Buy State Flags from Allstate FlagsBuy US flags from Five Star Flags
This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

British shipping companies (E)

Last modified: 2006-03-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: esso | jre | eagle (black) | lion (yellow) | etc | et | e&f | e&b | ellerman | ea | egc | el | esl |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:

Eagle Oil and Shipping Co.

[Eagle Oil and Shipping 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 Eagle Oil Shipping Co. Ltd, London. A yellow rectangular flag with a black stripe across the top and bottom edges. In the centre is a black eagle is displayed. The flag is made of wool bunting with a cotton hoist. It is machine sewn and the eagle motif is made of cotton. A rope and toggle is attached.

The shipping company was set up to ship oil from the Mexican oil fields to Europe. Their ships were involved in merchant convoys during both world wars. They were the owners of the 'San Demetrio' reboarded by her crew and saved after being set on fire by the 'Admiral Scheer' in 1940. The company were also managers of the 'Ohio' (owned by the Texas Oil Company) at the time of the Malta convoy of 1942. The firm was merged with the Shell International Petroleum Company in 1959 and their livery disappeared."
Jarig Bakker, 12 August 2004

Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows Eagle Oil Transport Co. Ltd., London: yellow, thin black horizontal edges and a standing black eagle with outstretched wings in the centre. Both edges seem to be one fifth of flag height and the eagle, one half of flag height besides two thirds of flag width. It is difficult to make out if the eagle stands on something but I think not.
Jan Mertens, 19 May 2004

[Eagle Oil and Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski

Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. After WW2 they also operated as Eagle Tanker Co. Ltd. out of the Bahamas. Although the NMM dates the flag as 1935-1950 all the sources up until towards the end show an eagle with wings displayed and inverted with the eagle generally looking in line with the attached . This however differs in the leg area from the design appearing on the funnel whereas one would expect them to be the same although the fact that the funnels had a letter "O" underneath,  or "T" later as was suitable, may have made it appropriate to shorten the legs thereon. The change to the design from the NMM flag is shown by Talbot-Booth for the funnels in his Merchant Flags 1959 and it appears that there was a change to the eagle design in 1957 according to a letter from John S. Styring to the publishers of "All About Ships & Shipping" (Harnack) dated 29.12.1959 in which he states "the actual 'design' of the eagle was altered materially early 1957". These comments would explain the eagle with wings displayed and elevated as per NMM which appears in the US Navy 1961 publication (though the black top and bottom edgings are omitted) in which he had considerable input. Any alteration was of course short lived with the integration with Shell taking effect 1.1.1960 after which the Shell flag was flown.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd.

[Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. 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 the Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd., London. A rectangular green flag, on a very broad red bend and a crest of a gold lion rampant holding a black foul anchor. 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, 5 August 2004

[Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. houseflag]   [Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. houseflag] by Neale Rosanoski

Eastern & Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. Began in 1873 as the Eastern & Australian Mail Steam Ship Co. Ltd. which had a voluntary winding up in 1880 being replaced by the newly formed company. The original flag according to Griffin 1895 had the same basic format but with the lion rampant guardant facing the fly and holding a shield bearing the black letters "EA" over "M". In 1894 there was another voluntary liquidation so it could reform under the same name and in 1946 it was again reformed as basically a P&O subsidiary and in due course it disappeared into the Group. According to the Liverpool Journal of Commerce sheets of 1885 the lion changed to holding an anchor but still faced the fly as rampant only and although they show a white anchor rather than black, that may not be significant as sources vary with their portrayal and colouring of both lion and anchor. The flag as shown here appears from Lloyds 1904 onwards.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Eastern Telegraph Company

[Eastern Telegraph Company houseflag] image located by David Prothero, 12 July 2003

Cable & Wireless was the name given in 1934 to a company formed in 1929 by amalgamating Eastern Telegraph Company, Eastern Telegraph Extensions Company, Eastern Telegraph Associated Companies and Pacific Cable Board. Eastern Telegraph Company's house flag was the old East India Company ensign with blue letters ETC in the fly. The Extensions Company house flag was similar with an additional blue letter E above the letters ETC. Their ships operated under the Red Ensign, but ships of the Pacific Cable Board, a public body formed in 1901 by the governments of Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, were granted a Blue Ensign defaced with crossed cable-laying implements surmounted by a royal crown. This ensign was probably withdrawn in 1929.
David Prothero, 12 July 2003

[Eastern Telegraph Co. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

According to the Liverpool Journal of Commerce chart of 1895 the Eastern Telegraph Co. Ltd. previously had a vertical triband of red-white-blue bearing the letters "ETC" [white on colour, red on white]. The flag shown above by David is recorded from Griffin 1895 on though Lloyds 1904 shows a slightly different version with the letters more widely spread and dots after them but their 1912 edition brings it into line.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 February 2004

Pacific Cables Board

[Eastern Telegraph Company houseflag] image by Miles Li

The Pacific Cable Board was a public body formed in 1901 by the governments of Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, to establish a west-about cable link with Australia, that would not cross any foreign territory. It was granted a Blue Ensign defaced by cable-laying implements in saltire ensigned by a royal crown. The ensign became obsolete in 1929 when the Board was wound-up and its assets combined with those of the Eastern Telegraph Company, the Eastern Telegraph Extensions Company, and Eastern Telegraph Associated Companies to form Imperial and International Communications Ltd. In 1934 the name was changed to Cable & Wireless Ltd..
David Prothero, 24 September 2004

Eastern Telegraph Company. Re the flag included for Pacific Cable Board, both Lloyds 1912 and Cableships & Submarine Cables show the fly emblem being within a yellow ring.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Edinburgh Tankers plc.

[Edinburgh Tankers plc. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 20 November 2005

Edinburgh Tankers plc., Edinburgh - blue flag, white diamond, red "ET".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 20 November 2005

Effluents Services Ltd.

[Forth Tugs Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 25 December 2005

Effluents Services Ltd., Macclesfield - horizontal green-white-green flag; in center black "ESL".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker
, 25 December 2005

Elders & Fyffes

[Elders & Fyffes houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)

Bristol - Jamaica and Central America
Houseflag: blue, with white diamond and E&F in blue.
Jarig Bakker, 13 October 2003

Elders & Fyffes, London: Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows this flag as blue with a white diamond bearing blue characters (without serifs) `E & F' in the centre, the `&' being somewhat smaller than the letters. Sampson's (1957) image has a slightly larger diamond.
Jan Mertens, 4 June 2004

Elders & Fyffes. Became Fyffes Group Ltd. in 1969.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Elder Dempster and Co. Ltd.

[Elder Dempster Agencies Ltd] image by Jorge Candeias

Elder Dempster and Co.Ld., Liverpool. White swallow-tail with tapering edges, a red St George's cross bearing a yellow royal crown in the centre. A 1953 artistic
impression can be seen here:
Jan Mertens, 19 May 2004

Elder Dempster Lines Ltd. This UK company traded with West Africa (and other places) and was based in Liverpool. The flag originated with the African Steam Ship Co., the crown being granted under the Royal Charter under which it was formed in 1852 and for whom Elder Dempster & Co. became agents and then gradually took over by 1890 with Elder Dempster Shipping Co. Ltd. being established in 1898. Some sources give a tapered version but this would seem without basis.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

[Elder Dempster Agencies Ltd commodore] based on image by Jorge Candeias

The company commodore had the flag shown on a white swallowtail i.e. one flag upon another.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Ellerman Group

[Ellerman Group pennant] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)

Stewart & Styring (1963) shows this as a common pennant used for Ellerman, but the Ellerman & Papayanni Line flag (a blue pennant flying under the pennant) has the lettering "P & Co". Helvetica with the 'o' half the size of the C and aligned with the top of the "C", lettering in white, extending ~2/3 the length of the fly.
Ellerman and Papayanni - Formed in 1855, Papayanni Brothers joined the Ellerman Group in 1901 and became Ellerman & Papayanni Line.
Phil Nelson
, 12 October 2003

After 1973 all constituent Ellerman companies were combined into Ellerman City Liners which in 1987 became Cunard-Ellerman.
Phil Nelson, 12 October 2003

Referred to as  Ellerman Line, Liverpool, in Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930). Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) also shows Ellerman Lines City Line Ltd., Glasgow: a small(er drawn) red flag with white letters (no serifs) SS. Letters about one half of flag height. An elongated pennant of the Ellerman Line above, and by one fourth longer than, this flag. The pennant's height is half the flag's.
Jan Mertens, 16 May 2004

Ellermans Group. The variety shown by sources as to the proportions of the various flags of the Group is large. The only accurate measurements available appear to be those from the National Maritime Museum which detail the combinations for Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co. Ltd., Ellerman & Papayanni Lines Ltd. and Ellerman's Wilson Line Ltd.

The plain blue pennant bearing the white "JRE" is that of Ellerman Lines Ltd. but Sampson along with Talbot-Booth 1936-1944, Brown 1943-1951 and Harnack 1938-1949 show it for Ellerman & Papayanni. Although the two are shown as separate companies based London and Liverpool respectively it seems that most of the fleet may have been based under the latter and perhaps they were inclined to usually fly just the single flag of the group whereas other taken over companies with their own fleets had more reason to want to display their origin. By itself this pennant may have been more triangular in the ratio of 2:3 which sources show or it may have been longer in line with the pennants shown above the original houseflags of the various group members.

[Ellerman Group pennant]image by Rob Raeside

As stated by Phil, Ellerman & Papayanni officially flew another blue pennant below bearing the white letters "P&Co". As given by the National Maritime Museum the upper pennant was 711mm x 1803 whilst the lower pennant was 1143 mm x 1905 mm. Sources all seem show a normal display of letters for the old Papayanni flag but that of the NMM has the lower case letters enhanced. Talbot-Booth in 1949 states that the flag was a blue rectangle with a white "P" but this is unsupported.

The Ellerman Lines City Line Ltd. referred to by Jan continued to be known as the City Line Ltd. after Ellermans took a 50% holding in 1901. Others to retain their name according to Lloyds were the Hall Line Ltd. and Westcott Laurence Lines Ltd. with all three using the format of flying the Ellerman pennant superior.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

[Ellerman Group pennant]by Ivan Sache, 4 December 2005

This cigarette card shows an image of the flag (from
Jan Mertens, 1 August 2005

Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co.

[Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co. houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 12 October 2003

Blue Pennant with JRE in white over a blue flag with red E&B in three white diamonds (the Bucknell Line had the same flag with red BSL in three white diamonds).
Jarig Bakker, 12 October 2003

Ellerman & Bucknall (Steamships) Co Ltd; (established in 1740 as Henry Bucknall & Sons, name changed to Henry Bucknall & Co by 1880, Bucknall Nephews established 1890s, incorporated as Bucknall Steamship Lines Ltd in 1900, name changed as given in 1914).
Phil Nelson, 12 October 2003

[Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co. commodore flag]image by Rob Raeside

Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co. The fleet commodore swallowtailed both their flag and the Ellerman pennant [see E62 attached] with the proportions presumably being in line with those given for the houseflags by the NMM at 660mm x 1752 for the pennant and 1143mm x 1778 for the flag.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Ellerman's Wilson Line

[Ellerman's Wilson Line houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 12 October 2003

From [page no longer active]:
Founded in the early years of the nineteenth century, the Wilson Line became the largest privately owned steamship fleet in the world. Based in Hull, its main trade was to and from Scandinavia and the Baltic States although the Wilson Line also carried cargoes to the USA, the Mediterranean and India. Emigrants were an important part of the company's business. Large numbers of Norwegians, Swedes and Jewish refugees of the Tsarist pogroms were brought into Hull, transported overland to Liverpool and shipped to America. In the 1890s Wilson Line ships carried more cargo to the USA than the ships of any other line.

By 1919, losses from the fleet were such that the line was put up for sale. Bought by Ellerman, the name changed slightly but the old ways continued. Ellerman's Wilson Line remained independent of the rest of the Ellerman empire. Rebuilding the fleet was a priority but trading conditions were difficult - with too many ships chasing the available cargo. The Second World War saw a reduction in fleet size from thirty-five to just nine and another rebuilding programme got under way in 1945. The once-lucrative American trade ceased in 1961 and the Wilson Line began the use of roll-on, roll-off ferries for its Gothenburg service in 1966.

In 1983, then entire Ellerman Group was put up for sale. By 1987, the company was in the hands of Trafalgar House and called Cunard-Ellerman. In 1991 P&O purchased the Ellerman Group container business and sold the remaining four ships. Every trace of Wilsons, once the largest independent steamship company in the world, had now vanished.
Phil Nelson, 13 October 2003

There is a difference between the burgee used as the houseflag of Ellerman & Papayanni Lines and the pennants used on top of the houseflags of the other Ellerman companies:
a. the houseflag of Ellerman & Papayanni Lines is as you sent it (216x324)
b. the pennants: 108x360 (approximately)
The new houseflag of Ellerman & Papayanni Lines has two equally high and wide pennants (108x360 (approximately)
1. blue with white letters JRE
2. blue with white letters P&Co (o uppercase)

Jarig Bakker, 13 October 2003

[Thomas Wilson Line houseflag] image located by Jan Mertens, 22 November 2005

Only the tiniest of splits is shown by the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels:, i.e. ‘Thos. Wilson, Sons & Co., Ltd Hull’ (no. 1660). Perhaps the thinly split pennant was the predecessor of the swallowtail?
Jan Mertens, 22 November 2005

According to Loughran (1979) this company started life as Thomas Wilson, Sons & Co., Ltd., in Hull. It became part of the Ellerman Group as the Ellerman's Wilson Line, Ltd., of Hull, at about the time of the First World War. During the 19th c. its houseflag seems to have been a normal pennant, but by the turn of the century it appears as a burgee, which is its present form, with, of course, the blue Ellerman pennant above.

Loughran has two images:
1. a triangular burgee, white with a red disk, for "Thos. Wilson (&c)
2. a tapered swallowtail, idem, with the Ellerman burgee on top

Your message indicates to me that the take-over took place on or a bit before 1916, and that at first the Ellerman burgee was not flown above it.
Jarig Bakker, 22 November 2005

[Ellerman's Wilson Line houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

Ellerman's Wilson Line. Although this tapered swallowtail version is shown by all the regular sources the NMM flag differs by being a normal rectangular swallowtail [see E259 attached] with their proportions being 600mm x 1778 for the pennant and 1168mm x 1828 for the swallowtail i.e. in the three cases where actual measurements are available the Ellerman pennant differs in each case but basically but be considered in the ratio of 1:3 compared with the houseflag at 2:3 and with the hoist of the pennant being half that of the houseflag.

[Ellerman's Wilson Line houseflag]    [Ellerman's Wilson Line houseflag]    [Ellerman's Wilson Line houseflag]
images by Rob Raeside

In 1973 the company was restructured with Ellerman City Liners being formed to look after most of the Group's shipping interests. This led to the adoption of a new flag in 12/1974 according to Loughran (1979) which was based on an advertising logo which originated from the company funnel markings which were buff with a black top separated by a broad white band. The flag resulting was blue with 3 horizontal oblong panels [possibly representing containers] one above the other, the upper being closer to the fly, the central closer to the hoist and the lower central, the sides of these panels being angled per bend sinister. The Loughran version, also shown in Brown 1982, has an upper panel of black, a central of white with a black frame and a lower of yellow, all three being edged white in a joining border and the central white panel bearing the angled black legend "ELLERMAN". I also have a provided drawing of the time supposedly taken from the actual flags and which is reasonably close in design, showing the panels not being connected, the upper being dark blue edged white, the central white with the legend being dark blue, and the lower orange edged white [black and dark blue being close together, buff of the funnel perhaps being shown by a yellow/orange]. Then in Brown 1995 another version is shown under the title of Ellerman Lines where the colours of the panels, which are all separated, are shown as red edged white, white with the blue legend, and blue edged white. These may be variations as they searched for the best combination or a result of interpretations of sightings.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

Embiricos Shipping Agency Ltd.

[Embiricos Shipping Agency Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2006

Embiricos Shipping Agency Ltd., London - blue flag, white "E".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2006

Ensign Express Shipping Ltd.

[Ensign Express Shipping Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

Ensign Express Shipping Ltd., Ramsgate - vertical blue-white-blue, in center black italic "EE".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

Essex Line, Limited (Meldrum & Swinson)

[Essex Line, Limited (Meldrum & Swinson) houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 16 December 2004

Based on Wedge 1926 Essex Line, Limited (Meldrum & Swinson), London - white flag with blue Maltese cross, charged with a blue rectangle with "EL" in white.
Jarig Bakker, 16 December 2004

Esso Transportation Co., Ltd

[Esso Transportation Co., Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Esso Transportation Co., Ltd (also Esso Petroleum Co., Ltd., and practically all affiliates of Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey) - White ground; blue ellipse in center containing Esso in red letters.
Jarig Bakker, 20 October 2003

Esso Transportation Co. Ltd. An unusual variation and such sketches appear in the files of E.P. Harnack (All About Ships & Shipping). The company itself is shown by Lloyds in the 1950s but the regular sources of that period, Stewart and Brown, show it using the common group flag of white with the red legend "Esso" within a blue oval ring [see the USA Exxon page for the group detail]. The main British shipping company of the group was Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. which changed its name in 1951 from Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd. with its use of the flag with the oval ring being confirmed on the National Maritime Museum website though I note that in the accompanying written description they mistakenly describe the lettering as being "red within a blue oval" instead of "red within a blue oval ring". The use of the new flag is confirmed officially by a letter from Esso Transportation Co. Ltd., dated 30.11.1951 to E.P. Harnack, stating that it was also used by Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. and most of the affiliates of the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey. They also enclose the official drawings with measurements etc. dated October 1946 and ironically it may well have been these which caused the initial problem [certainly Harnark has interpreted it wrongly] as they talk of the colours as being white for the ground, red for the letters and blue for the ellipse, just as does the NMM, and then give measurements including both for the ellipse and the ellipse band, but faced  with the actual flag of Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. and funnel markings from photos it becomes clear that they really meant the ellipse band to be blue and the field inside the ellipse to be white with the red letters thereon.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

F.T. Everard & Sons Ltd.

[F. E. T. Everard & Sons Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 17 March 2004

The flag is quartered per saltire red and white.

The flag of F.T. Everard is identical to that of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, one of the major High Street banks in the UK.
Ron Lahav, 17 March 2004

F.T. Everard has no association with the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation. It is an international and multinational private company based in Britain.
Mike Nancollas, 2 September 2005

The Swire group also has a connection with Hong Kong and a similar flag, differing only by a vertical blue stripe in the middle of the flag. See this page for reference.
Ivan Sache, 18 March 2004

Euroasia Container Line

Euroasia house flag image by Jorge Candeias, 07 Jan 1998

The logo is a flag-like drawing like this.
Jorge Candeias, 07 Jan 1998

Euroasia. Would appear to relate to the Euroasia Container Line which was a service begun in 1985 by the international Contship Group which is based in U.K.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 April 2005

European Gas Company, Limited

[European Gas Company, Limited houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

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

European Gas Company, Limited (H.A. Brightman), North Shields - white flag, "E.G.C." in red. North Shields is a suburb of Newcastle.
Jarig Bakker
, 5 February 2005

Euxine Shipping Co. Ltd.

[Euxine Shipping Co. Ltd. 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 the Euxine Shipping Co. Ltd., London. A rectangular white swallow-tailed burgee with a red, white and blue stripe across the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 12 August 2004

[Euxine Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag]     [Euxine Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag] images by Rob Raeside

Euxine Shipping Co. Ltd. There may have been a subsequent change as Stewart and Brown from 1953 to 1978 show the flag as being a tapered swallowtail. The Brown editions of 1951 and 1958 show a similar format other than that in that the red and blue bands are separated by an equal width of white field but Stewart 1953-1963 and then Brown 1978 show narrower bands well apart with the shape of the flag also differing as a result.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005