Defaced Blue Ensign Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Defaced Blue Ensign?
All vessels should display the National Maritime Flag corresponding to the nationality of her owner, a British vessel would normally fly the Red Ensign. If both you and your vessel are eligible you can apply to the Club to fly the Club’s Defaced Blue Ensign instead of the Red Ensign.
What is the Club Burgee?
The Club Burgee identifies your vessel as belonging to a member of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. It is one of the oldest club burgees still in use.
Why would I want to fly the Defaced Blue Ensign?
A very limited number of yacht clubs are granted the ability for their members to fly the Defaced Blue Ensign by the Royal Yachting Association. Currently there are only 42 yacht clubs within the United Kingdom whose members are permitted to fly the Defaced Blue Ensign. To fly the Defaced Blue Ensign is considered an honour and a privilege.
Can I apply to fly the Defaced Blue Ensign?
To fly the Defaced Blue Ensign you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a fully paid-up member of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.
- You must be a British citizen.
- Your vessel must have a length of at least 7m and be:
- Registered in your name on the General Central Register of British Ships (for small ships), or
- Registered in your name on General Central Register of British Ships.
- The vessel may only be used for private, non-commercial use and must have no promotional commercial branding or sponsorship.
- Cannot be an Introductory Member in the first year of Membership of the Club
When should I fly the Club Burgee?
You should fly the Club Burgee when you – the owner – is either on board, in the vicinity of or in command of your vessel. The presence of the Burgee shows the vessel is under the control of a Club member. The Burgee can be flown on vessels owned by someone other than you, so long as you are the person in command of the vessel.
When can I fly the Defaced Blue Ensign?
The Defaced Blue Ensign can be flown when the owners of the vessel are on board and in command.
What rules must I follow when flying the Defaced Blue Ensign?
The Defaced Blue Ensign must not be flown between the hours of sunset (or 21:00 if earlier) and sunrise.
The Ensign would normally be flown from the stern and must not be flown without the Club Burgee. The positioning of the Ensign will vary from vessel to vessel, but in general the Burgee should be flown from the mast of a yacht, or highest point if there is no mast. The Ensign should be below the Burgee.
The warrant to fly the Ensign must always be on board for inspection if the Ensign is being flown.
How do I apply to fly the Defaced Blue Ensign?
So long as you meet the criteria above applying is easy, you will need to fill out a simple form (available from the RTYC office), provide the original copy of your vessel’s registration paperwork and evidence you are a British citizen. There is a small charge for providing the warrant.
Where can I get my Defaced Blue Ensign?
Ensigns of various sizes are available for purchase from the Royal Torbay Yacht Club Office.