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Houston Yacht Club (U.S.)


Last modified: 2019-01-19 by rick wyatt
Keywords: houston yacht club | united states yacht club | texas |
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[Houston Yacht Club] image by Rob Raeside, 13 January 2019

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Description of the flag

Estb: 1897. Location: Miramar Drive, Shoreacres, TX.
"The Houston Yacht Club traces its origins to 1897. In the early days there, were two separate entities...

(1) the Houston Yacht Club (HYC) which was inaugurated in mid-1897. It had a true burgee-shaped flag (i.e., the exact same shape and dimensions as the Ohio state flag), which was divided horizontally, blue over red, with a large capital letter "H" placed in the center of the flag, equally straddling the blue and red. This flag seems to have faded away as the two clubs (see below) started to merge their activities.

(2) the Houston Launch Club (HLC) was organized round about 1905. Its burgee was very much like the club's present burgee (i.e., a blue triangle at the hoist, with a white propeller, and a white field with a red border). At first, it omitted any letters around the propeller. It probably contained "shading" within the blades of the propeller. Sometime after 1905, it added the letters "HLC" around the white propeller. The HLC also had club-specific officer flags-- a tapering burgee of blue with the white propeller emblem (and letters HLC) for the Commodore; a red background for the VC; and a white background for the RC. The Past Commodore flag was also a tapering blue burgee, with the propeller with three white 5-pointed stars around the propeller in place of the letters HLC. All of these officers flags were the exact same shape and dimensions as Ohio's state flag.

During the early 1920s the two entities joined together, and for a while, called themselves the Houston Launch Club. They kept using the HLC burgee, with the letters "HLC" around the propeller, which certainly by then contained the shading.

In 1927, the merged entities formally became known as the Houston Yacht Club and moved into one new clubhouse (the present one). Hence, the burgee bearing the letters "HLC" started bearing the letters "HYC" instead. The propeller continued to have the shading within the blades. [Below] a modern picture of the HYC burgee as it looked from 1927 until about 1983, when the Bylaws adopted the modern depiction of the propeller [see above] (which lacks the propeller shading). The 1927-1983 design still appears on many logos, etc., and many members are not aware of the slight difference from the modern version.

HYC Burgee as it looked from 1927 until ca. 1983. During the early 1920's, the letters would have read H L C. Note the shading in the propeller blades. The red border should be slightly wider.

The Houston Yacht Club's present burgee is defined in the Bylaws, and it appears as follows. It has no shading within the propeller blades. It is 1: 1.5 and made in OG Blue and OG Red.

The club now uses the standard US yacht club officer flags, but the association of the club's past commodores, which is called the HYC Blue Gavel, uses the old club-specific Past Commodore's flag -- that is, an OG Blue tapering burgee (the exact same shape and dimensions as Ohio's state flag), with the white propeller emblem and a white 5-pointed star in place of each of the letters."

Source: Email 14 January 2019 from James T. Liston, J.D. former commodore of the HYC [2006] and former president of the Vexillological Association of the State of Texas (VAST) [2000 - 2017].
Peter Edwards, 13 January 2019

Houston Launch Club

[Houston Yacht Club] image by Rob Raeside, 13 January 2019

Burgee: Same colours and design as the current HYC burgee except omitting the white letters HYC.
Source: Lloyd’s Register of American Yachts. New York, 1913.
Peter Edwards, 13 January 2019