Canadian Naval Ensign

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Canadian Naval Ensign
Naval Ensign of Canada.svg
Use Naval ensign
Proportion 1:2
Design White field, in the canton the National Flag of Canada, in the fly an eagle superimposed on an anchor beneath a naval crown, all blue

The Canadian Naval Ensign[1] (French: Pavillon naval canadien) is the flag worn at the stern or (optionally when at sea) at the gaff of Her Majesty's Canadian ships. The ensign is also the flag of the Royal Canadian Navy and is used on land in this capacity.


Prior to the creation of the RCN, Canadian Government Ships of the Fisheries Protection Service had to use a defaced Blue Ensign with colonial badge as per the Colonial Navy Defence Act 1865.

The flag consists of a white flag with the National Flag of Canada in the canton, and in the fly a navy blue emblem comprising an anchor, an eagle and a naval crown. The flag's emblem is similar to the central device of the badge of the Canadian Forces, but omits the crossed crusader's swords associated with the army.

Introduced in 1968, it replaced the national flag as the naval jack of the Canadian Forces. Naval jacks are worn at the bow of warships, but only when anchored or docked during daylight hours or when "dressing overall" for special occasions. The national flag had replaced both the White Ensign at the ensign staff and the Canadian Blue Ensign at the jack staff in 1965, and the national flag remained the ensign of Canadian Forces ships after the introduction of the new jack. Effective May 5, 2013 (Battle of the Atlantic Sunday), the two flags switched roles: the white flag with the maple leaf canton became the ensign, and the national flag became the jack.[2][3]

The commissioning pennant was the same as that used by the UK's Royal Navy until the early 1990s, at which point it was progressively phased out in favour of a new pennant of Canadian design, where the maple leaf replaces St. George's cross.[3]

The Royal Navy's commissioning pennant was used until the early 1990s
The Royal Canadian Navy's commissioning pennant in use since the 1990s.
Canadian naval flags[4]
Period Ensign Jack
1910–1911 Canadian Blue Ensign (1868-1921).svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
1911–1922 Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Canadian Blue Ensign (1868-1921).svg
1922–1957 Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Canadian Blue Ensign (1921-1957).svg
1957-1965 Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Canadian Blue Ensign (1957-1965).svg
1965–1968 Flag of Canada.svg Flag of Canada.svg
1968–2013 Flag of Canada.svg Naval Ensign of Canada.svg
2013–present Naval Ensign of Canada.svg Flag of Canada.svg

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Navy replaces maple leaf flag for new design". CBC News. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Royal Canadian Navy Adopts New Naval Ensign". The Maple Leaf. 16 (5). May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Domestic Stories: Display of naval flags on Her Majesty's Canadian ships as of May 5, 2013". Department of National Defence. Retrieved 13 May 2013.