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Turkey: Naval rank flags - Officers with specific command

Last modified: 2013-08-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: commander in chief of the navy | naval base | chief of a station | anchor: fouled (white) | anchor (white) | crescent (white) | bomb |
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The "bomb"

The basic charge of several Turkish rank ensigns is a "bomb" (fide Album des Pavillons [pay00]). A bomb is a kind of 20-pointed star with points of different length, with the sequence <long-small-medium-small-long> repeated four times.
The graphic construction of the bomb is very detailed in Flaggenbuch (1939) [neu92], with the following construction details:

  • diameter of the long rays: 40;
  • diameter of the medium rays: 34;
  • diameter of the small rays: 24.

The inner diameter of the bomb is not indicated, it could be 20. It seems that a small ray points upwards, followed clockwise by a medium ray, then by a small one and a long one, etc..

Comparatively, the bomb in Album seems to be somewhat bigger, slightly differently designed, and somewhat skewed toward the edges of the flag.
The bombs in the swallow-tailed flags in Album are relatively bigger than those in square flags, whereas in Flaggenbuch all the bombs are of the same size.
Therefore, we have decided to show the flags as they are represented in these two sources.

Ivan Sache & Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003

The images in Album are taken from BR20 (1958 release), confirmed by Album des Pavillons (1990 and 1923 releases). The design of the bomb was also confirmed by an illustration in a special page of Naval Forces (December 1997) on the Turkish Navy.

Armand Noël du Payrat, 18 April 2003


Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces

[Commander of the armed forces]

Flag of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces - Image by Ivan Sache, 17 April 2003

According to Album des Pavillons [pay00], the flag of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is a square red flag with four white bombs placed 2 + 2 and surrounding a white anchor.

Ivan Sache, 17 April 2003


Commander in Chief of the Naval Forces

[Commander in Chief of the Navy]         [Former flag]

Flag of the Commander in Chief of the Naval Forces, as shown in Album des Pavillons (left) and in Flaggenbuch (right) - Images by Željko Heimer, 18 April 2003

According to Album des Pavillons [pay00], the flag of the Commander in Chief of the Naval Forces is a square red flag with four white bombs, one in each corner, and a white fouled anchor in the middle.
The flag shown in Flaggenbuch (1939) [neu92] includes a crescent, with horns pointing upwards, beneath the anchor.
The construction details for the flag are as follows:

  • Flag side length: 140 (cm?);
  • Distance from the top of the flag to the top of the anchor: 30;
  • Outer diameter of the anchor ring: 14;
  • Length of the anchor crossbar: 45;
  • Distance between tthe points of the anchor hooks: 40;
  • Height of the anchor: 64;
  • Distance from the bottom of the flag to the bottom of the crescent: 28;
  • Outer radiius of the crescent: 27 (this makes the crescent and the lowest bombs slightly overlapping);
  • Maximal width of the crescent: 38;
  • Inner radius of the crescent: 26;
  • Distance from the geometrical center of the flag to the geometrical center of a bomb: 58;
  • Construction of the bomb, see above.

National Geographic (1917) [gmc17] shows the flag in ratio 2:3, without crescent, as the Imperial standard afloat. This was probably the flag used by the Sultan as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.

Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003


Commander of a Naval Base

[Commander of a naval base]         [Commander of a naval base, 1939]

Flag of the Commander of a naval base, as shown in Album des Pavillons (left) and in Flaggenbuch (captioned "Chief of station") (right) - Images by Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003

According to Album des Pavillons [pay00], the flag of the Commander of a navak base is a red square flag with a white fouled anchor.
The flag shown in Flaggenbuch (1939) [neu92] includes a crescent, with horns pointing upwards, beneath the anchor. It is captioned as a flag of a Chief of station.

Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003


Junior Commander at Sea

[Junior Commander at sea]

Flag of a Junior Commander at sea - Images by Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003

Flaggenbuch (1939) [neu92], shows for a Junior Commander at sea a forked version of the flag of the Commander of a naval base. This flag is no longer shown in Album des Pavillons [pay00].

Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003