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House Flags of U.S. Shipping Companies: G

Last modified: 2018-07-04 by rob raeside
Keywords: united states shipping lines |
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Gaelic Tugboat Co.

[Gaelic Tugboat] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 July 2007


This cheerful flag is orange with a large white diamond touching the vertical edges (but not the horizontal ones: why?) and a green trefoil (shamrock) in the centre. This photo shows the flag in action.
From the firm’s website:
“Our fleet of tugboats is suitable for any and every towing need - large or small. With 2000 - 3000 hp engines, longer, wider and heavier hulls providing increased stability pulling capability, and unobstructed visibility, our tugs are unsurpassed for ship handling and power on the lakes. Equipment and heavy lifts, salvage and stranding, and dead ship towing.”

As you can see from the many pictures on this site, the Gaelic’s activities include much more than tugging. It operates barges, transports exceptional loads, etc. Company seat: Lincoln Park, Michigan.

For a bit of history – and the origin of the flag design – see

“Captain Bill Hoey of Grosse Ile, owner and operator of Diamond Jack's River Tours and the Gaelic Tugboat Company, was born in Ferndale Michigan. As a youngster he spent summers at his uncle's cottage in northern Canada, which nurtured his interest in boats. The great old steamboats that plied the Great Lakes captured Hoey's imagination, and led to his decision to pursue a career in the maritime industry.
In 1961, Hoey was working for the Fuller Marine Towing Co., which was owned by Elmer Dean and Warren Fuller. In 1964, Capt. Fuller retired and sold his business to Hoey. The business grew with the towing of salt and oil barges and with ship assistance --- moving the giant Great Lakes freighters into and out of small areas. Success allowed Hoey to purchase more tugs, and at one point he ran a fleet of 14 tugs. Being of Irish/Protestant descent, but also having a good Irish/Catholic friend, Hoey selected orange, green and white as his fleet colors.”
Jan Mertens, 29 September 2005

Frederick Gerhard & Co.

[Frederick Gerhard & Co.] image by Joe McMillan

Frederick Gerhard & Co., New York (Source: PSMNY)
White with a narrow red stripe along the upper edge and a narrow blue stripe along the lower, with a black P in the center. No information on what the P stood for.
Source:  chart of "Private Signals of the Merchants of New York

Joe McMillan, 12 October 2001

J. C. Gilchrist

[J. C. Gilchrist]  image by Joe McMillan

J. C. Gilchrist, Cleveland (Source: 1909 annex to [ruh05])
A Great Lakes line; white G on a red field.
Source: 1909 update to Flaggenbuch 1905

Joe McMillan, 12 October 2001

S. Gitcovich & Co.

[S. Gitcovich & Co.]  image by Joe McMillan

S. Gitcovich & Co., Galveston, Texas
Nothing on this one except white with a red lozenge and the monogram SL in white.
Source: Wedge (1926)
Joe McMillan
, 14 October 2001

S. Gitcovich & Co. Wedge (1926) actually gives the name as Sgitcovich & Co., also showing in the 1929 edition, not that this makes me any the wiser.
Neale Rosanoski, 24 June 2004

Glidden & Williams

[Glidden & Williams]  image by Joe McMillan

Glidden & Williams, Boston (1852)
Glidden & Williams is described in Samuel Eliot Morison's "Maritime History of Massachusetts" as the most important clipper firm operating out of Boston to California (1840s-50s). My sources seems to show this flag as a triangular pennant, as I've drawn it, white over blue with a red star overall, but it may have been rectangular or existed in a rectangular variant.
Source: clipper card illustrated at

Joe McMillan, 14 October 2001

[Glidden & Williams] image by Rob Raeside

Glidden & Williams. According to Loughran (1979) they used a white over yellow biband with a red star [see us~g158a.gif attached] for their clipper "Witch of the Wave".
Neale Rosanoski, 24 June 2004

At, a letter from 7 September 1852 from Glidden & Williams, confirms the house flag as white over yellow with a red star in the centre.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 12 March 2011

Globe Navigation Co.

[Globe Navigation Co.]  image by Joe McMillan

Globe Navigation Co., Seattle
Among the last sailing ship lines. Flag blue with a white globe, latitude and longitude lines shown in red. Similar emblem to that on the fly of the last flag of American Export Line, but no connection known.
Source: 1909 update to Flaggenbuch 1905, Lloyds 1912

Joe McMillan, 14 October 2001

Goodhue & Co.

[Goodhue & Co.]  image by Joe McMillan

Goodhue & Co., New York
Founded 1809 as Goodhue and Swett; operated a line of transatlantic packets and served as agents for the Canton firm of Russell and Co. Also part of the consortium that ran the famous Black Ball Line, and later merged with Charles Marshall & Co, the Black Ball's final operators. Flag divided vertically, red to the hoist and white to the fly with a large black disk overall, possibly a reference to the Black Ball Line.
Source: chart of "Private Signals of the Merchants of New York"

Joe McMillan, 14 October 2001

G. Gordon

[G. Gordon]  image by Joe McMillan

G. Gordon, New York
Red with a white cross, overall on a black disk the letter B in white. I do not believe this mid-19th century company was affiliated with the Black Ball Line, but the flag would imply that it might have been.
Source: chart of "Private Signals of the Merchants of New York"

Joe McMillan, 14 October 2001

Gordon & Talbot

[Gordon & Talbot]  image by Joe McMillan

Gordon & Talbot, New York
A mid-19th century firm. Flag burgee shaped, blue over red divided by a narrow white line, and the initials of the firm also in white.
Source: chart of "Private Signals of the Merchants of New York"

Joe McMillan, 16 October 2001

US shipping lines house flags - 'G' continued