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Antwerp (Belgium): Yacht clubs

Last modified: 2005-11-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: antwerp | cross (red) | cross (white) | letter: r (red) | letters: srna (yellow) | ring (red) | crown: royal |
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Royal Antwerp Rowing Club


Burgee of RARC - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 May 2005

Royal Antwerp Rowing Club - Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportvereniging (RARC-KAWV) is a rowing club founded in Antwerp more than 100 years ago. The club house is an ancient farm located on the Albert Canal in Wijnegem.

The burgee of RARC-KAWV is a white triangular flag with a red cross. A red ring charged with a red letter R is placed on the middle of the cross.
Red and white are the traditional colours of Antwerp.

Source: RARC website

Ivan Sache, 29 May 2005

Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportvereniging - S.R.N.A


(First?) burgee of SRNA - Image by Ivan Sache, José Carlos Alegria Diaz & Jaume Ollé, 29 May 2005

Société Royale Nautique Anversoise (SRNA) was founded in Antwerp on 13 December 1878.
On that day, after long negociations, three local yacht clubs decided to dissolve and merge together:

  • Société Nautique "Sport Anversois", founded in 1876, the youngest but the richest
  • Société Nautique "Union Club", founded in 1861;
  • Société Nationale "Regatta", founded in 1858.

On 17 January 1879, a General Assembly was held at Café de la Cité in order to adopt the statutes, flag and burgee of the new club. The name of the new club was very disputed. There were four proposals for the name of the club:

  • Royal Yacht and Rowing Club - the rowers wanted to keep their identity
  • Société Royale Nautique de l'Escaut (Escaut is the French name of the river Scheldt)
  • Yacht Club Royal Belge
  • Société Royale Nautique Anversoise

The latter name was selected, probably supported by the former Société Nautique Sport Anversois. In the 1970s, the club adopted a Dutch name but kept its French acronym: Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportvereniging - S.R.N.A.

The rules for flag hoisting by members of SRNA evolved as follows (my translation from the SRNA website):

In the foreign waters, the national flag with the arms of SRNA in the median stripe shall be hoisted at the horn of the mast, or on the mizzenmast, or, when at anchor, on the flag mast or the quarter-deck. In the territorial waters, the members of SRNA shall hoist instead of the national flag the club flag, made of the flag of Antwerp with the arms of the club in the middle and the Tricolore in canton.
The original club burgee from 1878 was only slightly modified, under constraint: in 1948, the Royal Belgian Yachting Union stated that letters should be suppressed from the club burgees.
The President, the two Vice-Presidents and the Presidents of the sections shall fly distinctive marks, flags or burgees, according to their function, instead of the burgee; these marks are still in use today.(Yearbook 1901; Yearbook 1965)
Each member might further fly a square personal flag, with its own colours and design, of which an illustration will be registered at the secretariat.
The tradition of flying a specific club flag on stern was suppressed by law in 1966.

The image shown on the website must be the original burgee of the club. It is a triangular red flag with a white cross, a Royal crown in the middle and the letters SRNA placed clockwise in the arms oif the cross. I suppose that the burgee in current use is the same without the letters.

Source: SRNA website

Ivan Sache, 29 May 2005