CHINESE EMPIRE
 


 
NAVAL ENSIGNS & FLAGS    1909-12
 

Up to 1909 the navy of imperial China possessed no single set of flags and pennants. The various fleets all had their own designs, though most did use the yellow dragon flag as the naval ensign. This originated as the imperial banner of the Qing dynasty, yellow being the traditional Manchu color. The dragon, the ancient symbol of the life-giving rain spirit, was considered a beneficent creature that was dangerous only if provoked. Originally made triangular, the banner later became rectangular and in 1900 it was officially adopted as China's national flag.

The Chinese Navy's defeat in the 1894-95 Sino-Japanese War was followed by efforts at reform. Among other things Western style naval ranks, uniforms and a standardized range of naval flags were introduced. As previously, the national flag served as the naval ensign. Whether a distinctive jack was introduced is uncertain. If so it may have resembled the hypothetical design shown below; if not the ensign probably doubled as the jack. The appointment and rank flags were similar to those of many other nations, with a canton of the ensign and distinguishing badges in the field. The fall of the imperial regime and the proclamation of the Republic of China led to the abolition of these flags in 1912.

Flag Proportions: These flags were made in 2:3 proportions.
 



 

NATIONAL FLAG & NAVAL ENSIGN


 

POSSIBLE NAVAL JACK

 

COMMISSIONING PENNANT

 

MINISTER OF THE NAVY

 

ADMIRAL

 

VICE-ADMIRAL

 

REAR-ADMIRAL

 

CAPTAIN COMMANDING

 

SENIOR OFFICER

 

DUTY SHIP OR HARBOR GUARDSHIP
 



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