About the RANSA Burgee

Naval Crown
Naval Crown

About the RANSA Burgee

The RANSA Burgee comprises a St George Cross superimposed by a naval crown.

The Naval Crown

The Naval Crown is an ancient emblem, a somewhat similar design composed of the beaks and sterns of galleys having been in use by the Romans. Modified to represent the sterns and sails of a man-of-war, it has appeared in heraldry throughout Europe, and was often granted as a crest-coronet or charge to naval officers of distinction, of whom Nelson is the most obvious example. The earliest official association of the Naval Crown with the Royal Navy may have been its inclusion in the arms of Greenwich Hospital. Certainly by the beginning of the twentieth century it was in use in a variety of contexts, and was regularly incorporated into the stonework of Admiralty buildings.

A standard pattern of the design was adopted by the Admiralty in 1903, drawn up by Everard Green, then Rouge Dragon at the College of Arms. In 1918, a slightly different version was included as part of the special uniform of the Mercantile Marine, by agreement between the Admiralty and the Board of Trade that this should not involve its severance from its Naval associations. The official badges which came into use for warships from 1919 onwards have always been ensigned by the Naval Crown, although of a slightly different design to the 1903 version, and it is this which is now generally recognised as the standard version for most purposes. A further revision was produced in 1922 specifically for use on buildings, but never became widely adopted in other contexts. The unofficial but widespread recognition of the Naval Crown as the badge of the Royal Navy had been formalised by 1949, when the following statement was made in B.R. 1796, The Seaman's Manual of Ceremonial:- "The Badge of the Royal Navy is the Naval Crown which consists of a circlet surmounted by four sterns of men of war, each with three poop lanterns, and four square sails each spread on a mast and yard, fully fitted and sheeted home; the ships and sails being positioned alternately. This badge or the Royal Crown is often displayed on the trucks of the Ensign and Jack Staffs."

When depicted as part of a ship's badge, the Naval Crown is often left uncoloured or simply shaded to indicate its form. However, it is conceived as a crown made throughout of gold, the circlet being set with gems. When shown in colour, it is therefore never correct to show the sails and pennants as white or of any colour other than gold; although this mistake is frequently made, even on the screen badges of HM ships. The central jewel in the circlet is a ruby, which is flanked by emeralds and then by sapphires, with a pair of pearls between each pair of jewels.

Use of the Naval Crown in the Royal Navy has been somewhat eclipsed in recent years by the adoption of a logo incorporating the White Ensign above the words 'Royal Navy', but it nevertheless remains the official badge of the Royal Navy and in widespread use.

    Source:     http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.3651 (Accessed: 29 January 2007)


St George Cross

The St George's Cross is a red cross on a white background. It is believed to have been adopted for the uniform of English soldiers during the Crusades of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries. From about 1277 it officially became the national flag of England.

Saint George is the patron saint of England and various other countries and regions. After the union of England with Scotland a combined British flag was created in 1606, initially for maritime display; however, the flag of England (as opposed to the United Kingdom) remains St George's Cross, and continues to be used when showing allegiance to England alone.

The flag of St George is also the rank flag of an Admiral in the Royal Navy, and civilian craft are forbidden to fly it. However, ships which took part in the rescue operation at Dunkirk during World War II are allowed to fly it as a jack.

    Source:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George's_Cross (Accessed: 29 January 2007)


Other Links
  The Burgee & Flag Etiquette
  History of the Ensign

St George Cross - The Flag of England

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