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Ensigns and Other Naval Flags (Malta)

Last modified: 2003-07-18 by santiago dotor
Keywords: malta | george cross | cross: maltese (white) | maltese cross (white) |
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Civil Ensign

[Civil Ensign (Malta)] 2:3
by Zeljko Heimer
Flag adopted 12th November 1965

It is a red flag with a small white border and a large white Maltese cross.

Mark Sensen, 8 November 1995
Jan Zrzavy, 16 January 1998

According to Barraclough and Crampton 1981, p. 129:

A Merchant Ensign was adopted on 12 November 1965, the design of which is based on the flag of the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, i.e. a red field with the Maltese Cross in white in the centre. In this however there is also a white border around all four sides of the flag.

Santiago Dotor, 2 February 2000

The cross on the flag is known by several names, including the Maltese cross, the St John cross and the 8-pointed cross. It has some similarity to 4 arrowheads, in fact this is what it is thought to have originally been when it was the badge of the Republic of Amalfi. When the Order of St John was formed during the Crusades with the support of Amalfi, they also took it as their badge, and since the Order's occupation of Malta, it has also been known as the Maltese Cross.

Jonathan Dixon, 14 June 2000

From the Maltese Government Official Website:

The Merchant Flag of Malta introduced by the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 234) consists of a red field bordered in white, with a white Maltese Cross at its centre. (...) Maltese civilian vessels shall fly the Merchant Flag of Malta as their ensign.
See also the flag of the Order of Saint Stephen (mistakenly reported as a Maltese flag in old charts).

Santiago Dotor, 28 November 2000

The Maritime [i.e. civil] ensign is the same flag as that flown by the Knights of the Order of Saint John in Malta up to 1798 —this was a red field, with a white eight pointed Maltese cross in the centre— to which a white border has been added. All Maltese registered vessels fly this flag as an ensign.

Adrian Strickland, 30 November 2000

War Ensign

[Malta] 2:3
by António Martins

The patrol ships anchored at Floriana Marina (the only naval ships I saw [in November 2000]) flew the national flag as their ensign, not the civil ensign. They also flew the naval jack from the jackstaff.

Norman Martin, 26 November 2000

From the Maltese Government Official Website:

Maltese military vessels shall fly the National Flag of Malta as their ensign.

Santiago Dotor, 28 November 2000

Naval vessels use the national flag as their ensign.

Adrian Strickland, 30 November 2000


[Jack (Malta)]
from the Maltese Government Official Website

From the Maltese Government Official Website:

Maltese military vessels may fly a jack which shall be a square flag, consisting of a George Cross proper fimbriated in red in the centre of a white square, within a red square. Each corner of the red square shall contain a white Maltese Cross.

Strickland 1992 shows the George Cross in the jack with the inscription (For Gallantry) and the figure of St. George at the center, and that indeed is what I think I saw [in November 2000].

Norman Martin, 28 November 2000

Strangely enough, the above mentioned Maltese Government Official Website does show what appear to be the said inscription and figure on the George Cross appearing on the national flag but not on those appearing either on the jack or on the air force fin flash, even though these images are larger and would allow for more detail.

Santiago Dotor, 28 November 2000

On the Malta Department of Information booklet Struzzjonijiet Dwar L-uzu ta'bnadar ("Instructions on the Use of Flags") dated 1992, both the jack and the aircraft markings have that 'For Gallantry' inscription.

Armand Noel du Payrat, 28 November 2000