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Tonga Customs flag

Last modified: 2012-03-16 by ian macdonald
Keywords: tonga | customs | cross (red) | hmc |
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[Customs Flag (Tonga)] 2:3? image by Željko Heimer, 4 April 2003

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Description of the Flag

Upper half of the flag is blue (with the same canton as the state flag) and the lower half is white with letters "H.M.C." (His Majesty's Customs) in black. Proportions 42:72. The same design (with different writing) is used by other departments and institutions. Source: Pedersen 1973 [ped73].
Marcus Wendel
, 15 September 1999

Blue flag with white stripe along the bottom containing black letters HMC, and in a white canton a red cross as in the national flag. Ratio 2:3. In no source it is clear whether this is a flag hoisted somewhere else on the vessel, or if it is an ensign. Apparently, the flag was abandoned some time after World War Two. Source for the image: Flaggenbuch (1939). It also appears in National Geographic (1917) so it was used at least since 1910's to 1940's, though probably also earlier and later.
Željko Heimer
, 4 April 2003

Pedersen 1971 shows this flag as 42:72 (i.e., 7:12)
James Dignan, 15 February 2004

As described above, this flag seems to be still a legal one, mentioned in the Customs and Excise Act (1988
Revised Edition -, pages 72-73), where the size is prescribed "no less then 120 by 60 cm"

Another unusual ensign is mentioned in the Tonga legislation - the Quarantine Ensign for Launches: Quarantine Regulations, CAP. 77A, 26 Feb 1926, 1988 Revised Edition, p. 24,

70. Launches while on quarantine duty shall fly the quarantine ensign. The quarantine ensign shall have the upper half red, the lower half yellow and the letters M. O. H. in blue in the centre of the flag.

Željko Heimer, 5 February 2012