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Royal Air Force Yacht Club (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2016-12-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal air force yacht club | blue ensign |
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[RAF Yacht Club] image by Jose C. Alegria Diaz

See also:


RAF Yacht Club

The Royal Air Force Yacht Club, U.K. of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The burgee of the Royal Air Force Yacht Club is flown with a (dark) blue ensign with a crowned flying eagle in gold in the fly.
Miles Li, 23 April 2003


Version with Anchor

[RAF Yacht Club] image by Pete Loeser, based on World Flag Database, located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

The RAFYC ensign as we have it at the top of this page differs significantly from the image in the World Flag Database http://www.flags.net/UNKG14.htm#UNKG8052, in that the latter has an anchor behind the eagle. Let me first quote what the club themselves say about flags:

The RAFYC's website at http://www.rafyc.co.uk, has the rules and bylaws in a pdf file. While I find the location in a folder called "stories" a bit odd, I can appreciate club rules that pay ample attention to flags:

Rules & Bylaws (Amended October 2012)

Club Rules
1 Structure of the Club
1.1 The Club Burgee shall be a light blue triangular flag incorporating and superimposed thereon a Royal Air Force roundel.(To be flown as in Bylaws CE 3.1 to CE 3.6)

1.2 The Club Ensign shall be the Blue Ensign of H.M. Fleet with the Royal Crown and a Royal Air Force Eagle superimposed on the fly. (To be flown as in Bylaws AW 2.1 to AW 2.8 and CE 3.6)

1.3 The Admiral’s Flag shall be a rectangular light blue flag incorporating superimposed red, white and blue discs with, in gold, The Royal Air Force Eagle holding an anchor in its claw.

1.4 The Flag Officers’ Flag shall be a rectangular swallow-tailed flag with markings as follows:
* Commodore: Light blue swallow-tailed Pennant with red, white and blue discs superimposed
* Vice-Commodore: As Commodore’s Pennant, but with one white ball
* Rear Commodores: As Commodore’s Pennant, but with two white balls
* Past Commodores: As Commodore’s Pennant, but with a white cross in the first Canton
(All to be flown in place of the Club Burgee See 1.4 above)

1.5 The Membership Flag shall be a light blue rectangular flag incorporating superimposed red, white and blue discs over The Air Force Eagle in gold looking towards the hoist and to be flown as in Bylaw CE.3.6.

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By-Laws
Admiralty Warrants (AW)
All Members holding an Admiralty Warrant MUST COMPLY with these Bylaws
AW 2.1 The Ministry of Defence will grant, subject to approval, a warrant to fly the defaced blue ensign to Members owning yachts of 2 tons gross registered tonnage and above. Members wishing to apply for a warrant should apply to the Secretary.

AW 2.2 The attention of Members is drawn to the under mentioned notes regarding Admiralty Warrants:
a. Return of Warrant. When the Yacht is sold or the owner ceases to be a Member of the Club, the warrant must at once be sent to the Secretary of the Club, who is responsible for its immediate return to the Ministry of Defence (Navy).
b. Presence of the Owner. The special ensign authorised by the warrant may not be flown unless the Owner is on board or in effective control of her when she is in harbour or at anchor near the shore.
c. Tenders. The ensign may be flown by any boat which belongs to the Yacht for which the owner holds the warrant and can conveniently be hoisted on board her in the same configuration as a yacht.

AW 2.3 Separate Warrant for each Club. If the owner belongs to more than one Club to which warrants to use special ensigns are granted, he must apply for a separate warrant from each Club.

AW 2.4 Commercial Use. A yacht which is ever used for any commercial purpose is ineligible for a warrant.

AW 2.5 Houseboats, etc. A yacht which is never used for cruising is ineligible for a warrant.

AW 2.6 Charter or Loan. If the yacht is lent or chartered to another Member of the same Club, the ensign may no longer be flown under this warrant.

AW 2.7 Alterations. No alteration may be made in the warrant without the authority of the Secretary of State for Defence. If the name of the yacht is changed, or any alterations are made in her which affect the Register, the warrant must be returned to the Ministry of Defence for correction or re-issue.

AW 2.8 Foreign Cruises. Owners of yachts cruising in foreign waters should take care to avoid any action which might result in complications with a foreign power. To this end it is requested that owners intending to visit foreign waters affected by war or serious disturbance will give particulars of their proposed voyages to the Secretary of the Club.

Ceremonial (CE)
CE 3.1 The flagstaff on the lawn at the Clubhouse, Hamble is the main flagstaff of the RAFYC.
CE 3.1.1 The flagstaff comprises:- mainmast, topmast, yard and gaff. The flagstaff is orientated by looking at it from the river, with the yard parallel to the riverbank. The right hand yard or upriver yard is the ‘starboard’ and the left hand yard ‘port’. The gaff points from the mainmast towards the centre of the river. The point of attachment of the standing rigging to the ground is the ‘deck’.

CE 3.2 DAILY ROUTINE
CE 3.2.1 In the absence of the Commodore from the vicinity of the Club, the ordinary Burgee of the RAFYC will be hoisted to the head of the topmast and the Blue Ensign of Her Majesty’s Fleet, defaced in accordance with the Admiralty Warrant granted to the RAFYC will be hoisted to the gaff. All flags will be hoisted at 0800 hrs. BST and lowered at 2100 hrs. BST from 1st May until 30th September, and hoisted at 0900 hrs. lowered at sunset from 1st October to 30th April (or at such time as flags are hoisted and lowered by a vessel of HM Royal Navy when present in the river Hamble and visible from the Clubhouse).
CE 3.2.2 The Commodore’s broad pennant will be hoisted to the head of the topmast in place of the Club Burgee when the Commodore is present in the Clubhouse, on board his yacht in the river or when the Commodore is known to be within the confines of the village of Hamble. The Commodore’s pennant is to be raised and lowered at the times previously stated or raised on his arrival and lowered on his departure if within those times.

CE 3.3 Procedure on the arrival of foreign yachts to the Port of Hamble.
CE 3.3.1 When a foreign yacht arrives in the river, the Club Manager, or a person acting under his instruction, is to hoist to the starboard yardarm, as early as possible, the National maritime flag appropriate to that yacht. On the arrival of other foreign yachts of different nationalities, the appropriate National maritime flags will be hoisted on the other halyards on the yardarm in sequence from the right.
CE 3.3.2 Ensigns will be lowered on the departure of the appropriate foreign yacht or when all flags are lowered, whichever is the earlier.

CE 3.4 Procedure for the dressing of the mast on National and other special occasions.
CE 3.4.1 The flagstaff will be dressed on the following National days:-
a. Her Majesty the Queen’s natural birthday
b. Her Majesty the Queen’s official birthday
c. The birthday of H.R.H. Prince Philip
CE 3.4.2 The flagstaff will be dressed on other days at the discretion of the Committee, when requested by Members or considered necessary.
CE 3.4.3 When the flagstaff is dressed, the Commodore’s pennant, or Club Burgee will be hoisted to the head of the topmast and the ensign to the gaff in the usual way.
CE 3.4.4 The flagstaff is dressed by hoisting the signal flags, in sequence, commencing at the port shroud attachment to the deck:- E, Q, p3, G, p8, Z, p4, W, p6, P, p1, I, Code flag, T, Y, B, X, 1st sub, H, 3rd sub, Masthead. D, F, 2nd sub, U, A, O, M, R, p2, J, p0, N, p9, K, p7, V, p5, L, C, S.
CE 3.4.5 These hoists will be made up permanently and kept for this purpose. The Club Secretary is to make the necessary arrangements for these flags to be cleaned and repaired as necessary, and available before the days stated.

CE 3.5 Procedure for dressing the flagstaff on Battle of Britain Day
CE 3.5.1 On this day and this day only, the Blue Ensign of Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force will be hoisted to the head of the flagstaff. The Blue Ensign of the RAFYC will be hoisted to the gaff. No other arrangement of flags, ensigns or bunting of any description is to be hoisted to the RAFYC flagstaff.

CE 3.6 Members Flag Etiquette
a. No flags to be flown when the vessel is not in commission
b. In harbour the ensign and burgee will be hoisted at 0800 hrs. in the summer (March 25th – September 20th) and 0900 hrs. in the winter time (September 21st – March 24th) or later when the sun rises, if possible taking the time from any vessel from the Royal Navy or Yacht Club ashore. The ensign is always lowered at Sunset
c. The defaced blue or the red ensign will always be worn in the after part of the vessel preferably from the ensign staff whilst under way, in port, moored in a river or at anchor, or alternatively: Motor yachts gaff rigged aft; from the peak of the gaff, but only when under way.
d. Sailing yachts racing; no ensign will be worn.
CE 3.6.1 The blue defaced ensign will only be worn at the same time as the Club burgee.
CE 3.6.2 The Club burgee is always worn at the main masthead, unless it is impracticable then it may be flown as a Senior burgee from the starboard spreader.
CE 3.6.3 When a Member of the RAFYC is a Member of another Club or Clubs, he may fly the burgee of that Club at the principal masthead and the appropriate ensign, but should then fly the Members flag of the RAFYC at the starboard signal halyard. The Members flag should not be flown in isolation. It is normal to observe this procedure when in the waters of the Club concerned.
CE 3.6.4 Courtesy ensigns of the countries being visited will be flown from the starboard crosstrees or yardarm when foreign visiting.
CE 3.6.5 When flagstaffs are dressed yachts should be dressed overall, in the same sequence as detailed for the Club flagstaff but only when anchored, moored, etc. Ensigns should be hoisted to the masthead in addition to the normal position of the ensign when the vessel is under way. Vessels should not be dressed overall when under way.

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Ensign (continued):

Now, the description of the ensign as "the Blue Ensign of H.M. Fleet with the Royal Crown and a Royal Air Force Eagle superimposed on the fly", makes no mention of an anchor. Even for the Admiral's flag, where an anchor is mentioned, it's held in the eagle's claw. On the other hand, while I don't know how to get there on the site, an Internet search showed:
http://www.rafyc.co.uk/index.php?product_id=23&page=shop.product_details&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1 where the version with anchor is for sale (no photograph).

This discrepancy between the rules (and FotW) and the shop (and the WFD) would suggest this is either an older version, or a recent development not yet caught in the rules. If it's a recent development, it's less "recent" than 2007, as the Internet Archive already shows the image at the WFD in 2006: http://web.archive.org/web/20060419220615/http://www.flags.net/UNKG14.htm. However, if it's an older version, it's older than approximately 1961, as the version without the crown is the one shown in Register of Yachts - Ensigns and burgees of yacht clubs and distinguishing flags of yachtsmen [Lloyds 1961].

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014


Burgee

[RAF Yacht Club burgee]image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

I drew the burgee as shown at http://www.rafyc.co.uk/gallery.html?idx=1&albid=5352742693257343249: A burgee with the same colours as the RAF Ensign, but 3:5, with the roundel, which is placed vertically centred with its centre 1/3rd of the fly away from the hoist, with a height of 4/9th of the hoist, of which the rings are again 1/5th in width, as is the central disk in diameter.

I felt I'd seen this design before, and it turns out that the RAF Sailing Association has a very similar burgee. (It's ensign is somewhat
similar as well, with a light blue field, and the crown and eagle superimposed on a roundel. If the RAFYC ensign changed in response to that, their rules may be a bit outdated in this respect.)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014


Rank Flags

Admiral

An eagle grasping an anchor in its claw, presumably dexter, but don't know.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Commodore

[RAF Yacht Club commodore] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Drawn as the burgee, but rectangular and with a straight-angle split.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Vice-Commodore

[RAF Yacht Club vice-commodore] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Drawn as Commodore, but with one white ball. Since the ball is not described, and I didn't see an example, I opted for a ball 1/6th of the hoist in diameter, and half of that away from the hoist and the top-edge.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Rear Commodore

[RAF Yacht Club rear commodore] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Drawn as Vice-Commodore, but with two white balls. Since the style for adding a second ball is not mentioned, and I didn't see an example, I opted for added in the lower hoist.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Past Commodore

[RAF Yacht Club past commodore] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Drawn as Vice-Commodore, but with a white cross instead. Since the cross isn't described in any detail, and I didn't see an example, I opted for a fairly narrow cross, with its dimensions and placement equal to those of the white ball for the Vice Commodore.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Membership flag

[RAF Yacht Club member] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

Unfortunately, though we're referred to Bylaw CE.3.6., that doesn't really concern itself specifically with a Membership flag, thus I don't know the purpose and usage of this flag. Drawn with the same roundel, centred on the top half of the a rectangular flag, and the eagle, borrowed from an image by Jose C. Alegria Diaz, centred in the lower half. It may be the charges in reality are closer together.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

This flag was made of linen or cotton and fairly small, estimated 20cm x 30cm. It was offered as a "rare" RAF flag. The charges had been sewed on to the cloth. In a light blue field was in the middle of the bottom a yellow RAF eagle topped by a RAF roundel. I spotted this flag in Gloucester Antiques Centre on 1 October 2010.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010


Possible Battle Flag

[RAF Yacht Club possible battle flag] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014

A rectangular flag with the roundel centred, and above it "Royal Air Force" and below it "Yacht club", both in a very dark blue sans font can be seen at http://www.rafyc.co.uk/gallery.html?idx=1&albid=5340065738431667297.

Possibly the same flag, but drawn with the text in a thinner, black font, is shown at https://www.rafyc.co.uk/component/virtuemart/page/shop.product_details/product_id/28. That flag is describe as "Battle Flag". That's all I know about it.

Well, I also know that text in a design rarely works very well. This makes it especially nice to see that the FAQ at http://www.rafyc.co.uk/about-us-intro/faqsformembers.html which at the bottom shows a different version of the/a Battle Flag, without text and possibly with a larger roundel.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 October 2014


RAF Yacht Club, Kai Tak, Hong Kong

[RAF Yacht Club, Kai Tak, Hong Kong] image by Miles Li, 8 November 2016

Until the 1960s several RAF bases in the Far East had their own yacht clubs, for the recreation of RAF personnel there. The burgee of the Kai Tak club was red with a blue over white rising diagonal and a red-white-blue roundel.
Miles Li, 8 November 201


RAF Changi Yacht Club

[RAF Changi Yacht Club] image by Miles Li, 8 November 2016

Until the 1960s several RAF bases in the Far East had their own yacht clubs, for the recreation of RAF personnel there. The burgee of the RAF Changi Yacht Club, Singapore (founded 1936; now the civilian Changi Sailing Club) was RAF blue with a white horizontal central band, and a red on blue roundel.
Miles Li, 8 November 201


RAF Seletar Yacht Club

[RAF Seletar Yacht Club] image by Miles Li, 8 November 2016

Until the 1960s several RAF bases in the Far East had their own yacht clubs, for the recreation of RAF personnel there. The burgee of the Seletar Yacht Club was red with a white red-white-blue-white roundel.
Miles Li, 8 November 201


 
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