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Belgium: Civil flag and ensign

Last modified: 2016-11-09 by ivan sache
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[Belgian civil flag and ensign]

Belgian civil flag and ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 27 February 2001

See also:

Civil flag and ensign

The Belgian civil flag (used on land) and ensign (used at sea) is like the national flag, but in proportions of 2:3. It was formally established as the civil ensign by a Royal Decree of 28 November 1936, and was last defined and regulated by Article 54 of a Royal Decree published in the Belgian official gazette dated 11 May 1996.

Jan Zrzavy & Christopher Southworth & Željko Heimer, 17 April 2009

Special civil ensign

[Special merchant ensign]

Special civil ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 3 March 2001

L. Nyssen (loc. cit.) and M. Lupant [lup98] mention a special ensign, the civil ensign charged with a black lion without crown. It should be hoisted on ships not belonging to the State Navy but commanded by an officer registered in the Roll of Navy and with at least 1/3rd of the crew also registered in the Roll of Navy. The Roll of Navy is the naval reserve, to be armed only in case of general mobilization. This particular ensign is quite similar in use to the British Blue Ensign
Shown in Flaggenbuch [neu92] mentioned in Album des Pavillons [pay00], this ensign is still in use, for instance by the barge Signum (spotted in Duisburg, September 2016; photo). The lion is strictly speaking not that of Belgium (yellow lion on black background), but that of Flanders (black lion on yellow background). This is not too much of a problem in terms of symbolism, since the entire Belgian coastline is in West Flanders anyway.

Ivan Sache, M. Schmöger & Miles Li, 28 September 2016

"European civil ensign"

[European civil ensign]         [European civil ensign 2]

Belgian "European civil ensign" - Images by Ivan Sache, 29 July 1999

Belgian pleasure boats often hoist the "European civil ensign", made of the European Union flag with the Belgian civil ensign in canton, with a white fimbriation.
The ring of stars is sometimes centered on the whole field, and sometimes centered on the main field (excluding the canton), with a different aesthetical result.

Ivan Sache, 29 July 1999