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BA (British Airways), United Kingdom

Last modified: 2021-07-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: united kingdom | ba | british airways | bea | boac |
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British Airways 1974-1984

[BA flag 1974] image by Miles Li, 13 June 2021

This is the flag of British Airways between 1974 and 1984, based on its first generation ‘Negus’ livery.
Source: Barraclough and Crampton ([c2b78] and [c2b81]).
Miles Li, 9 November 2020


BEA (British European Airways)

1968-1974

[BEA flag] image by Miles Li, 25 April 2020

From the collection of the Museum of Transport and Technology, New Zealand.
Miles Li, 25 April 2020

1950-1968

[BEA flag] image by Miles Li, 25 April 2020

A white-red-white horizontal triband, with two blue crowns in the upper white stripe and one blue crown in the lower white stripe. In the middle red stripe are the letters BEA.
Miles Li, 12 January 2015


BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation)

[BOAC flag] image by Miles Li and Martin Grieves, 12 January 2015

A yellow-edged blue swallowtail flag with the BOAC highly stylized flying bird in yellow.
Miles Li, 12 January 2015

The Speedbird emblem was designed in 1932 by Theyre Lee-Elliot as a logo for Imperial Airways, and retained in 1940 when Imperial Airways and the original British Airways combined into the British Overseas Airways Corporation. First reference to its use on a flag, that I have found, is in Campbell & Evans, ‘Book of Flags’, 1953. BOAC and British European Airways merged in 1974 to form British Airways, which adopted a new flag based on the shield of its coat of arms; ‘Observer’s Book of Flags’, William Crampton, 1979.
David Prothero, 9 February 2016

Note that the blue is not bright blue, but rather a much darker blue, and also the Speedbird and border fringe are not bright yellow, but rather golden.

According to "B*O*A*C STANDARD DESIGNS" (B.O.A.C. British Overseas Airways Corporation Standard Designs 1940's manual), it describes both the flag and its dimensions as follows: "The House Flag is in Corporation blue with a gold Speedbird and gold border. The occasions on which it may be flown are given in Standing Instruction No. 25/46 : (Use of Flags), in Gazette No. 44, June 1st, 1946.

The Speedbird always flies towards the mast with the notched portion of the flag outwards.
Esteban Rivera, 31 December 2020

[BOAC flag] image by Miles Li and Martin Grieves, 12 January 2015

There was also a variant (as flown in the 1960s) which was rectangular (proportions 1:2) with a field in navy blue, without a border, bearing a yellow speedbird.
Miles Li, 12 January 2015

Note that the blue is not bright blue, but rather a much darker blue, and also the Speedbird and border fringe are not bright yellow, but rather golden.

This BOAC is seen here originally: https://collection.motat.org.nz/ (source: https://collection.motat.org.nz/objects/90330). As the MOTAT (Museum of Transportation and Technology) website states, this is a flag commissioned by BOAC for the 1973 IATA's 29th Annual General Meeting held in Auckland, New Zealand, in November 1973.
Esteban Rivera, 31 December 2020


Imperial Airways (1924-1939)

[Imperial Airways flag] image by Miles Li, 20 April 2019

The pennant of Imperial Airways (1924-1939) was rarely used: an example is in the British Airways Heritage Collection.
Miles Li, 20 April 2019