Last modified: 2001-12-21 by rob raeside
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OK, let me put forth a question. Just for fun! Vex people think that it is perfectly OK for a country, lets say the United Kingdom, to use multiple versions of the same flag, only in different colored backgrounds. I.E. the UJ, Red ensign, Blue Ensign, White Ensign, RAF ensign and over a hundred local varieties of one of the above. In other words, the logo, in this case the Union Jack, on a red, white, blue, or light blue bedsheet with various local insignia tacked on. Even more colors if you count the military unit flags. And subject to changes over the years. Why not Sunoco? Or another flag flyer. Some of these companies have been around longer than most nations have been independent. And I have certainly seen both the US and Canadian flags flown essentially as decorations, or rows of decorations. Think about it.
P.S. There were no flags flying at any of the local gas stations today!
Perhaps if I went to Canada I would have been more fortunate! On the other
hand, I can always get a flag "fix" by going to the factory outlet shopping
mall here in Niagara Falls - which flies 18 international flags along the
back parking lot and 24 other international flags along the front parking
lot! And if I go food shopping, the large local supermarket chain "Tops
Markets" used to fly international flags from the light poles in the parking
lot. Now these are just flag signs, but the flags hang inside the
entranceway. Their main competitor, "Wegmans" has a dozen or so NFL flags
in their entranceway. Plus all of the US State and territory flags at US
Customs at any of the three Bridges to Canada, and all of the Canadian
Provincial flags at Canada Customs at the other end of the bridge. So flags
can be found around here!
Kevin McNamara, 25 September 1999
That was exactly the point of the questions I suggested the other day. I'm
very sympathetic to the notion that corporate flags should be accorded the
same standing as those of any other group. But the different versions of
British (or Canadian, or Australian, or Indian, or most other national)
flags signify different things. They're not just a reflection of the whim
of the person hauling on the halyards. Maybe the different Sunoco or Shell
flags do likewise, and I'd welcome someone tracking down what those
different meanings might be.
Joseph McMillan, 25 September 1999
The flag is 2:3, and is divided vertically in three vertical unequal stripes of yellow, red and white from hoist to fly in 2+1+6. On the center
of the white area, which is square, is placed the logo of Shell.
António Martins 24 May 2000
I found a picture at
Ole Andersen, 18 September 1999
This coincides with all Shell flags I ever saw in Portugal, Spain, the
Netherlands and France. I guess it is an official design (maybe *the*
Antonio Martins, 19 September 1999
I've seen Shell gasoline stations here in the US flying flags similar to the
white fly portion of that shown in the photo forwarded by Ole. White with a
yellow scallop shell outlined in red, with the word "Shell" below.
Joe McMillan, 18 September 1999
I have not seen the reported Shell flag at any Shell stations here, but I
did see a different design at one station. It had a red field with Shell's
gold scallop shell symbol.
Ned Smith, 23 September 1999
I saw a piece in Heraldisk Tidsskrift, mentioning Shell's change of flag in
They went from:
a yellow shell on a white circle in a red flag
a Canadian pale white-red-white, with the yellow shell in the centre
Sven Tito Achen wrote the piece in 1965, so there is no mention of the current flag.
Ole Andersen, 23 September 1999
Although Shell evolved as an Anglo-Dutch company the colours of its logo were based on the national colours of Spain.
In 1915, when Shell started marketing in California, it needed a
distinctive colour scheme for its petrol (gasoline) stations. The
colours red and yellow were chosen as having an historical connection
with the State which was once governed by Spain.
David Prothero, 25 September 1999
Shell stations here fly usually large vertical flags with various
combinations of red, yellow and white and the shell. Nothing definite.
Jorge Candeias, 25 September 1999
My nearest Sunoco station has the yellow Sunoco emblem on a white flag.
Which illustrates perfectly one of the main problem with commercial flags.
Joe McMillan, 25 September 1999
Doesn't everyone in the world have intimate familiarity with every American
advertising logo? The Sunoco (Sun Oil Company) trademark is a sideways
yellow lozenge with a red arrow pointing down through it bendwise
and the name SUNOCO emblazoned across the lozenge in blue.
Joseph McMillan, 27 September 1999
In "A survey of mercantile houseflags & funnels" by J.L. Loughran (1979) gives for BP Oil Ltd. a white flag with the logo (green shield with yellow letters "BP") on white, a red stripe at the fly. For BP Tanker Co.Ltd. a flag (adopted 1968) is given white with the logo, a green border all around.
Regards (from someone who first worked at the Total petrol station, later
at the FINA petrol station),
Mark Sensen, 22 September 1999
I was working for BP when the new corporate logo came out. An official definition of the BP flag was issued which said the flag
was green proportion 2:1 with the new amended BP shield in the fly, i.e., not in the centre. I remember it because it flew contrary to
William Crampton's definition of a good corporate flag - that the logo should be towards the hoist.
John Windle, 16 July 2000
Yes, that is the design I remember to see flown in Portugal, too.
Antonio Martins, 24 September 1999
Is there still sucha a thing as a Mobil?! I thought it had disappeared. At
least it did here, merged with BP and the old Mobil gas stations turned
into BP gas stations. Vexillologically that was really good - I never saw
any Mobil flags here, to the best of my memory, and as logo they've always
used simply the name, blue (with a red "O") on white.
Funny that these things seem to differ so much from country to country...
Jorge Candeias, 25 September 1999
Jorge asked if Mobil was still around. Yes it is, and since I need gas I am
heading over there to check on any flags. However, it may not be here in
the US much longer since it has recently filed to be taken over by Exxon, formerly known as Esso. This is very ironic since these two companies
formed the major part of the "Standard Oil" monopoly that was broken up by
the US goverment in the early part of this century. I forget the exact
date. Esso stood for S.O. - Standard Oil (New Jersey). Mobil was formerly
known as SOCONY - Standard Oil Co Of New York. To make this flag-related, my faulty memory seems to recall Mobil using a white flag with a red pegasus for a flag about 20 years ago. No pictures though! Just a vague recollection. Other oil companies around here use LOB flags. Such as Sunoco which uses a yellow Sunoco sign on a blue field.
Kevin McNamara, 25 September 1999
I've seen this, too, here in Wisconsin. It's been flying for some time now
at a Mobil station. It's quite a nice design IMHO.
Jamie Woods, 26 September 1999
There is a different Mobil flag.
This one is a white bedsheet with simply the word Mobil in blue. The o in
Mobil is in red. M is capitalized, the rest is not. The dot over the i is
a small vertical rectangle that brings the height of the i to the same as
the l. I do remember this flag in use.
Kevin McNamara, 27 September 1999