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Explorers Club

Last modified: 2001-11-23 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Explorers Club] by Joe Mcmillan

Some time ago an apparent French flag was noted in a picture of Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki. I wonder if the flag on Kon Tiki wasn't the flag of the Explorer's Club of New York, of which Heyerdahl is a prominent member. The flag is a diagonal red-white-blue tricolor with a red compass rose on the center and stylized letters "E" and "C" above and below it, also in red. I found several indications in various sites that the club flag was indeed flown on the expedition.

According to its website, the Explorers Club was founded in 1904-05 by survivors of F. A. Cook's 1894 Arctic expedition aboard the Miranda. The club lends numbered copies of the club flag to its members to fly on noncommercial expeditions or field research intended to collect scientific data on remote areas of the world. The members must return the flags to the club upon conclusion of the expedition. The website has several years' accounts of these "flag expeditions." The picture of the flag is in several locations on the site including

The flag is a registered trademark of the Explorers Club. Another version with yellow field, letters, and symbols, and a black diagonal band can be found on the site of the Golden Gate (San Francisco) chapter of the club and is apparently that chapter's flag.

Joe Mcmillan, 27 February 2001

It seems that L. Ron Hubbard, the guru of the Church of Scientology, did expeditions under the flag of the Explorers Club. A page on the Scientology site shows a fuzzy flying image of the flag.

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2001

What are the correct shades of The Explorers Club flag?  Judging by the Club's web site, Joe McMillan's rendition possibly uses too dark a blue; I suspect the Union Jack's blue (RGB 0, 35, 119) and red (RGB 193, 18, 31) should be used instead.

Daniel Thibault, 11 October 2001

I have no special information on the shades used by the club itself. My image is in the nearest FOTW-standard approximations to the colors Daniel cites, RGB 0:0:102 (B+++) and 204:0:0 (R+). It is probably more likely that US flag-makers would use Old Glory red and Old Glory blue (the government specified shades for the US flag) than UJ red 
and blue, but in any case I believe discussions on the list have concluded that B+++ and R+ are the right BS colors for both the S&S and the UJ. 

Joe McMillan, 11 October 2001

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