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Blue Ensign (Malaysia)

Last modified: 2006-09-02 by ian macdonald
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[Blue Ensign (Malaysia)] image by Clay Moss, 9 January 2006

There is a Malaysian blue ensign. In typical British tradition, it has as its canton the Malaysian national flag on a dark blue background. I have seen 2 of these flying on water. One flew on a channel dredge while the other flew from what I believe is a police boat. I also found 3 samples in the afore mentioned flag shop. The most interesting thing about the blue ensign is its proportions. They are 2 to 3. Also, as best as I can tell, the canton is not exactly quartered. It is 8/14 the width of the entire ensign and 1/2 the length which corresponds exactly to the canton measurements on the Malaysian national flag.
Clay Moss
, 4 November 2003

Both Barraclough and Crampton 1978 and Pedersen 1971 mention Malaysia having a Blue Ensign, i.e., a blue field with the Malaysian National flag in the canton.
Martin Grieve, 13 November 2003

The "official" specifications are 2 to 3. However, my flag and the other three I measured are actually 24 x 38.5 inches. This makes sense, as the canton is not quartered, but is 8/14 the width of the flag, just as the canton is on the Malay national flag. The extra 2.5 inches of length makes the canton half the length of the flag. I am still trying to find out why the blue ensign is shorter. I have been promised a set of official specifications.
Clay Moss, 5 December 2003

[Blue Ensign (Malaysia)] image by Clay Moss, 9 January 2006

Officially, both red and blue ensigns should be 1:2. However, the 2:3 variety are becoming more popular every day, so much so, that it's now rare to see a 1:2 proportioned ensign in either color. I asked Cheong Hing Flag Makers if they had heard anything from the government concerning an official change in proportions. They said that there has been no official change, but that both the Malaysian Marine Police and private ferry operators are ordering 2:3 type ensigns more consistently than the 1:2 variety with no explanation.

Technically, the Malaysian blue ensign serves the same function as the blue ensign in any British Commonwealth member state that uses the "British" flag system. That is, as the government's flag at sea. In Malaysia's particular case, the blue ensign could almost be called the Marine Police ensign outright. They certainly fly the vast majority of blue ensigns seen in Malaysian waters. The only other ship of any kind I have seen flying the blue ensign is a channel dredge, and it may belong to the Marine Police as well. I'm not sure about Naval reserve officer entitlements. The blue ensign can also be seen on land as it flies over all Marine Police headquarters buildings. Occasionally, the blue ensign can also be seen indoors either hanging on a wall or mounted on an indoor staff. The lighthouse at Muka Head has a handsome 3x6 footer hanging inside the manager's office.
Clay Moss
, 10 April 2005

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