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Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2015-02-21 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal corinthian yacht club | blue ensign |
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[Royal Corinthian Yacht Ensign] image by Clay Moss, 24 February 2006

See also:

Flag of Royal Corinthian Yacht Club

The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club ensign is a blue ensign with a royal crown surrounded by a gold wreath in the fly.
Clay Moss, 24 February 2006

The web page at shows the flag with a small crown and wreath, and the device in the lower fly.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 November 2010

Which of these two images is correct will depend upon the actual wording of the Warrant which authorized the flag. If it says something like "... the Blue Ensign of Her (or His depending upon the date) Majesty's Fleet with a crown and wreath in the fly thereof...", then either or both are correct since the Warrant states neither any colour nor precise position on the flag. If, however, this Warrant states: "...the Blue Ensign of Her (or His) Majesty's fleet with crown in proper colours surrounded by a gold wreath in the centre of the fly thereof ..., then Clay's image (in those colours and a centred image) is of the correct flag. In other words if the first example is substantially correct then it is simply a matter of fashion, and almost, of personal choice.

The style of crown used on British yachting flags is an interesting point. We can reasonably assume that when a Warrant says simply "crown" (rather than 'naval or 'yachting' crown etc) it means the current official pattern of Royal Crown. This, in turn, means the Imperial State Crown on the flags of a club Warranted before 1901, the Tudor Crown if Warranted between 1901 and 1953, and the St. Edward's Crown for any club Warranted thereafter. There is nothing in law however, which either, obliges them to retain the crown as originally Warranted, or to change the crown they use to conform to the official pattern - in other words, they can change or not as they choose.

The crown shown on the photograph is very much simplified, and as far as I can see could be either an Imperial State or a St Edward's Crown, however, this is (I would suggest) only relevant in order to date the flag itself.
Christopher Southworth, 20 November 2010

Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.
Established 28 May 1872 at Erith, London. White Pegasus on Blue Ensign and on blue burgee. Ensign probably unauthorised.
Warrant 4 July 1884 for Blue Ensign with laurel garland. Also on blue burgee?
17 June 1892 granted title ‘royal’. Club told that Southern Branch at Thorney Island, West Sussex, could also call itself ‘royal’.
1892. Northern Branch moved to Burnham, Essex.
1893. Royal crown added inside garland on ensign and burgee.
1948. Southern Branch at Cowes, Isle of Wight. Closed 1987, re-opened 1999.
November 2014. Southern Branch incorporated into Royal Ocean Racing Club.
David Prothero, 7 November 2014, 12 December 2014

The Corinthian Yacht Club, as established 28 May 1872, was expressly intended to be completely a club of amateur yachtsmen. The word "Corinthian" had, in the second half of the 19th century, come to indicate a gentleman(like) amateur, thus the name expressed the intent.

According to, shortly after the foundation, in June 1872, the club decided on a flag. As the were "Corinthian, they chose the Pegasus as their symbol, the winged horse that lived at the Fountain of Pirene in Corinth, resulting in a white Pegasus on a blue field.

After the Temple Yacht Club, six months later, also adopted the Pegasus for their flag, the two clubs eventually came to an agreement by which the Corinthian adopted the laurel wreath instead. I assume the laurels are to indicate the honour of winning, the only prize an amateur will take from a match. The flags of the club still sport this wreath.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 January 2015


[Royal Corinthian Yacht Club burgee] image by Clay Moss, 21 May 2007

Ensign and burgee in 1872

[Royal Corinthian Yacht Club ensign] image by Clay Moss, 27 December 2014

[Royal Corinthian Yacht Club ensign] image by Clay Moss, 27 December 2014