REPUBLIC OF CUBA
 


 

NAVAL ENSIGNS & FLAGS  •  1941-59
 

Cuba declared war on the Axis powers on 11 December 1941 and thereafter the Cuban Navy, a small but efficient force, played an active role in the Caribbean Sea: patrolling, escorting convoys, conducting search and rescue operations. The US supplied the Cuban armed forces with modern equipment including aircraft and small warships. One of the latter, the patrol vessel CS-13, depth-charged and sank the German submarine U-176 on 15 May 1943. After the war the Cuban Navy acquired additional ships from the US, including frigates and minesweepers. Some of these remained in service for decades after the communist revolution.

The national flag, naval jack and commissioning pennant of pre-revolutionary Cuba were the same as those now used by the Castro regime. The national flag, which also served as the naval ensign, was officially adopted on May 20, 1902, when the island’s independence was formalized four years after the end of Spanish rule. Designed by the Cuban patriot Narciso López , it flew during the 1849-51 revolt under his leadership. The three blue stripes were said to symbolize the three districts into which Cuba was divided during the colonial period, the two white stripes symbolized purity of motive, the red triangle represented the blood shed in the struggle against Spain, and the white star stood for independence. Cuba’s naval jack was another flag of the independence movement, the so-called Flag of Yara, which was flown during the Ten Years War (1868-78). The commissioning pennant incorporated design elements of the national flag.

Naval appointment flags, rank flags and command pennants were of simple design. There were two flag ranks, rear-admiral and commodore, and their flags were similar to those used by the US Navy. All were replaced in the years following the establishment of the communist regime. 
 



 

NATIONAL FLAG & NAVAL ENSIGN


 

NAVAL JACK

 

COMMISSIONING PENNANT

 

APPOINTMENT & RANK FLAGS

 

SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR AND NAVY

 

CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF

 

COMMANDER OF A NAVAL DISTRICT

 

REAR-ADMIRAL

 

COMMODORE

 

COMMAND PENNANTS

 

CAPTAIN OR COMMANDER AS DIVISION COMMANDER
 

 

CAPTAIN OR COMMANDER
SECOND IN COMMAND OF A DIVISION

 

LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER AS DIVISION COMMANDER
 

 

LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER
SECOND IN COMMAND OF A DIVISION

 

SENIOR OFFICER
 



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