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Indian Ensigns

Last modified: 2013-07-19 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | ensign | air force | roundel | sword | anchor | civil ensign | war ensign | government ensign |
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In the first few years, the Indian navy flew the national flag at the jack staff and the standard Royal Navy white ensign at the ensign staff.

On 26 January 1950, India promulgated its constitution and became a republic. The national flag continued unchanged, but the Indian navy instituted a new jack with the national flag replacing the Union Jack in the white ensign at the ensign staff. Similarly, the Indian Air Force and Indian Army instituted new flags (and other insignia) with the constitution and break with the UK.
Željko Heimer


Naval ensign

[Naval Ensign of India] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

[Naval Ensign of India] 1:2 by Željko Heimer

White ensign with red cross and the national flag in canton. I guess that 1:2 is probably older, British influenced, ratio, while 2:3 is newer one conforming with all other Indian flags. I assume that the width of the cross is quite typical for British white ensigns, 1/8 of the hoist.
Željko Heimer, 6 November 2001

Merchant ensign

[Merchant Ensign of India] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

Merchant ensign of India: red with national flag in canton, ratio 2:3 (from Album des Pavillons, 2000).
Željko Heimer, 7 November 2001


State ensign

[Blue Ensign of India] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

The state or government ensign of India is a blue ensign with the Indian national flag in canton and yellow anchor horizontally in the fly half, ratio 2:3 (from Album des Pavillons, 2000).
Željko Heimer, 7 November 2001

This flag was removed from the Album in 2002 by Change 2.
David Prothero, 6 March 2007


Auxiliary ships and Merchant Ships whose Captain is a Navy Reserve Officer

[Blue Ensign of India] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

In the 1971 edition of Flags of the World, Captain E.M. Barraclough wrote that the Indian Blue Ensign without a yellow anchor in the fly was the Naval Reserve Ensign.
David Prothero, 5 March 2007


Masthead Pennant

[Masthead Pennant of India] by Željko Heimer

White triangular pennant, ratio ca. 1:20~, at hoist design similar to the rank flag of a full Admiral - red cross with blue Chakra in the middle, here in ratio about 1:2.
Željko Heimer, 8 November 2001


Unidentified Ensign

[Unidentified ensign from India]

Here is a scan of a table flag I picked up at a flag manufacturer in New Delhi, India, early last year. The shopkeeper, unfortunately, had no idea what it was. Given its general configuration -- white field, Indian national flag as the canton, gold anchor in the fly -- it seems quite reasonable to assume it is some sort of post-independence maritime ensign/flag from India: but, precisely, what kind of Indian maritime flag? There lies the rub. A friend has suggested Calcutta or Cochin Port Authority, (because of the "C" superimposed on the anchor); or perhaps a Yacht Club of some sort, (maybe at Calcutta?) I find neither answer to be very convincing, however. If you can identify this flag, please write us.
Glen Robert-Grant Hodgins, 15 December 1998

I'm guessing that this flag is the flag of the Indian Coast Guard.
Rishi Vyas, 8 July 2001