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House flags of Canadian Shipping Companies (R-W) (Canada)

Last modified: 2021-05-22 by rob raeside
Keywords: canada | canada: shipping companies | canada: maritime house flags | maritime house flags: canada |
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Rivtow Straits Ltd.

[Rivtow Straits Ltd.] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World [lgr95]

Vancouver - green flag, orange hexagon bordered white, charged with a white bird.
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005

Saguenaw Shipping Ltd.

[Saguenaw Shipping Ltd.]
image by Jarig Bakker, 16 February 2006
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World [lgr95]

Montréal - white tapering swallowtail bordered green; red maple leaf, charged with white "S"
Jarig Bakker, 6 February 2006

Saguenay Terminals Ltd.

[Saguenay Terminals Ltd.] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 January 2014

Saguenay Terminals Ltd.
The company was located in Quebec. It was a very light grey pennant, cotized black green at two of three edges. Shifted to the hoist was a green initial “S”.
Source: US Navy Hydrographic Office: “Merchant Marine House Flags and Stack Insignia”, 1st edition 1961; p.3-9
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 January 2014

Seaspan International Ltd.

[Seaspan International] image by Jarig Bakker, 7 November 2005
Source: Brown’s Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World, 1995 [lgr95]

Vancouver BC - white flag, in center red block, white "S".
Jarig Bakker, 7 November 2005

Seaway Marine Transport

[Seaways] contributed by Jan Mertens, 20 May 2008

This entity has a symbol of its own briefly shown on the Algoma website's introduction (under 'Performance').

The symbol unites the Upper Lakes and Algoma logo's. What appears to be a flag is really that, see Boarnerd.

From the Seaways website:

Seaway Marine Transport is a partnership of Algoma Central Corporation and Upper Lakes Group, Inc. (...) Seaway Marine Transport represents a merger of two prior partnerships of Algoma Central Corporation and Upper Lakes Group Inc. called Seaway Self Unloaders and Seaway Bulk Carriers. These partnerships have been in existence since 1990, in the case of Seaway Bulk Carriers and 1994, in the case of Seaway Self Unloaders. The merger of the two partnerships and the creation of Seaway Marine Transport was effective January 2, 2000.

Jan Mertens, 1 October 2005

Only the name ‘Seaway’ appears on the flag.
Jan Mertens, 27 November 2006

[Seaways] image by Neale Rosanoski, 21 February 2010

As Jan has reported this is an actual flag with the flag containing the funnels of the two companies involved except that the Algoma one has not got any lettering on the red ring surrounding the bear. Going by a clearer photo I have of the flag being flown by the "Algosteel" and the image shown in the Know Your Ships series, the outer funnel edges are vertical being the flag edges but the inner edges are sloped, producing a white triangle descendent from the chief, until down the bottom the black of Algoma overlaps the red of ULS with the white lettering "Seaway" placed in base on the overlapping area.

[Seaways] image by Neale Rosanoski, 21 February 2010

Apparently this flag was previously used by the earlier partnership of Seaway Self Unloaders, whilst the Seaway Bulk Carriers used a slightly different version with the lettering being "SBC" [see ca~s1310a.gif attached] being sourced from the Know Your Ships series. All three partnerships appear to have been involved as mangers only of most of the general lakers of the fleets of the two companies involved , with the flags being flown in addition to the owners normal house flags.
Neale Rosanoski, 21 February 2010

Shell Canadian Tankers Ltd.

[Shell Canadian Tankers Ltd.] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 January 2014

Shell Canadian Tankers Ltd.
The company was located in Toronto. The flag was divided by a wavy, horizontal line into white over blue. In the middle of the white stripe is a blue trident. The blue stripe is divided by two white barrulets wavy.
Source: US Navy Hydrographic Office: “Merchant Marine House Flags and Stack Insignia”, 1st edition 1961; p.3
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 January 2014

Soo River Co.
Pierson Steamships

[Soo River Co] contributed by Jan Mertens, 8 February 2007

Another of the – once very numerous – Great Lakes shipping companies was the Soo River Company which existed 1975-1982.

Also known as Pierson Steamships (in fact controlled by Robert Pierson Holdings Ltd), Soo River started out by buying old ships – bulk carriers – from different firms, transporting for instance grain and cement.

The firm took a dynamic start but in 1982 all nine ships were placed in receivership and bought by P&H (Parrish & Heimbecker) Shipping of Mississauga, Ontario.

I could not find very much on this firm, based in Thorold (or was it Toronto?), Ontario; sources are very disparate. In any case, a number of photos shows the house flag:

The house flag is a swallowtail with a broad black stripe near the hoist and the rest of the field white, within a narrow black border (leaving a small stripe of white between it and the broad black stripe); in the centre of the white field is a black shamrock.
Jan Mertens, 25 October 2005

Wm Thompson & Co.

[Wm Thompson & Co.] image by Rob Raeside, 10 December 2013

Flag based on the Mystic Seaport museum Lloyds Book of Flags and Funnels search page: (p. 21). Location: Saint John, New Brunswick.
Eric Odense, 8 December 2013

Upper Lakes Group

[Upper Lakes Groups] contributed by Ivan Sache, 17 October 2005
Source: Boatnerd

See also:

From Boatnerd, a Toronto based concern, third row, third picture.

Red swallowtail bearing a small black diamond, edged white. The vertical axis of this diamond seems to be situated at 1/3 of flag’s length. It is also shown in action.

From the firm’s website, being expanded (‘About Us’ section):

We own a fleet of dry bulk cargo vessels that sail on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System. Our vessels are capable of handling a vast array of dry bulk commodities and are managed by SMT Services, our partnership with Algoma Central Corporation. We also operate an articulated tug-barge unit that is especially constructed to carry liquid asphalt and other petroleum products. (…) We own a group of companies that provide various services from shiprepair and shipbuilding to fuel bunkering and industrial repair acitivities outside of marine industry.

And from another

(…) Upper Lakes Group Inc. was started in 1932 with the purchase of an old freighter, which was used to move grain from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Toronto, Ontario. Today, Upper Lakes Group (ULG) own eighteen vessels which move grain throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

Jan Mertens, 17 September 2005

Valles Steamship (Canada) Inc.

[Valles Steamship Canada]
by Ivan Sache

Flag horizontally divided red-white with a big V counterchanged white-red in the middle.

Source: Josef Nüsse
Ivan Sache, 25 August 2002

In 1995 they relocated to Canada (from Hong Kong) and changed name to Valles Steamship (Canada) Inc.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 January 2003

Voyageur Marine Transport Ltd.

Voyageur Marine Transport
image contributed by Jan Mertens, 30 October 2005

This new firm is an affiliate of McKeil Marine, its company seat being Ridgeville, Ontario. Currently it operates one ship - a rather old one at that - bought from another firm, and is readying another one for the spring of next year.

The company website features an ‘M’ initial as the logo.

Boatnerd's page is dedicated to the bulk carrier that has become the Maritime Trader (maiden voyage under that name, 2 Oct. 2005) and following (clickable) pictures show – not very clearly, however – the house flag: Image 1 Image 2

Apparently it is white with small vertical blue borders and the italic ‘M’ initial in the centre, also in blue.
Jan Mertens, 30 October 2005

Still expanding – having acquired its third ship now – the company specializes in bulk transportation, mainly agricultural.

Tentatively described at first, the house flag is now seen as being bright blue with a Canadian pale (white) bearing a stylized cursive initial ‘M’ in the centre. This blue initial I realize now is shaped in such a fashion that the centre part is also readable as a ‘V’ and discreetly shadowed.
Jan Mertens, 27 November 2006

W.B. Elsworth

[W.B.Elsworth] image by Ivan Sache

This is the flag of Imperial Oil Ltd. which originated 1880 and still operates as a subsidiary of Esso Petroleum Canada as part of Exxon Corporation. A similar flag with white letters "I.O.S." and blue letters "CO. LTD" with the initial letters of the last group being taller, was used by Imperial Oil Shipping Co. Ltd. which was incorporated back into Imperial Oil Ltd. in the late 1950s"as the Marine Division.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003

[Imperial Oil] image by Rob Raeside, 20 March 2019

Source: Stewart, Colin. Flags, Funnels And Hull Colours. London:
Adlard Coles, 1956.
Peter Edwards, 19 March 2019

Western Canada Steamship Company

[Western Canada Steamship Company] contributed by Jan Mertens


The house flag of the Western Canada Steamship Co. is shown at, on a bowl:

A white swallowtail bearing a red St George’s cross and a green maple leaf in the upper hoist. Site's source: (quote) Brown's Flags and Funnels by Philip Wedge.

Founded following the end of the Second World War, this freight company took advantage of the surplus of Canadian war-built “Park” class ships. With home port being Vancouver, the WCSSCo. vessels were a familiar sight in Vancouver and a number of other BC ports, loading cargo such as timber for the Asian and European markets. (…) In 1963, the WCSSCo. became the Anglo Canadian Steamship Company. This coincided with the retiring from service of the last “Park” class ship used by the WCSSCo.”

(...) merely concerned the funnel. The maple leaf on the bowl is less elaborate than this one which rather resembles that on the current national flag.

Jan Mertens, 7 July 2005