Imperial Chinese naval ensign (1866-1888) by unknown

Imperial Chinese naval ensign (1866-1888)


Fine art poster

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Imperial Chinese naval ensign (1866-1888) by unknown zoom

Imperial Chinese naval ensign (1866-1888)

Imperial Chinese naval ensign, 1866-1888 pattern. The flag is triangular, double sided, made of yellow silk, with a cotton hoist and machine sewn. It is hand embroidered with a blue dragon with five toes and a red sun disc. This flag, originally the jack, was adopted as the state flag and naval ensign in 1872. The flag was acquired by Admiral Leonard Andrew Boyd Donaldson (1875-1956) who served on the China Station as Commander in HMS 'Monmouth' 1910-1912.

The Qing imperial government did not possess a national flag of standard design until the second half of 19th century. In 1866, the Office for General Management (Zongli Yanmen - the Foreign Office established by the Qing Government in 1861 for dealing with foreign affairs) announced the application of a yellow triangular flag with a flying dragon design on ships hired for arresting robbers. This triangular flag had never been declared as a formal 'national flag'. However, it was used on various occasions as an official sign of national identity. For instance, the flag was hoisted on the gunboats which were manufactured in England for the Qing government and sent to China in 1879. When Admiral Ding Ruchang sailed the two vessels, 'Chaoyong' and 'Yangwei', (built on the Tyne for the Qing Government), for Tianjin in 1881, the same triangular flag was hoisted. The flag was used on similar official occasions until 1888 when the Qing government issued the 'Regulations for the Beiyang Fleet' which laid down the standard design of the Qing imperial national flag. [May Bo Ching].

Original size: 889 mm x 940 mm

  • Image reference: L0101

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