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Belgium: Yacht ensign

Last modified: 2005-11-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: yacht club | yacht ensign | crown: royal |
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Yacht ensign

[Yacht ensign]

Belgian yacht ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 7 August 2000

The yacht ensign was regulated by royal order from 15 March 1966, article 13 § 2 (my translation from the French order text given by Léon Nyssen in Vexillacta [vxl] #3, March 1999):

The national ensign to be hoisted by Belgian yachts is made of three stripes placed vertically, black, yellow and red, of equal width; the black stripe is placed at hoist. The national flag hoisted by Belgian yachts registered in yachting associations approved by the Minister is charged with a yellow royal crown in the upper third of the black stripe.

L. Nyssen quotes the French text of the order, and highlights the faulty use of laisse instead of laize for stripe, a mistake commonly reproduced for decades! The ensign proportion is not specified, neither are its dimensions. The proportion is usually 2:3 by analogy with the civil ensign, and the dimensions depend on the yacht owner's evaluation.

This yacht ensign was prescribed for the first time in 1936.

Ivan Sache, 7 August 2000

De facto yacht ensign

[Yacht ensign]

Belgian yacht ensign in common use - Image by José Carlos Alegria, 8 August 2000

According to Mr Vivegnis, an officer of the Bruxelles Royal Yacht Club, even though the law clearly says "yellow royal crown", the general use is to fly flags with crowns in full color (multi-colored). He is not sure if that is just because that is the way flag manufacturers make the flags or because of any tradition.

José Carlos Alegria, 8 August 2000

Use of yacht ensign by yacht clubs

In Belgium, recreational boats seem to be using massively the national ensign defaced with a royal crown in canton.
This privilege was initially given to only four clubs:

But extended usage of the flag seems to have been taken to allow all clubs belonging to the F.R.B.Y. (Fédération Royale Belge de Yachting), the Belgian Royal Yachting Federation, to fly the special ensign.

José Carlos Alegria, 20 February 2000