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Latvia - Naval Flags

Last modified: 2024-06-21 by zachary harden
Keywords: latvia | naval jack |
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Before the [Second World] war, Latvia had a red-white-red flag for civil and state use and a white flag with a white cross bordered red for warships.The jack was also based on the jack of Russia.
Pascal Vagnat 27 November 1995

Latvia 1941: The merchant ensign is the same as the current national flag. The state ensign is white with a burgundy (same color as the national flag) cross with a narrow white cross on top of it. The jack adds a burgundy saltire and a narrow white saltire on top of it.
Nathan Augustine, 5 December 1995

I've seen the Latvian Ensign on a river patrol boat photographed for the 1995 Military Technology Almanac (Military Technology being a monthly magazine published in the Netherlands). It also appears in the 1995-96 Jane's Fighting Ships. However, it is referred to as the Ensign, not the WAR Ensign. I believe, but have absolutely no evidence, that this flag is used on both military and private vessels.
Nathan Augustine, 5 September 1996

Latvian Naval Forces official website include flag related information:
Here are Quotes From the 'History' section: "In 1938, the Coast Guard Squadron was renamed as the Latvian Navy, and on July 15 Minister of War General J. Balodis solemnly presented the Navy with its flag which included its motto: "We are united by the holy name of Latvia.".... The most important naval event of these early days of the re- established Latvian Republic occurred on April 11, 1991 when the Latvian flag was hoisted on the re-established Navy's first ship "SAMS."  This date is now recognized as the rebirth of the Latvian Naval Forces....On April 11, 1995, the historic original official flag of the Latvian Navy was presented to the Latvian Naval Forces. This flag had been considered lost but miraculously was preserved and rediscovered."
The 'Attribute' section shows and describes several flags:
- Flag of CiC of Naval Forces
- Flotilla Admiral's Flag
- Rear Admiral's Flag
- Vice-Admiral's Flag
- Pendant of Commander of Flotilla
- The Pendant of Commander of Squadron
- Pendant of Commander of Division
- The Ensign
- Jack Flag (sic)
- Warship Pendant
The 'News' section shows several photos with flags. Ther is also an interesting: photo gallery here.
Jan Mertens, 28 July 2007

Naval Ensign

image by Željko Heimer, 8 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Naval Ensign (---/--W 2:3) - White flag with on a red cross throughout a white cross. Album gives construction details as (8+4+8):(13+4+13) which is fine but doesn't give a clue about the relative width of the white cross. It is shown on the picture in Album as being 1/3 of the red cross width, which is wrong, as far as I am aware - I believe that the Flaggenbuch construction details are still valid, being (20+4+2+4+20):75. This is how I depict it.
Željko Heimer, 8 April 2002

From <>:
"The Ensign - The basement of the Ensign is white phone quadrilateral, in the center of which vertically and horizontally are crossed colors of the State Flag and which width is 1/5 of the flag width. The proportion between the length and the width of the flag is 2:3.
The Ensign uses: The Ensign is the flag of Warship register of Latvian Naval Forces of National Armed Forces of Latvian Republic. All persons, who are on duty on warships have to protect and to defend it; Ships of Naval Forces, which are anchored or stay in docks, hoist the Ensign and hold on ensign staff, but when the ship makes movements or replaces, then the ensign replaces to the gaff; The ship of Naval Forces brings the ensign: from o’clock 08.00 to the sunset in summertime, but if the sun barks after the time 21.00 – the ensign strikes down in 21.00, but in winter months from 09.00 o’clock to the sunset; From the time of sunset to o’clock 08.00, and to 09.00 o’clock in winter, the ensign on the ship raises in the following cases:
a)If the ship leaves the port or the raid and the ensign strikes down, when the ship leaved the port or the raid,
b)When Ships of Naval Forces come in port or in raid. After the ship placed the ensign draws down;
c)Ships of Naval Forces, standing in port or in raid, raise the ensign, if in port or in raid come in or leave Latvian or other countries warships. The ensign strikes down after the warship placed or leaved the port or the raid;
In wartime, sawing the enemy and in fighting operation’s time the ensign raises not only on the gaffs, but on the whole mast’s top and stay day and night there. In fighting time to guard the ensign have to be appointed the instructor, whose task is not to allow nobody to remove it. In case if in the battle the ensign guns down, on it place have to be raised new one, not to give the enemy to think, that the ensign was struck down.
Warship ensign fly all Warship Flotilla’s, Coast Guard Flotilla’s and Special ships with belonging to them motorboats, ships` boats and boats, which are in the disposition of Navy of Latvian National Armed Forces; The ensign hoists near the Staffs of units of Latvian Naval Forces and in Divisions, and strikes at one time with The Flag of Latvian State. The Ensign must not be used, as the Flag of Naval Forces and it do not carry in processions and outlooks."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002

Naval Jack

[Jack of Latvia]
image by Željko Heimer, 8 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Jack (2:3) - White flag with cross and saltire in the national colours. Album does not give any construction details but shows the jack the same as it is in the Flaggenbuch, each arm being 4+2+4 in the overall flag of 50:75.
Željko Heimer, 8 April 2002

From <>:
"Jack Flag - Jack Flag is the Ensign, which afforced by colors of the State Flag, which diagonally cross the center; the width of these diagonally crossed colors is 1/5 of the width of the flag. The proportion of the width and of the length is 3: 2. Jack Flag is making up in the following sizes (in millimeter): I size – 660x440, II size – 990x660, III size – 2250x1500, IV size – 3000x2000. 
All warships fly Jack Flag on the front flag’s mast of the ship. Jack Flag hoists and strikes in one time with the Ensign, but only then, when ships stay on anchor or in port near the dock. Jack Flag do not hoist in nighttimes."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002

Warship Flag - Kara kugu karogs

image by Željko Heimer, 11 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Masthead Pennant - White long swallowtailed pennant with the naval ensign at hoist. Album pictures it quite matching the construction details in [neu92], but does not mention these details: width 8cm, length of the naval ensign at hoist 24 cm, length of the white part max. 350 cm, depth of the indentation 100 cm.
Željko Heimer, 11 April 2002

From <>:
"Warship Pendant - The Warship Pendant consists of the basement and of white stripe. The basement of is Naval Forces Flag, which is 8 cm width and 24 cm length. This basement continues sewed on white flag cloth, which has the same width and is not shorter than 3,5 meters long. There is a cut in the end of the Pendant. It has keel form and it is 1meter depth. The Warship Pendant is making up in the following sizes (in millimeter): I size – 1040x80, II size – 2470x80; All Naval Forces` ships, in maintenance of which are commissioned and is singly possible to accomplish battle tasks, fly the Warship Pendant on the top off the mast, Warship Pendant is singly day and night on the mast.  If the ship is going to maintenance for some time, which is longer then 1 month, or the ship mismatch to the prior point requirement, in that case the Warship Pendant strikes."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002