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National Register of Historic Vessels (Britain)

Last modified: 2018-08-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: national register of historic vessels | historic vessels | wave |
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Introduction

The significance of the National Historic Ships registers and the differences between the two ensigns are succinctly explained on the National Historic Ships website. The National Register of Historic Vessels contains details of over 1,000 vessels, including "designer, builder, dimensions, construction, propulsion, service history, current location and ownership", together with images of many of the vessels. Within this group, there is a sub-group of vessels called the National Historic Fleet, these being the vessels entitled to fly the ensign with the coronet. These are distinguished, according to National Historic Ships by:

  • being of pre-eminent national or regional significance.
  • spanning the spectrum of UK maritime history
  • illustrating changes in construction and technology
  • meriting a higher priority for long term preservation
You can view vessels in the National Historic Fleet here: http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/ships_register.php?action=search&nhf=1 and see an image of Vessel Number 7, Alaska, with The Queen on board and the Royal Standard flying at the jackstaff here: http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/ships_register.php?action=ship&id=7, the photograph being taken on the occasion of a recent Swan Upping Ceremony on the River Thames. The inclusion of the word 'National' does not imply that the vessel is in public ownership. Indeed, over 57% of the vessels on the register are privately owned or commercially operated.

See also the official supplier's promotional leaflet for the ensign, which has a close up of the coronet: http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/data/files/Nat_Hist_Ships_Ens.pdf, the file size of which is a bit on the hefty side and the images contain artefacts. Presumably, this is only available as an actual flag through this company and to owners of the registered vessels only.

Source: National Register of Historic Ships, web site, http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk, as consulted 04 February 2010.
Colin Dobson, 4 February 2011

The badge was designed by the Flag Institute.
Kenneth Fraser, 8 January 2011

I take it the design is meant to represent a white ship's prow pushing through the waves?
James Dignan, 3 February 2011

 "With regards of the National Historic Ships UK Defaced Ensigns, this is a national Ensign endorsed by the Secretary of State . . . A Ministry of Defence 'Ensign Permit' to fly the Defaced Ensign will be also issued."
Acknowledgement: The assistance of the NRHV's Office Administrator, Ms. Camilla Ravani, MA.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Historic_Ships
Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018


Special Ensign

[National Register of Historic Vessels] image by Clay Moss, 3 February 2011

National Register of Historic Vessels (United Kingdom)
Estb: 2006.
Location: Greenwich, London.
Special Ensign, worn by ships and boats registered by the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV).
Ensign: British Red, defaced on the fly with the NRVH's badge: a white-edged blue disk enclosing a stylized blue wave and white sail.
Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018


House Flag

[National Register of Historic Vessels] image located by Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018

Flag: Rectangular. Blue field superimposed by the NRHV's badge in the centre.
Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018


Special Ensign, National Historic Fleet

[National Register of Historic Vessels] image by Clay Moss, 3 February 2011

Special Ensign, worn by ships and boats that are members of the National Historic Fleet of the NRHV.
Ensign: British Red, defaced on the fly with the NRHV's badge surmounted with a yellow naval crown.
Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018


House Flag, National Historic Fleet

[National Register of Historic Vessels] image located by Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018

Flag: Rectangular. Blue field superimposed by the NHVR's badge in the centre and a yellow naval crown in the upper hoist.
Peter Edwards, 5 February 2018


Regional Flagship Award

[National Register of Historic Vessels] image located by Peter Edwards, 21 July 2018

Award Established 2009.
Broad Pennant: circa 5:11 and 5:7 to crutch (photo image). Blue field fimbriated with red stripes (1 unit wide) on fly edges. Field superimposed by NHSUK’s badge, centred 2 units from hoist and, between badge and crutch, by the award year in white.
Source: https://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/historic-ellesmere-port-steam-ship-13296527

"The Award criteria requires vessel owners to come forward with seasonal programmes to engage the public through festivals, demonstrations, on-board cruises, quayside visits, educational programmes, participation in races and similar activities. Flagships are expected to promote actively the role of National Historic Ships UK by distributing associated PR material and flying the flag as our ambassadors. The National Flagship of the Year will receive £500 to spend on the vessel, and the special Flagship Broad Pennant (which has become a feature of the award) to fly at the masthead. The two Regional Flagships will each receive a grant of £250 to be spent on the vessel, along with a special Regional Flagship Broad Pennant denoting the year in which the award was made.”
Hannah Cunliffe, Director of National Historic Ships UK.
Source: https://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/news/nhs/news-flagship-year-2018

National Flagship Award
Same design as Regional Award except with red field fimbriated blue.
Source: Emerald Laing, Admin Officer, NHS UK.
Peter Edwards, 23 July 2018