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European Union 'civil ensigns'

Last modified: 2002-12-07 by ivan sache
Keywords: european union | civil ensign | stars: 12 (yellow) | canton: belgium | canton: italy | canton: netherlands |
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It has became more and more common to see ships hoisting what could be called a 'European civil ensign', made of the European Union flag with the national flag of one of the member countries in canton.
These 'civil ensigns' have had until now no official status and should not replace the national civil ensign.

They have been reported for Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Ivan Sache, 17 January 2001

Legal status

The European 'civil ensign' must not be used alone on any ship! It can be used for decoration, but it is not advisable to substitute it for the ensign.
An ensign of a ship not only shows the nationality, but also shows where the ship is insured! If an owner replaces the ensign by a European 'ensign' he will loose all insurance for his ship.
That is fact in Germany, and I think it might be elsewhere. I received that information from a ship insurance company.

Ralf Stelter (Archiv für Flaggenkunde), 7 January 2001

European 'civil ensign': Belgium

Belgian pleasure boats often hoist the 'European' civil ensign, made of the European Union ensign with the Belgian civil ensign in canton, with a white fimbriation.

[European civil ensign]by Ivan Sache

There is a variation, the ring of stars being sometimes centered on the whole field, and sometimes centered on the main field (excluding the canton), with a different aesthetical result.

[European civil ensign 2]by Ivan Sache

Ivan Sache, 29 July 1999

European 'civil ensign': Italy

[Italian European 'civil ensign'by António Martins

European 'civil ensign': The Netherlands

[Dutch European 'civil ensign']by Jarig Bakker & António Martins