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Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL)

Last modified: 2011-09-23 by bruce berry
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  Image by Jarig Bakker, 11 Dec 2005

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Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL)

The flag of Ethiopian Shipping Lines (Addis Ababa) is described as being a green flag in the centre of which is an eight-spoked brown steering wheel with a yellow lion rampant. Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95].
Jarig Bakker, 11 Dec 2005

Image sourced by Jan Mertens, 12 Dec 2005

More on this company can be found here - that it was founded in 1964 and, at least at the start, enjoying Dutch support.  It also shows an interesting flag variant - one with lettering:

Simpler flags (emblem completely in white on a green background) are also found on the internet but these do not seem authentic.  The lion, however, consistently faces the fly, which is unusual - at least in Western (or Northern) eyes.
Jan Mertens, 12 Dec 2005

The former Ethiopian ports were Assab and Massawi and ESL also used Djibouti and Mombasa (Kenya). The company was privatized in 1998. The article I linked to was originally published in Forbes, 26 July 1999. Because of the conflict with Eritrea, operations were shifted to Djibouti then while the company seat (and apparently also the register!) is Addis Ababa.   It seems that goods transported to Ethiopia by sea must be carried by ESL. As it is felt that Djibouti is profiting too much from the situation, Berbera in breakaway Somaliland is a likely alternative.
The fleet consists of nine ships now and two more will be built in China 2006-2007.
Jan Mertens, 13 Dec 2005

The line above reads "የሊትዮጵያ ንማድ መርኩበ" (Yaliteyopheyaa Nemaade Marekuba), which is Ethiopian for the bottom line, "Ethiopian Shipping Lines".
António Martins-Tuválkin
, 13 Dec 2005