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France: Naval flags

Last modified: 2021-07-04 by ivan sache
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Naval ensign and jack

Naval ensign and jack

French naval ensign and jack - Image by Željko Heimer, 22 September 2001

The proportions of vertical stripes on the French flag when used at sea as the civil or naval ensign or jack are 30:33:37, to give a good visual effect when flying; they are therefore called "optical proportions".

Željko Heimer, 23 September 1995

The Tricolore ensign was adopted by a Decree dated 27 Pluviose of the Year II (15 February 1794) and by a Decree dated 7 March 1848. The proportions 30:33:37 were decided by a Regulation dated 17 May 1853. This Regulation gives the precise sizes, in metres and centimetres, of the standard legal ensigns, numbered from 1 (9 m x 13.5 m) to 16 (50 cm x 75 cm).

Armand du Payrat & Pierre Gay, 24 September 1998

Masthead pennant

[Masthead pennant]

French masthead pennant - Image by Željko Heimer, 23 September 2001

The masthead pendant in its present form (replacing the interim design adopted on 24 October 1790), was established by Article IV of a Decree of the National Convention dated 27 Pluviose of the Year II (15 February 1794).
The Decree gave the construction details of "one-fifth blue, one-fifth white and three-fifths red", while the table of standard sizes were confirmed by Naval Regulations issued in April 1987.

Christopher Southworth, 1 August 2004

Album des Pavillons [pay00] shows the masthead pennant as a triangular tricolour pennant, proportion 1:20~ or 1:(4+4+12)~)
Flaggenbuch [neu92] gives the following table for the size (in cm) of the pennant:

Length	100  150  200  300  500  700  1000  1200  1600  2000
Width     5    5    8    8   10   10    12    12    15    15

Ivan Sache, 30 September 2001