper flag be either of the pennants C.D or F, it indicates that
the signal is what is called vocabulary. If the upper be the
burgee the letter B of the code it is a geographical signal ; thus,
any vessel beating up channel and seeing Fig. 325, made up of
B.D.T.F, hoisted from a lighthouse, would, even if uncertain before,
know their position, as this signal is the one specially assigned to
the Eddystone Fig. 326, the letters B.D.P.Q, signifies that the
vessel flying it hails from the port of London, while B.F.Q.T. is
Edinburgh, and so on. All names of ships are expressed by four
letters, thus N.V.B.Q is the code signal (Fig. 327) of the steamship
Germanic; M.N.D.L (Fig. 328) that of the Hesperus ; and Fig. 329,
made up of G.R.C.T, is the special grouping assigned to H.M.S.
Devastation. All these names are recorded in the Shipping List, so
that two vessels passing each other in mid-ocean are able at once
to determine each others' names if within sighting distance of the
flags run up. Should we see a stately liner coming to port, flying
M.T.L.Q, we recognise that it is the Australia of the great
Peninsula and Oriental Line, but if she runs up L.H.T.B then she
is the Orient Company's boat Orotava. Some names occur fre-
quently, thus other Australias, belonging to various owners, are
distinguished by the code signals R.L.H.V, J.T.G.K, M.P.F.C,
M.Q.N.G, M.T.W.D, W.F.T.N, etc., etc. Figs. 355, 356, 357,
358, 359 are all code signals of various Australias. While the
Peninsular and Oriental Company has also a Victoria, K.M.Q-F.,
they have no monopoly of the name. There are numerous other
boats of that popular designation, but even when vessels have the
same name no two vessels ever have the same code letters assigned
to them. Other Victorias,ior example, are differentiated, as W.Q.M.N.,
L.S.H.R, K.P.G.Q, M.K.C.H, M.S.P.B, M.Q.C.J, L.D.F.I1.
T.R.B.N, K.J.H.P, T.D.R.F, etc, etc. Figs. 350, 351, 35*. 35 J,
138 THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
354 are all Victorias ; and Figs. 360, 361, 362, 363, 364 are the flag-
signals of various Britannias. Ours readers will see at once how
distinctive they are. Figs. 335 to 349 inclusive are the special flags of
well-known steamships of the Peninsular and Oriental, the Orient
Line, and the Compagnie Generate Transatlantique.
Should the vessel be a yacht, it is the Aline if she shows the
flags P.W.N.D; the Star of the Sea if her signal is T.N.B.H ; but
if it is the Meteor we shall be aware of the fact from her hoisting
the four flags L.C.T.P. The flag signal of the Valkyrie is L.F.M.G.
Applications for the allotment of a code-signal, for the purpose
of making ships' names known at sea, should be made, if of the
United Kingdom, to the Registrar General of Shipping, Cus-
tom House, and, if belonging to a Colony, to the Registrar at
the port to which the vessel belongs. If a ship to which this
International Code Signal has been alloted is reported wrecked,
lost, or sold to a foreigner, and her register is in consequence
cancelled, the signal letters allotted to her are also cancelled, so
that if the ship is afterwards recovered or re-purchased from
foreigners, either in her original or some other name, new signal
letters will be necessary, and the owner must make application
anew for another allotment, as the signal letters the vessel originally
bore may have been in the interval re-allotted.
The flags to be hoisted at one time never exceed four, and it is
an interesting arithmetical fact, that, with these eighteen flags,
never using more than four at a time, over seventy-eight thousand
different combinations can be made. With these flags, only using
two at a time, 306 different arrangements can be made, while
by using three at a time we get 4,896 possibilities, and by using
four at a time, we can make 73,440 changes ; a total in all of 78,642
variations made from these simple elements. Marryat's code, prior
to the introduction of the International, being the one most in use,
twelve out of its sixteen flags were, to save expense, incorporated in
the new code. Their significance was, however, entirely changed.
Marryat's flags, too, were numerals, while the International code,
as we have seen, has its flags named after the letters of the
Proposals are in the air to add eight new flags to the code, the
X, Y, and Z, and the five vowels, since it is held that even the
great number of combinations now possible may in time not suffice,
The reason for the absence of the vowels is a somewhat curious
one. Directly vowels are introduced we begin to spell words, and
it was found that amongst the thousands of combinations possible,
would be presently included all the profane, obscene, and other-
wise objectionable four-letter words of the whole world. To
hoist D.B.M.N could offend no one's susceptibilities, but to
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD. 139
run up the signal D.A.M.N in response to an enquiry is quite
another matter, and it must be remembered that as this code U
used by all civilised nations, a word that is merely meaningless
in one country might be most offensive in another. An English
Captain might hoist as a necessary signal J.A.L.P. or F.L.U.M.
and see no possible objection to it, but "jalp" or " flum " might
to the people of some other nationality carry a most atrocious
It is a practical necessity that all connected with the sea
should understand the use of the International code, therefore, the
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty require that all Royal Naval
Reserve men who act as Masters or Mates of ships should be
instructed in its working, and the Board of Trade makes like
requirements from all candidates for Masters' or Mates' Certificates.
Its International character is a most valuable feature, as by its
use two captains, say a Dane and a Greek, or a Russian and a
Spaniard, who, on the quay, could not comprehend a word of each
other's language, can at sea, by this common flag-language, come to
a perfectly clear understanding of each other's need, or
impart any information required. It is the only code used at the
signal stations around our coasts. Lloyds' have thirty-three of
these signal stations at Dover, Beachy Head, Lundy Island*
Dungeness, Flamborough Head, St. Catherine's Point, North
Foreland, and other conspicuous points on our line of ocean traffic,
and abroad again at Aden, Ascension, Gibraltar, Bermuda,
Honolulu, Suez, Perim, Malta, Teneriffe, and elsewhere, and here
too, the International is the only code recognised.
This " Lloyds," that we may see daily referred to in the news-
papers, is a Corporation that, amongst other marine business,
distributes shipping intelligence. A Mr. Edward Lloyd, in the
seventeenth century, kept a coffee house in Tower Street, which
in time from the daily gathering there of merchants, captains, and
others interested in marine affairs, became a centre for shipping
and underwriting news and business. In the year 1692 it was
moved to Lombard Street, and in 1774 the coffee supplying part
of the business was abandoned and rooms were taken in the
Royal Exchange. During the wars with Napoleon, the Govern,
ment was often indebted to the Committee of Lloyds' for the
earliest information of important events all over the world.
Lloyds' has its agents in every port, and by its complete organisa-
tion and the potent aid of the telegraph, the shipping business of the
world is brought day by day before us. Vessels spoken far out on the
ocean are reported by the vessel that spoke them immediately on its
arrival at any port, Thus a sailing-vessel journeying from London
to Vancouver may be five months o*- more before it touches land
*4& 9HI t-LAOM U* YHit
tut during that time It it sighted by other vessels tro, tittm w
time, and these report having seen it, and that all was well on
hoard. So the mother knows that her son, who is parted from her
by thousands of miles of ocean, has got thus far in health and
safety ; and the owners of the vessel learn that their venture has go
far surmounted the perils of Cape Horn and the other dangers of
the deep. The good ship is drawing nearer at each report to
the end of her long voyage, and on arrival at last off Vancouver,
as the land is sighted, the signal flags run up once more to the
masthead, the news of her coming is flashed across continent and
ocean, and the London newspaper of the next morning contains
the brief notification that far exceeds to anxious hearts all else of
interest its broad pages may contain.
Familiarity, though it may not necessarily breed contempt, dulls
the sense of the wonder of it all, and yet how marvellous it is !
We have before us the Standard, that came into our hands about
seven o'clock this morning, and we find from it that yesterday the
G lenshiel had arrived at Hong Kong, that the Arab, from Cape Town,
had just put in at Lisbon, that the Sardinian, from Quebec, had
reached Moville, that the Circassian was safely at New York, that
the Orizaba, speeding on to Sydney, had at 2 a.m. passed the
desolate shores of arid Perim, that the Danube, from Southampton,
had at 6 a.m. entered the harbour of Rio Janeiro. Of this, and
much else of the same tenor, may we read in a space of a
quarter-column or so of the paper as we sit at breakfast and see
pass before us a panorama of world-wide interest and extent;
and to accomplish this result, the flags' we have figured have been
a potent factor.
Though we have covered much ground, it must have been
patent to all readers who have thus far companioned us that
much detail was necessarily omitted, unless our book had to grow
to the dimensions of an encyclopaedia. It would probably, for
instance, take some fifty figures or so to give all the distinctive
flags of the various government departments, official ranks, etc.,
of a single Great Power. We trust nevertheless that while our
labours have been by no means exhaustive, they have been instru-
mental in showing that there is much of interest in flag-lore, and
that an increased knowledge and appreciation of our subject may
be one result of our pleasant labours, and prove full justification
for our work.
Aargau, flag of 116
"Acta Sanctorum." the ... 38
Admiral's flag, R.N. ... 56
Admiralty, flag of the 71, 72
Agincourt. battle of 106
Agincourt. flags at 5
Agnus Dei. as device on flag 22
A lisa, flag of the yacht ... 73
Allan Line, flag of the ... 75
Allotment of code signals ... 138
Ambulance flag .. ... 117
Ancient Irish harp 33
Anchor as badge, 63,71.87, 100, 114
Andrew, cross of St.. 4, 35. 42, 43,
45. 53, 116
Andrew, St.. of Scotland. 37. 42. 44
Andrew. St.. of Russia 103. 104
Andrew, St., order of ... 102
Anne, Standard of Queen ... '35
Annunciation on flag .. 4
Answering pennant ... ... 134
Antelope as a device ... 16
Antiquity, standards of ... 2
Antwerp, device of city of ... in
Anvil as device on fag ... 7
Argentine Republic, riag of 124
Armada, defeat of the ... 3
Arms of Canada ... 81, 82
Arms of Washington ... 91
Army, flags of the ... ... 61
Army signalling ...127,128,129
Arragon, arms of nr
Articles of War 56
Assaye, special flag for ... 65
Assyrian standards 2
Athene, owl of 2
Australian Steam Navigation
Company's house flag
Awdeley, standard of Sir
Bacon on sea-power
Baden, flag of ...
Badge, 9, 13, 15, 21, 62, 66, 67, 83,
Bahamas, Badge of the ... 84
Balmoral tartan i
Banner, its nature 10
Banneroll, kind of flag ... 18
Bannockburn, battle of ... 44
Barbadoes, badge of ... 83
Barcelona, arms of in
Bar, banner of Sir John de n
Bardolph, banner of Sir
Basel, flag of city of ... 116
Bavaria, flag of ... 101,119
Bayeux tapestry, flags repre-
sented in ... 19, 22
Bear as a device 1,2
Beau-seant of Knights
Beaver as a device I, 30
Bede on flags 4
" Beehive of the Romish
Bees of the Napoleons 106, 109
Belgium, flags of ... 23,118
Bermuda, badge of 84
Berne, flag of 116
Beverley, flag of 5
Birkenhead, burning of the 64
Black and white flag of
Black as a flag colour 7, 24, 25
Black Swan, device of the ... 84
Blackwall line of shipping... 74
Black Watch, the 62
Blenheim, battle of ... 64, 66
Blue blanket of Edinburgh. . . 42
Blue ensign ... 40. 56, 73. 78, 83
Board of Trade, flag of the 71
Bohemia, flag of 102
Bolivia, flag of ... 23, 123
Bombardment of Scio ... n8
Boots and shoes on a flag ... 7
Bordered Jack ... 48, 58
Botetourte, banner of Sir
John ... n
Bourbon kings, the 107
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Brabant, lion of 112
Brass of Sir John Dauber-
Brazil, flag of ... 23, 24, 123
Brazil, pendant of 20
Bremen, flag of port of .. 99
Britannia, flag of the yacht 73
British East Africa, device of 84
British Guiana, badge of ... 84
British North Borneo, badge
Broad pendant 56
Brunswick, arms of 35
Brunswick, flag of 101
Buckles as device on flag .. 7
Bugle-horn as a device .. 15
Builder's square on flag .. 6
Bulgaria, flag of 121
Bunker's Hill, battle of ... 87
Bunting as material for flags 22
Burgee, variety of flag 19, 73
Burgundy, flag of ... in, 112
Burning of rebel colours ... 70
Butler's " Lives of the
Butterflies as a flag device... 17
Campbell on the national flag 54
Canada, Dominion of ... 10
Canada, flags of Dominion of 80
Canadian Pacific steamship
Candlemakers' flag, the ... 7
Canterbury Cathedral, flags
Cantonal colours ... ... 116
Cape of St. Martin 105
Cape St. Vincent, action off 41
Castle Line, house flag of the 75
Castle on flag as a device in, 112
Cavalry standards 65
Cavers standard, the ... 43
Ceylon, device of the Colony
Chapel of Royal College.
Chelsea, flags in ... 3, 66
Chaucer, quotation from 12, 18
Cheering to order 102
Cherbourg, flag of port of ... 75
Chili, flag of 121
Chili, pendant of 20
Chinese flags 125
Chrysanthemum flag of
Coastguard flag 134
Codes for flag-signalling ... 136
Coffee plant on flag 123
Coins, devices on 2, 88, 90. 120
Colombia, flag of United
States of 122
Colonial Defence Act 78, 79, 80
Colonial flags ... 20, 40, 78
Colonies, value of ... 76. 77
Colour party 64
Colours, Queen's ... 61. 65, 67
Colours, regimental... 61, 65, 67
Colours used in flags ... 23
Columbus, flag flown by 86, 1 1 1
Commodore's broad pendant 56
Commonwealth flags ... 48
Company or house flags 74, 75
Compasses as a device ... 6
Compass signals ... ... 136
Confederate States of Ame-
Congo Free State, flag of ... 126
Conquest of Ireland ... 33
Consecrated banner... 3, 103
Constantine, Labarum of, 2, 3. 51
Consular flag 71
Consul - General, Russian,
flag of 104
Cornet, variety of flag 19, 130
Costa Rica, flag of 122
Ceurtenay, banner of Sir
Covenanter flags ... 24. 43. 91
Crescent as device, n, 15, 88, 95.
Croatia, flag of 102
Cromwell, arms of 35
Cromwell, funeral of ... 19
Cross of St. Andrew, 4. 35, 42, 43,
45- 53. "6
Cross of bt. George, 4, 10, 14, 16,
35, 39, 41, 45, 48.53,84, 87. 116
Cross of St. Patrick. 4, 51, 53.
Crown of Charlemagne ... 35
Crowns of Ireland 33
Cuba, flag of 124
Culloden, battle of 70
Cunard Line, house flag of... 74
Customs Department, flag of 71
Czarina, standard of the ... 102
Czar, standard of the 102, 103
Dalmatia, flag of 102
Dannebrog, the 115
Demerara and Berbice
Steamship Company ... 74
Denis, St., flag of .., . 5
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Denmark, flags of 115
Derivation of word flag ... 8
Desjardins on French flag... 107
Devitt and Moore house flag 74
Diana, crescent of 119
Diplomatic Service, flag of 71
Dipping the flag 25
Dragon as a device ... 17, 125
Drayton, quotation from ... 15
Durham, St. Cuthbert of ... 5
Eagle as a device, 41, 91, 93, 94,
98, 101, 102, 105, 109, no
Early Spanish flags 27
East Africa Company, Ger-
East India Company, flag of, 47, 89
East Kent Regiment, flags of 66
East Prussia, flag of ... 98
Ecclesiastical flags often
Ecuador, flag of 124
Eddystone Light flag signal 137
Edinburgh Cathedral, flags
Edinburgh Trained Bands... 42
Edmonson on flag usage ... 9
Edward the Confessor, arms
Edward III., "King of the
Edward VI., funeral of ... 17
Egypt, ancient, standards of i
Egyptian flags, modern 120, 121
Electoral bonnet 52
Elephant as a device 65, 84, 125
Elephant, order of the ... 115
Elizabeth, funeral of Queen 17
Elizabeth, thanksgiving ser-
Elsass, flag of 101
Emperor of Germany ... 98
Ermine as a flag device ... 24
Errors in flag-making 58, 59, 60
Excise, flag of the 71
Eye as a device on flag ... 7
Facings of the regiment ... 62
Falcon as a device 17
Favyn " Le Theatre d'hon-
neur" 4, 107
Fiji, badge of colony ... 84
Files represented on trad*
Flag-book of the Admiralty 120
Flag-lore valuable ...... 58
Flagons on trade flag ... 7
Flag-signalling ... izj.etseq.
Flanders, badge of ...... m
Flashing messages at night 134
Fleur-de-lys, 21, 34, 36, 106, 108,
Flodden, battle of ...... 6
Florida, settlement of ... 86
Florin, arms on the ... ... 32
Fly of a flag, the ...... 10
Fork and spoon on a flag ... 7
Four-flag signals ...... 137
France, flags of, i, 21, 105, 106,
107. 108, 109, no
Franco-German War of 1870 97
Fribourg, flag of ...... 116
Frogmorton, standard of ... 17
Funeral obsequies, flags at 6, 17,
18, 19, 22
Garter, order of the ...... 38
Gautier on the Swiss flag ... 116
Geneva Convention... ... 117
Geneva, flag of ...... 116
Geographical signals ... 137
George, St., cross of, 4, 10, 14, 16,
George, St., of England, 36, 37, 116
George, St.. of Russia
German Unity ...
Germany, flags of ...
Globe on flag ...
Gnu as a flag device
Golden Legend, the... ...
Gonfalon, kind of flag ...
flags of ......... 71
Governor-General of Canada,
flag of ......... 81
Governors of Colonies, flags
of ......... 81,84
Grandison, banner of Sir
William de ...... n
Gray, quotation from
Great Seal of Canada
Great Seal of Richard I.
Greece, Flag of
Green and white of the
Tudors ......... 21
Green as a flag colour, 23, 43,
Greyhound as a device ... 17
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Growth of the Italian State 1x3
Guards, flags of the 65
Guatemala, flag of ... 23, 122
Guidon, form of flag ... 21
Guild flags 6, 7
Guinea Company's flag ... 27
Half-mast high, flags at ... 25
Hamburg, flag of city of ... 99
Hammer represented on flag 6, 7
Hand as a device 2
Hanover, arms of ... 29, 35, 52
Hanover, flag of 101
Hanseatic League, flag of ... 99
Harfleur. siege of 12
Harleian MS. on flags 16. 21
Harp of Ireland, 4, 29, 32, 33, 34,
Hayti, flag of ... 23, 124
Heavenly succour, 37, 42. 44. 106,
Henry V., standard of ... 16
Henry VI I., flags in chapel of 12
Heraldic Exhibition, Edin-
Heraldic requirements in
flag devising ... 23, 54
Hesse, flag of 101
Highland tartans I
41 History and principles of
Hohenzollerns, arms of the 99
Hoisting one flag over
Hoist of the flag, the ... 10
Holderton, banner of Sir
John de n
Holland, flags of ... 117,118
Hong Kong, badge of colony
Horse as a device 2
Horsham, political colours at 8
House flags 24. 74, 75
House of Orange, flag of ... 117
Hungary, flag of ... 23, 102
Idolatrous emblem 87
Illiterate voters, mistakes of 7, 8
Imperial Eagle ... 66. 101, 102
Inscriptions on flags, 3. 4. 13. 15.
16. 24. 35. 41. 43. 49. 66, 88,
90. 93, 122, 123
International signal code, 133, 136,
Investiture of knight-banneret 14
Invocation of saints ... 3
Ireland joined to Great
Iron cross of Germany ... 100
Isandlwana, battle of 63, 69
Istria, flag of 102
Italy, flags of ... 23, 113, 114
James II., statue of 35
' apan, flags of 124
"erusalem, arms of city of, 114. 115
ewish standards ... ... 3
oan of Arc, standard of ... 4
ove, Eagle of ... ... 2
Karlaverok , siege of .. .11,18
Kasan, arms of province of 102
Katharine of Arragon flag-
Kempenfeldt's signal code... 130
Key as a device on flag ... 15
Khorsabad, slabs from ... 2
Kingdom of Hungary ... 101
King's Own Borderers ... 63
Kiow. arms of province of... 102
Knights of the Bath, banners
Knights of the Garter, ban-
ners of 12
Knights Templars, banner
of the 24
Kobel, book on costume
and flags ... ... 101
Korea, flag of kingdom of ... 125
Labarum of Constantine 2, 3, 51
Labuan. badge of colony of 84
La Haye's book on flags ... 87
Lamartine on the red flag ... 109
Lancer pennon 14.19
Landing of Charles II. ... 47
Land of the rising sun ... 124
Laurel wreath on flag ...49, 8r
Lawyers, flag of the ... 7
Leeward Isles, badge of the 84
Leon and Castile, arms of, 86, no,
Liberia, flag of 125
Liberty, figure of ... 94.118
Lion of Scotland ... 4, 29, 31, 34
Lions of England ... 4, 29, 30, 34
tHE FLA6S OF THE WORLt).
Livery colours ... 7, 14, 17, 21
Livy on Vexillum 2
Lloyd's signal stations ... 139
Locksmiths, flag of the ... 7
London, port of, flag signal 137
London Trained Bands .. 41, 67
Lone Star State, flag of the 95
Lord Cardross, flag of ... 16
Lord High Admiral of Eng-
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland,
flag of 71
Lord Mayor's Show, flags at 19, 20
Loss of colours at Edgehill ... 65
Lothringen, flag of 101
Louisiana, flag of State of ... 94
Louisiana, settlement of ... 86
Lozenges as a device on flag 41
Lubeck, flag of city of ... 99
Lucerne, flag of 116
Lunenburg, arms of ... 35
Lydgate, the duty of chivalry 12
Maccabees, standard of the 3
Machyn, diary of, 6, 17, 21, 39, m
Mackay, extract from --.57, 58
Mail service flag 72
Mainsail emblazoned as
Malplaquet, battle of ... 64
Man-of-war pendant, 20, 78, 93,
no, in, 121, 129, 135
Maple-leaf of Canada .. .30, 81
Marmion, quotation from ... 8, 18
Martin, description of West-
ern Islands i
Marseillaise, the 98
Marseilles, flag of port of ... 75
Martlets on flag 34
Massachusetts, flag of ...3,87
Mayflower, sailing of the ... 87
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, flag of 101
Mediaeval spelling 6, 22
Mediterranean and New York
Merchant flag, red ensign 40, 47,
58. 73. 80
Merchant Shipping (Colours)
Metal-workers, flag of the ... 7
Meteorological signals ... 135
Mexico, flag of ... 23,123
Milton, quotation from ... 8
Minotaur as a device ... 2
Minden, battle of 64
" Mirror for Magistrates,"
quotation from 15
Mohammedan flags often
Monasteries, flags of ... 5
Monk, funeral of General ...18, 22
Monogram, sacred, on flag, 3, 42, 51
Monthermer, banner of Sir
Morse alphabet for signal-
ling ... 127, 128, 129
Mottoes on flags, 3, 4, 13, 15, 16,
24, 35, 41, 43, 49, 66, 88, 90,
93, 122, 123
utiny in the Royal Navy... 25
Napoleon, flags at tomb of... 4
Nassau, arms of 29,35
Natal, device of colony of ... 84
Naval Discipline Act ... 56
Naval Exhibition at Chelsea 41
Navy signalling ... i2g,etseq.
Nelson, funeral of 18,22
Neville's Cross, battle of ... 5
New Brunswick, arms of
province of 82
Newfoundland, badge of
colony of 83
New Granada, flag of ... 122
New Guinea, badge of colony
of .- ... 84
New South Wales, badge of
colony of ... ... 84
New Zealand, badge of ... 84
New Zealand Shipping Com-
Night signalling at sea ... 134
Nisbet on the tressure ... 32
Norie's " Flags of All Na-
Northallerton, sacred flags at 5
North German Confederacy 99
Norway, flag of 115
Nova Scotia, arms of pro-
vince of 82
Nova Scotia, settlement of... 87
Novgorod, arms of province
Obsolete flags ... 8, 22, 26
Ontario, arms of province of 82
Orange flag 8
Orange Free State, flag of, 23, 125
Order of Black Eagle ... 100
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Ordnance Department flag... 71
Orient Steam Navigation
Company ... 24, 134
Oudenarde, battle of ... 64
Owl of Athene 2
Palmetto palm on flag ...94,95
Pamiot Azof, flag of the ... 104
Papal States, flag of the 23,114,115
Paraguay, flag of 122
Paris, arms of city of ... 109
Passion symbols on flag ... 6
Patrick, St., life of 51, 52
Pendant or pennant, 20, 40, 78, 93,
no, in, 121, 129, 135
Peninsular and Oriental
Company, flag of ... 74
Pennoncelle or pencel ... 19
Pennon, nature of the 14, 18, 19
Pepys, extract from diary of 55
Percy, banner of Sir Henri de 1 1
Percy lion n, 15
Percy motto 15,16
Percy standard 15
Persepolis, sculptures of ... 2
Peruvian flag 123
Pictorial flags 4
Pilgrim Fathers, the ... 87
Pilot flag ... 48, 100, 104, 134
Pine-apple as a device ... 84
Pine-tree flag ... 87, 88, 89
Plantagenet livery colours .. 21
Pliny on Roman standards. . . 2
Poland, flag of 105
Political colours 7
Political devices on flags ... 4
Pomerania, flag of 101
Popham's signal code ... 131
Portcullis as a device ... 21
Portobello, capture of ... 41
Ports, flags of 75
Portugal, flags of ... 112, 113
Pottery, representation of
flags on 89
Precedence a difficulty ... 28
Presentation of colours ... 3, 66
President, U.S.A., flag of ...93,94
Printed flags... ... 23
Protectorate flag, the ... 50
Prussian eagle 98
Quarantine flag, the ...25, 59
Quebec, arms of province of 82
Queen's colour 61,65
Queensland, badge of colony
Queen's Regulations, 54, 55, 64.
71, 78, 81
Ramilies, battle of 64
Rattlesnake flag ... i, 13, 87, 88
Raven of the Danes ... 13
Rebel colors burnt 70
Red ensign ... 40, 47, 58, 73, 80
Red flag of revolution 25, 59, 109
Relics of saints worked into
Religious character of early
Religious service 3, 103
Revenue flag, U.S.A. ... 93
Rey on the French flag ... 107
Rhode Island, flag of ... 87
Richard II., standard of ... 17
Ridre, standard of Sir Wil-
liam de it
Riga, flag of port of ... 75
Ripon, St. Wilfrid's banner
Rolls of arms 10
Rome, standards of ancient 2, 42
Roses as a flag device ...16, 21
Rotterdam, flag of port of ... 75
Rouen, capture of ... 5, 38, 112
Roumania, flag of 121
Royal Colonial Institute ... 76
Royal Horse Artillery of 1813 19
Royal Marines ... ... 63
Royal Naval Reserve, 40, 56, 57,
73. 79. 139
Royal Navy, flag code of the 133
Royal Oak on coins 88
Royal Standard n, 29, 34, 48, 54,
Royal United Service
Museum ... 24, 125, 130, 131
Royal Yacht Squadron, flag
of the 72
Royston, political colours at 8
Russia, flags of, 24, 102, 103, 104,
Russian American Com-
pany's flag 26
Sacred monogram on flag ... 3
Salique la\v, operation of ... 36
Salmon as a flag device ... 82
Saluting the flag ... 26,55,56
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
San Salvador, flag of ... 124
Sarawak, flag of 125
Sardinia, flag of 26
Savoy, flag of ... 27, 113, 123
Saxe-Coburg Gotha, flag of 101
Saxony, arms of ... ... 35
Saxony, flag of ... ... 100
Schomburg-Lippe, flag of ... 101
School of Army Signalling... 128
" Scotland for ever" ... 70
Scots Greys 66
Scottish grievance as to
arms ... 31. 45, 4 6, 53
Scottish variatior of Union
Scott, quotation from ... 8, 29
Servia, flag of 121
Seven Champions of Chris-
Seventeenth Lancers ... 66
Shakespeare, quotation from 15,37
Shannon and Chesapeake duel 90
Shears as a device on trade
Siam, flag of kingdom of ... 125
Signal-book of Chesapeake ... 133
Signalling by flags ... 20, 23, 127,
Simon de Montfort, banner
Skull and cross-bones device 66
Sledge flags of Arctic expedi-
South" Australia, badge of ... 83
South Carolina, flag of, 87, 88, 94
Southern Cross ... 30, 80, 96
Sovereignty of the seas ...25,26
Spain, flags of, i, 24, no, in, 112
Spelling, mediaeval liberty of 6, 22
Spenser, quotation from ... 36
Sphinx as a badge 62, 63
Spoon and fork on trade flag 7
Standard, nature of the ... 14
St. Andrew, cross of 4, 35, 42, 43,
45- 53- II6 .
Stars and bars, C.S.A. ...95, 96
Stars and stripes, U.S.A. ... 59
St. Denis, flag of 105
Stewart on tartans ... ... i
St. Gallen, flag of 116
St. George, cross of 4, 10, 14, 16,
35- 39. 4 r - 45. 4 8 - 53. 8 4- 8 7. * l6
St. Helena, badge of colony
Storm signals by flags ... 135
"Story of Thebes," quota-
tion from ,,. ... 12
St. Patrick, cross of 4, 51, 53,
Straits Settlement, device of 84
Streamer, variety of flag ...20, 21
Strictly confidential signals 133
Stuart, livery colours of
house of 21
Sun as a device 2,17
Swallow-tail flag, 14, 18, 93, no,
115, 116, 130
Swan, black, of Western
Sweden, flag of 115
Switzerland, flag of 116
Swynnerton, standard of Sir
Thomas de 16
Sydney, Sir Philip, funeral of 18
Sidney, Sir Philip, on war... 19
Symbols to express colours 74
Tartans, Scottish i
Tasmania, device of colony of 84
Telegraph Department, flag
Tessin, flag of Canton ... 117
Teutonic, armament of the ... 57
Teutonic order, cross of the 100
Texas, flag of the State of ... 95
Texel, flag of the port of ... 75
" The late unpleasantness " 96
"Theorike and Practike of
Modern Warres " ... 61
Third Dragoons 66
Thistle as a flag device ...42.82
Three-flag signals 137
Tiger of Korea 125
Titus, the arch of 2
Tobacco plant on flag ... 123
Torpedo practice flag ... 133
Trafalgar, Nelson's famous
signal 132, 133
Trajan's column, standards
Transport service, flag of
the 71, 104
Transvaal, flag of the ... 126
Trefoils as a device 41
Tressure of Scotland, the ...31, 32
Tricolor of France ... 40,108
Trinidad, badge of colony of 84
Trinity, banner of the ... 5, 6
Trowel on guild flag ... 6
Trumpet banners 12,20
Tudor flags 17
Tughra device, the ... 120, 121
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
Tunisian flags too
Turkey, flags of ... 24, 119, 120
Twenty-fourth regiment ... 62
Tyrol, flag of the 102
Union between England and
Union between Great Britain
and Ireland 50,52
Union flag, i, 4, 45, 47, 50, 54, 61
Union flag of Sweden and
Union Jack 47.48
Union Steamship Company's
United Italy 113
United States of America,
flag of ... 86,89,90.91
Universal code for signalling 28
Urgency flag signals .. 136
Uri, flag of Canton of ... 116
Uruguay, flag of 122
Utilisation of liners as
Valence, banner of Sir Aymer
Valkyrie, flag of the yacht ... 73
Variation in size a sign of
Venezuela, flag of 23, 122, 123
Venice, obsolete flags of ... 27
Versailles, palace of ... 97
Vessels spoken at sea 139, 140
Viceroy of India, flag of . . 65, 81
Victoria Cross 63
Victoria, flag of colony of ... 80
Victualling Department, flag
Virginia, settlement of ... 86
Virgin Mary on flag ... 6
Vocabulary signals 137
Voldermirz, arms of ... 102
Vowel flags objectionable 138, 139
Waldeck, flag of ._ ... 101
War cries 37
War songs 95, 98
Warriors' Chapel at Canter-
Washington, arms of ...91, 93
" Watch upon the Rhine"... 98
Waterloo, battle of 70
Weather signals ... 135, 137
Wellington, funeral of Duke
West Africa, device of ... 84
Western Australia, device of 84
Western Australia, gov-
ernor's flag 81
West Prussia, flag of ... 98
White cross of France ... 107
White elephant of Siam ... 125
White ensign . . . 40, 55 , 59 . 72
White horse of Hanover ...63, 66
White horse of Kent ... 36
White Star Line, house flag
Why called " Jack " ... 48
William III . . standard of ... 35
Wreath on flag ... 63, 66, 81
Wolf as a device 2
Wurtemburg, flag of ... 101
Yacht flags TOO, 138
Yellow flag, its significance, 24, 59
York, livery colours of house
INDEX TO COLOURED PLATES.
1 Banner of Sir John Botetourte.
2 Banner of Sir Ralph de Mont-
3 Banner of Sir Hugh Touches.
4 Banner of Sir William de
5 Banner of Sir Hugh Bardolph.
6 Banner of Sir John de Holder-
7 Banner of Sir Henri de Percy.
8 Banner of Sir Hugh de
9 Banner of Sir Aymer de
10 Banner of Sir John de Bar.
11 Banner of Sir William de
12 Percy Flag, Crescent Badge.
13 Arctic Sledge-flag, Expedition
14 The Percy Standard.
15 Standard of Sir Thomas de
16 Arctic Sledge-flag, Expedition
17 Banner of St. Edmund.
18 Banner of Simon deMontfort.
19 Banner of St. Edward.
20 Streamer, Tudor Fleur-de-Lys
21 Streamer, Tudor Portcullis
22 Standard of Henry VIII.
23 Streamer, Tudor Rose Badge,
24 Streamer, Tudor Red Dragon
25 Pendant of H.M.S. Lion.
26 Pendant of H.M.S. Tiger.
27 Pendant of Warship of 1520.
28 Guidon form of Flag.
29 Abnormal form of Pennon.
30 Lancer Pennon of present day.
31 Pennon, Royal Horse Artillery,
32 Flag from Early German Book.
33 Modification of Pennon form.
34 Flag of H.M.S. Niger. 1797.
35 Ecclesiastical Flag, MS. British
36 Burgee, the Ducal Shipping
37 Early form of Banner, MS.
38 Burgee.McIver's Shipping Line
39, 40, 41, 42 Examples from
Bayeux Tapestry. 4 illus.
43 The Royal Standard 'of King
44 The Royal Standard of Queen
45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 Illustra-
tions of perverted ingenuity
and crass ignorance, taken
from street decorations on
occasions of general rejoicing.
52, 53 Flags from early Spanish
Map in British Museum, 1502
54, 55 Early Portuguese Flags,
56 The Guinea Company.
57 East India Company.
58 Early form of Algerian Flag.
59 Russian- American Company.
60 Early English War Flag.
61 Heligoland Flag during British
62 The Flag of Savoy.
63 Flag of the Grand Seigneur,
64 Turkish Flag.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
65 Ship Flag, Reign of George I.
66 Early form of Red Ensign.
67 .London Train Bands : The
Blue Regiment, 1643.
68 London Train Bands: The
Yellow Regiment, 1643.
69 Flag of Warship, i6th Century.
70 Flag of H.M.S. Tiger.
71 St. George, and Tudor Livery
72 London Train Bands : The
Green Regiment, 1643.
73 Flag of Union of England and
74 Pendant of H.M.S. Lion, 1745.
75 Scottish Blue Ensign.
76 Scottish Red Ensign
77 Banner of St. Alban's Abbey.
78 Jack of Warship of the i6th
79 Suggested forms for Union
80 Early Union Flag, England
8 1 Commonwealth Flag, England
82 Commonwealth Flag, England
83 Standard of Cromwell.
84 Scotch suggestion for Union
85 Flag of Commonwealth.
86 Commonwealth Flag of Eng-
land and Ireland.
87 Early Form of Irish Flag, MS.
in British Museum.
88, 89 Suggested Forms for second
90 Union Flag of Great Britain
91 Cross of St. George of England.
92 Cross of St. Andrew of Scot-
93 Cross of St. Patrick of Ireland.
94 Regimental Colours : 24th of
the Line, the 2nd Warwick-
95 The W r hite Ensign, Man-of- War
96 The Blue Ensign .Naval Reserve
97 The Red Ensign, Merchant
98 Victualling Service.
99 Admiralty Flag.
100 Ranelagh Yacht Club.
101 Yare Yacht Club.
102 Royal Thames Yacht Club.
103 Dublin Bay Yacht Club.
104 Pilot Jack.
105 Board of Trade Flag.
106 Flag of Lord-Lieutenant of
107 Customs House Flag.
1 08 Ordnance Flag.
109 Green's Blackwall Line,
no Cunard Line, Liverpool.
in Peninsular and Oriental Com-
112 Australasian Naval Company.
113 Devitt & Moore, London.
114 Canadian Pacific Company.
115 Donald Currie & Co., London.
116 Union Steamship Company,
117 Mediterranean and New York
118 Houlder Brothers & Com-
119 White Star Line, Liverpool.
120 New Zealand Shipping Com-
121 Britannia i H.R.H. the Prince
122 Ailsa, A. B. Walker, Esq.
123 Valkyrie, The Earl of Dunraven
124 Hester, Major W. H. Gretton.
125 Dream, W. H. Jones, Esq.
126 Car ina, Admiral Montague.
127 Cape Colony, Government.
128 Queensland, Government.
129 Canada, Commercial.
130 Canada, Government.
131 Badge of Straits Settlements.
132 Badge of British North Borneo
133 Badge of Tasmania.
134 Victoria, Commercial.
135 Victoria, Government.
136 Badge of New Zealand.
THE FLAGS OF THE WORLD.
PLATE X\\\. -continued.
137 Badge of Fiji.
138 Badge of New South Wales.
139 Flag of Viceroy of India.
140 Portion of Pendant, Govern-
ment Colonial vessels.
141 Governors' Flag, West Aus-
142 American Insurgent Flag, 1775
143 Admiral's Flag, U.S. Navy.
144 Flag used at Bunker's Hill.
145 American Pine-tree Flag.
146 The Stars and Stripes of the
148 Massachusetts Flag, 1775.
149 Pine-tree and Stripes.
150 Early American Flag,
151 Portion of Pendant.U.S. Navy.
152 Confederate States of America
153 Confederate, the Southern
154 Southern Cross, modified.
155 South Carolina State Flag,
156 Louisiana State Flag.
157 Chili, portion of Pendant.
158 South Carolina, 1775.
159 South Carolina State Flag,
1 60 Texas State Flag.
161 Chili, Commercial.
162 Guatemala, Flag of 1851.
163 Gautemala, Flag of 1858.
164 Colombia (formerly New
165 Uruguay, General Service.
1 66 Guatemala, Government.
167 Costa Rica, Commercial.
168 Paraguay, Government.
169 Brazil, General Service.
170 Venezuela, Commercial.
171 Bolivia, Commercial.
172 Mexico, Government.
173 Portion of Pendant, Brazil.
174 Peru, Government.
175 San Sal vador.General Service.
176 Argentine, Government.
177 Ecuador, Government.
178 Hayti, Commercial.
Jgj Early French forms of Flag
182 Soissonois Flag.
183 Bourbon Flag.
184 Standard of Charles VI
185 Standard, French.
186 Man-of-War Pendant.
187 Standard, French.
188 Flag of French Guards, 1563
189 Flag of Republic, France.
190 Tricolor of 1790.
191 Modern French Tricolor.
192 Spain, War.
193 Spain, Commercial.
194 Royal Standard of Spain.
195 Portugal, Royal Standard.
196 Portugal, General Service.
197 Italy, Commercial.
198 Papal Merchant (obsolete).
201 Saxe Weimar.
205 Mecklenburg Strelitz.
207 German Empire, War Ensign.
208 German Empire, Jack.
210 Schomberg Lippe.
211 West Prussia.
213 Austria, Government.
214 Austro - Hungarian, Com
215 Russian Jack.
217 Russian Man-of-War.
218 Russia, Commercial.
219 Early Form of Russian Ensign
220 Russia, Consul General.
221 Russia, Charge d'Affaires.
222 Russia, Ambassador or
223 Russia, Transport Service.
224 Danish Man-of-War.
225 Danish, Commercial.
THE FLAGS OF TrfE WOkLD.
226 Russian Imperial Standard.
227 Swedish, Commercial.
228 Norwegian Man-of-War.
229 Union Flag of Sweden and
230 Flag of Norway.
231 Flag of Sweden.
233 Greece, Commercial Flag.
234 Italian Jack.
235 Turkey. Commercial.
236 Belgium, Commercial.
237 Holland, Royal Standard.
238 Turkey, Standard.
239 Turkey, Government.
240 Tunis, Government.
244 Japanese Ensign.
245 Japanese Imperial Standard.
246 Japanese Transport Flag.
247 Chinese Merchant Flag.
248 Japanese Guard Flag.
249 Orange Free State.
251 Congo State.
252 Rajah of Sarawak.
253 South African Republic.
254 to 267 Fourteen Flags from the
Signal Code of the Royal
268 Special Flag of the Coast
269 to 278 Code of Sir Hope Pop-
ham, used by Nelson at
Trafalgar, &c. 10 illus.
279 to 286 Special Battle Signals,
code suggested in 1 788. 8 illus.
287 to 296 Numerical Code. Sig-
nal Code of 1788. 10 illus.
297 to 306 Pilot Signals of various
Nationalities. 10 illus.
307 to 324 The Flags of the Inter-
national Code. 1 8 illus.
325 The Signal-hoist for the Eddy-
stone Lighthouse, B.D.T.F.
326 Code-signal for the Port of
327 Code-signal of SS. Germanic,
328 Code-signal of the Hesperus,
329 Code-signal of H.M.S. De-
330 "Do you wish to be reported?"
331 " All safe !" V.K.C.
332 " Report me to Lloyd's
333 "Do you want assistance?"
334 " Has any accident hap-
pened ? " B.G.H.
335 to 339 Signal Flags of SS.
Australia, Arcadia, Massilia,
Victoria, Bengal. (Are all
Vessels in the P. & O.)
340 to 344 Signal Flags of SS.
Oroya, Orient, Ophir, Orotava,
Ormuz. (Are all Vessels of
the Orient Line.)
345 to 349 Signal Flags of SS.
La Touraine, Lafayette, Ville-
de-Tanger, Amerique, Saint-
Germain. (Are all Vessels of
the Compagnie Generale
350 to 354 Flag-signals of some of
the numerous Victorias on the
355 to 359 Flag-signals of some of
the numerous Australias on
the Shipping List.
360 to 364 Flag-signals of some of
the numerous Britannias on
the Shipping List.
The Botolph Printing Works, Crosskey Square, Little Britain, E.G.
THAT HAVE GONE
288 289 1
d : j ;
298 299 300 301
L" J U
A 000 034 950 6