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British shipping companies (G)

Last modified: 2016-03-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: gg&co | gillie blair | g | gb | gs | gysco | s | star: 8 points | gg |
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Gibbs & Lee

[Gibbs & Lee houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 20 March 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Gibbs & Lee" (#47, p. 39), a company based in Cardiff (Wales), as white with two red and white ascending diagonal stripes, a red letter "G" in upper hoist and a blue letter "L" in lower fly. The shade of blue is light is lighter than on most other flags shown by Lloyd's.
   Bob Sanders lists Gibbs & Lee's "Royal Briton" among the tug boats of Cardiff, 1894 (http://www.angelfire.com/de/BobSanders/Tugs1894.html )
Ivan Sache, 20 March 2008 


George Gibson & Co. Ltd.

[George Gibson & Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 11 April 2000

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963

George Gibson & Co. Ltd. One of the survivors with origins back to 1797 and still going. The flag however is one of uncertainty rather strangely. Not only do sources disagree over dots after some or all letters or none, but also with the colours of these letters. Basically they plump for either black or red, although an 1895 source shows blue, neither of which appear to give any cause for misinterpretation. In 1920 they absorbed the Rankine Ltd. and some sources show the flag under Gibson Rankine Line which appears to have been a service name for trades associated with the latter company. At one stage in the late 1970s/early 1980s they had a German subsidiary, Deutsche George Gibson & Co Gastanker GmbH Reederei and a Mobil chart of German liveries shows another version with the upper band being pink and the lower band red.
Neale Rosanoski, 6 June 2004

[George Gibson & Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 16 December 2004

Based on Wedge 1926 G. Gibson & Company, Limited, Leith. Triband red-white-blue, proportioned 2:1:2; on white "G.G.&Co" in black.
Jarig Bakker, 16 December 2004

[George Gibson & Co. Ltd. houseflag] image located by Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005

George Gibson & Co. Ltd. The correct version as shown by the National Maritime Museum site has red letters with dots and is dated c.1951. The version shown for Wedge 1926 with a narrower white band, repeated in the 1929 and 1934 editions, disagrees on the whole with other publications of this period which show equal bands.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005


Gibson Rankine Line

[Gibson Rankine Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

The flagchart "Vlaggen in de haven van Amsterdam" (flags in the harbour of Amsterdam), no date shows the flag of the Gibson Rankine Line, Leith (Scotland) - white with a rope in TV-screen form around two masted flag in saltire. The flag to the hoist is the Gibson flag; the flag at fly-side maybe another Gibson flag, though the letters are hardly visible
Jarig Bakker, 6 July 2004

Gibson Rankine Line. The flag is not shown by any other source but the design of the crossed flags did appear on the funnels of craft involved on certain routes. The 2nd flag is that of Rankine Line Ltd. operated by James Rankine & Sons until taken over in 1920 and comprises 5 horizontal bands of red-white-blue-white-red with on the blue band the white letters "GR&SA". Sources vary as to whether the bands were equal with some showing the blue widest but then varying amongst themselves as to whether the red and white were equal or greater than one or the other.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005


G. T. Gillie & Blair

[Gillie & Blair houseflag] image by Jorge Candeias, 21 Mar 1999

It’s a triangular flag with horizontal bottom, purplish blue with a dark blue border around it except in the hoist.
Jorge Candeias, 24 Feb 1999

[Gillie & Blair houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski

G.T. Gillie & Blair. Judging from the company website at www.gillieblair.com the flag image comprises a mauve field with a very dark blue border except at hoist, these two colours being fimbriated white [see above]. Although the image seems to suggest that the flag comprises a right angled triangle I wonder as this would be most unusual and a normal long pennant would seem possible, particularly as the flags previously shown have been pennants.

[Gillie & Blair houseflag]     [Gillie & Blair houseflag] images by Rob Raeside

Talbot-Booth in Merchant Ships 1944 shows a blue pennant with a white orle (above, left) whilst Brown1951 and Stewart 1963 have the orle extending to the hoist (above, right) with Brown showing a thicker white. Whether these represent changes in design or colours I do not know but the format would seem to be basic after allowing for artistic licence from the sources. Also note that Stewart shows under the name of their subsidiary Firth Shipping Co. Ltd.
Neale Rosanoski, 15 June 2004


Glenlight Shipping Ltd.

[Glenlight Shipping Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005

Glenlight Shipping Ltd., Ardossan - red swallowtail, in center narrow white stripe; white disk, charged with black "G".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005


Glen Line

[Glen Line houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)  This flag flies under a blue pennon charged with a white Maltese cross (possibly on a black square?)
James Dignan, 18 October 2003

Blue pennant with white Maltese cross over a red and white flag quartered diagonally, with Union Jack in center.
Jarig Bakker
, 18 October 2003

Founded in the mid 1800s in Glasgow. The company name emerged in 1868. In 1880 became known as McGregor, Gow & Company, although it was still promoted as the Glen Line. Glen Line Ltd was formed in 1910. The shares of the company were acquired by Elder, Dempster and Co. in 1911. As Elder, Demster was owned by Royal Mail, the ensuing problems of caused by Lord Kylsant resulted in the line being a part of Alfred Holt and Co. (later known as Ocean Transport and Trading Co.). Glen Line ceased to own ships in 1978, and the Ocean Transport and Trading Co. was purchased by P&O, which sold the Glen Line assets to Curnow Shipping Limited. The company is not operating, although it appears to be still legally registered.
Phil Nelson
, 19 October 2003

Glen Line. Originally the blue pennant flown superior had a white hoist bearing a blue saltire befitting the Scottish origin of the founders. By the 1912 books the Maltese Cross version was being shown whilst some sources show this as just a cross couped. A couple of early sources also show the Union Flag panel without any white but this seems to be printing blues.
Neale Rosanoski, 6 June 2004


Global Marine Systems

[Global Marine Systems houseflag] image by Martin Grieve, 19 April 2009

I have re-drawn the flag of the Global Marine Systems ensign copying Graham's version from "British flags and emblems". This intrinsically "was" the old flag of the GPO (General Post Office), but the old Father Time figure has been increased in size relative to the ensign's hoist width.
Martin Grieve, 19 April 2009

Global Marine Systems is a descendant of Cable and Wireless.


Glover Brothers

[Glover Brothers houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 16 December 2004

Based on Wedge 1926 Glover Brothers, London - quartered diagonally white and red; on white "GB" in blue.
Jarig Bakker, 16 December 2004


John Glynn & Son

[John Glynn & Son houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "John Glynn & Son" (#5, p. 37), a company based in Liverpool, as red with, in the middle, the white letters "A E".
Ivan Sache, 10 March 2008 


George Gordon & Co.

The flag is white with a white canton fimbriated in black and charged with a black pig's head. The letters GG & Co. (black), in a kind of cursive writing, are placed in lower fly.
Source: 1911 Lloyd's flagbook, as illustrated at The Mystic Seaport Foundation.
Ivan Sache, 14 January 2004

[George Gordon houseflag]

George Gordon & Co. The emblem is a boar's head [the boar was an early Royal emblem in Scotland] rather than a pig's [see the attached scan from Lloyds] with the company being shown as a sailing ship operator. They appear to have still been in existence in 1937 still being shown in Lloyds but with no indication as to in what capacity.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005


Gotaas-Larsen Ltd.

[Gotaas-Larsen Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005

Gotaas-Larsen Ltd., London; white swallowtail, blue circle enclosing blue 5-pointed star.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005


Goulandris Brothers

[Goulandris Brothers houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Cape Town, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).

Goulandris Brothers, Piraeus - actually a Greek company, but with a London agency.  A blue flag, white Greek "Gamma" ("G") on Greek ships, but a letter G on ships under other than Greek flag.

However Brown 1951 [Wedge (1951)] shows for the Goulandris brothers in their agency in London a blue flag with a Latin "G".
Jarig Bakker, 6 January 2005

[NJ Goulandris houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2006

N.J. Goulandris, London - blue burgee, "G" around "NJ", all yellow.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2006

Shipping lines image provided by Anita Russell, 12 November 2007

This image was found on a cup. It is N.J. Goulandris Ltd., one of the "London Greeks". Most sources do not show an edging to the pennant but U.S. Navy 1961 does except none at the hoist. I presume that the dark look to the china image indicates a dark blue.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 October 2008


Govan Shipbuilders Ltd.

[Govan Shipbuilders 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 Govan Shipbuilders Ltd. A rectangular blue flag with a white saltire broken in the centre by the letters 'GS'. The flag is made of a synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and logo. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 13 August 2004


Gracechurch Container Line

[Gracechurch Container Line houseflag] image by Jorge Candeias, 30 Jan 1998

The logo is this image. I’ve seen both versions: in deep and in light blue, and don’t know which one is the right one (if any).
Jorge Candeias, 30 Jan 1998

[Gracechurch Container Line alternate houseflag] image by Jorge Candeias, 30 Jan 1998

Graig Shipping Co. Ltd.

[Graig Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Cape Town, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).

Graig Shipping Co. Ltd., Cardiff - flag horizontal white over green, red "G".
Jarig Bakker, 2 January 2005

Graig Shipping Co. Ltd. Owners were Idwal Williams & Co. Ltd. This was their main operating subsidiary [now Graig Ship Management Ltd.] but they have also operated Glynafon Shipping Co. Ltd. and Garth Shipping Co. Ltd. with the flag being common. The name "Graig" originates from their first vessel.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005


Great Eastern Co. (London) Ltd.

[Great Eastern Co. (London) Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 January 2006

Great Eastern Co. (London) Ltd., London - per fly, diagonal orange over green, in center black "G".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 10 January 2006


Great Yarmouth Shipping Co., Ltd.

[Great Yarmouth Shipping Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 6 April 2000

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963

[Great Yarmouth Shipping Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Based on The flagchart "Vlaggen in de haven van Amsterdam" (flags in the harbour of Amsterdam), no date. Per saltite white and blue, clockwise letters G S Co Y which read correctly anticlockwise. Basically the same design as above but with different colors and smaller letters
Jarig Bakker, 6 July 2004

Great Yarmouth Shipping Co. Ltd. According to Brown 1943 and 1951 there was an earlier flag of blue, two narrow white horizontal bands well spread with a white "S" between them [see below]. Possibly suspect as the letter hardly seems appropriate. The change, if there was one, to the yellow and black flag is shown by Stewart in 1953.
Neale Rosanoski, 15 June 2004

[Great Yarmouth Shipping Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

Brown's Flags and Funnels, 1951, also shows a flag blue with narrow white horizontal strips at 1/3 and 2/3 of flag height; in the center a white capital S.
Jarig Bakker, 6 July 2004


Green & Wigram

[Green and Wigram houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010

Green & Wigram
It was a white flag divided by a red centred cross. A blue rectangle was superimposing the centre of the cross.
The origin of the flag according to source is at follows:
“The vessel SIR EDWARD PAGETT hoisted a flag with the cross of St. George in 1824, but when she reached Spithead the Port-Admiral indignantly ordered it to be struck. Thereupon the captain, equally indignant, is said to have picked up a pair of sailor’s breeches, cut a patch from their seat, pinned it over the centre of the flag, and re-hoisted.”
I guess, this is a variant of the story Ivan Sache told of Federal Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.
Source: Campbell and Evans (1953); page 40.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010


Green Blackwall Line

[Green Blackwall Line houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010

It was a white flag with the red cross of St.George superimposing a blue rectangle in the centre.
Source: Campbell and Evans (1953); page 40.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010


Green, Robinson & Co.

[Green, Robinson & Co.. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 3 December 2005

A nicely designed house flag is shown on a handbill (middle of page) at http://www.proni.gov.uk/exhibiti/austral/bound.htm, namely that of Green, Robinson & Co. “established by Willis & Co., in 1843”. The handbill advertises a sailing planned for 20 July 1864 – obviously the transport of emigrants was important to the company.

A white triangular flag with a thin red border bears a red crescent and a red eight-pointed star.

I have not been able to find much, except for the fact that Willis & Co. was a Liverpool firm – but others say Scarborough.
Jan Mertens, 30 November 2005


Grimsby Steam Fishing Co.

[Grimsby Steam Fishing Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Grimsby Steam Fishing Co., Ltd." (#253, p. 49), a company based in Grimsby, as red with a yellow cross in the middle. Grimsby was once the largest fishing port in the world. The Cod Wars with Iceland (1958, 1972, 1975-76) and the depletion of fish stocks in the Atlantic Ocean caused the decline of the trawler fleet of Grimsby.
Ivan Sache
, 10 April 2008 


Groom Shipping Line

[Groom Shipping Line houseflag] image by Alistair Groom, 5 May 2018

I have an old flag which is a purple cross on a dark blue background which I am told was flown by my great grandfather’s shellfish shipping line Groom off the East Anglian coast.
Ivan Sache
, 10 April 2008 


Guinea Gulf Line Ltd.

[Guinea Gulf Line 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 Guinea Gulf Line Ltd., Liverpool. A flag with a black field bearing a white five-pointed star in the centre. The red letters 'GG' are placed in the middle of the star. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 13 August 2004

[George Gibson & Co. Ltd. houseflag]  [George Gibson & Co. Ltd. houseflag] images located by Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005

Guinea Gulf Line Ltd. I suspect a possible error here on the Museum's part in describing the field as black. All book sources describe it as blue and certainly my perusal of the Museum image, especially with the enlarged version which they provide, is that it is a very dark blue. Whatever the answer, the firm was previously John Holt & Co. (Liverpool) Ltd. with origins going back to 1862. As such it used a similar design [with a blue field] but with the letters being "JH". The name change to Guinea Gulf Line Ltd. occurred in 1954. In 1965 it was acquired by Elder Dempster Line Ltd. and appears to have faded out around 1980. Brown 1982 shows a slightly different version of the star with it being squatter and the horizontal arms angled.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 July 2005

Guinea Gulf Line. The field is a dark blue not black. It originated from the flag of John Holt & Co. (Liverpool) Ltd. which was the previous name of this company up until 1954 only it had the initials "JH" on the star. I checked this out with the National Maritime Museum and Barabara Tomlinson confirmed that the field was indeed blue and their website information has been altered accordingly.
Neale Rosanoski, 13 October 2005


Gulf Line

[Gulf Lines houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 8 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Gulf Line, Ltd. (Furness, Withy & Co., Ltd.)", a company based in London, as white with a red swallow-tailed rectangle in the middle.

Quoting the "TheShipsList" website:
"The Greenock S.S. Co. was formed in 1879 to operate services to the Persian Gulf, extended to Australia as required and in 1883 a route to the Gulf of Mexico was inaugurated. In 1891 services to South America replaced the Persian Gulf route. There were now two main services - Gulf of Mexico and Australia via South America or direct via Suez. In 1899 the Gulf Line was formed and in 1903 Christopher Furness acquired a controlling interest in the company. Gulf Line sold its interests in the South America trade to F. W. Ritson's Branch Line in 1906 and after the Great War, the fleet declined and went into liquidation in 1929."
As expected, several ships operated on the Gulf Line were called "Gulf of ..."
http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/gulf.htm

"It is announced that Sir Christopher Furness, the well-known shipowner, has bought the Gulf Line of Greenock. The line consists of six vessels aggregating 19,502 tons."
"The New York Times", 21 June 1902

More on the history of the related "Furness, Withy & Co." can be found here:
http://www.economy-point.org/f/furness-withy-amp-co.html
http://www.oceanlinermuseum.co.uk/Furness%20Withy%20Group%20history.html
http://portcities.hartlepool.gov.uk/server.php?show=ConNarrative.90
Ivan Sache
, 8 April 2008 


Gulf Offshore N.S.

[Guinea Gulf Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005

Gulf Offshore N.S., Aberdeen - white flag, black outlined globe, blue "G".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005


British Shipping lines: continued