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British shipping companies (E)

Last modified: 2019-05-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: esso | jre | eagle (black) | lion (yellow) | etc | et | e&f | e&b | ellerman | ea | egc | el | esl |
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Eagle Oil and Shipping Co.

[Eagle Oil and Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of Eagle Oil Shipping Co. Ltd, London. A yellow rectangular flag with a black stripe across the top and bottom edges. In the centre is a black eagle is displayed. The flag is made of wool bunting with a cotton hoist. It is machine sewn and the eagle motif is made of cotton. A rope and toggle is attached.

The shipping company was set up to ship oil from the Mexican oil fields to Europe. Their ships were involved in merchant convoys during both world wars. They were the owners of the 'San Demetrio' reboarded by her crew and saved after being set on fire by the 'Admiral Scheer' in 1940. The company were also managers of the 'Ohio' (owned by the Texas Oil Company) at the time of the Malta convoy of 1942. The firm was merged with the Shell International Petroleum Company in 1959 and their livery disappeared."
Jarig Bakker, 12 August 2004

Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows Eagle Oil Transport Co. Ltd., London: yellow, thin black horizontal edges and a standing black eagle with outstretched wings in the centre. Both edges seem to be one fifth of flag height and the eagle, one half of flag height besides two thirds of flag width. It is difficult to make out if the eagle stands on something but I think not.
Jan Mertens, 19 May 2004

[Eagle Oil and Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski

Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. After WW2 they also operated as Eagle Tanker Co. Ltd. out of the Bahamas. Although the NMM dates the flag as 1935-1950 all the sources up until towards the end show an eagle with wings displayed and inverted with the eagle generally looking in line with the attached . This however differs in the leg area from the design appearing on the funnel whereas one would expect them to be the same although the fact that the funnels had a letter "O" underneath,  or "T" later as was suitable, may have made it appropriate to shorten the legs thereon. The change to the design from the NMM flag is shown by Talbot-Booth for the funnels in his Merchant Flags 1959 and it appears that there was a change to the eagle design in 1957 according to a letter from John S. Styring to the publishers of "All About Ships & Shipping" (Harnack) dated 29.12.1959 in which he states "the actual 'design' of the eagle was altered materially early 1957". These comments would explain the eagle with wings displayed and elevated as per NMM which appears in the US Navy 1961 publication (though the black top and bottom edgings are omitted) in which he had considerable input. Any alteration was of course short lived with the integration with Shell taking effect 1.1.1960 after which the Shell flag was flown.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005


East Anglia Steam Fishing Co.

[East Anglia Steam Fishing Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 12 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "East Anglia Steam Fishing Co., Ltd." (#270, p. 49), a company based in Grimsby, as divided red-blue by an ascending diagonal and with the letters "E" and "A" in the red and blue triangles, respectively.

The vessel "Northumbria" was registered in 1913 as owned by Alfred Bannister (East Anglia Steam Fishing Company). See the probably related house flag of Alfred Bannister, #257, p. 49, and the very similar house flag of "Forward Steam Fishing Co., Ltd.", #273, p. 49.
Ivan Sache
, 12 April 2008 


Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd.

[Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of the Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd., London. A rectangular green flag, on a very broad red bend and a crest of a gold lion rampant holding a black foul anchor. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2004

[Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. houseflag]   [Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. houseflag] by Neale Rosanoski

Eastern & Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. Began in 1873 as the Eastern & Australian Mail Steam Ship Co. Ltd. which had a voluntary winding up in 1880 being replaced by the newly formed company. The original flag according to Griffin 1895 had the same basic format but with the lion rampant guardant facing the fly and holding a shield bearing the black letters "EA" over "M". In 1894 there was another voluntary liquidation so it could reform under the same name and in 1946 it was again reformed as basically a P&O subsidiary and in due course it disappeared into the Group. According to the Liverpool Journal of Commerce sheets of 1885 the lion changed to holding an anchor but still faced the fly as rampant only and although they show a white anchor rather than black, that may not be significant as sources vary with their portrayal and colouring of both lion and anchor. The flag as shown here appears from Lloyds 1904 onwards.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005

[Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010

Eastern & Australian Steamship Co. Ltd. (variant)
The flag is divided by two bendy lines into two green triangles and one red parallelogram. In the parallelogram is a yellow rampant guardant lion holding a white anchor and placed upon a black and white bar.
Source: Campbell and Evans (1953); plate V, flag no.12
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010


Eastern Telegraph Company

[Eastern Telegraph Company houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 18 September 2008

Eastern Telegraph Co. Ltd., located in London
It is a 9-stripes flag with horizontal alternating red and white stripes starting with a red one. The canton is a Union Jack. In the lower fly are blue capitals ETC, the T having double height.
Source: Lloyds (1912); p.91, image no. 1148
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 18 September 2008

Cable & Wireless was the name given in 1934 to a company formed in 1929 by amalgamating Eastern Telegraph Company, Eastern Telegraph Extensions Company, Eastern Telegraph Associated Companies and Pacific Cable Board. Eastern Telegraph Company's house flag was the old East India Company ensign with blue letters ETC in the fly. The Extensions Company house flag was similar with an additional blue letter E above the letters ETC. Their ships operated under the Red Ensign, but ships of the Pacific Cable Board, a public body formed in 1901 by the governments of Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, were granted a Blue Ensign defaced with crossed cable-laying implements surmounted by a royal crown. This ensign was probably withdrawn in 1929.
David Prothero, 12 July 2003

Photograph of example of flag from National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (London): https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/1032.html. Letters are dotted and centred in the lower half.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 13 April 2019

[Eastern Telegraph Co. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

According to the Liverpool Journal of Commerce chart of 1895 the Eastern Telegraph Co. Ltd. previously had a vertical triband of red-white-blue bearing the letters "ETC" [white on colour, red on white]. The flag shown above by David is recorded from Griffin 1895 on though Lloyds 1904 shows a slightly different version with the letters more widely spread and dots after them but their 1912 edition brings it into line.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 February 2004

Pacific Cables Board

[Eastern Telegraph Company houseflag] image by Miles Li

The Pacific Cable Board was a public body formed in 1901 by the governments of Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, to establish a west-about cable link with Australia, that would not cross any foreign territory. It was granted a Blue Ensign defaced by cable-laying implements in saltire ensigned by a royal crown. The ensign became obsolete in 1929 when the Board was wound-up and its assets combined with those of the Eastern Telegraph Company, the Eastern Telegraph Extensions Company, and Eastern Telegraph Associated Companies to form Imperial and International Communications Ltd. In 1934 the name was changed to Cable & Wireless Ltd..
David Prothero, 24 September 2004

Eastern Telegraph Company. Re the flag included for Pacific Cable Board, both Lloyds 1912 and Cableships & Submarine Cables show the fly emblem being within a yellow ring.
Neale Rosanoski
, 31 May 2005


Eastern Extensions Telegraph Company

[Eastern Extensions Telegraph Company houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 18 September 2008

It is a 9-stripes flag with horizontal alternating red and white stripes starting with a red one. The canton is a Union Jack. In the lower fly are blue capitals ordered in two lines: ETC and another E straight above the T of the second line.
Source: Lloyds (1912); p.91, image no. 1147
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 18 September 2008


British Shipping lines: continued