World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

State ensign

Article Id: WHEBN0007867100
Reproduction Date:

Title: State ensign  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Brazilian flags, List of Chilean flags, List of Spanish flags, List of Italian flags
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

State ensign

For other uses, see Ensign (disambiguation).

An ensign is a national flag when used at sea, in vexillology, or a distinguishing token, emblem, or badge, such as a symbol of office in heraldry. The word has also given rise to the military rank of "ensign", a rank of junior officer[1] once responsible for bearing the ensign.

National ensigns

In nautical use, the ensign is flown at the stern of a ship or boat to indicate its nationality.[2] Ensigns are usually flown from the stern flagpole of a ship, and may be shifted to a gaff (provided the ship is so equipped) when the ship is under way, where the ensign is known as a steaming ensign. Vexillologists distinguish three varieties of a national flag when used as an ensign:

  • A ) is worn by merchant and pleasure vessels. In some countries the yacht ensign, used on recreational boats or ships instead of merchant vessels, differs from the civil ensign.
  • A coast guard ships.
  • A naval ensign (usage symbol

Many countries do not distinguish between these uses, and employ only one national flag and ensign in all cases. Others (like the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan) use different ensigns. Such ensigns are strictly regulated and indicate if the boat is a warship, a merchant vessel or a yacht, for example.

If a warship goes into battle, large versions of naval ensigns (called battle ensigns) are used.

Several Commonwealth countries' national flags had their origin in the ensigns of their original colonising power, the United Kingdom. Most notable of these national flags are those of Australia, New Zealand, and several smaller island nations, though it is also very likely that the original design from which the flag of the United States developed was strongly influenced by the British Red Ensign or the flag of the (British controlled) East India Company. In countries such as Australia and New Zealand which have national flags based on the design of British ensigns, the national flag is often (erroneously) referred to as the national ensign.

Heraldic ensigns

In heraldry, an ensign is the ornament or sign, such as the crown, coronet, or mitre, borne above the charge or arms.

Air ensigns

With the creation of independent air forces and the growth in civil aviation in the first half of the 20th century, a range of distinguishing flags and ensigns were adopted. Such ensigns may be divided into air force ensigns (such as the Royal Air Force Ensign) and civil air ensigns. Air ensigns are often light blue in colour.[4]

Notes

References

Gallery

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.