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Historical Naval Rank Flags (Thailand)

Last modified: 2013-07-20 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rank | military | pennant | marshal of the navy | admiral | general | vice admiral | lieutenant general | rear admiral | major general | senior officer | elephant | anchor: fouled (blue) | anchors: crossed (yellow) | crown: thai |
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See also:


Ketu or Chan 1891 (Rank Flag)

[Ketu or Chan 1891 Rank Flag (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé, Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec

From the Singha Beer source:

The Ketu or Chan Flag (B.E.2434) [1891 AD]
This is a square, dark blue flag, in the middle of which stands a white elephant – in full caparison – on a slightly raised dais. It is facing in the direction of the flagpole. [Identical to the Flag on State Buildings, with no white circle and a smaller elephant.]

This flag was originally initiated by King Rama V, following a special Royal Decree, pertaining to the design of Siamese flags (R.S.110 of B.E.2434 [1891 AD]). Later, in B.E.2440 [1897 AD], the Keta [sic] underwent a change of design to emerge as the Chan flag, once used to denote the various ranks of offices in the Royal Thai Navy, ranging from that of Lieutenant General to that of the Commander-in-Chief. During the reign of King Rama VI (B.E.2453 [1910 AD]), it was used on the official flag [sic – maybe "as the official flag"?].

According to the description, this appears to be a 1:1 flag whereas the image is 2:3. But elsewhere the term "square" has been used to designate rectangular flags.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999


Admiral of the Fleet 1891-1936

Marshal of the Navy

[Marshal of the Navy 1891-1936 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé, Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec

From the Singha Beer source:

The Flag of a Marshal in the Navy
This is a rectangular dark blue flag, in the middle of which stands [a] white elephant – in full caparison – standing on a raised dais. In the top left-hand corner, there are two crossed anchors under a yellow crown.
From the appearance of the flag and the way it is chronologically placed in the Singha Beer source, I am assuming this is a pre-1936 flag.

Santiago Dotor, 12 Nov 1999


Naval Jack and Admiral 1891-1917

[Naval Jack and Admiral 1891-1917 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé, Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec

Vice Admiral 1891-1917

[Vice Admiral 1891-1917 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé, Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec

Rear Admiral 1891-1917

[Vice Admiral 1891-1917 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé, Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec

Commodore 1891-1917

[Vice Admiral 1891-1917 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé, Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec

Naval Officer's Flag 1897-1936

Pu Yai Flag

['Pu Yai' Naval Officer's Flag 1897-1936 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé and Eugene Ipavec

Flaggenbuch 1939 shows a blue pennant with the fly (3/5ths length) coloured white as Halbflotillenchefstander or "pennant of a Half-Flotilla Commander".

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999

From the Singha Beer source:

Pu Yai Rlag [sic – surely "Flag" was intended]
This is a triangular flag, 36 cms. wide at the base and 75 cms. long, with a chakra in the middle. The flag is divided into two parts. The left side is dark blue, while the right side, which tapers off to a point is white. It was designed in B.E.2440 [1897 AD] in accordance with Royal Decree issued by King Rama V, was used alongside the Crocodile's Tail Flag.

The latter was flown from the main mast, white the Pu Yai flag was flown from the stern of the ship, denoting that high-ranking officers from a frigate [sic – this is most probably a wrong translation of "fleet"] were on board that particular vessel. In cases where the high-ranking officer happened to be a general, the General's flag would be used instead.

The Pu Yai flag was in use until B.E.2479 [1936 AD].

Santiago Dotor, 12 Nov 1999


Naval Rank Flags 1936-1979

From the Singha Beer source:

The Flag of a General of the Navy (B.E.2479) [1936 AD]
In B.E.2479 [1936 AD], flags signifying the various naval ranks were divided into four categories, in accordance with Article 8 of a special Royal Decree, issued in the same year, these consisted of the Marshal's, the General's, the Major General's and the Lieutenant General's flag. Use of these flag[s] was discontinued in B.E.2522 [1979 AD].
The Chakras in these images are possibly wrong, since they appear as yellow whereas they are described as white. Also, those in the Admiral's flag are described as "tracing the shape of an equilateral triangle" – as in the current Vice Admiral's flag – and pictured differently.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999


Admiral of the Fleet 1936-1979

Marshal of the Navy

[Marshal of the Navy 1936-1979 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé and Suttipong Phuensean, 19 Aug 2007

From the Singha Beer source:

In B.E.2479 [1936 AD], flags signifying the various ranks were divided with four main categories in accordance with Article 8 of a special Royal Decree concerning flag[s] – the first are being [sic] that of a Marshal of the Navy. This was a rectangular, dark blue flag, with four white "chakras" in each corner. In the middle are two crossed anchors beneath a Crown – all of which are decked out in yellow. This flag was used until B.E.2522 [1979 AD] when it was discontinued.

Santiago Dotor, 12 Nov 1999

Erroneous Depiction in Singha Beer website

[Marshal of the Navy 1936-1979 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé and Eugene Ipavec

Please note the charge in the center of the four chakras is the Royal Thai Navy's emblem, not two cross-anchors under the royal crown.

Suttipong Phuensean, 19 Aug 2007


Admiral and General of the Navy 1936-1979

[Admiral 1936-1979 (Thailand)] image by Jaume Ollé and Eugene Ipavec

From the Singha Beer source:

Admiral Flag
The flag of a General of the Navy is a rectangular, dark blue flag, with three Chakras tracing the shape of an equilateral triangle.
Identical to the current Vice Admiral Rank Flag, with yellow, clockwise Chakras instead of counterclockwise, white ones and with the two bottom Chakras halfway up the flag's height instead of near the bottom.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999


Vice Admiral and Lieutenant General of the Navy 1936-1979

[Vice Admiral 1936-1979 (Thailand)] image by Eugene Ipavec and Jaume Ollé

From the Singha Beer source:

Vice Admiral Flag
The flag of a Lieutenant General in the Navy is a rectangular dark blue flag with two with [sic – "white"?] Chakras, one above the other.
Identical to the current Rear Admiral Rank Flag, with yellow, clockwise Chakras instead of counterclockwise, white ones.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999


Rear Admiral and Major General of the Navy 1936-1979

[Rear Admiral 1936-1979 (Thailand)] image by Eugene Ipavec and Jaume Ollé

From the Singha Beer source:

Rear Admiral Flag
The flag of a Major General in the Navy is a rectangular, dark blue flag with a white chakra in the middle.
Identical to the current Commodore Rank Flag, with a yellow, clockwise Chakra instead of a counterclockwise, white one.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999


Senior Officer Afloat 1936-(1979?)

Acting Commander-in-Chief

[Senior Officer 1936 (Thailand)] 2:5 image by Miles Li and Eugene Ipavec, 30 September 2009

From the Singha Beer source:

The Flag of the Acting Commander-in-Chief (B.E.2479) [1936 AD]
This is a triangular white flag, with the base measuring two-fifths of its length. In the middle stands a dark blue anchor.

The flag first made its appearance following a special Royal Decree, issued in B.E.2479 [1936 AD]. Nowadays, however, use of this flag has been discontinued.

This pennant appears in Flaggenbuch 1939 as a Dienstalterstander or "seniority pennant".
Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999

Source: Flaggenbuch; Flags of All Nations.


 
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