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Mauritius’ ensigns

Last modified: 2015-07-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: state ensign | civil ensign | coast guard ensign | key (red) | anchor (red) | star: 5 points (fimbriated) | star: 5 points (white) | dodo | stella clavisque maris indici | sambur deer | deer (red and white) |
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About Mauritius’ ensigns

The Merchant Shipping Bill of Mauritius of 2006 is available online as a PDF file. Upon a quick look though it, it seems that it defines no other “national colours” then the flag of Mauritius. It may be that this made the civil and state enisgns of Mauritius obsolete? The Bill mentions the previous 1986 Act amended in 1992 — maybe they would have more data on, in that case, previous red and blue ensigns. There is also Merchant Shipping Act of 3 August 2007 which is basically the same (would the 2006 be a proposal for that 2007 act?)
Željko Heimer, 06 Mar 2010

Mauritius’ main flag maker still sells both the Mauritius red ensign and the Mauritius blue ensign. At this point, all that I know is that the standard size for the red ensign is 3×4½ ft while the blue ensign is 3×6 ft. They are 680.00 Mauritius rupees each or about US$22.00.
Clay Moss, 08 Mar 2010

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State Ensign

Mauritius state ensign
image by Clay Moss, 11 Dec 2006

The Album 2000 [pay00] says:

3. Civil Ensign. ---/-S- 1:2
Blue ensign, based on British model, with the national flag in canton and coat of arms (without the white disk) in fly.
Željko Heimer, 14 Jun 2002

Porter Brothers flag makers of Liverpool (now out of business) told me that in the early 1980’s they produced a batch of merchant ensigns to be sent to Mauritius; if they made up any government ensigns, I didn’t see them.
Clay Moss, 04 Mar 2010

Mauritius’ main flag maker still sells the Mauritius blue ensign. At this point, all that I know is that the standard size for the blue ensign is 3×6 ft. They are 680.00 Mauritius rupees each or about US$22.00.
Clay Moss, 08 Mar 2010

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Civil Ensign

Mauritius civil ensign
image by Clay Moss, 15 Jun 2010

Mauritius’ main flag maker still sells the Mauritius red ensign. At this point, all that I know is that the standard size for the red ensign is 3×4½ ft. They are 680.00 Mauritius rupees each or about US$22.00.
Clay Moss, 08 Mar 2010

Bruce Berry visited the main flag selling establishment in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he purchased a couple of Mauritian red ensigns and kindly sent me one of them. The badge has been embellished from the traditional version by having the golden sprigs of (what?) added and the letters "RM" which we assume to stand for "Republic of Mauritius". The image above shows pretty much as the ensign is made up. It measures 3×4.5 ft. The disk is 24 in in diameter, offset low in the fly half and all of the stuff inside is fairly close to what you see here. The Mauritius flag canton is ⅖ as wide as the whole ensign and in length ⁵⁄12 the length of the ensign. The whole ensign is cotton broad cloth.

The store had many in stock, and apparently the ensign is still regularly used. Bruce has visited the Mauritius Bureau of Standards among other places and has so far had no luck on getting any information on new proportions, rules of usage etc. for either the Mauritius red or Mauritius blue ensign. So, we don’t know if the new badge for the red ensign is an official one or if someone simply exercised a bit of artistic license in drawing this up.

Clay Moss, 15 Jun 2010

This appears to show the Presidential variant of the national arms, and I wonder if these have replaced the 1906 model for general use?
Christopher Southworth, 16 Jun 2010

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Previous version

Mauritius old civil ensign
image by Clay Moss, 11 Dec 2006

The Album 2000 [pay00] says:

3. Civil Ensign. ---/C-- 1:2
Red ensign, based on British model, with the national flag in canton and coat of arms on a white disk in fly.
Željko Heimer, 14 Jun 2002

Does anyone know if the current red ensign is actually utilized by the Mauritian merchant fleet? I have a colleague who lives in Mauritius who tells me that he has never seen a current red ensign. He says that the Mauritius national flag serves as the ensign at sea as well. Now, my colleague is not all that observant, so he may not be on target.
Clay Moss, 11 Dec 2006

I think that it’s official but has fallen into disuse. Porter Brothers flag makers of Liverpool (now out of business) told me that in the early 1980’s they produced a batch to be sent to Mauritius but that they never received another order afterwards.
Clay Moss, 04 Mar 2010

Porter Brothers was making the disk ⁴⁄9: The prototype sample they showed me was a 3×6 ft red ensign with a 16″ disk. I think (the batch) that they sent to Mauritius consisted of 4½×9 footers with 24″ badges, 3×6 footers with 16″ badges and 27×54 inch ensigns with 12″ badges.
Clay Moss, 04 Mar 2010

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with large disc

Mauritius civil ensign
image by Clay Moss, 19 Mar 2010

This design is based on Album 2000 [pay00], where the disk shown is rather large. The same drawing appears in the Corr. 4 of the Album [cor04].
Željko Heimer, 06 Mar 2010

I am not aware if there is a regulation regarding the size of the disk. In the Album 2000 [pay00] it’s certainly bigger than traditional British disk of ⁴⁄9ths hoist (which also the Brits dropped lately).
Željko Heimer, 14 Jun 2002

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Coast Guard Ensign

Mauritius Coast Guard ensign
image by Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002

Mauritius has an unusual naval ensign of several unequal red, white and blue stripes. In the middle white panel is set a red anchor with a green cable and a five-pointed white star outlined in yellow on top. The anchor has two bars on the lower right side. If you cover the extensions on the bottom of the anchor, a key will appear. This is a reference to the motto found on Mauritius’ coat of arms: «Stella Clavisque Maris Indici» or «The star and the key of the Indian Ocean». Both the key and the star are also found in the coat of arms. Mauritius introduced the naval ensign in April 1974. It has the unusual proportions of 26:57. Source: “New Flags”, The Flag Bulletin [tfb] 123 (1987).
Jan Oskar Engene, 19 Aug 1996

This particular flag is called the «Coast Guard Ensign» by the Album [pay00], the «War Flag» by BR20 (Flags of All Nations) [ gra00] and as being for «vessels and units of the maritime section of the Mauritius police force» by the Flag Institute. Interestingly enough the construction details in the Album [pay00] add up to a ratio of 19:42 and not the 26:57 quoted, however, since the difference is less than 0.02% of flag width it can hardly be considered critical.
Christopher Southworth, 08 Apr 2004

The Album 2000 [pay00] says:

Coast Guard Ensign. ---/-S- 26:57
Vertically divided in three fields, the first and last both include vertical stripes of red-white-red-white-blue at hoist, i.e. blue-white-red-white-red at fly, and the middle, white stripe contains a red anchor combined with a key, cable with green rope and topped with yellow five-pointed star. The ratio of stripes is 4+2+2+2+4+14+4+2+2+2+4. The colours used are those of the national flag.
Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002

The National Coast Guard Act of 1988 of Mauritius is available online as a PDF file. It prescribes the CG ensgin, however, it does not describe or depict it.
Željko Heimer, 06 Mar 2010

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Usage classification

Shouldn’t the Coast Guard ensign be ---/--W instead of ---/-S-?
António Martins, 08 Apr 2004

I suppose it depends on the legal status of the Mauritian coast guard. If it’s a military force (i.e., members subject to military discipline, like the US Coast Guard), then I’d say it should be ---/--W. But if it’s legally a civilian-manned force (even if in uniform, like Iceland’s, the UK’s, or Canada’s), then ---/-S- would seem correct.
Joe McMillan, 09 Apr 2004

I think that I have asked Armand (the author of the Album 2000 [pay00]) about the same question back then, and he answered that the Goast Guard of Mauritius is not a military organization but a special state service, therefore it does not really get to have ---/--W even if that is probably a closest thing to it. The state-owned ships of other services (whatever they may be) would use the blue ensgn. I believe that the situation repeats in several other nations included in Album that do not really have a navy.
Željko Heimer, 08 Apr 2004


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