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British shipping companies (D)

Last modified: 2006-07-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: d | horse head | dplc | elephant | triangle |
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R.S. Dalgleish Ltd.

R.S> Dalgleish Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

R.S. Dalgleish Ltd., Newcastle - blue flag, red "D"; inside D white space.
From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Capetown, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).
Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

R.S> Dalgleish Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

However Brown (1951) [Wedge (1951)] has a slightly different "D", whose inside is blue.
Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

R.S. Dalgliesh Ltd. The version by Scott with the white core to the "D" is not shown by any other source.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 March 2005

A plate at this website also shows the D pierced blue.
Jan Mertens, 13 May 2005

Dart Container Ships

[Dart Container Ships houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 17 March 2004

The flag is swallow-tailed, blue with three darts horizontally divided white-red and placed 2 + 1.

Dean & Dyball Shipping Ltd.

[Dean & Dyball Shipping Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005

Dean & Dyball Shipping Ltd., Poole - white flag, red disk charged with a white circle containing a white horse's head.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005

J. & J. Denholm, Ltd.

[J. & J. Denholm, Ltd. houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 10 April 2000

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963

White with a dark blue lozenge and a white "D" in the lozenge.
Jorge Candeias, 17 Feb 1999

The current name of the company is Denholm Shipping Services Ltd. The company was founded in 1866 as a ship agency on the Clyde, in Scotland. It is now registered in Glasgow. Denholm's first ship was the sailing ship David Sinclair, bought in 1873. The company experienced heavy losses in the 1940s and had to move to on-shore activities. Denholm recently diversified its activity among four branches: logistics (ship agency), shipping, sea foods and industrial services. The company website is at
Ivan Sache, 1 March 2004

Dennison Shipping Ltd.

[Dennison Shipping Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005

Dennison Shipping Ltd., Kirkwall (Orkneys) - horizontal white-blue-white; in center white disk, blue "D".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005

William Denny & Son

[Devitt and Moore houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

William Denny & Son, Dumbarton - white flag, blue elephant. This is an old-established firm of shipbuilders, having been founded in 1840. Their flag was quite unusual in having for its emblem an elephant. This device was taken from the civic arms of Dumbarton, bit also served to symbolizes the strength and solidity of the company's products. Denny's became famous as builders of short-sea passemger vessels and similar craft in British waters, and at one time, a very large proportion of the cross channel ferries and similar craft in British waters had been built by them. Their flag is no longer to be seen, for the company closed down during the 1960's.
Source: Loughran (1979) "A Survey of Mercantile Houseflags & Funnels".
Jarig Bakker, 4 April 2005

Devitt and Moore

[Devitt and Moore houseflag] image by Zachary Harden, 27 June 2001, modified by Jarig Bakker, 12 July 2001

Devitt and Moore ran a fleet of about 20 sailing ships in the wool trade to Australia in the 1800s and early 1900s. In the 1920s they got rid of the ships and founded The Nautical College Pangbourne which, along with the Conway and Worcester, provided cadet training for the MN, RNR and direct entry to the RN College, Dartmouth. The design was wine red and deep blue alternate quarters with a white rectangle (woolsack?) centred in the flag.

Peter Armitage, 24 June 2000

This flag is illustrated in Carr (1961), Flags of the World, and in Barraclough (1971), Flags of the World.
Jarig Bakker, 24 June 2000

Devitt & Moore of London carried passengers and cargo between Great Britain and Australia from 1863 until the end of the First World War, mainly in sailing vessels.
Port Cities: Jan Mertens, 7 February 2005

Diamantis Lemos Ltd.

[Diamantis Lemos Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 15 January 2006

Diamantis Lemos Ltd., London - white flag bordered yellow; blue diamond.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 15 January 2006

 Dodwell & Co.

[Dodwell & Co. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of Dodwell & Co. A white rectangular flag with a red cross overall and red borders. A black saltire is in the canton. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 11 August 2004

Dominion Shipping Co. Ltd

[Dominion Shipping Co. Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 17 March 2004

The flag is red with a black diamond.

Dominion Line (Liverpool & Mississippi [Dominion] Steamship Co.)

Flag Pennant
[Dominion Shipping Co. Ltd houseflag] [Dominion Shipping Co. Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 27 December 2005

The Liverpool Journal of Commerce chart for 1885 shows a Dominion S.S. Co. of Liverpool, but managed by Flinn, Main and Montgomery. The flag is red with a white diamond and a dark blue disc in the centre. In the 1909 chart from the same publishers, the flag has changed to a pennant shape, but with the same devices, and the F, M & M reference has been dropped.
Ian Sumner, 9 December 2005

The rectangular flag can be seen at and a clearer image (top of page) at The pennant can be seen at, no. 1721 ‘Dominion Line, Liverpool’ in the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels and bigger, at (cigarette card)

A short history of this firm (using sources:, follows:

‘Dominion Line’ is in fact the short name of the Liverpool & Mississippi Steamship Co., founded 1870 and renamed Mississippi & Dominion Steamship Co. two years later. These names expressed the firm’s interest in a route linking Liverpool and New Orleans but this was abandoned in favour of a Canadian route. Not much goods and passenger transport here but livestock, mostly. Along with other companies – the most famous being the White Star Line - the Dominion Line was absorbed by the International Mercantile Marine Co. in 1902. Reduced to a component in a large business conglomerate, Dominion had to stop passenger transport in 1914 and in 1921 all its ships were allocated to IMM’s Leyland Line. From 1908 on a service using the combined name White Star-Dominion Line had been active but in 1926 it was renamed the White Star Line Canadian Service. By then, all Dominion’s ships had been scrapped.

Link to a 1920 poster of this joint service, showing the two house flags: and a luggage sticker ca. 1910 giving precedence to the White Star pennant: When was the pennant introduced? Lloyds 1912 shows it whereas the following timetable issued Oct. 1903 still shows the rectangular house flag (see last photo): In view of the above, including Ian’s comments, we may suppose that the rectangular house flag was replaced sometime between 1903 and 1909.
Jan Mertens, 23 December 2005

Donaldson (Atlantic) Line

Version 1

[Donaldson Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Donaldson Atlantic line, Ltd. had a red-white-blue vertical tricolor with a blue D on the white stripe but above flew a white pennant with the thistle (the related Donaldson Line, Ltd. flew the same flag, but not the pennant).
Source: Stewart (1953)
Ned Smith, 1 July 2003

According to "All about Ships & Shipping, E.P.Harnack (ed), 1938", There were three companies:

  1. Donaldson Atlantic Line (Glasgow-New York): Houseflag: White Pennant, with Red and Green Thistle, over Red, White and Blue vertical tricolor, Blue D in center. (ship: Letitia, Athenia (torpedoed 3 Sep 1939)
  2. Donaldson Brother, Ltd. (Glasgow, Liverpool-Canada, British Columbia): Houseflag: Red, White and Blue vertical Tricolor, with Blue D in center. Ship: M.S. Salacia
  3. Donaldson South American Line, Ltd. (Glasgow, Liverpool-South America): Houseflag: Blue Pennant, with DSAL in White, over Red, White and Blue vertical Tricolor with Blue D in center. Ships: Coracero, Corinaldo, Corrientes, Cortona, Cordillera.
Jarig Bakker, 6 October 2003

"Flags and Funnels of the British and Commonwealth Merchant Fleets" shows this flag but with a wider white panel and smaller "D".
António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 June 2006

Version 2

[Donaldson Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

A similar flag, but with a gold D, was seen on a pin and one without the letter D also on a large sailing vessel in West Bay of Victoria Harbour (B.C., Canada).
Charla "Vikingwoman", 6 October 2003

The companies as detailed were managed by the owners who originated as Donaldson Brothers around 1855, by 1938 becoming Donaldson Bros. & Black Ltd. Griffin 1895 shows a tapered swallowtail with a black letter but nobody else supports this version. There does seem to be a connection with the version with the yellow D from the pin as T.S.S. Captain Cook was managed by them for the N.Z. Government between 1951 and 1960 but I cannot find any comment on such a flag. Whether it has any connection with the sighting on the sailing vessel depends on what it was and when, as Donaldsons folded in the 1970s.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 January 2004

Version 3
[Donaldson Line houseflag] image located by Jan Mertens, 31 july 2005

The white pennant bearing a red and green thistle can be seen at The same page shows a blue pennant bearing white letters DSAL (Donaldson South American Line).
Jan Mertens, 31 July 2005

The Dornoch Steamship Co. Ltd

[The Dornoch Steamship Co. Ltd houseflag] image by Al Fisher, 29 Jan 1999

The Dornoch Steamship Co. has a strikingly similar house flag to the Temple Steamship Co. Ltd.. Both house flags are white with a red triangle. They differ only by the geometry of the triangle. It seems to me very weird that two different companies could have had so similar and potentially confusing house flags.
Ivan Sache, 28 February 2004

It sometimes helps to record the funnel marking as well as the house flag. A white flag with a red triangle, point uppermost, was also the house flag of Lambert Brothers, Ltd. Their ships had black funnels with the red triangle on a white band.
David Prothero, 29 February 2004

The Dornoch Steamship Co. The reason for the so called similarity with the flags of the Temple Steamship Co. Ltd. and Lambert Brothers, Ltd. is because they are all one and the same and the correct allocation is to Lambert Brothers who operated through various companies including Dornoch Steamship and Temple Steamship until 1968 when they merged their shipping into Scottish Ship Management Ltd.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 March 2005

J.T. Duncan & Company

[J.T. Duncan & Company houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels [Wedge 1926]

J.T. Duncan & Company, Cardiff - blue burgee, red cross, in the center white "D".
Jarig Bakker
, 31 January 2005

J.T. Duncan & Co. I have found 5 variations for the positioning of the letter so far. The version shown is supported by Lloyds 1912 and most of the Brown editions between Wedge 1926 and Wedge (1958) although notes to the latter 1958 edition state that the "D" goes over the vertical arm and under the horizontal arm of the cross after displaying it as shown here. The 1951 edition of Brown (Wedge, 1951) has the letter wholly over the cross as do the early editions of Stewart (1953), whereas as Talbot-Booth (1936) has the cross wholly over the letter. Reed 1912 shows the "D" mainly on top with only the bottom of the "D" going under the bottom vertical arm of the cross. Finally a drawing from a maritime collection has the "D" over the cross but within the "D" only the vertical cross arm shows, the horizontal arms do not, just the blue field. The company itself ceased shipping around the late 1950s early 1960s [sources vary] but continued as a shipbroker until 1978 [or so a source says].
Neale Rosanoski, 23 March 2005

Duncan Dunbar

[Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co., Ltd houseflag] image from Port Cities located by Jan Mertens

Duncan Dunbar established a business in London, and with his son built up a sailing-ship empire which traded all over the world from Dunbar Wharf, Limehouse.
Jan Mertens, 7 February 2005

Duncan Dunbar. According to Loughran (1979) the fleet commodore flew a swallow-tailed version whilst the commodore either before or after this version may have flown a true pennant charged with a dog's head superior to the houseflag, but further details of such a flag have not been found.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 March 2005

Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co., Ltd.

[Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co., Ltd houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 11 April 2000

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963

T. Dunlop & Sons

[T. Dunlop & Sons houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2004

Based on Wedge 1926 T. Dunlop & Sons, Glasgow - white flag; white diamond bordered red, charged with blue "D".
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2004

T. Dunlop & Sons. Some early sources such as Griffin 1895 show the diamond frame being throughout the field, whilst the others vary with its size within the field. The company originated in 1851 becoming a ship owner in the early 1870s and ceasing in 1957.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 March 2005