This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Australian Military Board Union Flag and Ensign

Last modified: 2017-09-13 by ian macdonald
Keywords: australia | military board |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



See also:


Military Board Union Flag

In the Australian Military Regulations 1916 'as made' on 28 July 1916, at Division 8 Regulation 237 the following flag was prescribed;- 'A special Union Jack bearing in its centre as a distinguishing mark the Royal cipher surrounded by a garland and a blue shield and surmounted by a crown, is to be flown by members of the Military Board and District Commandants when embarked in boats or vessels on duty.' After the Australian Military Regulations 1927 were made, the Military Board changed to the flag discussed below, and this Royal cipher flag continued as the flag for the use of certain other high-ranking officers when embarked on duty in boats and vessels.
Jeff Thomson, 4 September 2015

The Australian Military Regulations 1927 'as made' on 14 December 1927 introduced a new Union Flag for the Military Board at Regulation 722. This provision also appeared at the equivalent Paragraph 1194 of the Army's Australian Military Regulations and Orders (AMR&O's):
'The Union Flag bearing in its centre as a distinguishing mark, a crown on a blue shield with the words "Military Board" on a white scroll in the lower half of the shield may be flown by the Military Board.' This flag could be flown for the Military Board as a whole, afloat and ashore including as a car-flag. The 'blue shield' probably meant the blue badge disc itself, rather than a blue shield-shape on a white disc.
Jeff Thomson, 10 November 2015


Military Board Blue Ensign

On 23 January 1941, the Military Board Union Flag prescription was replaced with an Australian Blue Ensign version:

'The Ensign of the Commonwealth bearing on the fly thereof, as a distinguishing mark, a crown on a blue shield with the words "Military Board" on a white scroll in the lower half of the shield may be flown by the Military Board or a member thereof when embarked upon duty in boats or vessels.' This flag could be flown by the Military Board as a whole and by individual Board members, but only afloat. There was a separate non-ensign car-flag, so this Army ensign did not have a 2:3 car-flag version. The blue shield was probably not placed on a white disc, so may have been invisible against the blue flag field.

In April 1942 the Military Board was suspended in favour of a Commander-in-Chief, General Blamey, so the flag went out of use and was not reinstated after the war. However it remained in legal effect until the flag-related Regulations 721-723 of the Australian Military Regulations 1927 were repealed on 26 February 1947.
Jeff Thomson, 10 November 2015


Other Military Board flags

Smaller car and mounted-orderly versions of the 1927 Military Board Union Flag were prescribed in an amendment to the Australian Military Regulations 1927 (Reg 722A) effective from 16 October 1935 to 23 January 1941. The car flag version was to be 12 inches by 6 inches, and the version carried by mounted orderlies was to be 18 inches by 12 inches.

From 23 January 1941 the small Union Flag was replaced by a car and mounted-orderly flag for all members of the Military Board. It was 9 inches by 6 inches and was described at Regulation 722A as 'Flag, distinguishing, Headquarters of an Army (red, black, red), bearing in its centre, as a distinguishing mark, the Royal Crest in gold, above the words 'Military Board' on a white scroll.' Like the Military Board Blue Ensign which was flown when embarked in boats and vessels on duty, it became dormant after the Military Board was abolished on or about 31 March 1942 and was repealed from the Regulations on 26 February 1947.

From 27 February 1947 the Chief of the General Staff flew a Commonwealth Blue Ensign with the addition of the Royal Crest, both afloat and from motor cars. The other Military Board members used a flag described in the Australian Military Regulations and Orders (AMR&Os) paragraph 1193 as;- 'All other Military members of the Military Board - Flag, distinguishing, upper half red and lower half blue, with Royal Crest in gold embroidered on both sides'. There was a 6 feet by 3 feet version to be flown in boats and vessels, and a 9 inch by 6 inch car-flag. There were no longer references to use of the flags by mounted orderlies. In 1956 it was noted that the wording of the prescription excluded civilian members of the Military Board from having the flag flown, but on 7 May 1956 there was a directive from the Military Board that the flag could be flown for the civilian members. Presumably this flag continued until final abolition of the Military Board around 1976.
Jeff Thomson, 4 September 2015


Immediate post-war flag situation

 It is not clear what flag arrangements were in place for the Acting Commander-in-Chief from 1 December 1945 to 1 March 1946, and the Chief of the General Staff and the other members of the Military Board from 1 March 1946 to 27 February 1947. The Military Board had decided upon flag designs at a meeting on 10 May 1946, but post-war delays with the Attorney-General's Department's repealing of the flag provisions of the Australian Military Regulations 1927, regs 721, 722, 722A and 723 meant that the new arrangements could not be included in the Army's modified AMR&Os until 27 February 1947.
Jeff Thomson, 4 September 2015