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War Ensign (Thailand)

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: ensign: war | elephant: caparisoned | disc (red) | stripes: 5 (red-white-blue) |
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[Naval Ensign (Thailand)] 2:3
image by Zachary Harden and Phanuwit Woonchoom, 10 April 2018

Flag adopted 1917

This is not the flag of the Royal Thai Navy as such, but rather the national ensign flown on His Thai Majesty's Ships and at RTN bases.
Miles Li, 06 Sep 2005

Specifications and construction details from the Naval Supply Office.
Zachary Harden, 31 August 2018

See also:

Other sites:


From the Singha Beer source:

Flag of the Royal Thai Navy
This is a rectangular flag, similar to the "Trairanga" except for the red circle in the middle which reaches as far as the red stripes at the top and bottom. In the circle stands a white elephant – in full caparison – facing the flagpole. [Identical to the Naval Ensign above, albeit with a greener "caparison" as that of the Ambassadorial / Envoy's Flag.].

The flag was designed in B.E.2460 [1917 AD] by the Royal Decree issued by King Rama VI. The flag was flown from the stem [sic – possibly "stern"?] of a ship and from government offices under the jurdiction [sic] of the Navy. The flag has been in use ever since.

Santiago Dotor, 12 Nov 1999

National flag defaced with red disk containing white elephant "in full caparison" standing on a yellow compartment. The "caparison" is especialy complex to show, and it seems that every depiction differs a bit. The one in the Album 2000 is mostly red, the one we have on FOTW mostly gray, while others are mostly green. The intricate details make it probably different in each produced flag?

Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2003

War Ensign Variant

[Naval Ensign Variant (Thailand)]
image by Eugene Ipavec

The photo of an actual flag used for the basis of the above image had the caparison in yellow with a sort of green plaid pattern, bordered in red with yellow decorations. The pedestal was also different than on most other Thai elephant-related flags – angled, not tiered, with three triangular features. And the red disc containing the charge was a shade smaller, not quite touching the edges of the red stripes – possibly another manufacturing variation.

Eugene Ipavec, 16 Sep 2006

War Ensign 1891-1897

[Naval Ensign 1891-1917 (Thailand)]
image by Jaume Ollé

A naval ensign was introduced in 1891. This showed a white elephant in a war outfit standing on a platform, presumably on the red field. The present naval ensign, shows the white elephant in a red disk placed on the middle blue stripe. The details of the elephant's outfit vary in the pictures I have seen, as does the platform it is standing on.

Jan Oskar Engene, 03 Oct 1996

Thai war ensign [below] is 1897-1910 version. Other version before (1891-1897) is like this flag but it has a white chakra in the canton. Please see the flag No.8 in the Flag Regulation for the Kingdom of Siam, Rattanakosin Era 110 (1891 A.D) at the Siam Flag Museum website.

Suttipong Phunesaen, 13 Mar 2007

War Ensign 1897-1910

[Naval Ensign 1891-1917 (Thailand)]
image by Jaume Ollé

War Ensign 1910-1917

[War Ensign, Unidentified Variant 1910-1917 (Thailand)]
image by Jaume Ollé and Miles Li

From the Singha Beer source:

The Naval Officer's Flag
This is a rectangular, red flag with a white elephant - in full caparison-standing on a dias, facing the flagpole. In the top left-hand corner stands anchor threaded through a "chakkra" under a yellow crown. [Like the Naval Ensign 1891 but with a smaller elephant, and bearing the crown+anchor+chakra emblem in the canton.]

The flag was originally designed in B.E.2453 [1910 AD] by royal command of King Rama VI following a special Royal Decree (R.S.129) concerning flags. The flag was flown from the stem [sic – possibly "stern"?] of a vessel and from various government buildings, specifying that the vessels and the buildings came under the juridiction [sic] of the Ministry for the Navy. Use of the flag was discontinued in B.E.2460 [1917 AD].

Santiago Dotor, 12 Nov 1999

According to the site of the Royal Thai Navy Museum, it is the historical war ensign (ธงราชนาวี-Thong Ratcha Navy in Thai) from 1910-1917 (B.E. 2453-2460). Its name is "Thong Thahan Ruea" (ธงทหาร เรือ) which means "the navy flag." In the RTN Museum page (in Thai only) you can see pictures of historical Thai war ensigns and Thai naval jacks.

Suttipong Phunesaen, 19 Feb 2007