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Chilean Navy

Armada de Chile

Last modified: 2019-02-10 by randy young
Keywords: navy | jack | star: 5 points (white on blue) | naval standard | anchor (golden) | star: 5 points (black) | chile |
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Naval standard

The Chilean Navy's standard is blue with the arms of the navy (a blue shield bordered in gold and ensigned with a gold naval crown, bearing an upright anchor, also gold). Source: photo in Alejandro Preneta: La Armada de Chile (Boulogne: Delroisse, 1985): 91.
Joe McMillan, 16 February 2002

Naval Jack

[naval jack]
image by Željko Heimer, 13 December 2005

The Album 2000 [pay00] shows a 2:3 blue flag with a white star, inscribed in a circle of diameter 1/3rd of the flag height at hoist. I remember having seen TV images of an historical Chilean sailing ship owned by the Navy. The hoisted jack was definitively rectangular.
Željko Heimer, 9 April 2001

The same flag is described as "yacht flag." The question is — are these two one and the same, the image being somewhat distorted, or is there really a special flag for Chile to be used on private yachts?
Željko Heimer, 1 December 1999

Previous version

[previous naval jack]
image by Željko Heimer, 9 April 2001

The square flag with a white star is shown in Flaggenbuch [neu39] as naval jack (Gösch der Kriegschiffe). Star is inscribed in a circle of diameter one half of the flag side. Album 1995 [pie95] still showed the square version.
Željko Heimer, 9 April 2001

The 1939 Flaggenbuch [neu39] shows the jack to be square, but 1926 Flaggenbuch [d9e26] shows it again rectangular. Could it be that in mid-20th Century the jack was indeed square and then reverted back to the rectangular form?
Željko Heimer, 13 December 2005

We picture a square version of the Chilean Naval Jack as shown in the 1939 Flaggenbuch, (as opposed to the 1926 version which shows 2;3), and Zeljko Heimer speculates that the format may have been changed sometime in the years between.

I have just seen a television programme which featured three illustrations of Chilean warships of the 1880s (one black and white drawing, one coloured illustration and a black and white photo), and all of them show a Jack which appears to be 2:3 or thereabouts. This leaves us with two main possibilities: 1) The Jack was indeed changed to a square format sometime before 1939, before being changed back again between 1939 and today, or 2) Herr Neubecker was acting on incorrect information? I personally favour the former.
Christopher Southworth, 6 February 2019

Masthead Pennant

[Masthead pennant]
image by Željko Heimer, 15 December 2005

Triangular pennant, white over red, with blue hoist containing a white five-pointed star. There's no indication in Album 2000 [pay00] on what is the prescribed ratio of the flag (looks like 1:18) nor how long the blue field is. The blue field is much longer in the 1926 Flaggenbuch [d9e26], for about the third of the length.
Željko Heimer, 15 December 2005

Naval Aviation Fin Flash

[Naval aviation fin flash]
image by Željko Heimer, 15 December 2005

Black anchor topped with a five-pointed star, as shown in the Album 2000 [pay00].
Željko Heimer, 15 December 2005

The naval air arm was formed in 1919 as Aviación Naval de Chile (Naval Aviation) to be merged into the new Fuerza Aérea Nacional de Chile (Air Force) in 1930 and separated again in 1953. According to the book [cos98], the naval air arm used from 1921 the same roundel apart of a white diagonal anchor replacing the star on the rudder (unfortunately, [cos98] gives the wrong date as there was no naval air arm in 1930-1953). At the restoration of the Naval Air arm in 1953 as Aviación Naval de la Armada de Chile, the same roundel was used.
Dov Gutterman, 13 June 2004

At the restoration of the Naval Air arm in 1953 as Aviación Naval de la Armada de Chile, a white anchor with star above on red was adopted as tail insignia (as seen in these two photos); seems that sometimes there is no red background (as in this photo).
Dov Gutterman, 13 June 2004

The Air Force Fin Flash is a white star on a blue square. Airplanes under the command of the Army use a white star on a red square. The Naval Aviation fin flash is a black anchor ensigned by a black star.
Alex Garofolo, 3 February 2016

Note on Colour Tones

In the 1926 Flaggenbuch [d9e26], the flags of Chile are given almost the same as in the modern Album 2000 [pay00] with a notable distinction – the shade of blue is considerably lighter. However, since the 1939 Flaggenbuch [neu39] turns the blue into the dark one already, I am ready to believe that this was just an other imprecision – not unusual for 1926 issue – opposed to unheard of for 1939.
Željko Heimer, 16 October 2005

Chilean Navy flag terminology

I found the following terms in the glossary on the Chilean Navy's website
  • Estandarte is defined as "bandera, pendón" but no definition is given for pendón.
  • The commission pennant is referred to as gallardete de mando rather than just gallardete. The entry says that in the Chilean Navy this pennant is one meter long, with another meter added for every 1000 miles the ship has sailed under the current captain's command.
  • Gallardetón is defined as a flag with non-parallel upper and lower edges and the side opposite the hoist ending in two points. Sounds like the equivalent of a (naval) burgee or broad pennant.
  • Grímpola is a small pennant or streamer used to indicate wind direction.
  • Insignia is a special flag raised to signal the grade or position [dignidad] of the person exercising command.
Joe McMillan, 9 June 2000

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