Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Restore our Naval Traditions

A Naval Ensign for Canada and a Royal Prefix for Her Navy

St. George's Ensign has been an integral part of the Canadian naval landscape ever since John Cabot landed at Newfoundland in 1497.

The petition to restore the 'Royal' designation to the Canadian navy and Canadian air force in time for the naval centennial (1910-2010) has now surpassed three thousand signatures! It is one thing to receive 3,000 unique visitors to a blog, which entails all of 3,000 clicks of the mouse button; it is quite another thing to get 3,000 people to fill out a petition form and leave behind comments. In addition to the signatures, the petition has literally received hundreds of onsite comments full of impassioned pleas to make it happen. Reading each and every one of them warms the cockles, along with the emails expressing encouragement to repair Paul Hellyer's mess that was inflicted on the R.C.N. and R.C.A.F. in 1968, when he was national defence minister. One Hellyer of a mess, indeed.

gb~weThe old White Ensign of the Royal Canadian Navy. The Canadian Navy has been without an official ensign since 1965.

Meanwhile, in an encouraging heraldic development pertaining to the de-Britished and un-Royaled Indian Navy, Andrew Cusack writes: "St. George Guards India's Fleet Once More. In a return to tradition, the old Indian naval ensign is reinstated".

indiageorge4Indian Navy Motto: "May the Lord of the Oceans be auspicious unto us"

070905-N-1730J-163INDIAN OCEAN (Sept. 5, 2007) - St. George's Ensign snaps from the mast of Destroyer INS Ranjit, as it takes position during Malabar 2007, an exercise involving Kitty Hawk and Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and ships of the navies of Australia, India, Japan, and the Republic of Singapore. The Indian Navy is the 5th largest blue-water navy in the world.

Former Ensign of the Indian Navy and the Canadian Forces Naval Jack

In 2001, the Indian Navy experimentally adopted the deplorable Canadian innovation of placing the national flag in the canton and a stylized anchor in the fly, which other than preserving the white background, completely departed from the Anglo tradition of establishing a national variant of St George's Ensign (see below).


The navies of Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, India & Trinidad. Notice any pattern?


The Australian and New Zealand navies meanwhile, chose to preserve the Union Jack in the canton but dispense with St. George's Cross, in order to better distinguish themselves from the R.N. at sea, while staying true to their national identities.

CANA0008But back to the abominable Canadian variant, which is not even considered the official naval ensign of the Canadian navy, but the Canadian Forces Naval Jack (i.e., worn at the bow when alongside only). That's because Canada doesn't officially have a navy any more, only a "Maritime Command" of the Canadian Armed Forces.

canne3Why not ditch the anchor, bring back St. George and call it the "Royal Canadian Navy Ensign". Once we reinstitute the Royal prefix to the Canadian navy that is. (Suggested design by Andrew Cusack)

canne2Better yet, deface the ensign with the shield of Canada. Now we're getting somewhere. (Suggested design by Andrew Cusack)

canne1No doubt this is too much to chew politically, but if you really want to get bold, replace the Canadian flag with the Union Jack. (Suggested design by Andrew Cusack)

800px-Canadian_Blue_Ensign.svgAnd if you do all of that, well, you might as well also reinstate the old Jack of the Royal Canadian Navy.


Kipling said...

Alright Beaverbrook, we're with you. But let's take this one step further. Let's have a petition in favour of Imperial Federation. I know, I know I'm being cute, but heck you know it's a good idea. It was certainly a missed opportunity. A Federated British Empire would still be with us, and Canada, Australia and NZ would be the stronger for it. This doesn't mean I'm not proud to be a Canadian, or that we shouldn't develop our national characters, but federation would have allowed for that and more. I'm waxing nostalgic here.... All those flags just got me thinking...

Scott said...

I rather like the first one, with just the Canadian flag and the cross. Very good of Andrew to whip them up.

Beaverbrook said...

Kipling, I found this to be an interesting article along those lines: The Folly of Anglosphere Union. It suggests that Imperial Federation would never have worked, and is indeed anathema to our English cultural inheritance.

Of course, the problem with not having those things that once bound us together, is that we end up drifting apart to our hemispheric utopias: the supranational EU, the culturally incoherent Americas and the Antipodean quest for an Asia-Pacific identity. There must be a happy inbetween somewhere, something that binds without overtly lending a political structure to it.

Kipling said...

Actually Beaverbrook the article does more than suggest, it practically condemns. I was being excessively romantic in any case. Probably imagining the world of the Edwardian Establishment, the world where the original Beaverbrook was a fully paid up member.

My own thoughts were something closer to an Imperial War Cabinet, a council of first ministers of the "Great Dominions" agreeing on a common policy. I wasn't suggesting yet another layer of bureaucracy tell us how much water we can use in our WCs.

Imperial Federation would only have worked when governments were small and focused on central tasks like defense and security. A nanny state global federation would be a disaster.

Beaverbrook said...

You read my mind, Kipling. This council of first ministers could leverage themselves on the international stage by agreeing to a common defence and foreign security policy. Although they would maintain their status as independent countries in the General Assembly of the United Nations, they would sit as a single group and permanent member at the UN Security Council. Using the more modern lexicon, they would call themselves the "United Kingdoms of the Commonwealth", or just "United Kingdoms", and sit alongside the other future permanent powers including the United States, European Union, China, India, Russia and Brazil.

The prime ministers would agree to this because they would rotate as chair ("Secretary of the United Kingdoms"), and the reason why the UK would agree to share their current permanent status is because they do not want to be represented in the future at such forums by the President of Europe. France and the UK will eventually have to cede their position to the EU, both from pressure within and from without. Much better to get out of the EU and maintain their independence, whilst gaining influence on the world stage. Together the Anglosphere - the United States, United Kingdoms and India - would represent the largest geopolitical block by far, thus ensuring a level of sanity in the global arena.

It all sounds too reasonable, but because it requires a little imagination and thinking outside of the box, it would be a political miracle for such a simple thing to come to fruition.

Andrew CJ said...

Quite like the Cross of Saint George with the Maple Leaf. Definitely possible that, with quite a bit of probbing, it might be adopted. Looks dignified.

The version with the arms of HM The Queen in right of Canada looks more tempting to me; it could somehow be a harder sell to the current Canadian Government, what with them being in a minority position and consequently really not wanting to rock the boat under any circumstances and the recent refusal-denial over HM being invited to the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City etc.

But on further thought, if one is going to press for the 'Royal' designation, why not go the whole hog and press for the Royal Arms as well! The Government might even go along...

hober said...

At the intersection of my interests in vexillology and the shared heritage of the Anglosphere, I took a stab at adapting New England's historical Red Ensign for its modern states: