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France: Ships registered as historical monuments

Last modified: 2017-08-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: historical monument |
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Flag awarded to ships registered as historical monuments - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 April 2017 2017


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Registration of ships as historical monuments

The French Ministry of Culture offers protection to historically valuable ships by registering them as historical monuments. The first two ships were given this designation on 5 November 1982; the total figure is now well beyond a hundred (117 as of 2007).
There are two groups of eligibility criteria:
- subjective criteria: reputation of designer or builders, importance of owner, or events of historical significance. Possibly also authenticity, cultural aspects, or sponsoring.
[Patrimoine Maritime et Fluvial]

Jan Martens, 14 October 2009


Flag awarded to ships registered as historical monuments

Rgistered ships are allowed to fly a special flag (42 cm x 63 cm, price 40 euro in 2007), made of a white diamond defined by blue and red triangles (upper and lower hoist, respectively) and red and blue triangles (upper and lower hoist, respectively); in the centre is placed a black emblem consisting of the groundplan of a fortress, in contour, enclosing an upright anchor. The diamond's points touch the flag's edges.

Jan Martens, 14 October 2009

The flag can be seen hoisted, not as an ensign, on the legendary Joshua (photo).
Joshua, a steel ketch designed in 1962 by Jean Knocker, took part in 1968 to the Golden Globe Race, the first non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Ahead of the race by a wide margin after rounding Cape Horn, her skipper, Bernard Moitessier (1925-1994), abandoned the race and sailed to Tahiti. Moitessier's rendition of the adventure, La Longue Route, published in 1971, was sold to more than 100,000 copies within three years.
Crashed aground by a cyclone in 1982 in Mexico, Joshua was offered by Moitessier to two Americans who revamped her. Acquired by the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle, Joshua entered the port of La Rochelle on 14 September 1990, steered by Bernard Moitessier.
Joshua was registered as a historical monument on 6 September 1993.
[Maritime Museum of La Rochelle]

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2017