Defaced Ensign

A full member of Royal Welsh Yacht Club whose vessel is registered on either the Part I or Part III (Small Ships) Register, and satisfies certain measurement requirements may apply to the Honorary Secretary for a permit to wear the Club’s special Ensign – a blue ensign defaced with the badge of the club. Permits are issued under the conditions of a Warrant granted to the Club by the Secretary of State for Defence.

The defaced blue ensign may only be worn on a yacht used for exclusively for private and personal purposes and when the permit holder in person is in effective command of the vessel. When the Ensign is worn, the Club burgee should also be flown from either the main masthead or ‘other suitable position’. When in harbour the ensign should be hoisted at 0800 (0900 between 1 Nov and 14 Feb) and lowered at sunset or 2100 local time if earlier. If you are going ashore and are not likely to return before the relevant time you should adopt the practice of ‘early colours’ and lower the ensign and burgee when you leave the vessel. Neither ensign nor burgee should be left flying on an unattended vessel.

Provided the conditions in the permit are met, the club’s defaced blue ensign qualifies as ‘proper national colours’ for the purposes of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, s.2. Any flag other than a red ensign (or blue ensign in the circumstances set out) is not proper national colours and wearing such a flag as an national ensign may be a criminal offence.