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Naval Auxiliary Services (The Netherlands)

Marine Bijstandsdiensten

Last modified: 2019-05-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: auxiliary |
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All images are based on the Album 2000 (French Navy Flagbook) with details from VVKM9 (official flag regulations for the Dutch navy).
Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

Naval masthead pennant (Marine Oorlogswimpel)

[Marine Oorlogswimpel] image by Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

Besides the normal flag all Dutch navy ships in active service also fly a relatively small war standard: This standard is flown from a flagpole at a high place in the centre area of the ship, 24 hours a day. It is replaced when worn. Only when a ship is put out of use, this standard is officially taken down.
Wim Zindler, 14 April 2003

The "Oorlogswimpel" is what is in English called masthead pennant (or commissioning pennant or war pennant) and similarly the practice is adopted in most navies around the world. I believe that this is replaced by appropriate admiral's flag when he is commanding the ship (or some other high officer pennant). Indeed, I failed to find the pennant on FOTW, even if I am sure that it was posted to the list previously. For difference from the Shipmate design, the Album 2000 (French Navy Flagbook) shows the pennant as triangular swallow-tailed (i.e. diminishing in vertical size from hoist toward fly). The German Flaggenbuch of 1939 also shows that triangular swallow-tailed pennant.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2003

Masthead Pennant.
Long swallow-tailed pennant in the colours of the national tricolour, the cut at the fly one third of the length of the pennant. Standard sizes: 1 m long - 5 cm wide; 2 m long - 5 cm wide; 6 m long - 8 cm wide. Also a 10m long 10 cm wide size existed, but I presume this was only used on the aircraft carrier "Hr. Ms. Karel Doorman", which was sold to the Argentine navy in 1968. Lastly adopted by Order in Council on 6 March 1986.
Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

When did the design first come into use?
We don't seem to know. It's depicted as having been in use for approximately as long as the tricolour itself. Whether that's completely accurate, however, would have to be subject of further research.
It also may not always have been a commissioning pennant. In paintings that show Dutch ship wearing them, they're usually worn by only a few ships.

Was it always swallowtailed?
Yes. Presumably, at some point the wind must have blown a long pennant apart, after which pennants were intentionally created that way, but all commissioning pennants are always depicted forked. This suggests the model was copied from foreign pennants. This is not true for other types of long pennants, that are usually single-tipped, though some can be made forked as well.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 13 April 2019

Civilian vessel chartered by Navy

[Chartered vessel's flag] image by Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

A more correct title is "Vessel owned or in use by the navy, not being a war vessel". Triangular blue flag (2:3) with a white hoist one third of the flag length. On the white part in red a black foul anchor under the royal crown. On the blue part white letters (one fifth of the flag height) identifying the unit as stipulated by the Minister of Defence. Adopted by Order in Council on 25 July 1934.
Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

Naval transport unit (Marinetransportdienst)

[Marinetransportdienst flag] image by Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

As an example for the letters on Civilian vessel chartered by Navy VVKM9 gives "MTD" for "Marinetransportdienst" ("Navy transport unit"). However, I can't find any reference to this unit on the official website of the Royal Netherlands Navy, so I don't know if this unit exists today.
Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

Pilot Ship (Loods)

[Pilot Ship flag] image by Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

Blue flag (2:3) with a white letter "L" ("Loods" is "Pilot"). Not in VVKM9, at least not the edition I have.
Mark Sensen, 19 April 2003

Old pilot flag

[Old pilot flag] image by Jaume Ollé, 5 May 2003, after Steenbergen.

Netherlands Navy, at the foremast, pilot required (Merchantmen hoist ordinary the Netherlands flag at the foremast.
Jaume Ollé, 5 May 2003