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War Ensign (Singapore)

Singapore Naval Force Ensign

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: singapore | stars: 5 (white) | crescent: points to fly (white) | compass rose | canton (red) |
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[War Ensign (Singapore)] 1:2 image by Željko Heimer, 5 November 2003

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The Singapore war ensign is white with a red canton with a white crescent and stars, crescent pointing to fly, and an eight-pointed red cardinal points device in the fly. Ratio 1:2. Source: Barraclough and Crampton 1981 [bcr81].
Željko Heimer
, 5 July 1996

From my observations as a Singaporean, the War Ensign is used by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) aboard their naval vessels at the main mast.
Herman Felani M.Y., 24 August 2001

The blue State Ensign was formerly used by our Navy upon independence and up to 5th May 1967 when our Navy was granted the white War Ensign (ratio 1:2) which doubled up as the land-based Navy Flag (ratio 2:3).
Herman Felani M.Y.
, 14 June 2002

Despite the legislative papers giving the Singapore Naval Force Ensign a proportion of 1:2, the ones actually flown on the naval vessels these days are in the proportion of 2:3. I visited a naval base for the Navy's Open House in May, and the use of the 2:3 ensigns were everywhere. I think that this might be due to the fact that the Navy Service Flag, which is equivalent in design to the Ensign, is in the proportions of 2:3. The Navy Service Flag is required to be flown with the Singapore State Flag and the Singapore Armed Forces Flag at the various naval establishments. Since the State and Armed Forces Flags are both in the proportions of 2:3, I suppose they could not adopt the 'Naval Ensign proper' as the Navy Service Flag. The other Service Flags (Army and Air Force) are also 2:3, thus the need for standardisation of the Service Flags when displayed together. Thus it became a norm to use the 2:3 manufactured naval ensigns I guess. Fortunately though, the blue State Marine Ensign is still used in its 1:2 proportions, as far as I am aware.
Herman Felani M.Y.
, 23 September 2004

Construction Sheet

[War Ensign (Singapore)] image by Željko Heimer, 5 November 2003

I came across some further information on the Ensigns of Singapore. A copy of the government papers with regards to them is kept at the National University
of Singapore (NUS) Central Library. Each of the documents came with a coloured sample of the ensign and their respective construction sheets. I have attached a scan of the construction sheet for the State Ensign and Naval Ensign from the document. Accordingly, these two ensigns share the same construction sheet.

Singapore Naval Force Ensign (Singapore (NUS) Central Library Call Number: V305.12Sin)
Misc. 1 of 1967
Presented to Parliament by the Minister of Defence.
Ordered by Parliament to lie upon the Table: 27th February 1967.

"The Singapore Naval Force Ensign shall be a white ensign with the top left hand quarter of red charged with a crescent sided by five stars in a circle all in white and an eight pointed red star with narrow white lines inserted within the star in the lower right hand quarter. The ratio of the width to the length of ensign shall be one by two.
The crescent and stars are from the State Flag and the eight pointed star represents the mariner’s compass."
Herman Felani M.Y., 1 November 2003

Commissioning Pennant

[Navy (Singapore)]
image by Zachary Harden, 25 September 2018

I was able to confirm that the Singapore Navy does employ the use of a commissioning pennant. According to Navy News (2015, Issue 1) (p. 47), the pennant is red in color and the emblem at the hoist is the crescent and five stars, in white. The arrangement of these symbols is the same that is used on the national flag.
Zachary Harden, 25 September 2018