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Junior Thames Yacht Club, England

Last modified: 2019-11-11 by rob raeside
Keywords: junior thames yacht club |
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[Junior Thames Yacht Club] image by Clay Moss, 17 February 2015
based on image located by David Prothero, 16 February 2015

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Description of the flag

This flag seems rather unlikely, but it is shown in ‘Flags and Signals of All Nations’ c1873, by Hounsell Brothers; White Ensign with blue cross. White burgee: blue cross.
David Prothero, 16 February 2015

It is unlikely to have been authorised as a special ensign, or permitted as a private flag on a vessel, which makes its appearance in a flag book which has ‘By authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty’ on the cover, rather surprising.

By 1842 warrants had been issued to yacht clubs for, one White Ensign, six defaced White Ensigns, one white ensign with no overall cross, one Red Ensign defaced on the Union and two plain Blue Ensigns. On 22 July 1842 the Secretary to the Admiralty wrote to each club with a defaced White Ensign.

“My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having, by their order of the 6th June 1829, granted permission to the Royal Yacht Squadron, as having been the first recognised club, and enjoying sundry privileges, to wear the White St. George’s ensign and other distinctions, that their vessels might be generally known, and particularly in Foreign ports, and much inconvenience having arisen in consequence of other Yacht Clubs having been allowed by this Board to wear somewhat similar colours, my Lords have cancelled the warrant enabling the ........ Yacht Club to wear the white ensign, and have directed me to send you herewith a warrant authorising the vessels belonging to the club to wear the blue ensign of Her Majesty’s fleet, with the distinguishing marks of the club, as hitherto worn on the white ensign; and as it is an ensign not allowed to be worn by merchant vessels, my Lords trust that it will be equally acceptable to the members of the club.”

A white ensign with a blue overall cross would come into the category of ‘somewhat similar colours’ ?
David Prothero, 18 February 2015

EBid lists this: "Antique Print of 1875 Opening Cruise Junior Thames Yacht Club Greenhithe Boats" (, and the design is plain to see. In black and white it doesn't seem to vary from the White Ensign, but that wouldn't matter on the water. The only relevant text is in the second column, below the picture (to save everybody the hunt for that little bit of information):

However, Dicken's, 1885, ten years later, has:
"Junior Thames Yacht Club, White Hart Hotel, Greenhithe, and Royal Oak Hotel, Ramsgate. — The object of the club is the encouragement of practical amateur yachtsmen. ... Burgee, white, with blue cross running through. Ensign red."

It would seem the Hounsell Brothers were correct in the 1870s, yet at some point the Admiralty apparently saw it your way.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 8 May 2015


[Junior Thames Yacht Club] image by Clay Moss, 17 February 2015
based on image located by David Prothero, 16 February 2015


The (German) Flaggenbuch 1905 states that the red ensign is used without badge (i.e. undefaced) by different yacht clubs based on a warrant and lists this yacht club as using the red ensign.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 October 2019