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Kingdom of Bulgaria, 1908-1944: Naval Flags

Царство Българи&

Last modified: 2013-07-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: bulgaria | lion | crown | anchor |
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Introduction

The Kingdom of Bulgaria existed from 1908-1946, though for the purpose of flag research, the period ended on 09 September 1944. There are three main sources of flags of the period mentioned in Ivanov (1998). The first is the collection of the Naval Museum, from where are mentioned the naval ensign and king's and queen's standards. The second is the (Bogoslovski, 1912) "Al'bom shtandartov i flagov inostrannyh gosudarstv", Sofia 1912, and the third is a naval manual that I shall cover later on. The Ivanov (1998) book contains pictures from the manual, but it also has detailed reports on what's in others, highlighting some differences. As far as I have understood, the flags preserved in the Naval Museum are of the same pattern as those published in Bogoslovski book. They are treated together and, even if I have reservations, I have no evidence why I should not do the same. All the flags here would be reconstructions from descriptions. Even if the descriptions are quite straightforward and clear, there is always the possibility that I misinterpreted them.
Željko Heimer, 05 September 2001

According to Ivanov (1998) the flags from the period of the kingdom were all abandoned on 09 September 1944. After that date and until new flags were officially adopted, the unofficial patterns were used -- on vessels according to the taste of the captain.
Željko Heimer, 09 September 2001


Naval Ensign

[Naval ensign of Bulgaria 1908-1944]  2:3, by Željko Heimer

Naval Ensign (Voenniyat flag na Tsarstvoto (voennomorskoto zname)). The naval ensign is described as being the same as in the period of the principality, though we could conclude that by now the shape of the crown was established (more like the same crown as is used today -- above the shield in the state coat of arms; I am sure that there is some story behind this, but I don't know it.)
Source: Bogoslovski, 1912 as quoted in Ivanov (1998).
Željko Heimer
, 05 September 2001

Flaggenbuch (1939) shows the same flag.
Ivan Sache, 06 September 2001

Bulgarian Naval Handbook (reproduced in Ivanov, 1998) shows the same design as in the 1912 album.
Željko Heimer
, 08 September 2001

The square at the canton has sides equal to half the hoist.
Željko Heimer
, 07 January 2004


Jack

[Jack of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 1:1, by Željko Heimer

Flaggenbuch (1939) and Bulgarian Naval Handbook (1920) (reproduced in Ivanov, 1998) show a white square flag, with the red cross over the green.
Željko Heimer, 11 December 2006

[alternate Jack of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 2:3~, by Željko Heimer

The Flaggenbuch (1926) shows the jack in ratio 2:3~ (red cross over green saltire).
Željko Heimer, 11 December 2006


Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet

[Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet (Pryaporets' (flag) na nachalnika na flota). As the flag of the Minister of the Army, but instead of the saltire there are two crossed green anchors.
Source: Bogoslovski, 1912 as quoted in Ivanov (1998).
Željko Heimer
, 05 September 2001

Not shown in Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 06 September 2001

This might be because by that time the flag had become obsolete (maybe by introduction of admirals' flags there was actually no need for such?)
Željko Heimer
, 08 September 2001

Bulgarian Naval Handbook (reproduced in Ivanov, 1998) shows the same design as in the 1912 album.
Željko Heimer
, 08 September 2001

Commander in Chief of the Fleet Pennant

[Minister of the Army Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944]

by Željko Heimer

Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet Pennant (Kositsa na Nachalnik' Flota). Bulgarian Naval Handbook (reproduced in Ivanov, 1998) shows a pennant similar to the royal house pennants, having the appropriate flag in the hoist.
Željko Heimer
, 08 September 2001


Commander of a Division

[Commander of a Division, Bulgaria 1937] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Commander of Division (Flag na komandir na diviziyata). On 09 January 1937 the flag of the commander of the division was established , somewhat inconsistent with the system above -- a white flag with a green cross throughout and with a red anchor in the canton.  It was prescribed that this flag (i.e. the commander) was due a 13-gun salute.
Željko Heimer
, 05 September 2001

If square, Flaggenbuch (1939) shows it for rear-admiral. With anchors in quarters 1 and 3, vice-admiral. With anchors in quarters 1, 2 and 3, admiral. The corresponding pennants, 1:5 and forked, are also shown.
Ivan Sache, 06 September 2001

Rereading the Ivanov, 1998,  I realize I made a mistake -- it should indeed be square (quite a common error, I guess, confusing the words "rectangular" and "square"). Anyway, the width of green stripes forming the cross is 1/8 of hoist, while the anchor is 1/6 of hoist high and 1/8 wide. Ivanov, 1998 does not mention 2- and 3-anchor flags nor any corresponding pennants. Are the hoist parts of these pennants square or do they retain the 15:23 ratio from above? The fly part is yellow, as usual, right?
Željko Heimer, 08 September 2001

Chief of the Naval Fleet

[Chief of the Naval Fleet] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Chief of the Naval Fleet - white with red borders and a green upright anchor at centre.
Željko Heimer, 09 January 2004

Pennant

[Chief of the Naval Fleet pennant] 1:5, by Željko Heimer

Chief of a Flotilla

[Chief of a Flotilla] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Chief of the Flotilla of Black Sea and Danube etc. - white with red base line and a green upright anchor at centre.
Željko Heimer, 09 January 2004

Pennant

[Chief of a Flotilla pennant] 1:5, by Željko Heimer


Captain Commanding a Flotilla or a Division

[Captain commanding a flotilla or a division] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

The green anchor is set on a white disk on a thin red saltire on a white field.
Željko Heimer, 10 January 2004

Pennant

[Captain commanding a flotilla or a division pennant] 1:5, by Željko Heimer


Commander Commanding a Flotilla or a Division

[Commander commanding a flotilla or a division] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

White triangular flag with green inner and red outer border on the two "free"sides of the flag.
Željko Heimer, 10 January 2004


Group Commander

[Group Commander] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

White triangular flag with a saltire consisting of a green bend over a red bend sinister.
Željko Heimer, 10 January 2004

Group Commander Pennant

[Group Commander Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Group Commander Pennant (Pryaporets (flag) na nachalnik na otryad korabi). Triangular pennant with horizontal national tricolour stripes and with red square with lion set at hoist in the middle of the flag height. Source: Bogoslovski, 1912 as quoted in Ivanov (1998).
Željko Heimer
, 05 September 2001

Not shown in Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 06 September 2001

Bulgarian Naval Handbook (reproduced in Ivanov, 1998) shows a triangular pennant, the same as in the 1912 album.
Željko Heimer
, 08 September 2001


Minister of War

[Minister of War, Bulgaria 1939] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Minister of War's standard. War ensign with a white square at the lower hoist bearing green saltire (same as 1912 minister of the army).
Željko Heimer, 08 January 2004


Masthead Pennant

[Masthead Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 

1:30~, by Željko Heimer

Masthead Pennant (Vimpel na voen korab). White pennant with green saltire near the hoist. The greatest difference between the Bogoslovski album and the later naval manual is the same in this and subsequent pennants. In the album they are triangular, ending in point, while in the naval manual the fly is swallow-tailed -- but we'll come to this later on. Source: Bogoslovski, 1912 as quoted in Ivanov (1998).
Željko Heimer
, 05 September 2001

[Masthead Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 

1:20, by Željko Heimer

Flaggenbuch (1939) shows this flag swallow-tailed, 1:20, with saltire field 15:23.
Ivan Sache, 06 September 2001

Bulgarian Naval Handbook (reproduced in Ivanov, 1998) shows a masthead pennant (Kositsa), the same as in the 1912 album.
Željko Heimer
, 08 September 2001


Standard of the Chief of the Outside Service of the Port Administration

[Standard of the Chief of the Outside Service of the Port Administration] by Željko Heimer


Standard of the Chief of the Central Service of the Port Administration

[Standard of the Chief of the Central Service of the Port Administration] by Željko Heimer


Service Ensign of the Port Vehicles Without Autonomous Propulsion

[Service ensign of the port vehicles without autonomous propulsion] by Željko Heimer

A white-green-red horizontal tricolour with white canton bearing crossed blue anchors.
Željko Heimer, 06 January 2004

Service Ensign of the Port Vehicles With Autonomous Propulsion

[Service ensign of the port vehicles with autonomous propulsion] by Željko Heimer

A white ensign with white-green-red horizontal tricolour canton and crossed blue anchors at lower fly.
Željko Heimer, 06 January 2004


Pilot's Ensign

[Pilot's Ensign] by Željko Heimer

Construction is shown: 42 x 63, border 6 units all around, stripes 10 units wide (white stripe merges together with the border).
Željko Heimer, 11 January 2004


Rank Flags

Admiral's Ensign and Pennant

[Admiral's Ensign of Bulgaria 1908-1944] by Željko Heimer

[Admiral's Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 1:5, by Željko Heimer

Vice-Admiral's Ensign and Pennant

[Vice-Admiral's Ensign of Bulgaria 1908-1944] by Željko Heimer

[Vice-Admiral's Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 1:5, by Željko Heimer

Rear-Admiral's Ensign and Pennant

[Rear-Admiral's Ensign of Bulgaria 1908-1944] by Željko Heimer

[Rear-Admiral's Pennant of Bulgaria 1908-1944] 1:5, by Željko Heimer


 
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