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Bermuda - Yacht Clubs

Last modified: 2022-03-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: bermuda | yacht clubs |
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Yachts Ensigns

Non-UK yacht clubs whose members may apply through club secretary to the Second Sea Lord for an individual warrant for a special ensign if they own a British registered yacht are:-

Blue Ensign with club badge - Royal Bermuda Y.C.
Red Ensign with club badge: - Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club  (Bermuda)
David Prothero, 30 October 2002

Here are links to yacht clubs burgees:
- The Bermuda Offshore Cruising Association  -
- The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and commodore flag
- The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
Dov Gutterman, 24 April 2004

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

image by Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

The current Royal Bermuda Yacht Club blue ensign.
Clay Moss, 26 September 2005

Same flag at Reed's Maritime Flags 2002. Similar design in Lloyds Yacht Register from 1910 to 1953. Crown and letters yellow; no other colour.
David Prothero, 26 September 2005

The image with the St Edward's Crown and the gold lettering in a straight line is similar to the current Ministery of Defence drawing.
Graham Bartram, 27 September 2005

This ensign contains St. Edward's crown which more closely mimics the current BR20 crown as it's a bit more squarish than past crowns. Also, the defacement is a bit bigger as per the newer "big badge" ensign set that is the current Admiralty standard.
Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

Founded 1 November 1844.
18 December 1845. Granted title ‘royal’. “Prince Albert’s permission.”
22 November 1847. Granted defaced Blue Ensign.
David Prothero, 04 February 2015

The current burgee has the same St. Edward’s Crown as the Ensign.
Full Club Members, who hold a United Kingdom of Great Britain & NI citizenship can apply for permission to fly the defaced ensign from the Royal Admiralty, via application through the RBYC.
Nicole Butterworth, 21 March 2022

Previous Flags

image by Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

image by Clay Moss, 18 February 2006
pre 1999

The Tudor RBYC ensign is based on a picture in the February 1954 edition of National Geographic. On page 218, there is a black and white picture of the ensign seen from the reverse in partial flutter over the RBYC. The text says that the picture was taken in 1952 after the end of a race from Newport to Bermuda. My guess is that the ensign was 6 x 12 feet.
Clay Moss, 26 September 2005

Same flag at Album des Pavillons 1923. Similar design in 1905 Flaggenbuch.
David Prothero, 26 September 2005

I do not see any periods in the National Geographic photograph. I believe there's an explanation for this. It's not as much of a practice nowadays, but in days gone by, flag makers charged by the letter when making up custom flags. Periods would have been considered as letters. Eliminating 4 letters (the periods) from an RBYC ensign would have saved the club a couple of pounds or more in sterling. As far apart as the 1952 letters were placed, the periods would have been irrelevent anyway. That's my theory and I'm sticking with it.
Clay Moss, 27 September 2005


image by Clay Moss, 18 Mat 2007

image by Clay Moss, 18 Mat 2007

Here is a variant of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's blue ensign along with a matching burgee. If you compare this ensign image with the above image of the RBYC's (apparent) current ensign, you'll see that they vary somewhat in terms of letter placement and style of St. Edwards crown. The image looks more like what the RBYC was flying back in the early 1950s. This version was seen in the club's online shop where they have a photograph of the ensign lying on the floor in a hallway. It appears to be maybe 3x6 feet or a bit larger. The burgee being advertised also has the older style St. Edward's crown on it.
Clay Moss, 18 Mat 2007

Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club

image by Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club red ensign.
Clay Moss, 15 December 2005

image by Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

The club house flag or ensign for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.
Clay Moss, 2 February 2006

Founded 1882 as the Hamilton Amateur Dingey (sic) Club.
1883. Princess Louise, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, wife of the Governor-General of Canada became patron of the club, while on holiday in Bermuda. As a result the club assumed the title ‘royal’, and adopted a white flag with Union canton.
1890. ‘Royal’ removed from the name of club when it was realized that ‘royal patronage’ did not entitle the club to the title ‘royal’.
1896. ‘Amateur’ removed from the name of the club and spelling revised to ‘Dinghy’. Red Ensign and red burgee with H.D.C. below a foul anchor adopted. Possibly only the burgee was ever flown.
1953. Request made via the Governor to have the club’s royal title restored when it was known that Queen Elizabeth II would visit Bermuda that year.
8 April. Use of ‘royal’ title confirmed.
4 June. Original club flag raised at club house and used for at least the next twenty years.
At the same time the club asked for a special ensign, but this, and a number later requests, were refused until 1973.
1954. ‘Amateur’ included in the name of the club.
25 May 1973. Warrant for defaced Red Ensign with fitted dinghy in the fly. Probably never used on the club’s fitted dinghies, but available to members having a warrant and owning a larger vessel. Also used as a club-house flag until 24 December 1980, when it was replaced by the original white ensign, which had been confirmed as a legitimate flag if flown only on the club’s premises.
David Prothero, 26 September 2005

Previous Flag

image by Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

There are two history pages for the RHADC website (<>), and if I'm reading one of them correctly, the HDC ensign was flown by the HDC before their royal warrant was given back in June, 1954 and their name changed to the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.
Clay Moss, 18 February 2006

The page at <>l certainly indicates that the club adopted a defaced Red Ensign in 1896, but not the period over which it was used.. I am reasonably sure that the flag was unofficial, and that no warrant was issued for it.
David Prothero, 21 February 2006