KINGDOM OF SWEDEN
NAVAL RANK FLAGS & PENNANTS • 1858-1905
Before 1858, Sweden and Norway used common naval rank flags of the 1815 and 1844 patterns. In that year, the common flags were abolished and Swedish admirals were ordered to fly the naval ensign as a rank flag, exact rank being denoted by the mast from which the ensign was flown: admirals from the mainmast, vice-admirals from the foremast and rear-admirals from the mizzenmast. A broad pennant for commodores and a senior officer's pennant were also introduced at this time.
By the 1870s, however, steam was replacing sail, warships' sailing rig was being reduced or eliminated, and the 1858 system was no longer practical. Accordingly, in 1875 Sweden introduced a new range of rank flags, based on the naval ensign, with badges or stars in the lower hoist to denote exact rank. The 1858 commodore's broad pennant and senior officer's pennant were retained. (Norway adopted a similar range of naval rank flags at the same time.) The 1875 rank flags were abolished and replaced by "pure" Swedish designs when the union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved in 1905.
ALL ADMIRALS • 1858-75
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE NAVY
ADMIRAL SUPERINTENDING NAVAL SERVICES
ADMIRAL • 1875-1905
VICE-ADMIRAL • 1875-1905
REAR-ADMIRAL • 1875-1905
COMMODORE • 1858-1905
SQUADRON COMMANDER & SENIOR OFFICER • 1858-1905