Last modified: 2016-06-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal navy | white ensign | royal marines | marines |
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image by Martin Grieve, 10 July 2007
image by Eugene Ipavec, 4 April 2009
Badge modified from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/37/images/113438640911154925445_1.jpg
I don't know if it is the general practice, but a boat operated on
the River Congo by 40 Commando, Royal Marines, flew the White Ensign
above the Corps of the Royal Marines flag. The latter is officially, I think,
the Royal Marine badge superimposed on a horizontally striped flag.
The stripes (from the top) are: dark blue 4 units, yellow 1 unit, green
1 unit, red 2 units, blue 4 units. This represents the pattern of the
Royal Marine stable belt on a blue flag. Blue for the maritime connection,
yellow for the original uniform colour, green for the light infantry and
red for the uniform colour in 1876. In the photograph of the boat, the
flag has been simplified by omitting the badge and making all the stripes
the same width.
David Prothero, 25 September 1999
This is the camp flag of Royal Marines headquarters, rather than
the Royal Marines themselves. The Royal Marines do not have an ensign
of their own and use the white ensign. Unlike the Royal Navy, they do
have their own set of camp flags. 40 Commando's camp flag is unequal
vertical stripes of light blue, dark blue, light blue. There are gold
daggers on the light blue stripes and the Royal Navy badge on the dark
Graham Bartram, 27 September 1999
Whilst Graham's website shows
both the Royal Marine's Corps Flag and Headquarters Flag as being blue with
three uneven horizontal bands of yellow over green over red with the Corps badge
in its centre, my information (based, I think, on
Bartram, 2004) suggests that the Corps Flag is without any such badge?
Christopher Southworth, 4 April 2009
On the one hand, the official RN site says (or implies) no badge:
On the other hand, there's
on a Royal Marine page on Bebo; meanwhile, elsewhere on an official RN site,
there's a flag used for an unveiling ceremony at
So, I think I'm going with 'badge on' on the grounds of usage, if nothing else.
Ian Sumner, 4 April 2009
Each unit of the Corps of the Royal Marines has is own house flag and will fly this where they can.
The Corps uses the Union flag when in Barracks, as a Commando in its home, on land base is working under the Army Act.
This may change with the new amphibious force which is forming now jointly commanded by the Commandant General as the Military head and an Admiral as the amphibious head.
The Corps uses the White Ensign on all her boats as they belong to the Navy, but as you say may fly a house flag alongside this.
The Corps always uses a White Ensign on Naval Bases but may fly the Corps Colours (Blue, Red,
Green, Yellow). You might also find that at Barracks like Lympestone, and Stonehouse the Corps might only use this flag in preference to either the Union flag or the White
Roger, Royal Marines, 26 December 2001
Just a note on the RMR flags on this web page (which stands for Royal Marines
Reserves, as opposed to the full-time, professional units): they are obviously
geographically based, with the London and the Scottish units using the London
flag and the Scottish saltire respectively defaced with the badge of the Royal
Marines. The other three units, Bristol, Mersey and Tyne, are vertical tribands
with the RM badge on a red ground in the centre while the two outer bands have
an element from the arms of the relevant city - the Liver bird for Mersey
(Liverpool); the tower for Tyne (Newcastle upon Tyne) and the unicorns which are
the supporters on the arms of Bristol.
André Coutanche, 14 November 2005
Note that these flags are unit "flags" and not "Colours". An example of a
Royal Marines Regimental Colour can be seen at
T.F. Mills, 14 November 2005