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The 1922 law on the flags at sea, Zakon o zastavama na ratnim, trgovačkim i privatnim brodovima, was published in Službene novine Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca (Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), #89/22, 28 February 1922. The full text of the law is given below.
Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003
We Alexander I, by the grace of God and the wish of the people, the King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes proclaim and issue to the whole that the Lawmaking Council of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, based on article 130 of the Constitution, on its 38th regular session on 28 December 1921 in Belgrade, decided and that we confirm it now, that the decision of the Council of Ministers, "Pov. Mor." nr. 1481/0 of year 1920 - list of acts of Ministry of Navy and Army nr. 46 - Official Gazette nr. 195. of 3 September 1921 - change and declare
The Naval ensign shall have a ratio of 1:1.5, and shall consist of three horizontal fields of equal height. The colors shall be blue-white-red. On one third of the ensign length there shall be the state coat of arms with the crown. The height of the arms and crown (without the globe and cross) shall be half of the ensign height.
The Merchant ensign shall have a ratio of 1:1.5, and shall consist of three horizontal fields of equal height. The colors shall be blue-white-red.
The Reserve Naval Officer's ensign shall be equal to the merchant ensign. In the blue field, near the hoist there shall be a white fouled anchor and above it a yellow royal crown. The distance of the crown from the hoist shall be equal to its height, and that shall be 1/3 of the height of the blue field.
The Harbour Police ensign shall be equal to the merchant ensign. On one half of the flag length from the hoist, there shall be in the white field two blue crossed anchors.
The Navy and Army Minister's standard shall have a ratio of 1:1 (square) and shall consist of three horizontal fields of equal height. The colors shall be blue-white-red. The standard shall be bordered with a border of width one 33rd part of the standard side. The upper and lower parts of the border shall be divided into 33 vertical fields so that the edge fields are blue, and in-between fields are ordered white-red-white-blue and so on.The left and right borders shall also have 33 horizontal fields in which colors are arranged in the same way as in the upper and lower borders. In corners there shall be three white fields, one blue and one red, so that those are in-between the white ones, and all meet each other on the diagonal of the square in the corner of the border. In the left corner of the standard in the blue field there shall be a white double-headed eagle with the state coat of arms and the crown. The size of this symbol depends on the size of the field itself, and equals to the eightfold width of the small border fields. The vertical axis of the eagle shall be 4.5 widths of the small border fields from the left edge.
The Rear Admiral's standard shall be blue in ratio 1:1, bordered in the same manner as the Navy and Army Minister's standard. In the second quarter of the blue field there shall be the royal crown. The width of the crown shall be 8.5 widths of the small border fields.
The Commodore's standard shall be blue in ratio 1:2, in shape of a swallowtail, so that the depth of the indentation is 1/3 of the standard length. In the upper hoist corner there shall be the royal crown one fourth of the standard width height. The crown shall be in the left upper square, which sides shall be equal to half the standard height.
The Seniority standard shall be blue like the Commodore's standard, but without the crown.
The Masthead pennant shall be a white flag in ratio 1:100 ending in the shape of a point [i.e. triangular]. On the first tenth of the length there shall be three horizontal fields of the same width in the state colors. The point of the flag shall end with a white bunch of ropes.
The Customs signal shall be triangular, divided in three fields of blue, white and red. The base of the white field shall be equal to the half the signal height, while the bases of the blue and red fields shall be one fourth of the signal height. The length of the signal shall be one and a half of height. The points of all fields shall meet in the point of the triangle.
The Post signal shall have a ratio of 1:1, and shall contain three horizontal fields of blue-white-red. The white field shall be twice higher than the blue and red ones, and shall contain a deep-blue post-horn. The length of the horn shall be one half, and its height shall be one fourth, its distance from the inner and outer edges shall be one fourth, and from the blue and red fields one eighth of the flag length.
For the hoisting (use) of the royal standards shall be valid the decisions of His Majesty the King.
Only the war ensign, merchant ensign, reserve naval officer ensign and harbor police ensign shall be hoisted at stern as the signs of nationality of the vessel. The war ensign shall be hoisted only by the war vessels; the merchant ensign shall be hoisted by other state and private vessels; the reserve naval officer ensign shall be hoisted on merchant vessels on which the commanders are reserve naval officers and which were granted the right to hoist this ensign by decree; the harbor police ensign shall be hoisted by all vessels in service of maritime administration.
The standard of the Minister of Army and Navy, of Rear Admiral, of Seniority and the war pennant shall be hoisted only by war vessels; customs signal only by vessels in customs service, and post signal by all vessels that serve in postal traffic.
The ministry of Army and Navy shall make rules on hoisting the flags on war vessels, and in cooperation with Ministry of Traffic rules by which the reserve naval officers will be granted the right to use the reserve naval officers ensign.
The Ministry of Traffic shall make rules on hoisting of flags on other state, merchant and private vessels of the Kingdom of Serbes, Croats and Slovenes in coordination with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Post and Telegraph, Internal Affairs and Finances.
For the making of the required construction sheets, the acquisition of the required number of different flags the Ministry of Finances shall give special funds to the Ministry of Army and Navy - Navy Branch, that shall endorse the task.
This law shall be valid on the day of publication and supersed the decision of the Council of Ministers, "Pov. Mor." Nr. 1481/0 of 1920 - list of acts of the Ministry of Navy and Army nr. 46 - Official Gazette nr. 195 of 3 September 1921.
We suggest to Our Minister of Army and Navy that this law publishes, and to all Our Ministers that they take care of it endorsement. To the government we command to act according to it, and to all and everybody to subdue to it.
28 February 1922, in Belgrad
seen and applied the State Seal, Keeper of the State Seal,
Minister of Justice
(signed) Dr. L. Marković
President of the Council of Ministers
(signed) Nikola P. Pasić
(followed by signatures of other Ministers)
Translated by Željko Heimer, 7 June 1998
Translator's note: The word for flag and ensign is the same in Serb-Croat-Slovene language (as it was called then), but since the law deals in fact with ensigns, I translated it so.