Last modified: 2009-06-06 by ian macdonald
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There is a Malaysian blue ensign. In typical British tradition, it has as its canton the Malaysian national flag on a dark blue background. I have seen 2 of these flying on water. One flew on a channel dredge while the other flew from what I believe is a police boat. I also found 3 samples in the afore mentioned flag shop. The most interesting thing about the blue ensign is its proportions. They are 2 to 3. Also, as best as I can tell, the canton is not exactly quartered. It is 8/14 the width of the entire
ensign and 1/2 the length which corresponds exactly to the canton measurements on the Malaysian national flag.
Clay Moss, 4 November 2003
Both Barraclough and Crampton 1978 and
Pedersen 1971 mention Malaysia having a Blue Ensign, i.e.,
blue field with the Malaysian National flag in the canton.
Martin Grieve, 13 November 2003
The "official" specifications are 2 to 3. However, my flag and the other
three I measured are actually 24 x 38.5 inches. This makes sense, as the canton
is not quartered, but is 8/14 the width of the flag, just as the canton is on
the Malay national flag. The extra 2.5 inches of length makes the canton half
the length of the flag. I am still trying to find out why the blue ensign is
shorter. I have been promised a set of official specifications.
Clay Moss, 5 December 2003
image by Clay Moss, 9 January 2006
Officially, both red and blue ensigns should be 1:2. However, the 2:3 variety
are becoming more popular every day, so much so, that it's now rare to see a 1:2
proportioned ensign in either color. I asked Cheong Hing Flag Makers if they had
heard anything from the government concerning an official change in proportions.
They said that there has been no official change, but that both the Malaysian
Marine Police and private ferry operators are ordering 2:3 type ensigns more
consistently than the 1:2 variety with no explanation.
Technically, the Malaysian blue ensign serves the same function as the blue ensign in any British Commonwealth member state that uses the "British" flag system. That is, as the government's flag at sea. In Malaysia's particular case, the blue ensign could almost be called the Marine Police ensign outright. They certainly fly the vast majority of blue ensigns seen in Malaysian waters. The only other ship of any kind I have seen flying the blue ensign is a channel dredge, and it may belong to the Marine Police as well. I'm not sure about Naval reserve officer entitlements. The blue ensign can also be seen on land as it flies over all Marine Police headquarters buildings. Occasionally, the blue ensign can also be seen indoors either hanging on a wall or mounted on an indoor staff. The lighthouse at Muka Head has a handsome 3x6 footer hanging inside the manager's office.
Clay Moss, 10 April 2005