On 21st October 1891 Naval Ordnance, which was still part of the War Office
Ordnance Department, was made into a separate Naval Ordnance Department.
Proposals for the badge on the Naval Ordnance Blue Ensign were:
The same badge as War Office Ordnance with red border removed, blue balls
on white, blue cannon on red (see below)
War Office Ordnance badge with a yellow rope border replacing the red one,
and a vertical yellow foul anchor above the shield.
War Office Ordnance badge, with, in lower hoist canton, a crown above a
vertical yellow foul anchor.
As 2 but with anchor in lower hoist instead of above the shield.
Some thought it unnecessary to introduce another flag, and contended that all
employed by Admiralty Dockyards and Victualling Yards should fly the same flag.
DAS (Director Armament Supply ?) was in favour of a special flag and his view
Proposal 4 was chosen and inserted into the Admiralty Flag Book 1889 edition as
for vessels belonging to Naval Ordnance Department, Admiralty' [Errata 3, 28th
The use on a flag, of a foul anchor, rather than a plain anchor, was unusual.
Perrin, who wrote "British Flags", was Admiralty Librarian at the time. He
the difference in pattern was probably accidental; the anchor perhaps having
from the Admiralty Seal. The plain anchor on the Blue Ensign of the Royal Fleet
Auxiliary Service was a survival from the Board of Transport badge that owed its
to the fact that it was an off-shoot of the Navy Board, in whose badge the
In 1922 the title of the flag was changed to 'Ensign for Naval Armament Vessels.
Supply Department, Admiralty)' [Errata 5, NL14220/21]. In the same year it was
that the ensign was not necessary and would be replaced by the Royal Fleet
Ensign as existing stocks were exhausted.
This had been opposed by DAS who thought that Naval Armament virtually
self-contained service, and that in terms of esprit-de-corps, anything which
would tend to
destroy the individuality of the service was to be deprecated. David Prothero, 24 September 2004