Page created: 7th June 2004|
Last updated: 19th June 2004
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The FAME is site devoted to systematic and scientific study of flags and coats of arms. Such symbols often bear strong political and other messages. Inclusion of those symbols here does not mean that the author support or approve the ideas they may stand for.
With the upgrade of the state to the level of an empire, the ideas for the new flags were considered. One other issue was in mind – with the enlargment of the fleet, it was noticed that it might be prudent to differentiate between the merchant and naval ships. Archduke Carl, the Minister of War and Navy, initiated the discussion, and Count Coblenzl, the Vice-chancellor of the Court and the State, put forward two proposals, one for the naval and the other for the merchant ensign. The naval ensign proposed was yellow flag with black border and the black double-headed eagle holding a sword and an orb, each head crowned, and with an escutcheon of Austria. The merchant ensign was red white red triband with the black double headed eagle throughout holding a sword and an orb and crowned with an imperial crown. A third flag was proposed in the set, in design like the naval ensign, but with the greater coat of arms instead of the lesser, to be hoisted on ship when the Emperor is personally on board of a ship.
The proposal provided by the Naval Command replaced the shield in the 1786 naval ensign with a more elaborate design with the imperial crown above it.
The Court War Council and the Court and State Office proposed together in 1819 that the naval ensign would be triband of black-yellow-black, while the merchant ensign red-white-red, both with the coat of arms next to the hoist. The proposal also included, so called, a corsair ensign, to be used by merchant ships with the corsairing patent, as the merchant ensign by with three tongues in the fly.