Last modified: 2017-10-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: cvls |
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image by Andrew Turner, 20 September 2017
The Caister Lifeboat Flag
The design of the new House Flag of the Caister Lifeboat reflects the traditional format for maritime flags used in the nineteenth and twentieth century by shipping companies and other maritime organisations. For greater visibility at sea, these designs tended towards the bold; frequently incorporating the initials of the shipping companies they represented, along with simple shapes or the more complex heraldic devices of their owners to create distinctive "one of a kind" designs. These banners or "house flags", borne in conjunction with specific hull and funnel colours, became the livery by which the individual ships of different companies were identified.
The Oxford blue field of the Caister Lifeboat flag may be taken to represent the North Sea upon which the Caister Lifeboat operates. The Cross of St George with its white fimbriation, references the previous lifeboat flag and is emblematic of an English organisation. Overlying these are the anchor and lifebelt, the ancient and modern symbols of hope and salvation, their cables intertwined. These symbols are particularly pertinent as they are to be found at the foot of the Caister Lifeboat Memorial to those who lost their lives on 13th November 1901, when the lifeboat Beauchamp capsized whilst responding to a distress call.
The formal name of the organisation, Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service, is spelt out in initials CVLS in each of the four quarters of the design. This final element of detail echoes the house flag of the RNLI, alluding to the fact that Caister's lifeboat was once under the commission of that organisation, up until 1969 when Caister Lifeboat became the UK’s first independent all-weather lifeboat charity.
Andrew Turner, 20 September 2017