Historical flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories


The Historical flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories refers to the various flags that were used across the various Dominions, Crown Colonies, Protectorates, territories which made up the British Empire and current Overseas territories. Early flags that were used across the Empire (In particular the then Thirteen Colonies which would later become the United States of America) tended to variations of the Red and Blue Ensigns of Great Britain with no colonial badges or coat of arms attached to them.[1] In the first half of the 19th Century, the first colonies started to acquire their own colony badges, but it was not until the UK Parliament passed the Colonial Naval Defence Act 1865 that the colonies were required to apply their own emblems.

British Empire
Flags were used to represent a variety territories, colonies and dominions across the Empire
List of UK flags
English flags
Northern Irish flags
Scottish flags
Welsh flags
Cornish flags
Cayman Islands flags
Falkland Islands flags
Gibraltarian flags
Turks and Caicos Islands flags
Royal Standards
Former British Empire

The following list contains all former and current flags that were used across the Empire and as well as current British overseas territories until 1999.


Historical Flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories


Aden

FlagDateUseDescription
1937–1963AdenA blue ensign defaced with an Arab ship inside a disc

Anguilla

FlagDateUseDescription
1967–1969AnguillaThe 1967–1969 independence flag and is still widely seen and used on the island as an unofficial flag to this day.
1990–AnguillaA defaced blue ensign with the Coat of Arms of Anguilla in the fly. Still currently used as the flag for the island.

Antigua and Barbuda

FlagDateUseDescription
1956–1962Antigua and BarbudaA blue ensign defaced with the colonial coat of arms of Antigua on a white disc.
1962–1967Antigua and BarbudaA blue ensign defaced with the colonial coat of arms of Antigua.
1967–1981Antigua and BarbudaThis flag was adopted in 1967, to mark Antigua and Barbuda gaining Associated State status with the United Kingdom, and remained in use after full independence in 1981.

Australia

FlagDateUseDescription
1901–1903AustraliaThe original 1901 Federal Flag Design Competition winner. A British Blue Ensign defaced with the Commonwealth Star (with 6 points) in the lower hoist quarter and the five stars of the Southern Cross in the fly half (each star had a varying number of points: 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5).
1901–1903Australia (Civil Ensign)A British Red Ensign defaced with the Commonwealth Star (with 6 points) in the lower hoist quarter and the five stars of the Southern Cross in the fly half (each star had a varying number of points: 9, 8, 7, and 6).
1903–1908AustraliaA Blue Ensign defaced with the Commonwealth Star (with 6 points) in the lower hoist quarter and the five stars of the Southern Cross in the fly half (all stars had seven points, except the smallest star only had 5 points) as approved by King Edward VII.
1903–1908Australia (Civil Ensign)A Red Ensign defaced with the Commonwealth Star (with 6 points) in the lower hoist quarter and the five stars of the Southern Cross in the fly half (all stars had seven points).
1908–1939AustraliaA Blue Ensign defaced with the seven-point Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist quarter and the five stars of the Southern Cross in the fly half. Still currently used as the national flag of Australia.
1908–1939Australia (Civil Ensign)Based on the British Civil Air Ensign, with the addition of the Southern Cross and Commonwealth Star in white. Still currently used as the civil ensign of Australia.
Australian States

Flag Date Use Description
1901–1939 State of New South Wales A St George's Cross with four gold stars and a lion in the fly of a British blue ensign. Still used as the state flag.
1901–1939 State of Queensland A light blue Maltese cross with a Tudor crown on a white background in the fly of a British blue ensign.
1901–1904 State of South Australia A British blue ensign with a round disc in the fly displaying Brittania and an Aboriginal Australian man on a beach beside a cliff face with a kangaroo carving.
1904–1939 State of South Australia A piping shrike on a gold background in the fly of a British blue ensign. Still currently used as the state flag.
1901–1939 State of Tasmania A red lion on a white background in the fly of a British blue ensign. Still currently used as the state flag.
1901–1939 State of Victoria The Southern Cross surmounted by a Tudor crown in the fly of a British blue ensign.
1901–1939 State of Western Australia A black swan on a gold background in the fly of a British blue ensign.

Bahama Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1869–1904Bahama IslandsA Blue Ensign with the Badge of the Bahama islands.
1904–1923Bahama IslandsA Blue Ensign with the Badge of the Bahama Islands.
1923–1953Bahama IslandsA Blue Ensign with the Badge of the Bahama Islands.
1953–1964Bahama IslandsA Blue Ensign with the Badge of the Bahama Islands.
1953–1964Bahama Islands (Civil Ensign)A British Red Ensign with the Badge of the Bahama Islands. Note: change in the design of the crown within the badge.
1964–1973Bahama IslandsA Blue Ensign defaced with the Badge of the Bahama Islands.
1964–1973Bahama Islands (Civil Ensign)A British Red Ensign with the Badge of the Bahama Islands. Note: change in the design of the crown within the badge.

Bahrain

FlagDateUseDescription
1932–1972Bahrain ProtectorateA white band on the left, separated from a red area on the right by twenty-eight triangles that serve as a serrated line.

Barbados

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1966BarbadosA Blue Ensign with an emblem of Barbados.
1870–1966Barbados (Civil Ensign)A Red Ensign with an emblem of Barbados.

Basutoland

FlagDateUseDescription
1822–1966BasutolandFlag of the United Kingdom.
1951–1966Basutoland (Unofficial)A Blue Ensign with an emblem of Basutoland.

Bermuda

FlagDateUseDescription
1875–1910BermudaThe original colonial flag was a blue ensign with a seal showing a dry dock and three sailing ships.
1910–1999BermudaA Red Ensign with the coat of arms of Bermuda.
1910–1999Bermuda (Government Ensign)A Blue Ensign with the coat of arms of Bermuda.

British America

FlagDateUseDescription
Until 1801 (Canada)
Until 1776 (US, de facto)
Until 1783 (US, de jure)
British America, part of which is now Canada and the United StatesA red ensign with the first version of the Union Jack in the canton (formed as a square). Also known as the Queen Ann Flag and amended to form the Continental Colours of the United States in 1775.

British Antarctic Territory

FlagDateUseDescription
1963–British Antarctic TerritoryA defaced white ensign with the Coat of arms of the British Antarctic Territory. Still currently used to represent the territory within the United Kingdom.
1969–British Antarctic Territory (Government Ensign)A defaced blue ensign with the Coat of arms of the British Antarctic Territory. Still currently used to represent the territory within the United Kingdom.

British Cameroon

FlagDateUseDescription
1922–1961British CameroonsA blue ensign defaced with the words 'British Cameroon' surrounding bananas, all inside a white disc.

British Central Africa Protectorate

FlagDateUseDescription
1893–1907British Central Africa ProtectorateA Blue Ensign with an emblem of the British Central Africa Protectorate.

British Ceylon

FlagDateUseDescription
1815–1948CeylonA blue ensign defaced with the Coat of Arms of Ceylon.

British Columbia Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1866–1871British Columbia ColonyA blue ensign defaced with the Seal of the Colony, all inside a white disc.

British East Africa

FlagDateUseDescription
1888–1895British East AfricaA Union Jack with the logo of the British East Africa Company in the centre.
1895–1921British East AfricaA Blue Ensign with an emblem of the British East Africa.

British Guiana

FlagDateUseDescription
1875–1906British GuianaA blue ensign defaced with a sailing ship.
1906–1919British GuianaA blue ensign defaced with a sailing ship.
1919–1954British GuianaA blue ensign defaced with a sailing ship and the motto inside an oval.
1955–1966British GuianaA blue ensign defaced with a triangular badage with sailing ship and the motto inside an oval.

British Hong Kong

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1876British Hong KongA blue ensign defaced with the letters HK and a royal crown in a white disc.
1876–1941,
1945–1955
British Hong KongA blue ensign defaced with the Colonial Badge of Hong Kong.
1955–1959British Hong KongA blue ensign defaced with the Colonial Badge of Hong Kong.
1959–1997British Hong KongA blue ensign defaced with the Coat of Arms of Hong Kong in a white disc. This flag was used until the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. It has also been used during the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests

British Honduras

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1919British HondurasA blue ensign defaced with the badge of British Honduras inside a white disc.
1919–1981British HondurasA blue ensign defaced with the badge of British Honduras.

British India

FlagDateUseDescription
1733–1801East India CompanyA flag with red and white stripes and the flag of Great Britain in the canton.
1801–1858East India CompanyA flag with red and white stripes and the flag of the United Kingdom in the canton.
1858–1947British IndiaFlag of the United Kingdom.
1880–1947British IndiaA red ensign defaced with the badge of the Order of the Star of India
1885–1947British IndiaA Union Jack with the Star of India in the center, surmounted by the Tudor Crown. Used at various International events to represent Imperial India.
1879–1947British India (Blue Ensign)A Blue ensign with the Star of India, used as the naval flag.

British Indian Ocean Territory

FlagDateUseDescription
1990British Indian Ocean TerritoryA defaced Union Jack with blue wavy stripes with a palm tree with a gold crown on the stump.
1990–British Indian Ocean TerritoryA defaced Union Jack with blue wavy stripes with a palm tree with a gold and red crown on the stump.

British Leeward Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1871–1956British Leeward IslandsA blue ensign with the emblem of the British Leeward Islands in the fly.

British New Hebrides

FlagDateUseDescription
1906–1952British New HebridesA blue ensign defaced with the badge of British New Hebrides.
1952–1980British New HebridesA blue ensign defaced with the badge of British New Hebrides.
1966–1980New Hebrides CondominiumThe New Hebrides Condominium used several flags that features the flags of both the United Kingdom and France, this version has sky blue field.

British Malaya

FlagDateUseDescription
1895–1946Federated Malay StatesThe flag was striped horizontally with an overall 1:2 to ratio with white stripe at the top, red, yellow and black at the bottom. In the centre was a white oblong, with a horizontal major axis, and a Malayan tiger (Malay: Harimau Malaya) leaping, face to the left.
1895–1946Federated Malay States (Civil Ensign)The flag was striped horizontally with an overall 1:2 to ratio with white stripe at the top, red, yellow and black at the bottom with the Union Jack in the canton.
British Straits Settlements
FlagDateUseDescription
1868–1874British Straits SettlementsA blue ensign defaced with a golden crown at the bottom right hand corner.
1874–1925British Straits SettlementsA blue ensign defaced with a white disc containing three gold crown; separated with a red inverted pall, which looks like an inverted Y.
1925–1942British Straits SettlementsA blue ensign containing three gold crown; separated with a red inverted pall, which looks like an inverted Y.

British Mauritius

FlagDateUseDescription
1869–1906British MauritiusA Blue Ensign defaced with the 1869 Coat of arms of Mauritius in a white disc.
1906–1923British MauritiusA Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Mauritius in a white disc.
1923–1968British MauritiusA Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Mauritius.

British Nigeria (Northern & Southern)

FlagDateUseDescription
1900–1914Northern Nigeria ProtectorateA Blue Ensign defaced with the badge of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate in a green disc.
1900–1914Southern Nigeria ProtectorateA Blue Ensign defaced with the badge of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate in a green disc.
1914–1952British NigeriaA blue ensign defaced with a green Star of David surrounding a Tudor Crown with the white word "Nigeria" under it on a red disc.
1952–1960British NigeriaA blue ensign defaced with the a green Star of David surrounding a St. Edward's Crown with the white word "Nigeria" under it on a red disc.

British Solomon Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1906–1947British Solomon IslandsA Blue Ensign defaced with the name of the protectorate's and the Tudor Crown.
1947–1956British Solomon IslandsA Blue Ensign charged with a shield depicting a black-and-white sea turtle.
1956–1966British Solomon IslandsA Blue Ensign charged with a shield divided quarterly – depicting a lion, an eagle, a turtle, a frigate bird, and weapons from the region – on a white disc.
1966–1977British Solomon IslandsIdentical to the previous version, save for the removal of the white disc.

British Somaliland

FlagDateUseDescription
1903–1950British SomalilandA Blue Ensign defaced with a Kudu inside a white disc.
1950–1952British SomalilandA blue ensign defaced with the shield of arms of the British Somaliland.
1952–1960British SomalilandA blue ensign defaced with the shield of arms of the British Somaliland.

British Virgin Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1960–British Virgin IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands.

British West Africa

FlagDateUseDescription
1866–1888British West AfricaA blue ensign defaced with an elephant with the words “West Africa Settlements” under the feet of the elephant all inside a disc.

British Windward Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1886–1903British Windward IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the arms of the British Windward Islands inside a disc.
1903–1958British Windward IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the arms of the British Windward Islands inside a disc.
1953–1960British Windward IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the arms of the British Windward Islands inside a disc.

Burma

FlagDateUseDescription
1939–1941; 1945 – January 3, 1948BurmaA blue ensign defaced with a peafowl inside a disc.

Brunei

FlagDateUseDescription
1906–1959BruneiA yellow field cut by black and white diagonal stripes.
1959–1983Brunei

Canada

  • Note: Canada formally became an autonomous and de facto independent country from the United Kingdom under the Statute of Westminster in 1931 but continued to use variants the Canadian Red Ensign as the national flag until 1965. Canada's full separation would come in 1982.
FlagDateUseDescription
1868–1921CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.
1870CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada surrounded by an arc of golden maple leaves.
1873CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada surrounded by an arc of golden maple leaves within a white disc.
1896CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada surrounded by an arc of golden maple leaves within a white disc.
1896CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada with the Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).
1868–1921Canada (Government Ensign)A blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.
1873–1921CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.
1905–1922CanadaA version of the Canadian red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada that was used from 1905 until 1922.
1905–1922Canada (Government Ensign)A version of the Canadian blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada that was used from 1905 until 1922.
1921–1957CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.
1921–1957CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada within a white disc. Used at the opening ceremony of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games.
1921–1957Canada (Government Ensign)A blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.
1957–1965CanadaA red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.
1957–1965Canada (Government Ensign)A blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada.

Cayman Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1958–1999Cayman IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Cayman Islands within a white disc.
1958–1999Cayman Islands (Civil Ensign)A red ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Cayman Islands within a white disc.

Cape Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1876–1910Cape ColonyA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Cape Colony.

Cook Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1888–1893Kingdom of RarotongaThree horizontal stripes of red, white and red, with three blue five-pointed stars on the right side of the white band, and a Union Jack in the canton.
1893–1901Cook Islands FederationThree horizontal stripes of red, white and red, with a Union Jack (defaced with a palm tree on a mound of sand in the centre) in the canton.

Cyprus

FlagDateUseDescription
1881–1922CyprusA blue ensign defaced with the letters, "CHC" inside a white disc.
1922–1960CyprusA blue ensign defaced with two red lions.

Dominica

FlagDateUseDescription
1955–1965DominicaA Blue Ensign with the arms of Dominica
1965–1978DominicaA Blue Ensign with the coat of arms of Dominica

East Africa Protectorate

FlagDateUseDescription
1895–1920East Africa ProtectorateA blue ensign defaced with a red rampant lion in a white disc.

Falkland Islands & Dependencies

FlagDateUseDescription
1876–1925Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands Dependencies
A blue ensign defaced with the seal of the Falkland Islands.
1925–1948Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands Dependencies
A blue ensign defaced with the Colonial Badge of the Falkland Islands.
1948–1982,
1982–1999
Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands Dependencies
(1948–1982) (1982–1985)
A blue ensign defaced with the Coat of Arms of the Falkland Islands on a white disc.
1948–1982,
1982–1999
Falkland Islands (Civil Ensign)
The 1948–1999 Civil Ensign was a Red ensign defaced with the Coat of Arms of the Falkland Islands on a white disc.

Fiji

FlagDateUseDescription
1877–1883FijiA blue British ensign with a white disc in the fly containing a badge of foliage and crossed war-clubs with a superimposed shield bearing a mermaid looking at herself in a hand mirror. The badge is based on what was then the seal of the Supreme Court of Fiji.
1883–1908FijiA blue British ensign with a white disc in the fly displaying a crown surmounted by a lion with the word "FIJI" beneath it.
1908–1924FijiA Blue Ensign with the Fiji Coat of Arms on a white disc.
1924–1970FijiA Blue Ensign with the Fiji Coat of Arms centred on the fly half.

Gambia Colony and Protectorate

FlagDateUseDescription
1889–1965Gambia Colony and ProtectorateA blue ensign defaced with an elephant and the letters G. under the feet of the elephant all inside a disc.

Gibraltar

FlagDateUseDescription
1875–1921Gibraltar (Government Ensign)A blue ensign defaced with the badge of Gibraltar on a white disc.
1921–1939Gibraltar (Government Ensign)A blue ensign defaced with the badge of Gibraltar.
1939–1999Gibraltar (Government Ensign)A blue ensign defaced with the badge of Gibraltar.
1982—GibraltarA white and red flag with the banner of the coat of arms of Gibraltar. Still currently used as the flag of Gibraltar

Grenada

FlagDateUseDescription
1875–1903GrenadaA blue ensign defaced with the then badge of Grenada on a disc.
1903–1967GrenadaA blue ensign defaced with the then badge of Grenada on a disc.
1967–1974GrenadaThree equal horizontal stripes blue, yellow and green from top to bottom and a branch of a pomegranate inside a white oval in the middle.

Gilbert and Ellice Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1932–1976Gillbert and Ellice IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the Coat of Arms of Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

Gilbert Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1976–1979Gillbert IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the Coat of Arms of Gilbert Islands. Identical with the previous flag of Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

Gold Coast

FlagDateUseDescription
1821–1957Gold CoastA blue ensign defaced with an elephant and the letters GC under the feet of the elephant all inside a disc

Heligoland

FlagDateUseDescription
1807–1890HeligolandThe flag of Heligoland with the Union Jack in the canton.

Ionian Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1815–1864Ionian IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the shield of the symbol of Mark the Evangelist (symbol of the Republic of Venice) and surrounded with the red border.

Iraq

FlagDateUseDescription
1924–1959MesopotamiaFlag of Mandatory Iraq.

Ireland

FlagDateUseDescription
1922–1949Irish Free StateA vertical tricolour of green, white and orange. Still used as the national flag for the Republic of Ireland.

Jamaica

FlagDateUseDescription
1875–1906JamaicaA British Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Colonial Jamaica within a white disc.
1906–1957JamaicaA British Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Colonial Jamaica within a white disc.
1957–1962JamaicaA British Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Colonial Jamaica within a white disc.
1962JamaicaA British Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Colonial Jamaica within a white disc.

Kedah

FlagDateUseDescription
1912–1950Kedah ProtectorateColony of Kedah Red Coat of arms.

Kenya

FlagDateUseDescription
1920–1963KenyaA blue ensign defaced with a red rampant lion.

Kuwait

FlagDateUseDescription
1899–1914Kuwait ProtectorateThe flags of the Ottoman Empire was used.
1914–1921Kuwait ProtectorateA red flag with the word "Kuwait" in the center.
1921–1940Kuwait ProtectorateA Shahada was added in the fly half.
1940–1961Kuwait ProtectorateA wasm sign was added in the fly half.

Labuan

FlagDateUseDescription
1912–1946LabuanA blue ensign defaced with a ship.

Lagos Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1888–1906Lagos ColonyA blue ensign defaced with an elephant and the letter L. under the feet of the elephant all inside a disc

Lower Canada

FlagDateUseDescription
1791–1801Lower CanadaThe Red Ensign of Great Britain.
1801–1841Lower CanadaThe Red Ensign of the United Kingdom.

Malacca

FlagDateUseDescription
1946–1957MalaccaA blue ensign defaced with A Famosa motif.

Maldives

FlagDateUseDescription
1903–1953Maldives Protectorate

Malta

FlagDateUseDescription
19th centuryMaltaA red ensign defaced with a white St George's cross, but no badge.
1875–1898MaltaA blue ensign defaced with the badge of Malta in a white disc.
1898–1923MaltaA blue ensign defaced with the badge of Malta in a white disc.
1923–1943MaltaA blue ensign defaced with the badge of Malta without white disc.
1943–1964MaltaA blue ensign defaced with the badge of Malta in a white disc.

Montserrat

FlagDateUseDescription
1960–1999MontserratA blue ensign with the Coat of arms of Montserrat in the fly.

Mosquito Coast

FlagDateUseDescription
1834–1860Mosquito CoastUnion jack, prominent over the top quarter closest to the flag mast. The field of the flag is composed of ten horizontal stripes in blue and white alternatively.

Muscat and Oman

FlagDateUseDescription
1820–1970Muscat and Oman

Natal Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1843–1910NatalA Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Natal.

New Guinea

FlagDateUseDescription
1884–1888British New GuineaA blue British ensign with a white disc in the fly featuring the Tudor Crown over the initials "N.G.".
1888–1906British New GuineaA blue British ensign with a white disc in the fly featuring the Tudor Crown over the initials "B.N.G.".
1919–1949Territory of New GuineaA blue ensign defaced with a crown and the syllables T.N.G underneath inside a white disc.

New South Wales Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1867–1870New South Wales ColonyA Blue Ensign defaced with the letters "NSW".
1870–1876New South Wales ColonyA Blue Ensign with gold stars; 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 points with the "Governor's Badge" located in the fly. The badge was the Southern Cross and an imperial crown situated above the Southern Cross.
1876–1901New South Wales ColonyA Blue Ensign with a badge located in the fly. The badge, based on the coat of arms, is a white disc with the cross of St George, a golden lion passant guardant in the centre of the cross and an eight-pointed gold star on each arm of the cross. This flag is still currently used as the state flag.

Newfoundland

FlagDateUseDescription
1862–1870NewfoundlandA White flag bearing the red cross of St George with a yellow crown at the centre.
1870–1904NewfoundlandA blue ensign defaced with a seal of the crown and underwritten is "Terra Nova".
1904–1931 (used as Civil Ensign until 1965)NewfoundlandA red ensign defaced with the Great Seal of Newfoundland and between 1907 and 1931 was the de facto national flag of Newfoundland. Used as a civil ensign until 1965.
1904–1931Newfoundland (Civil and Naval flag)A Blue ensign defaced with the Great Seal of Newfoundland, primarily civil and naval use.
1931–1949 (Province flag until 1980)NewfoundlandThe Union Jack was used in Newfoundland as the national flag from 1931 until confederation with Canada in 1949 and was then used as the province flag until 1980.

New Zealand

FlagDateUseDescription
1840–1867New ZealandAdopted following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
1867–1869New ZealandA Blue Ensign defaced with the red letters “NZ” with white edge written into the lower fly half. This flag was used on New Zealand Government ships.
1902–1947 (official, in use from 1869)New ZealandA Blue Ensign with the Southern Cross of four white-edged red five-pointed stars centred on the fly half. This flag is still currently used as the National flag of New Zealand.
1869–1947New Zealand (Civil Flag)A Red Ensign with the Southern Cross of four white five-pointed stars centred on the fly half. This flag is still currently used as the Civil Ensign of New Zealand.

Niger Coast Protectorate

FlagDateUseDescription
1893–1899Niger Coast ProtectorateA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of the colonial Niger Coast Protectorate.

North Borneo

FlagDateUseDescription
1882–1948North BorneoA blue ensign defaced with the badge of North Borneo Chartered Company.
1882–1948North Borneo (Civil Enisgn)A red ensign defaced with the badge of North Borneo Chartered Company.
1948–1963North BorneoA blue ensign defaced with the new badge of Crown Colony of North Borneo.

Nova Scotia

FlagDateUseDescription
1858–1867Nova ScotiaA blue saltire on a white field with the Royal Arms of Scotland in the centre. Still used as the provincial flag.

Nyasaland

FlagDateUseDescription
1914–1919NyasalandA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Nyasaland within a white circle.
1919–1925NyasalandA blue ensign defaced with a larger version of the shield-of-arms of Nyasaland.
1925–1964NyasalandA blue ensign defaced with an updated colourised version of the shield-of-arms of Nyasaland.

Orange River Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1900–1910Orange River ColonyA blue ensign defaced with a springbok antelope in a disc

Palestine

FlagDateUseDescription
1927–1948British Mandate of PalestineA red ensign defaced with the word Palestine inside a white disc, for use by ships registered in the territory. The Union Jack was used as the general land flag of the mandate.

Territory of Papua

FlagDateUseDescription
1906–1949Territory of PapuaA blue ensign defaced with a crown and the word Papua underneath inside a white disc.

Penang

FlagDateUseDescription
1946–1949PenangA blue ensign defaced with the pre-1985 lesser arms of Penang.

Pitcairn Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1984–Pitcain IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Pitcairn Islands. Still currently used as the flag of the islands.

Province of Canada

FlagDateUseDescription
1841–1867Province of CanadaThe Flag of the United Kingdom.

Qatar

FlagDateUseDescription
1936–1949Qatar ProtectorateA nine-pointed serrated edge, diamonds and the word "Qatar".

Queensland Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1859Queensland ColonyOn 10 December 1859, "a light blue flag with a red St George's Cross and union in the corner" (now known as the Queensland Separation Flag) was flown in Brisbane to mark Queensland's separation from New South Wales.
1870–1876Queensland ColonyA blue ensign defaced but no Badge present. In its place was a profile of Queen Victoria on a blue disc surrounded by a white annulus on which the word "Queensland" was inscribed in gold.[2]
1876–1901Queensland ColonyBritish Blue Ensign defaced with the state badge on a white disc in the fly. The badge is a light blue Maltese Cross with an imperial crown in the centre of the cross. This flag is still currently used as the state flag of Queensland.

Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla

FlagDateUseDescription
1958–1967Saint Christopher-Nevis-AnguillaA blue ensign with the emblem of the territory in the fly.
1967–1983Saint Christopher-Nevis-AnguillaA vertical tricolour of green, yellow and blue with a black palm tree in the centre.

Saint Helena and Dependencies

FlagDateUseDescription
1874–1984Saint Helena and DependenciesA blue ensign defaced with the triangular coat of arms of Saint Helena.

Saint Lucia

FlagDateUseDescription
1875–1939Saint LuciaA blue ensign defaced with the emblem of Saint Lucia.
1939–1967Saint LuciaA blue ensign defaced with the emblem of Saint Lucia.
1967–1979Saint LuciaA cerulean blue field with a gold triangle in front of a black isosceles triangle outlined in white in the centre.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

FlagDateUseDescription
1877–1907Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesA blue ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
1907–1979Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesA blue ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Seychelles

FlagDateUseDescription
1903–1961SeychellesA Blue Ensign defaced with a palm tree and a tortoise aside encircled .
1961–1976SeychellesA Blue Ensign defaced with the legend "Seychelles" on top a palm tree and a tortoise below encircled.

Sierra Leone

FlagDateUseDescription
1889–1914Sierra LeoneA Blue Ensign defaced with an elephant and the initials S.L. encircled.
1916–1961Sierra LeoneA Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of Sierra Leone inside a white disc.

South Australia Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1876South Australia ColonyA blue ensign defaced with a black disc in the fly containing the Southern Cross and the two pointers (Alpha and Beta Centauri).
1876–1901South Australia ColonyA blue ensign defaced with a badge design of an artistic rendition of the arrival of Britannia (a woman in flowing garb and holding a shield, representing the new settlers) meeting an Aboriginal sitting with a spear on a rocky shoreline.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1992–1999South Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsA Blue Ensign defaced with the Coat of arms of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands inside a white disc.

South Africa

  • Note: South Africa formally became an independent country from the United Kingdom in 1931 after formally adopting the Statute of Westminster.
FlagDateUseDescription
1910–1912Union of South AfricaA red ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of the Union of South Africa inside a white disc. This South Africa Red Ensign was South Africa's de facto national flag between 1910 and 1928 and was flown at times from Government buildings despite it only being officially used between 1910 and 1912.
1910–1928Union of South AfricaA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of the Union of South Africa The Blue Ensign was flown over the Union's offices abroad between 1910 and 1928.
1912–1928Union of South AfricaThe design of the Red Ensign was modified slightly in 1912 when the shield was placed on a white disc so as to make it more distinguishable. The Red Ensign continued to be used as the flag of the South African merchant marine until 1951.[3]
1928–1961Union of South AfricaA flag based on the Prince's Flag, with three smaller flags centred in the white stripe. The smaller flags were the Union Jack towards the hoist, the flag of Orange Free State hanging vertically and the Transvaal Vierkleur towards the fly. This flag continued to be used by the Republic of South Africa until 1994.

Rhodesia (Northern & Southern)

FlagDateUseDescription
1890–1924
(1890–1924 Northern)
(1890–1923 Southern)
RhodesiaA Union Jack with a lion holding ivory and initials of the British South Africa Company in the centre.
1924–1964Northern RhodesiaA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Northern Rhodesia.
1923–1953
1968–1980
Southern RhodesiaA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Southern Rhodesia.
1953–1963Rhodesia and NyasalandA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
1964–1968Southern RhodesiaA light blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Southern Rhodesia.
1979–1980Southern RhodesiaFlag of the United Kingdom.

Sarawak

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1946Flag of the Sarawak ProtectorateA cross, half black and half red, on yellow based on shield-of-arms of Sarawak.
1946–1963SarawakA blue ensign defaced with the shield-of-arms of Sarawak.

Singapore

FlagDateUseDescription
1946–1952SingaporeA blue ensign defaced with a white disc containing a Tudor crown within a red inverted pall, which looks like an inverted Y.
1952–1959SingaporeA blue ensign defaced with a white disc containing Saint Edward's crown within a red inverted pall, which looks like an inverted Y.

Egypt

FlagDateUseDescription
1922–1956Anglo-Egyptian SudanThe Flag of the Kingdom of Egypt and the Union Jack used simultaneously.

Tanganyika

FlagDateUseDescription
1919–1961TanganyikaA red ensign defaced with the head of a giraffe in a white disc.

Tasmania Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1875Tasmania ColonyA white cross on a blue field, in the canton was the Union Flag, and in the fly was five five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross.
1875–1901Tasmania ColonyA defaced blue ensign with the state badge located in the fly. The badge is a white disc with a red lion passant in the centre of the disc. Still currently used as the state flag of Tasmania.

Jordan

FlagDateUseDescription
1921–1946Transjordan (British Mandate of Jordan)Flag of the Emirate of Transjordan.

Transvaal Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1900–1910TransvaalA blue ensign defaced with a disc showing a lion lying on an African plain with palm trees.[4]

Trinidad and Tobago

FlagDateUseDescription
1889–1958Trinidad & TobagoA blue ensign defaced with a circular badge depicting a ship arriving in front of a mountain.
1889–1958Trinidad & Tobago (Civil Ensign)A red ensign defaced with a circular badge depicting a ship arriving in front of a mountain.

Tuvalu

FlagDateUseDescription
1976–1978TuvaluA blue ensign defaced with a circular badge with a hut and the motto of Tuvalu.

Turks and Caicos Islands

FlagDateUseDescription
1889–1968Turks and Caicos IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the former coat of arms of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
1968–1999Turks and Caicos IslandsA blue ensign defaced with the coat of arms of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Trucial States

FlagDateUseDescription
1820–variousTrucial StatesTrucial Maritime flag
1936–variousTrucial StatesTrucial Maritime flag
1964–1971Trucial StatesUnofficial flag of the Trucial States Council

Uganda

FlagDateUseDescription
1914–1962UgandaA blue ensign defaced with a grey crowned crane inside a disc.

Upper Canada

FlagDateUseDescription
1791–1801Upper CanadaThe Red Ensign of Great Britain.
1801–1841Upper CanadaThe Red Ensign of the United Kingdom.

Victoria Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1877Victoria ColonyA defaced British Blue Ensign with the Southern Cross located in the fly. The stars of the Southern Cross were white and had 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 points with only the leftmost and rightmost stars having one point pointing to the top of the flag.
1877Victoria ColonyA defaced British Blue Ensign with the stars of the southern cross from then on having 5, 6, 7, 7 and 8 points in a white disc.
1877–1901Victoria ColonyA defaced British Blue Ensign with the stars of the southern cross from then on having 5, 6, 7, 7 and 8 points.

Weihaiwei

FlagDateUseDescription
1903–1930WeihaiweiA Blue Ensign defaced with two Mandarin ducks by a pond inside a disc.

Western Australia Colony

FlagDateUseDescription
1870–1901Western Australia ColonyA Blue Ensign defaced with a swan in a yellow disc. The flag was still used as the state flag until 1953.

Western Samoa

FlagDateUseDescription
1914–1920Western SamoaThe flag of New Zealand was used during the control of NZ-forces.
1922–1962Western SamoaA Blue Ensign defaced with three palm trees encircled.
1922–1962Western Samoa (Civil Ensign)A Red Ensign defaced with three palm trees encircled. Used at sea.

West Indies Federation

FlagDateUseDescription
1958–1962West Indies FederationIt has four equally-spaced narrow white stripes with a large orange-gold disc over the middle two lines in the centre of the flag, undulating horizontally across a blue field.

Zanzibar

FlagDateUseDescription
1896–1963ZanzibarA red flag used during the British protectorate.

Historical Governor's flags


FlagDateUseDescription
1869–1901Flag of the Governor-General of CanadaA Union Jack, defaced with a white circle, at the centre of which is the crowned shield of arms of Canada in 1869, surrounded by a wreath of green maple leaves.
1901–1921Flag of the Governor-General of CanadaA Union Jack, defaced with a white circle, at the centre of which is the crowned shield of arms of Canada in 1869, surrounded by a wreath of green maple leaves.
1921–1931Flag of the Governor-General of CanadaA Union Jack, defaced with a white circle, at the centre of which is the crowned shield of arms of Canada in 1921, surrounded by a wreath of stylize green maple leaves.
1869–1874Flag of the Governor of New ZealandA Union Jack defaced with four white stars in the form of a cross. This design was due to a misinterpretation of design instructions.
1874–1908Flag of the Governor of New ZealandA Union Jack defaced with a white circle with four red stars and the initial 'NZ' in the center. The whole surrounded by a green wreath.
1908–1936Flag of the Governor of New ZealandA Union Jack defaced with a white circle with four red stars and the initial 'NZ' in the center. The whole surrounded by a wreath of fern.
1875–1948Flag of the Governor of CeylonA Union Jack defaced with the badge of Ceylon.
1875 – c. 1898Flag of the Governor of MaltaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Malta.
c. 1898 – 1943Flag of the Governor of MaltaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Malta.
1943–1964Flag of the Governor of MaltaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Malta.
1875–1906Flag of the Governor of JamaicaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Jamaica.
1906–1957Flag of the Governor of JamaicaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Jamaica.
1957–1962Flag of the Governor of JamaicaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Jamaica.
1962Flag of the Governor of JamaicaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Jamaica.
1877–1883Flag of the Governor of FijiA Union Jack defaced with a white disc in the centre surrounded by a laurel wreath and containing a badge of foliage and crossed war-clubs with a superimposed shield bearing a mermaid looking at herself in a hand mirror.
1883–1908Flag of the Governor of FijiA Union Jack defaced with a white disc in the centre surrounded by a laurel wreath and containing a crown surmounted by a crowned lion with the word "FIJI" beneath it.
1908–1970Flag of the Governor of FijiA Union Jack defaced with the full coat of arms of Fiji on a white disc surrounded by a laurel wreath in the centre.[5]
1881–1905Flag of the High Commissioner of CyprusA Union Jack defaced with the letters "C.H.C".
1905–1960Flag of the High Commissioner and the Governor of CyprusA Union Jack defaced with two red lions.
1882–1903Flag of the Governor of North BorneoA yellow flag with lion in the centre pointing towards the right direction.
1903–1915Flag of the Governor of North BorneoA yellow flag with lion in the centre pointing towards the left direction.
1915–1946Flag of the Governor of North BorneoA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of North Borneo.
1948–1963Flag of the Governor of North Borneo CrownA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of North Borneo Crown Colony.
1994–1981Flag of the Governor of British HondurasA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of British Honduras. Also used on the Colony of the Bay Islands.
1885–1947Flag used by the British Governors-General, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, Chief Commissioners and other British officers in IndiaA Union Jack defaced with the Star of India surmounted by the Tudor Crown.
1899–1903Flag of the Commissioner of WeihaiweiA Union Jack defaced with Chinese dragon in a yellow disc.
1903–1930Flag of the Commissioner of WeihaiweiA Union Jack defaced with a pair of Mandarin ducks.
1902–1909Flag of the Governor-General of AustraliaA Union Jack defaced with a six pointed star, surmounted with the Tudor Crown, surrounded by ears of corn and a gold circlet.
1909–1936Flag of the Governor-General of AustraliaA Union Jack defaced with a seven pointed star, surmounted with the Tudor Crown, surrounded by ears of corn and a gold circlet.
1903–1961Flag of the Governor of SeychellesA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Seychelles.
1961–1976Flag of the Governor of SeychellesA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Seychelles
1904–1946Flag of the Governor of the Straits SettlementsA Union Jack defaced with the badge of Straits Settlements.
1906–1968Flag of the Governor of MauritiusA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Colonial Mauritius.
1906–1953Flag of the Resident Commissioner of the British New HebridesA Union Jack defaced with the badge of British New Hebrides.
1952–1980Flag of the Resident Commissioner of the British New HebridesA Union Jack defaced with the badge of British New Hebrides.
1910–1955Flag flown on Government House, Hong Kong and the Governor's official car during British ruleA Union Jack defaced with the then Colonial Badge of Hong Kong.
1955–1959Flag flown on Government House, Hong Kong and the Governor's official car during British ruleA Union Jack defaced with the then Colonial Badge of Hong Kong.
1959–1997Flag flown on Government House, Hong Kong and the Governor's official car during British ruleA Union Jack defaced with the then Coat of arms of Hong Kong.
1910–1931Flag of the Governor-General of the Union of South AfricaA Union Jack defaced with the Coat of Arms of South Africa.
1914–1952Flag of the Governor(-General) of NigeriaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Nigeria.
1952–1960Flag of the Governor(-General) of NigeriaA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Nigeria.
1914–1964Flag of the Governor of NyasalandA Union Jack defaced with the badge of Nyasaland.
1921–1922Flag of the Lord Lieutenant of IrelandA Union Flag defaced with an Irish Harp.
Until 1973Personal flag of the Governor of Northern IrelandA Union Jack defaced with the Coat of arms of Northern Ireland.
1922–1956Flag of the Governor-General of the SudanA Union Flag defaced with a white disc surrounded by a wreath of laurel. As no badge or coat of arms existed for Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, the disc instead contained the words "Governor General of the SUDAN".
1924–1951Flag of the Governor of Southern RhodesiaA Union Jack defaced with the shield from Coat of Arms of Southern Rhodesia.
1951–1952Flag of the Governor of Southern RhodesiaA blue flag with a Tudor Crown in the centre (in official proportions of 7:9).
1952–1965
(de jure 1952–1970)
Flag of the Governor of Southern RhodesiaA blue flag withna St. Edward's Crown in the centre (in official proportions of 7:9).
1940–1952Household flag of the Governor of Southern RhodesiaA red flag with a Tudor Crown in the centre, used as a car flag.
1952–1965Household flag of Governor of Southern RhodesiaA red flag with the representation of the Zimbabwe Bird in yellow, used as a car flag.
1929 onPersonal flag of the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova ScotiaA Union Jack defaced with the shield of the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Nova Scotia surrounded by a circle of 18 green maple leaves.
1939–1964Flag of the Governor of Northern RhodesiaA Union Jack defaced with the shield from Coat of Arms of Northern Rhodesia.
1946–1963Flag of the Governor of SarawakA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Sarawak Crown Colony.
1946–1952Flag of the Governor of SingaporeA Union Jack defaced with the Badge of Singapore Crown Colony.
1951–1966Flag of the Resident Commissioner of BasutolandA Union Jack defaced with the badge of Basutoland.
1953–1963Flag of the Governor-General of the Federation of Rhodesia and NyasalandA dark blue flag with the crest from the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom at the top, and the words "Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland" on a golden scroll below.
1955–1963Flag of the British Resident of ZanzibarA Union Jack defaced with a badge of sailboat that surmounted by a crown.
1959–1965Flag of the Lieutenant-Governor of OntarioThe Canadian Red Ensign defaced by a disc bearing the shield of the Arms of Ontario surrounded by a chain of green maple leaves.
1967–1981Flag used by the British Governor of Antigua and BarbudaA Union Jack defaced with the Coat of arms of Antigua and Barbuda.

Others


FlagDateUseDescription
1600–1858Flag of the English/British East India CompanyNumerous white and red stripes with the St George's Cross in the canton, the number of stripes was not determined.
1707–1800Flag of the British East India CompanyNumerous white and red stripes with the Union Jack of Great Britain in the canton. Accepted to be one of the inspirations for the Grand Union Flag that eventually evolved into the Flag of the United States.
1801–1858Flag of the British East India CompanyNumerous white and red stripes with the Union Jack of the United Kingdom in the canton.
1682–1707Flag of the Hudson's Bay CompanyThe English Red Ensign defaced with the initials of the company.
1707–1801Flag of the Hudson's Bay CompanyThe pre-1801 Red Ensign defaced with the initials of the company.
c.1801–1965Flag of the Hudson's Bay CompanyA Red Ensign defaced with the initials of the company.
pre–1801Flag of the North West CompanyThe pre-1801 Red Ensign defaced with the initials of the company.
c.1801–1821Flag of the North West CompanyA Red Ensign defaced with the initials of the company.
1889–1961Flag of the British South Africa CompanyA Union Jack with the logo of the British South Africa Company in the middle.
1889–1961Ensign of the British South Africa CompanyA Blue Ensign defaced with the Symbol of the British South Africa Company.
1801–1922Flag of the Lord Lieutenant of IrelandThe Union Jack defaced with the Coat of Arms of Ireland.
c.1701–post 1800Green EnsignAn unofficial merchant navy flag consisting of a green field with an earlier version of the golden harp and the Flag of England in the canton, no record of its actual use.
Post 1800–c.1922Green EnsignAn unofficial merchant navy flag consisting of green field with golden harp and the Union Jack in the canton, no record of its actual use.

See also


References


  1. "Flags of the British Empire and Commonwealth". Historical Flags of Our Ancestors. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  2. Ausflag (1995) 'Queensland', http://www.ausflag.com.au/flags/qld.html Archived 2008-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, [9 March 2004]
  3. Merchant Shipping Act 1951 (South Africa); South Africa Government Gazette No 6085 dated 25 July 1958.
  4. The flag is the colonial flag which replaced the "Vierkleur" of the South African Republic (horizontally red, white and blue with a vertical green stripe at the hoist).
  5. "Union Jack flag with Fijian crest", Museum of New Zealand. Retrieved 13 April 2020.