Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Flags - British
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 77
Hello,

Looking into some flags and though I have a book somewhere on them it has gone missing in the extension works :(

Anyway I am looking for some idea of what flags would be appropriate on a British Man of war in combat around 1811. From what I can see image wise the squadron ensign is at the rear (white sqdn, red sqdn etc) with the Battle Pendant (or commissioning pendant perhaps) at the top of the main mast. I have some pictures with more ensigns at the top of the fore and mizzen and this is confusing me somewhat. As an example what are we seeing flag wise here.


https://rck1fq.bn1303.livefilestore.com/y2p06_aoCCFZTOiBwsU9HXKQ8MsG0rWhQi6l5PvVsTCJXpsU-GIe4ivLKmei64-eh0z8qKvwX0TKt7Me1cru-Mm5tGGgDSNiKxa_lfezC72Q_o/AmphionLissa3.jpg?psid=1 (full size image so dont open if your connection is bad.

Particularly with regard to the union jack on the fore for the commodore, the blue ensign low? on every ship and the repeat white ensign on the mizzen.

Cheers for any knowledge here.

Joss


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 Post subject: Re: Flags - British
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:11 pm
Posts: 1258
Location: England
I think the ships in the painting are flying additional flags for ease of recognition in the battle, and there may be an element of guesswork or artist's licence. William James says of the Battle of Lissa:
Quote:
The British ships immediately formed in line ahead, with, besides the customary red ensign at their respective peaks, union jacks and ensigns, blue and red, at their foremast heads and at their different stays. Thus nobly decorated, the four ships continued working to windward to close the enemy.

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Tony


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 Post subject: Re: Flags - British
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 77
Cheers for that. I believe Cotton was a vice Admiral of the White at the time so the rear white ensign is expected. Curiously the most potentially accurate painting we have is a drawing by the younger Pocock, who was serving at the time and his painting just shows the squadron and battle ensigns with no hint of extra flags. As you say though artistic license and time factor potentially in both.

Joss.


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