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Pakistan - naval ensigns

Last modified: 2016-02-13 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pakistan | crescent | star | ensign | civil ensign | merchant ensign | war ensign | civil air ensign | jack |
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Naval Ensign

[Civil Ensign of Pakistan] 1:2, by Željko Heimer

The national flag in ratio 1:2. Regarding the construction, there is of course, the question on how this one is constructed. There are basically two main approaches:
(a) retain all the construction elements as prescribed and only change the starting ratio from 2:3, to 1:2
(b) reformat the "finished" 2:3 by only reformatting the rectangular fields.

Solution (a) may be more "orthodox"; it retains the horns and star to point towards the fly top corner, however, that would make the emblem change the "rotation" from vertical axis, and would make it's dimensions different. Solution (b), on the other hand, retains the known emblem and its "rotation". Anyway, if one tries to follow solution (a), one gets the crescent whose white areas is larger then the half the full circle, so if there is a special construction of this ensign, the inner crescent circle must be modified (by either moving its center to some other point, or by changing the diameter). However, there is a third solution (c): modification of the fields as in (b) and then rotation of the emblem as a whole so the star points to fly top. I believe that (b) is the simplest solution and is probably followed (and that
few people in Pakistan worry about this problem as much as I do here), and it is anyway as it is pictured in Album des Pavillons (2000).

For those really interested in these possibilities, you can view the solution (a) and solution (c).
Željko Heimer, 8 September 2002

Armand du Payrat (some time ago) very kindly sent me the official specs for the Pakistan Naval Ensign upon which he based the Album illustration. The sheet illustrates both the National Flag and Naval Ensign, and gives some figures. The National Flag is as we have it, the Naval Ensign is given as 91.5 wide with the white panel at 45.5 and the green at 137. The centre-point of the circle which creates the outer arc of the crescent is placed on the centre-point of the flag with a radius of 28. The inner arc of the crescent is given with a radius of 25.5, however, neither its position on the diagonal nor the size/position of the star is further defined. None the less, there is no doubt from the illustrations that they are placed exactly as on the National Flag, and that the star is also one-fifth the hoist.

By my highly suspect calculations this produces a slightly thicker and larger crescent than that on the National Flag, but for all practical purposes there doesn't seem to be any real difference? You will also note that the proportions are shown as 183:365, but are we really bothered about 1/183 of flag width?
Christopher Southworth, 20 may 2005

Civil Ensign

[Civil Ensign of Pakistan] 2:3, by &Željko Heimer

Red ensign with the national flag in the canton. Smith (1982) denotes this ensign as civil and state ensign. Do the state ships carry it too? If so, this must be an error in Album des Pavillons (2000).
Željko Heimer, 8 September 2002

Former civil ensign

[Civil Ensign of Pakistan] 2:3, by Miles Li, 5 August 2005

The civil ensign of Pakistan from establishment of the republic in 1956 until October 22, 1958 when the current Red Ensign was adopted.
Source: Flags of the World [Carr 1961]
Miles Li, 5 August 2005

This flag was introduced at the establishment of the republic on 17 March 1956 (source the UK Flag Institute).
Christopher Southworth, 5 August 2005

Maritime Security Agency

[Civil Ensign of Pakistan] 2:3, by &Željko Heimer

Blue flag with red-blue-white border along the three edges and the MSA emblem in the middle. The emblem is circular, bearing the name of the Agency in a blue ring encircling a vertically divided disk of blue, red and white. In the red part there is a white anchor combined with the initials MSA. Below the disk there is a white bordered blue ribbon bearing the name PAKISTAN, and above are an up-pointing crescent and star, somewhat different than in the naval emblem. The anchor is similar to the British admiralty anchor with the rope curling from once side to the other.
This flag is, I presume, not used as an ensign, but rather as an additional flag signal on MSA vessels (maybe on the mainmast) and the ordinary ensign is used at stern. If Smith (1982) is correct, that would be the red ensign.
Željko Heimer, 8 September 2002

MSA vessels fly the Naval Ensign (see:, as well as the MSA flag as Jack (source: Jane's Fighting Ships 2015-16).
Miles Li, 24 January 2016

Masthead Pennant

[Civil Ensign of Pakistan] 1:20, by &Željko Heimer

Long triangular pennant with a white panel at hoist and green fly.
Željko Heimer, 8 September 2002