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House Flags of U.S. Shipping Companies: C

Last modified: 2020-04-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: united states shipping lines |
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Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co.

[Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co., Cleveland
A Great Lakes Line. Flag blue with the inscription in white shaded letters C&B Line.
Source: 1909 update to Flaggenbuch 1905

Joe McMillan, 2 October 2001

Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company

[Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company] image by Joe McMillan

Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, Cleveland (1891-1984)
Quarterly red and blue, overall on a white lozenge a red "C." I have also seen the blue quarters shown in black.) I believe but am not sure that I once sent this flag to the list before, but include it here for completeness.
Source: (no longer available)

Joe McMillan, 14 September 2001

This firm apparently was the shipping division of the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company. A photo of this flag can be found here or (enlarged) here. This version appears to be somewhat longer and has a larger diamond comparable with the one at the head of this page, which is part of a site about the company’s last ship, the ‘William G. Mather’. Its flagship sailed from 1925 till 1952, and it stopped operations in 1980. Other vessels, active as well as non active, were sold off starting 1985; end of 1987, the ‘Mather’ was donated to become a museum ship.
More on Cleveland-Cliffs (ore) company history, including shipping can be found at, with, about half-way down the page, a close-up of the house flag. It is still used as a trade mark.

Jan Mertens, 10 September 2005

Cleveland Tankers

[Cleveland Tankers] image by Joe McMillan

Cleveland Tankers, Wilmington, DE
Despite the homeport, a company specializing in oil tanking on the Great Lakes. Many US companies are incorporated in Delaware because of lenient incorporation and tax policies (if any lawyers in the crowd understand this better than I, please pitch in), so you'll sometimes find shipping companies giving Wilmington as the port of registration rather than the port where the ships really operate from. The flag is a quasi-monogram of the letters C T in wihte on a blue swallowtail.
Source: US Navy's 1961 H.O.

Joe McMillan, 15 September 2001

[Cleveland Tankers] image by Ivan Sache, 4 December 2005

The Cleveland Tankers house flag is shown here (second row, third picture) and enlarged here. The flag on the photo is of a different blue; it tapers. The ‘CT’ (the ‘T’ sitting snugly inside the ‘C’) monogram is situated near the hoist. The house flag can be seen in action at

Bits of history through quotes from this page reveal:
A new company, “Cleveland Tankers (1991) Inc., Cleveland, OH. (…) was 75% owned by U.S. citizens who were partners in the bulk shipping consulting firm Jones, Bardelmeier & Co. Ltd. of Nassau, Bahamas; and 25% owned by Algoma Central.” There was also the Cleveland Tankers Ship Management Inc.
Sadly, on 14 Feb. 2005 “with the sale of the Gemini comes the probable end of the Cleveland Tankers fleet; a fleet which was founded in 1933 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Allied Oil Transport Co. Inc. and later a subsidiary of the Ashland Oil and Refining Co., Ashland, KY.”

Jan Mertens, 12 September 2005

Clover Leaf Steamboat Line

[Clover Leaf Steamboat Line] image by Joe McMillan

Clover Leaf Steamboat Line, Buffalo
A Great Lakes line formerly serving Buffalo and Toledo. Flag was a red burgee-shaped pennant with a white disk bearing a green four-leaf clover.
Source: (no longer available)

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

Clyde Steamship Co.

[Clyde Steamship Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Clyde Steamship Company, Incorporated, New York; triband blue-white-blue, proportioned 1:4:1; in the center a red "C".
Jarig Bakker, 12 February 2005

Clyde Steamship Co., Philadelphia (later New York) (1844-1932)
The Clyde Line was established in 1844 by Thomas Clyde, connecting Philadelphia with other
east coast ports. The headquarters moved to New York in 1872. Besides connecting the northeast and southeast, the line also served the West Indies, especially Dominican Republic, after 1870s.
The company was purchased in 1907 by Charles W. Morse's Consolidated Steamship Lines, which collapsed in 1908. Clyde Line was then taken over in 1911 by the Atlantic, Gulf & West Indies Steamship Lines, a combine of a number of lines, but the Clyde Line name and flag continued in use until 1932, when Clyde was combined with the Mallory Line name to form the Clyde-Mallory Line. Flag: white with blue upper and lower ed! ge! s and a red "C" in the center. Sometimes shown with serifs.
Sources: Manning (1874) (as NY & Havana Direct Mail Line and NY & South Carolina SS Co.), Lloyds 1912, Wedge (1926)

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

Clyde-Mallory Line

[Clyde-Mallory Line] image by Joe McMillan

Clyde-Mallory Line, New York (1932-1949)
A combination by the Atlantic, Gulf & West Indies SS Lines parent company of the old Clyde Line and the old Mallory Line. Clyde-Mallory existed for only 17 years; it was sold to the Bull Line in 1949 and the Clyde-Mallory name and flag went out of use. The flag combined the white with blue edges of the Clyde flag with the red star that appeared on the Mallory flag. Note: [gsh34] shows this flag trapezoidal, but company memorabilia depicted on indicates it was rectangular. A trapezoidal version of this flag is currently on FOTW at gb~hf02.html, but this was an American, not a British, company.
Sources: Talbot-Booth (1937), (no longer available)

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

[Clyde-Mallory Lines houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Clyde-Mallory Lines. The correct version is not tapered. The only source I have seen showing a tapered flag is the National Geographic Magazine of 9/1934.
Neale Rosanoski, 14 April 2005

Coastwise Line

[Coastwise Line] image by Joe McMillan

Coastwise Line, San Francisco
Flag divided from lower hoist to upper fly, white over blue, with the letters "C" and "L" counterchanged.
Source: US Navy's 1961 H.O.

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

Coleman's California Line

[Coleman's California Line] image by Joe McMillan

Coleman's California Line
the originals are in the archives at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts
Coleman's was one of the clipper ship lines that sprung up in the 1850s to meet the demand for transportation from the east coast to the gold fields of California.
Source: clipper cards reported in the Time-Life book The Clipper Ships and at

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

At the Alaska's Digital Archives website was an image of a canned salmon label with some vex interest because it shows two flags for a label of Coleman Flag Brand Red Salmon. One bears a seal showing the flag of the Alaska Packers Association, although the proportions and shade of blue differ. It also has a flag or flagoid- the eponymous Coleman Flag no doubt - red and blue divided per saltire (red at hoist and fly, blue at top and bottom), with a white disk in the center, bearing a large black C (with serif).
Ned Smith, 17 August 2007

E. K. Collins New Orleans Line

[E. K. Collins New Orleans Line] image by Joe McMillan

E. K. Collins New Orleans Line, New York (1832-1850)
Edward K. Collins joined his father's shipping business in 1821 and struck out on his own with this line of sail packets between New York and New Orleans in 1837. The flag was a red swallowtail with a black "L" on a white disk.
Source:  chart of "Private Signals of the Merchants of New York"

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

E. K. Collins Liverpool Line

[E. K. Collins Liverpool Line] image by Joe McMillan

E. K. Collins Liverpool Line, New York (1836-1850)
Known as the "Dramatic Line" because the ships were named after Shakespeare and other dramatists and actors. By the early 1840s, his shippng ventures had made Collins won of the wealthiest men in New York and the most successful shipowner in America. All the ships were sold in about 1850 to shift service to steam with the new Collins Line. The flag was divided blue over white with two counterchanged Ls.
Source:  chart of "Private Signals of the Merchants of New York"

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

Collins Line (New York & Liverpool United States Mail Steamship Co.)

[New York & Liverpool United States Mail Steamship Co (Collins Line)]          [New York & Liverpool United States Mail Steamship Co (Collins Line)] images by Joe McMillan

Collins Line (New York & Liverpool United States Mail Steamship Co.), New York (1850-1858)
The Collins Line operated from 1850-1858 and may have been the most famous American steamship line of the 19th century, but it was afflicted by a series of disasters, high operating costs, cancellation of government subsidies, and failure to keep up with British technical advances. The line's first flag was a blue swallowtail with five rows of six white stars each, very similar to a pre-Civil War US Navy commodore's broad pennant. The second flag, reconstructed here from a description in North Atlantic Seaway I:201 was blue with the US shield outlined in white, tilted toward the upper hoist.
Sources: and North Atlantic Seaway I:201

Joe McMillan, 18 September 2001

 My copy of Bonsor has a different version for the second flag making it a burgee, as with the first flag, and with no mention of the shield being angled.
Neale Rosanoski, 1 February 2004

Colombian Line (Colombian Steamship Co.)

[Colombian Line (Colombian Steamship Co.)] image by Joe McMillan

Flag #679 on National Geographic (1934).
Alvin Fisher, 27 Jan 1999

Colombian Line (Colombian Steamship Co.), New York (1923-1938)
A subsidiary of the Atlantic, Gulf & West Indies combine, serving ports on the US east coast, Colombia, and the Caribbean. Combined into AGWI's other operations in 1938. Flag a blue swallowtail with a red C on a yellow lozenge.
Sources: National Geographic (1934), Talbot-Booth (1937)

Joe McMillan, 20 September 2001

Colonial Line

[Colonial Line] image by Ivan Sache

Based on, the flag of the Colonial Line or Colonial Navigation Co., document dating from 1934.  The flag image is very small and seems to consist of a red ring on a white field. There’s eBay, however, offering a jug (Item number: 2244114503, bidding closed) of this line showing the company flag. If the brochure’s colours are right, the flag is white with a red disk bearing a white ‘C’ and a five-pointed star in each corner, possibly also red.

I’ve found traces of the firm till 1941. A glimpse of its activities is given here:
“There are many Phoenixville people who will recall the delightful overnight trips from new York City to Providence, Rhode Island, or Boston, Mass., on the old Colonial Line. For $4 plus $1.50 stateroom charge, one could leave New York at 5:30 p.m. and arrive in Boston at 8:25 the next morning. The route went northeast on Long Island Sound and followed the coast line of Connecticut and Rhode Island. The steamer only went as far as Providence, at which place the remainder of the trip was by New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. A full-course dinner on board ship was only $2 and breakfast was 50 cents on the connecting train from Providence to Boston.”
Jan Mertens, 22 September 2004

This button, found on the "Nautique" website seems to indicate the stars were blue and the C dark coloured.
Jan Mertens, 16 September 2005

Columbian Line

[Columbian Line] by Jan Mertens

This picture showing a house flag is a fragment of a poster shown at Apparently New York and San Francisco, and the ports between them and the Panama Canal, were served by this company. The Panama Railroad Co. must have played its part as well. The house flag is light in colour and has a thin, dark-coloured saltire plus the US shield (with stars?) in the centre.

Jan Mertens, 17 June 2005

If the poster was from 1894 as the file name suggests, then the Panama Canal would not have been involved, as it did not yet exist. The part played by the Panama Railroad company would have been to transport the passengers across the isthmus from Atlantic ports to Pacific ports. According to a message posted here "The Columbian Line (1894-1895 with New York - Colon service using chartered ships) became the Panama Railroad Steamship Line in 1896."

An image of the logo of the Panama Railroad Co. postdating the 1903 establishment of the Republic of Panama looks very similar to the emblem on the saltire of the flag you mention, with the addition of a chief based on the Panamanian flag. See There are already images of the houseflags used by the Panama Railroad Steamship line here.

Ned Smith, 19 June 2005

Commercial Pacific Cable Co.

[Commercial Pacific Cable Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Commercial Pacific Cable Co., New York
In 1949 it had one cable repair ship of 3,000 gross tons. Flag diagonally red over blue, with the company initials in blue on a white band from lower hoist to upper fly.
Source: Lloyds Flags and Funnels 1912

Joe McMillan, 20 September 2001

Commercial Steamship Co.

See: Mooremack's Gulf [of Mexico] Line

Comstock & Co.

[Comstock & Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Comstock & Co. (1850s)
Another California clipper company. Blue over white burgee with a red hoist, and thereon a white C.
Source: clipper cards reported in Time Life's The Clipper Ships and at; originals at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem

Joe McMillan, 20 September 2001

Consolidated Coal Co.

[Consolidated Coal Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Consolidated Coal Co., Baltimore
The ports of Baltimore and Norfolk were (and are) the principal shipping points for bituminous coal mined in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and western Virginia. This company's flag was a red-white-blue vertical tricolor with the initials CCC on the three stripes in black letters.
Source: Flaggenbuch 1905
Joe McMillan
, 4 October 2001

Lloyds 1904 shows the blue band as being red.
Neale Rosanoski, 1 February 2004

Continental Oil Co. (CONOCO)

[Continental Oil Co. (CONOCO)] image by Jarig Bakker

Continental Oil Co., Houston TX - white flag, rounded red outlined rectangle, charged with red "CONOCO".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 5 November 2005

image located at by Jan Mertens, 6 November 2005

The current flag can be seen at Quote:
"ConocoPhillips: From their beginnings in the early days of the oil industry, Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Company grew and prospered, becoming leaders in the global energy industry. On August 30, 2002, they combined their complementary strengths and shared values to create ConocoPhillips."
I see that the logo has been carried along with the quote - I hope it'll come through. (What is the red thing supposed to mean, by the way?)
The 'CONOCO' brand has not disappeared. See the page at
Jan Mertens, 6 November 2005

Cosmopolitan Shipping Co.

[Cosmopolitan Shipping Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Cosmopolitan Shipping Co. (1916-1980s), New York
Apparently an earlier flag of the Cosmopolitan Line. This flag has the initials CL in red on a white disk on a red swallow-tailed field.
Source: 1909 update to Flaggenbuch 1905

Joe McMillan, 30 September 2001

[Cosmopolitan Shipping Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Cosmopolitan Shipping Co. (1916-1980s), New York
Cargo service from New York to French ports; operated the America-France Line with US government-owned ships from 1919-1939. Later operated the Southern Cross Line down east coast of South America. Abandoned US flag market and switched to Norwegian flag vessels in the 1950s. A pretty effective flag: red with a white bordered blue lozenge.
Source: US Navy's 1961 H.O.

Joe McMillan, 20 September 2001

The name similarity may only be coincidence. Lloyds 1904 shows the flag for the company being operated by P. Wright & Sons and based Philadelphia and New York. Lloyds 1912 does not show it and there is thus a gap between the 1909 Flaggenbuch update and the 1916 date given for the formation of the 2nd company.
Neale Rosanoski, 1 February 2004

Crescent Towing & Salvage Co.

[Crescent Towing & Salvage Co.] image by Jarig Bakker, 6 January 2006

Crescent Towing & Salvage Co., Inc., New Orleans, LA - green burgee, white "CTS".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker
, 6 January 2006

Cromwell Line

[Cromwell Line] image by Joe McMillan

Cromwell Line, New York (1858-1902)
The Cromwell Line was established by H.B. Cromwell and a group of Georgia investors to serve Savannah and New York. It was seized by Federal forces during the Civil War and began New York-New Orleans service after the Union capture of New Orleans in 1862. Taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad Co in the late 1880s but continued to operate under the Cromwell Line name and flag until 1902, when all Southern Pacific properties were consolidated under the flag of the former Morgan Line. The flag was simply a white C on a red swallowtail.
Sources:, Manning (1874), Flaggenbuch 1905

Joe McMillan, 30 September 2001

Crowley Maritime Corp.

[Crowley Maritime Corp.] image by Jarig Bakker

Crowley Maritime Corp., San Francisco - white field, blue "C", red funnel.(yeah - that's the Crowley-funnel)
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 5 November 2005

Curtis Bay Towing Co.

[Curtis Bay Towing Co.] image by Jarig Bakker

Curtis Bay Towing Co., Baltimore, MD. - white flag, blue diamond, red "CB"; along top "CURTIS BAY TOWING CO."; along bottom "Pennsylvania".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 22 October 2005

Cusack's Line

[Cuyamel Fruit Co.] image by Jarig Bakker, 19 August 2005

Another link at to a sailing card advertises the (M.R.) Cusack's Line, San Fransisco (see the last clickable picture). According to the text, the ship in question ('Starr King') had following ports of call:
   - San Francisco -Melbourne-Hong Kong-San Francicso (1855)
   - San Francisco-Sydney-Hong Kong-San Francisco (1857)
   - San Francisco-Sydney and Melbourne (1862).

The house flag is red with a white disk bearing a black serifed 'C'.
Jan Mertens, 18 August 2005

Cuyamel Fruit Co.

[Cuyamel Fruit Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Cuyamel Fruit Co., New Orleans
Blue burgee with a white lozenge bearing a red C. The flag is pre-1929 when this company was bought out by United Fruit.
Source: (no longer available)

Joe McMillan, 30 September 2001

US shipping lines house flags - 'D' continued