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Hellenic Coast Guard (Greece)

Λιμενικό Σώμα

Last modified: 2023-07-15 by randy young
Keywords: greece | hellenic coast guard | cross (white) | anchors: 2 (yellow) |
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[Flag of Hellenic Coast Guard]
image by Arnaud Leroy, 7 June 2008

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Presentation of the Hellenic Coast Guard

The Hellenic Cost Guard (Λιμενικό Σώμα; Limeniko Soma, L.S.; lit. "Ports Corps") is an agency of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine. Among its numerous tasks are the policy enforcement in a globalized economy system, the establishiment a national maritime policy for ports management, the protection of sea boundaries and the elimination of terrorism, the control of navigation and seaworthiness, and the protection of marine environment protection.

Following a long maritime tradition maintained under the Ottoman rule, the first Mercantile Marine Organization was set up in 1828 by the Secretariat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mercantile Marine, and completed by Royal Decrees "On port authorities organization" (4 January 1834) and "On mercantile marine police supervision." In 1861, the Ministry of Seafarers established five central Port Authorities, eight Port Authorities, 10 Sub Port Authorities, and 15 Ports' Superintendence.

In 1910 was established the Mercantile Marine Division, indeed the first rudimentary Coast Guard organization manning the Ministry of Seafarers. The Hellenic Coast Guard, however, owes much to the Navy Chief-Quartermaster Georgios Sakalis, who presented in 1915 to the government of Eleftherios Venizelos the plan of an independent service responsible for the Merchant Marine. The Hellenic Coast Guard was eventually set up in 1919. The organization of the agency as we today know it started after 1925, when the General Merchant Marine Division was reestablished in the Ministry of Seafarers. Law 345/1936 established in 1936 the Undersecretary of Mercantile Marine, ensuring the autonomy of the Hellenic Coast Guard.
Ivan Sache, 7 June 2008
Source: Ministry of Mercantile Marine - Historical Background (English version)

Flag of the Hellenic Coast Guard

The flag of the Hellenic Coast Guard is similar to the Greek national flag, but with two yellow anchors crossed per saltire placed in the middle of the canton. The flag is shown on the Ministry of Mercantile Marine website; unfortunately there is no English counterpart of the Greek page, which seems to indicate that the flag was adopted on 21 March 1964. The flag photographied on the website has a golden fringe, not shown on the attached image.
Arnaud Leroy and Ivan Sache, 7 June 2008