Last modified: 2021-08-25 by christopher oehler
Keywords: house flag | shipping: sweden | stena line | actie concordia | sessan line | göteborg - fredrikshavn linje |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
Stena A/B dates from 1963 when Sten A. Olsson Handels A/B, formed in 1953, changed its name.
The Olsson flag was yellow with a blue circle bearing a yellow delta style triangle throughout with in the 3 blue areas resulting the respective yellow letters "SAO" which were either erect or angled in the case of the "S" and "A". The first version comes from US Navy 1961  and Stewart 1963  and the second version from the Collectors Corner cap badge.
The rename was based on the first name and the initial. Olsson was a family concern which went public in 1987-88 when around half the shares were placed on the market, but in 2001 the family bought these back and it is once again a private family setup which operates what is known as Stena Sphere through 3 parent companies of Stena Metall A/B, Stena A/B and Stena Sessan A/B. The first handles the metal trading interests, the second the main shipping interests and the third other interests such as finance and real estate etc.
The shape of the "S" varies with sources from a rounded version to a block or to a more angular style. Unless there have been experiments over time the correct style seems to be a combination of the rounded and angular.
There are several Stena websites and what appear to be flag logos would in fact seem to be misleading. The main one shown is the first flag (on the left) of the red with blue and white bands top and bottom, having a white border. The border would appear to be merely an outline for the flag to define it from the black background on which it is shown. A second version has blue diagonal dashes on the red which presumably are meant to represent a flapping flag.
The first flag with the blue and white bands top and bottom should have these bands being of equal width which is based on the flag flown by Stena Vision shown on the Concordia Maritime website, a flag logo designated on the Stena subsidiary Northern Marine Management Ltd. website and the table flag on the Josef Nüsse website.
The second flag with a narrow white border is, I presume, based on my earlier comments of the cap badge in Collectors Corner. As such it should have a ship bow view on a wavy line though the colours are somewhat uncertain in that a yellow edging or outline is given to the flag, red field, "S" and ship whilst the wavy line of sea is shown as yellow. I suspect that this yellow is merely some ornate decoration for the badge and should, for possible flag purposes, be white i.e. if the ship and wave are added in white to Jarig's image then we have a possible flag based on the cap badge, which is shown as Type III.
The third flag from Haws showing the broad red horizontal band bearing a white "S" with narrow white bands chief and base does appear to have existed - see comments below for P&O Stena.
The fourth flag showing the bow view of a ship over a wavy line of sea is from Brown 1995  and not correct. The correct rendering can be seen from the Nüsse  table flag and a photo does appear on the website Stenna Sessen Kontakpersoner page [you have to keep clicking the "Kontakt" link back and forth as they have a series of views which come up] which shows that the ship sits on the wavy line which continues right through the "S", not breaking on either side [see s996] and it is easily missed seeing, especially at a distance. This version would, on the face of it, be the logical one associated with the Stena shipping activities and it fits with the funnel design. The fact that version 1 is also known to have been flown by a at least one ship could mean that both flags are available for use or maybe there is no strict ruling or enforcing thereof.
In 1990 Stena acquired Sealink British Ferries and ran it as Sealink Stena Line retaining their blue flag with what I have taken to be the gold outline of a bollard [see s487] but is given by Haws in "Merchant Fleets 24" as being called the "galloping maggot". At some stage they appear to have been replaced by the Stena colours, possibly in the 1995 name change to Stena Line Ltd.
In 1998 Stena began a joint venture with P&O under P&O Stena Ship Management Ltd. having a 40% share which they sold out to P&O in 2002. For the duration of this there was a blue flag on which fluttered their respective flags [see p200] with it being noteworthy that the Stena version is No. 3, i.e. only the "S" no ship and wave.
In 1984 Concordia Maritime A/B of Göteburg was formed and is the
tanker division of Stena who own 50% through Stena Sessan A/B. The
ships themselves wear Stena colours but the company has its own flag,
shown by Nüsse,
of red with a narrow white band chief and base and the
white letters "C" [upper fly] and "M" [lower fly] with the letters
joining and over the base of the "C" a narrow horizontal white on
which sails the white profile of a tanker [see 298a].
Brown's Flags depiction
image by Jarig Bakker, 19 January 2005
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, 1926 
Gothenburg - burgee divided vertically blue - red;
on blue yellow crescent enclosing white 5-pointed star.
Jarig Bakker, 19 January 2005
Although this source shows a decrescent others show it as the letter "C" with the best guide being the cap badge to be found on Telia.com. The company itself dates from 1888 and was originally operated by Justus A. Waller who was succeeded by Per Waller and then in the 1950s Birtel Magnusson took over ceasing operations in the late 1960s. Brown 1958 shows a white "C" instead of yellow but this appears to be a printing error.
In the late 1970s the company revived and then came under Stena Line who renamed it Stena Rederi A/B in 1987. I would think that it probably used Stena colours from this point.
image contributed by Neale Rosanoski, 27 February 2006
As well as this company there was also Rederi A/B Castella, formed in
1931, which appears to have also used the flag and various sources
show the livery under the different names. However another company,
Rederi A/B Unda which was formed in 1902 and is shown as being
operated by Per Waller by Talbot-Booth had a separate flag of diagonal
quarters of red (upper), green (lower) and white (hoist and fly) with
a blue "U" in the hoist. Talbot-Booth shows
this in his 1937 [7a] and 1938 books but later appears to indicate it using
the "Concordia" flag.
Neale Rosanoski, 27 February 2006
Sessan line flag
image by Jarig Bakker, 8 August 2005
One stripe of the saltire changed color; lighter
Jarig Bakker, 8 August 2005
The first version is also shown by Talbot-Booth  and Brown editions but there are slight differences in the cap badge shown on the Collectors Corner website which has the central diamond edged gold with the letters the same shade which is darker than the bright yellow shown for the edging of the diagonal band, and also the two outer letters "G" and "L" are shown with their outer edges angled in line with sides of the diamond. As far as the second flag is concerned I have not found any supporting evidence for its existence and wonder, in view of the unclear aspect of the source images, whether it is just a misprinting with the main purpose being to show the difference in funnel markings where the flag has been added as a panel.
The official company appears to have been Rederi A/B
Göteborg-Frederikshavn who are shown by Lloyds as owners right through
until 1988 when the last vessel was transferred to Stena A/B
(who had acquired the company in 1981) as the Stena Saga. The title of Sessanlinjen was only the trading name but it does appear that at the
end the last vessel "Kronprinsessan Victoria", which was only briefly
in their service from building in 1980, really adopted the Sessan
brand and going by the cap badge in Collectors Corner there was a blue
flag bearing a gold mermaid though the colour of the lady is a bit doubtful in that a postcard of the funnel
shows what appears to be a white figure and I would normally expect
both funnel and flag to use the same. The logo is shown on the same
site source given for the flags and there it is white with blue
outlining and shades. Whatever the colours, they did not last long,
being replaced in 1982 by those of Stena.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 May 2006
image by Jarig Bakker, 12 January 2006
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World 
Varberg - blue tapering burgee, yellow lion.
Jarig Bakker, 12 January 2006
This flag is very close of that of
Dominique Cureau, 13 January 2006
Another artistic rendition is shown at
telia.com. If I
understand the accompanying text correctly, the firm was a
Stena subsidiary which was incorporated into
the mother firm on 1 December 1997.
Jan Mertens, 13 January 2006
The company was formed in 1959 being taken over by
Stena Line A/B in 1982 but the name continued until 1985 though in
1995 Stena developed another Lion Line for the Karlskrona-Gdynia run
but in 1998 [according to Lloyds] the Lion Ferry name was abolished
with everything coming under the Stena brand. Lion Ferry A/B was a
wide spread operation and included services between USA and Canada as
well as throughout Europe where it was also involved in the Prins
Line. Different liveries were used for the various services and an
ordinary swallowtailed version [see top left] was used for
the North American and Prins Line ventures. The version mentioned by
Jan has a black lion facing the fly [see left, second from top] as has
not been found mentioned anywhere else. However a change does seem to
have occurred with
showing a tapered blue swallowtail with
the yellow lion facing the fly but positioned more salient [see
left, second from bottom] but I have a photo [undated] of the "Lion
Queen" with a flag showing the lion facing the fly but with front legs
less raised as originally shown [see bottom left]. The flag
actually looks to be rectangular but that painted on the funnel is
definitely forked so the discrepancy is probably due to flapping.
Karlskrona is a town in southeast Sweden, Gdynia a town in northern Poland.
|images contributed by Neale Rosanoski, 6 June 2006|
See also: Bonnier Rederierna
image by Jarig Bakker, 12 August 2005
adapted by António Martins-Tuválkin, 23 April 2006
Scandlines, a company operating several ferry lines in the Baltic and North
Sea. Its house flag features the company logo, three parallelograms blue, red
and yellow, forming a triangle pointing down. The background was usually
white, both in real flags on board and at the Swedish side (and also on logos
in brochures and inside the ferries), but at the Helsingør harbour I spotted
a row of some four or five flag poles flying the same flag but with a dark
António Martins-Tuvalkin, 21 October 1999
There are several companies using the "Scandlines" name, the
Swedish one being Scandlines A/B renamed 1997 from SweFerry A/B. The flag may
also be used by Scandlines A.G. which is a Danish/German amalgamation formed
in 1996.A point though on the dark blue flag also seen in that if the field is
that colour then the dark blue of the logo would not stand out. On the black
funnel the logo blue appears to be a lighter shade which would then enable it
to appear on a dark blue flag field.
Neale Rosanoski, 5 August 2003
An initial cooperation between the state ferry lines of
Sweden, Denmark and Germany led to Scandlines. Apparently it began as
a trade name after the Swedish company Scandinavian Ferry Lines A/B
was reformed as SweFerry A/B with a new livery which included the flag
taken from the kommandobryggan website with the yellow-blue-red
[reading clockwise] triangle. This is shown on a postcard [?] on the
site showing the name as ScandLines [sic]. Use of the flag is also
confirmed from a 1994 photo of one of the SweFerry vessels. In 1996 it
also formed a joint venture with the Danish Government ferry company
DSB Ferries as Scandlines A/S based in Denmark which was the first
actual company of the name. Then in 1997 the Swedish company changed
its name to Scandlines A/B and 2 years later became a subsidiary of
Stena Line. In the meantime the ownership of Scandlines A/S became
shared between the German and Danish Governments and in 1998 Scandline
A.G was set up in Germany as the parent company. The Scandline service
of today is thus operated by two separate companies but shares a
common livery which at some point has seen the flag triangle switch to
a red-blue-yellow order as given by Jarig. That this logo is common
can be seen both by its appearance on the websites for both companies
and also on the ship funnels. According to the Scandlines A.G website
the colours represent Denmark, Sweden and Germany respectively.
Possibly the new arrangement is based on their geographical
relationship. A good shot of the actual current flag can be seen at