This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Rank flags of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (Japan)

Last modified: 2018-06-02 by zachary harden
Keywords: japan | marine self defense forces | rising sun | chrysanthemum |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



[Naval Ensign]
Naval Ensign image by Željko Heimer
2:3 [FIS Code]


See also:

Introduction

These flags were adopted Jan 28 1956 and still in use.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 21 February 2000

The flags were based on "Rules Regarding the flags of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces" (December 27, 1954, Maritime Self-Defense Force Instruction No. 44) and this regulation is still in force today. This regulation was passed before Defence Agency Notice No. 2 of 28 January 1956. This regulation covers the use of the following flags in the realm of the MSDF:

(1) National flag
(2) Ensign of the MSDF
(3) Prime Minister's flag
(4) Defense Minister flag
(5) Defense Deputy Minister's flag
(6) Joint Chiefs of Staff flag
(7) MSDF Chief of Staff flag
(8) Vice Admiral flag
(9) Rear Admiral flag
(10) Commodore flag
(11) Commander flag (A)
(12) Commander flag (B)
(13) Masthead/Captain Pennant
(14) Senior Officer Present Afloat

Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018


Prime Minister (Supreme Commander of Joint Self-Defense Forces)

[Prime Minister flag] 2:3
by Zachary Harden, 13 March 2018

Prime Minister as Supreme Commander of Joint Staff Defense Forces five gold cherry blossoms on purple field.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 12 September 2009


Minister of Defence

[Minister of Defense] 2:3
by Zachary Harden, 13 March 2018

Minister of Defense uses the same pattern as the Prime Minister flag, with the exception of the background and cherry blossom stems being a deep red instead of purple.
Zachary Harden, 13 March 2018


Vice Minister of Defence

[Minister of Defense] 2:3
by Zachary Harden, 13 March 2018

The Vice Minister of Defense uses the same pattern as the Minister of Defense, except there are four cherry blossoms instead of five. Also the cherry blossoms are arranged in two rows of two.
Zachary Harden, 13 March 2018


Chief of Staff of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces

[Chief of Staff of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces]
2:3, by Zachary Harden and Kazutaka Nishiura, 3 March 2018

White flag with four cherry blossoms above a blue fouled anchor.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 3 March 2018

Former flag

[Chief of Staff of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (former)]
2:3, by Zachary Harden and Kazutaka Nishiura, 3 March 2018

The flag of vice admiral charged with a red border around the flag. The border size is 1/20th the length of the flag. It was in use from January 10th, 1955 to December 26th, 1962. This was replaced by the current flag.
Zachary Harden, 3 March 2018

Specifications

[Chief of Staff of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (former)]
2:3, by Zachary Harden and Kazutaka Nishiura, 3 March 2018


Vice Admiral

[Vice Admiral]
2:3, by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

White flag with three red cherry blossoms, 1 over 2.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 2 March 2018


Rear Admiral

[Rear Admiral]
2:3, by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

White flag with two red cherry blossoms.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 2 March 2018


Commodore

[Commodore]
2:3, by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

In the terms of the MSDF, the rank of Commodore is below rear admiral but just above captain. This flag is assigned to commodores of the Minesweeper Group Commander, Escort Group Commander or Practice Fleet Commander, and Maritime Training Team Leader Command, Air Group Command, Submarine Group Command, Information service group command, development team command, educational aviation group command, communication group command, marine operation group command or base unit command is the first sea command.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018


Commander (Class A)

[Commander, class A]
2:3, by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

The Commander (Class A) flag is flown by the commander of escort ship groups, submarine groups, transport ships and training groups. White swallowtail with a red cherry blossom near the hoist.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018


Commander (Class B)

[Commander, class B]
2:3, by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

The Commander (Class B) flag is flown by the commander of minesweeper groups and missile boat groups. Red and white swallowtail with a red cherry blossom near the hoist.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018


Captain or Commander Pennant

[Masthead Pennant]
1:40, by Zachary Harden, 28 February 2018

The triangular pennant is in ratio between 1:40 and 1:90, with the hoist part in ratio 2:3, containing a simplified variant of the naval ensign - the sun disk being in its center, with diameter half the hoist size. The eight rays are such to cover at edges about 1/5 of the hoist size, the diagonal rays border only with the top and bottom sides.
Željko Heimer, 2 May 2004

This is a commanding officer's pennant used Jan. 30, 1914-1945. The commanding officer's pennant was re-adopted on Jan. 28, 1956 for the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 30 April 2000

This pennant also doubles as the commissioning pennant for the MSDF and is flown at all times, even if a flag officer is on board.
Zachary Harden, 28 February 2018

Specifications (hoist)

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 2 March 2018

Ed. note: The pennant end, according to "DSP Z 8727. 長旗 (PENNANT, INDIVIDUAL) 昭和58年3月26日制定", has an edge with a square and not triangle.

Senior Officer Present Afloat

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
5:6, by Zachary Harden, 25 February 2018

The SOPA flag is flown by the most senior officer when two or more warships anchored in the same port and the commander was absent. The flag is red and white with a broad pennant pattern.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2018

Specifications

[Senior Officer Present Afloat]
by Zachary Harden, 25 February 2018