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Ireland: Yacht Clubs

Last modified: 2006-03-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: harp | yacht club | cork | royal irish yacht club |
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See also

Cork Harbour Yacht Club

The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork was established in 1720, and by 1759 had become the Cork Harbour Yacht Club. In that year the Lords of the Admiralty granted William, Earl of Inchiquin "a Union flag with the Royal Irish harp and crown on a green field in the centre" for the club. After 1765 there are no records of the club being anything other than a Water Club, presenting prizes for fishermen and rowing-boats at an annual regatta. The Cork Yacht Club was revived in 1828 when Water Club members combined with the Little Monkstown Club which had been established on Haulbowline Island in 1822.
David Prothero, 26 December 2005

Royal Irish Yacht Club

[Royal Irish Yacht Club flag] image by Martin Grieve, 21 December 2005

Details of the ensign were reproduced in "Papers Relating to Yacht Clubs" published by order of the House of Commons, 22 July 1859.

"By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

Whereas we deem it expedient that the vessels belonging to the Royal Irish Yacht Club shall be permitted to wear a burgee and ensign, as described on the diagram opposite, on board their respective vessels : We do therefore by virtue of the power and authority vested in us hereby warrant and authorise a burgee and ensign as described on the diagram to be worn on board the respective vessels belonging to the Royal Irish Yacht Club accordingly.

Given under our hands and the Seal of Office of Admiralty the 17th day of October 1831.
(signed) G.H.L.Dundas. S.J.B.Pechell
By command of their Lordships. (Signed by a Secretary)"

The diagram was an asymmetric cross on a rectangle, as reproduced in the image above. The word 'red' had been printed on each arm of the cross, with the quarters one to four marked 'Union Jack', 'White', Arms of Ireland, and 'White' respectively.

David Prothero, 21 December 2005

Royal St George Yacht Club

[Royal St. George Yacht Club ensign] image by Clay Moss, 23 February 2006

Also used for the Royal Windermere Yacht Club. If I'm not mistaken I believe we collectively agreed that the Windermere ensign also once served the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Ireland.
Clay Moss, 23 February 2006

The crown was moved to the fly in 1895, so a Tudor crown would not have appeared in the Union canton.
David Prothero, 26 February 2006

As I understand it, the crown appeared in the Union canton until 1895. I assume, therefore, that this would have been the Victorian crown with the "flat" arches. In 1895, this crown would have migrated to the fly and would have been superseded by the "Tudor" crown in 1902 or so. This, in turn, would have been replaced by the current St. Edward's crown in 1952 or thereabouts. I assume, too, that this is still the position today.
Peter Johnson, 27 February 2006

Does a modern Irish YC really fly a defaced Red Ensign? Not only is that implausible for political/national pride reasons, I would have thought that it would also be illegal, since the yachts presumably would be Irish registered. Or would the defaced Red Ensign be a purely ceremonial/historical flag and never used at sea?
André Coutanche, 3 February 2006

A member of the Royal St George Yacht Club who is British and has a British registered yacht is entitled to apply for a special British ensign, in this case a Red Ensign defaced by a crown on the fly.
David Prothero, 3 February 2006

A photo at shows the RSGYC actually flies an Irish Yacht Ensign (possibly defaced with the club badge although not identified on our page).
Christopher Southworth, 3 February 2006

[Royal St. George Yacht Club ensign] image by Clay Moss, 23 February 2006

If I am reading their history page correctly,, the image here is the yacht ensign of the Royal St. George Yacht Club.
Clay Moss, 3 February 2006