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Gabon - Naval Flags

Last modified: 2017-01-15 by bruce berry
Keywords: gabon | navy rank flag |
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Naval ensign

image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00] (modified)

A note in Album des Pavillons explains that this flag is hoisted instead of the masthead pennant when the ship is dressed (I believe that should mean both in "petit pavois" and "grand pavois").  The flag is white with a tricolour horizontally divided stripe at the hoist and with (what I believe to be) the Navy emblem in the middle of the white field. The emblem consists of the shield from the coat of arms held by the golden panthers (much as in the coat of arms) and behind it an anchor, a parachute and a coil of string.

The image in Album is, in my opinion, erroneous - it is missing lower portions of the anchor at least. On the other hand - my image is missing the coil around lower part of the shield - I was not able to draw it properly.
Željko Heimer
, 04 Oct 2001

A note on the recently updated Shipmate flag chart refers to this flag as the Gabonese "ensign".  However, this quoted "ensign" is only used to replace the masthead pennant when dressing a ship ("petit pavois"). Gabonese warships use a plain tricolor as both the ensign and jack.
Jan Zrzavy and Armand du Payrat, 14 Feb 2002
 


Chief of Naval Staff

  image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Chief of Naval Staff flies a white swallow-tailed flag with horizontally divided tricolour stripes at hoist and with two anchors in saltire in upper fly.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Admiral

  image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Admiral rank flag is similar to that of the Chief of Naval Staff, but instead of the anchors five golden five-pointed stars are placed in the middle of the fly, arranged 1-3-1.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Vice Admiral of the Squadron (Vice-Admiral d'Escadre)

  image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Vice-Admiral of the Squadron rank flag uses the same basic design as that of the Admiral, but with only four stars in the flag arranged 1-2-1.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Vice-Admiral

image by Željko Heimer, 06 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

Again, the Vice-Admiral rank flag uses the same basic design as the Admiral, but with three stars vertically arranged in the fly along the vertical midline of the flag.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Rear-Admiral

image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Rear Admiral rank flag uses the same basic design as that of the Admiral, but with two stars vertically arranged along the vertical midline of the flag.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Commander of the Fleet

Image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Commander of the Fleet flies a triangular pennant with three horizontal stripes at the hoist based on the national tricolour and a black anchor in the fly.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Chief of Division or Senior Officer Afloat

image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Chief of Division or Senior Officer Afloat flies a triangular pennant with three horizontal stripes at the hoist horizontally based on the national tricolour and a plain white fly.
Željko Heimer, 4 Oct 2001
 


Commander of the Marine (Chief of the Navy)

image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The rank flag of the Chief of the Navy is a triangular pennant in the national colours.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Commander of a Vessel

image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The rank flag of the Commander of a Vessel is a triangular horizontal triband of black-white-black.

I'm not sure what this pennant would be used for - the masthead pennant already indicates a vessel under command (in a way). I don't think that it is either for a naval rank (like "Capitaine de Vaisseau"). Maybe it serves to show the presence of the ship's captain on the ship - and not his deputy or something, when still a masthead pennant would be flown.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001
 


Masthead Pennant

image by Željko Heimer, 06 Oct 2001
Proportions: 2:15 (approximate)
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00]

The Masthead Pennant of Gabon is a white triangular long pennant with the national tricolour at the hoist.

I'm not sure what this pennant would be used for - the masthead pennant already indicates a vessel under command (in a way). I don't think that it is either for a naval rank (like "Capitaine de Vaisseau"). Maybe it serves to show the presence of the ship's captain on the ship - and not his deputy or something, when still a masthead pennant would be flown.
Željko Heimer, 04 Oct 2001

It's interesting that Gabon has such a full range of naval flags. In my (rather old) copy of "The Military Balance" (1986/87) the navy had a strength of 200.
Marcus Schmöger, 05 Oct 2001

According to Encyclopaedia Universalis Yearbook, Gabon had in 1997 4,700 soldiers, 10.6% of them serving in the Navy, i.e. c. 500 seamen. Answering your question would need starting a political debate. Gabon is probably the African country the most influenced by France, which has 600 soldiers permanently stationed there. It is not so surprising that the naval system of France was 'translated' to Gabon. 
Ivan Sache, 06 Oct 2001



 
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