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Royal Northumberland Yacht Club (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2019-05-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal northumberland yacht club | percy lion |
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[Royal Northumberland Yacht Club ensign] image located by James Liston, 25 August 2010

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About the Ensign and Burgee

The Royal Northumberland Yacht Club is based in Blyth, UK.

  1. As is well known, the club has a defaced Blue Ensign. The defacement is called the Percy Lion. It is based on the statues of lions that adorn the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, whose surname is Percy. It is a stiff-tailed lion. The Lloyds Registers of Yachts show this ensign, but their depiction of the Percy Lion is inaccurate, and (apparently) jarring to members. It looks like a dog. Yes, the Lloyds Registers showed this picture year after year. But it's not regarded as accurate by the club. The club's website at shows the Percy Lion according to the club.
  2. The club's burgee is shown at the same site. The club's burgee has been the unwitting and unintentional victim of poor media depictions. I am a stickler for first-hand sources, so I would recommend emailing the club, attention Bruce Grant, and having this confirmed by the Club if there is any doubt.
       The traditional and correct burgee according to the Club itself (and as evidenced in some of my yacht registers; 1910, 1907, 1933) is black, with a red border around the top and bottom edge, but not at the hoist. The Percy Lion is in the black portion, facing the hoist. Again, the club website shows this.
       Due to some on-paper depictions (and other non-fabric depictions), some people concluded the red border is also included on the burgee's hoist. To quote the club's website, however, "The traditional club burgee has red borders on two sides, as shown here. In recent years variations of this traditional design have arisen." I visited the club in 2007 and 2-border design is what is used.
       Finally, there is a version --which exists only on the Internet and on some old letterhead-- that places a narrow white fimbriation between the red borders and the black. See, e.g., World Flag Database. This on-paper 'fimbriated version' simply arose (I was told) because the computer printing media insisted on the white fimbriation (to keep the black from bleeding into the red?). This "fimbriated" version is simply a printing anomaly; I have never seen an actual flag that looks like this. However, it is making quite an appearance in the media.
James Liston, 25 August 2010


[Royal Northumberland Yacht Club burgee] image located by James Liston, 25 August 2010

Burgee is a red-bordered black pennant with a yellow lion statant, tail extended (the crest of the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland).

Photograph of example of flag from National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (London): 
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 April 2019