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War Ensign 1957-1963 (Malaya)

Federation of Malaya

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: canton (malaya) | crescent: points to fly (yellow) | star: 11 points (yellow) | cross (red) | cross (st george) |
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[War Ensign (Malaysia)] image by Clay Moss, 26 October 2006

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The image above is of the 11-striped Malaya naval ensign. There is some speculation if there should be a blue fimbriation between the canton and the red cross. When I return to
Malaysia, I will research and determine once and for all if the fimbriation was supposed to be there, whether it was incorporated into actual ensigns or not. You'll notice that the image above has a bit of dark red shadowing running along the bottom and fly end of the canton. I did this to attempt to mimic stitching as that would be all that visually separated the canton from the George's cross.
Clay Moss, 26 October 2006

The book Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia 55 Tahun 1990 [tld90], p. 24, shows the Malayan Naval Ensign 1957-1963. It was the Federation of Malaya flag (11-pointed star, 11 stripes) in the canton and a cross throughout, as per the Royal Navy's White Ensign. The image is however in black and white so I cannot confirm the colour of the cross. Caption from page 22: "Malayan Naval Forces was conferred the 'Royal' title by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 which was effective with the August 29, 1952 publication of the Singapore Government Gazette (Change of Name) following which the white background ensign of the Royal Malayan Navy fluttered over the naval base HMMS Malaya, for the first time, to replace the blue Royal Navy ensign". This is quoted entirely from the book — I am aware that the last part of the quote ( Royal Navy ensign) is rather strange.
Herman Felani M.Y.
, 6 November 2003

As far as I know, between 1952 and 1957 the Royal Malayan Navy flew the British White Ensign, and had a Blue Ensign with the badge of Singapore as the jack.
David Prothero, 6 November 2003

Some further information on the Royal Malaysian Navy that I have gleaned is:

  • (...) August 1952 - Queen Elizabeth II awarded royal status - renamed "Royal Malayan Navy" (RMN) or "Tentera Laut Diraja Malaya" (TLDM) in Malay
  • 31 December 1956 - Her Majesty's Malayan Ships flew "her own White Ensign" (source: Mudaffar Alfian Malayan Naval Force website)
  • 31 August 1957 - Control of RMN transferred from Britain to new Malayan Federation government (ceremony 1 July 1958 - "from which date RMN Ships hoist their own colours"), source: Malaysian Ministry of Defense website
  • 12 July 1958 - Royal Malayan Navy Singapore unit transferred from Britain to Malaya (...)
The above comments include an apparent conflict in the dates of adoption of the Malayan White Ensign. As the use of a white ensign by vessels other than under the control of the Royal Navy is considered a privilege - I interpret the information to mean that the British White Ensign was used up to July 1958, with the 1956 reference to "her own White Ensign" to be the RMN flying the British White Ensign "as of its own right", as distinct from reflecting it being under the command of the Royal Navy. The data suggests a possibility of the RMN flying a defaced blue ensign for the period 31 August 1957 to 1 July 1958 - but I doubt it (especially as the Malayan Federation had no "colonial badge" for use on a blue ensign).
Ralph Kelly
, 7 November 2003

Red Ensign

[Red Ensign (Malaysia)] image by Clay Moss, 15 September 2006

Blue Ensign

[War Ensign (Malaysia)] image by Clay Moss, 15 September 2006