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British shipping companies (S)

Last modified: 2012-06-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: sr | deer | stag | sos | sc&co | sc | sh | chevrons (4) | s.ltd | bjs&co |
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South American Saint Line

[Saint Line Ltd. (America) houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

UK and Continent - South America; Houseflag: white, with red St. Andrew's cross; white field edged red in center, containing rising sun over Tudor rose.
Jarig Bakker, 17 October 2003

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Saint Line Ltd (America), London. A white rectangular flag with a red saltire. There is a white shield in the centre with a red and yellow sun motif. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 27 August 2004

South American Saint Line. Some sources show the saltire as reaching the edge of the flag. I have come across a description of the emblem stating that the rising sun or flame effect is in fact the upper half of a gold star with 5 point showing surmounting the upper half of an orange estoile or star of wavy points with 6 showing in the appropriate spaces. The lower half of the design, also in gold, is referred to as "a lower wheel shape" consisting of the outline only. A Tudor Rose would certainly explain the background seeing that the company was Welsh based. The 1961 US Navy publication shows orange in place of red on the flag but there appears no reason for this. The company seems to have been absorbed by Houlder Bros around 1970.
Neale Rosanoski, 24 May 2004


Southeastern Gas Board

Southeastern Gas Board houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, 12 December 2007

The flag was red with a white line towards the top and bottom edges. In the middle was a white rectangle with the letters SEGB in blue. SEGB were colliers that used to run between the north east ports and London.
Mike Davison, 30 November 2007

The flag was red with a white line towards the top and bottom edges. In the middle was a white rectangle with the letters SEGB in blue. The funnel was black with a white band; this bore three narrow red lines to top and bottom and in the centre a white rectangle outlined red, with SEGB in blue.

There is a history of the company's ships by D. Ridley Chesterton, 'Gas and electricity colliers: the sea-going ships owned by the British gas and electricity industries', published by the World Ship Society in 1984.
Ian Sumner, 11 December 2007


South Georgia Co. Ltd.

South Georgia Co. Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of South Georgia Co. Ltd. A white flag with a red diamond in the centre on which is a white- bordered blue cross. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."

Loughran (1979) writes: "Chr. Salvesen & co., Ltd., had Norwegian origins, and the device of the center of the flag is derived from the national flag of Norway. It owned the South Georgia Company."
Jarig Bakker, 29 August 2004

South Georgia Co. Ltd. was formed in 1916 whereas the parent company dates from1846 when the Norwegian brothers Christian and Theodore Salvesen set up business in Edinburgh. In shipping they were involved in whaling and post WW2 these interests declined until by 1990 they withdrew from shipping and are today a logistics company. The flag is normally shown under the Salvesen name and the earliest source I have come across is Reed 1901 which shows the flag as having a blue border but this may be an error with Lloyds 1904 on showing the version as shown here.
Neale Rosanoski, 13 February 2005


Stag Line

Stag Line houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Stag Line Ltd, North Shields. A red rectangular flag with the crest of a white stag. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn with the motif printed. A rope and toggle is attached. The design dates from 1846 when the company purchased its first vessel, a wooden scow named 'Stag'.

The company was named after its first vessel 'Stag', purchased in 1846 by Captain Joseph Robinson. He shortly afterwards formed a management company, Joseph Robinson & Co. The company ran small wooden barques, buying their first steam tramp in 1875 and going over entirely to steam by 1879. From 'Camelia' of 1858 onwards, the company tended to favour flower names for its vessels.

A limited company was formed in 1895 but the firm remained in Robinson's hands and was based in North Shields. After some losses during both world wars the company continued to trade worldwide, particularly to Canada. It was also involved in cable laying in New Zealand and the West Indies. The company was taken over by Hunting Gibson Ltd in 1981. The remaining coasters were sold by 1983 and the joint management company went to James Fisher & Sons of Barrow in 1982."
Jarig Bakker, 31 August 2004


Star Offshore Services Marine Ltd.

[Star Offshore Services Marine Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005

Star Offshore Services Marine Ltd., Aberdeen - white flag, blue disk charged with white 5-pointed star, between two "S"-shaped blocks.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005


State Line (State Steamship Co. Ltd.)

[State Line houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 9 August 2008

This shipping company is presented on The Ships List website. It was a British company sailing to the US from 1872 onwards, partly American owned, naming its ships after US states. A few years later adverse circumstances led to ships being chartered out or even sold; the company was finally wound up, Allan Line buying what was left of the fleet in 1891.

A poster on this page shows the house flag: a blue straight-edged swallowtail, horizontally edged red above white (top) and white above red (bottom); on the blue field is placed a white initial ‘S’ accompanied by a rather smaller white star near the hoist. Shown here is the relevant part of a passenger list, ‘State of Indiana’ New York to Glasgow offered on eBay (item no. 6597754753, ended 22 Jan. 2006). The date on the list I cannot read but according to the seller (“ocliners”) it was issued in 1884.

While the ‘S’ recalls the firm’s name, the colours and the star are certainly examples of mixed British and US flag symbology.

Additional information (sinking of the ‘State of Florida’):
http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=stafl

Jan Mertens, 19 March 2007

[State Line houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski, 4 December 2010

State Line (State Steamship Co. Ltd). If one takes the flag image displayed on the pamphlet on the theshipslist website then the flag may not have been as long as its version is in the region of 1:2. The flag books vary. Lloyds 1882 shows a normal sized rectangular swallowtail but has a small star angled near the top of the blue band in the hoist.
Neale Rosanoski, 4 December 2010

[State Line houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski, 4 December 2010

Griffen 1883 and 1895 have the flag tapered, the former showing less of an angle to the star but having it bigger whilst Griffen 1895 has the star erect.
Neale Rosanoski, 4 December 2010

[State Line houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski, 4 December 2010

Reed 1891 is in line with theshipslist site with a small star but again keeps to the standard size formula.
Neale Rosanoski, 4 December 2010


Steam Navigation Co. (Gläfke & Hennings)

[Italo Britannica houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 May 2012

The flag is blue with a yellow Greek cross in the centre.
Source: [el1897 - Elbe Flag Chart 1897 – part 9; “Gratis Beilage zu Deicken und Behrmann’s Neuen Monatsheften Neue Ausgabe Sommer 1897"]
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 May 2012


Steel and Bennie Ltd.

Steel and Bennie Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Steel and Bennie Ltd., Glasgow. A rectangular blue, white and blue triband with the red letters 'S & B' across the central white stripe. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 31 August 2004


Stephenson Clarke

[John Stewart & Co. Shipping houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957).
James Dignan, 19 October 2003

Stephenson Clarke & Associated Co.'s, Ltd.
Description: blue with red St. Andrew's cross; white letters S&CCo in each quarter.
Jarig Bakker
, 19 October 2003

Stephenson Clarke. A slightly different version is shown by the 1933 Lloyd Reedereiflaggen cigarette card collection replacing the letters "S&CCo" as shown with "CS&Co" but nobody else supports this version. However the company which originated as Stephenson Clarke & Co. in 1865 and became Stephenson Clarke & Associated Companies Ltd. in 1928, in 1945 changed to Stephenson Clarke Ltd. leading to a change in flag with the letters cut to "S" (hoist) and "C" (fly). Since then the name has changed in 1968 to Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd. and then in 2001 to Stephenson Clarke Shipmanagement Ltd. but I do not know whether  there were changes to the flag as a result.
Neale Rosanoski, 24 May 2004

[Putford Enterprises Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 3 October 2005

Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., Newcastle-upon-Tyne - blue flag, red saltire; at hoist and fly white "SC".
Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 3 October 2005


Stevinson-Hardy

Stevinson-Hardy houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Stevinson-Hardy. A blue rectangular flag with a yellow diamond in the centre bearing the blue letters 'SH'. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 31 August 2004


John Stewart & Co. Shipping

[John Stewart & Co. Shipping houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957).
James Dignan, 11 October 2003

Based in Glasgow, Scotland
Phil Nelson, 11 October 2003


Stewart & Gray

[Stewart & Gray houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Stewart & Gray" (#106, p. 42), a company based in Glasgow (Scotland), as divided per saltire white-red-white-red, with the red letters "S"and "G" in the left and right white triangles, respectively.
Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008 


Stirling Shipping Co. Ltd.

Stirling Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Stirling Shipping Co. Ltd., Glasgow. A red, white and red tricolour flag. On the central white stripe, there are two narrow, wavy vertical blue lines running parallel. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The central motif is in polyester and cotton material. A rope and toggle is attached. The wavy lines are said to represent the River Clyde. The flag is similar to that of the associated company, Harrisons (Clyde) Ltd."
Jarig Bakker, 31 August 2004


W.H. Stott, Limited

[W.H. Stott Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels [Wedge 1926]

W.H. Stott, Limited, Liverpool - red swallowtail, white "S".
Jarig Bakker, 24 January 2005


Frank C. Strick & Co.

[Frank C. Strick & Co. houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957).
James Dignan, 8 October 2003

Houseflag: white burgee, blue border, top and bottom, with red, blue, red and blue chevrons. Sailing: United Kingdom-Persian Gulf.
Jarig Bakker, 9 October 2003

Brown 195: Strick Line, Ltd., London.
Funnel: Black, a wide white band with four shortened chevrons pointing to the viewers left, alternating from the left, red and blue.
Flag: 2:3, a forked white flag with blue borders along the fly-wise edges, four shortened chevrons pointing towards the hoist, alternating red and blue. The chevrons, together with the spaces between them that have the same width as the bars of the chevrons, fill almost the entire depth of the flag. The chevrons and the fork are all orthogonal. (It may be that the intention is that only a single width separates the last chevron from the fly edges, but the print quality of Browns' is not sufficient to be sure.)

James's images is more like:
Flag: 2:3, a forked white flag with blue borders along the fly-wise edges, four shortened chevrons pointing towards the hoist, alternating red and blue. The chevrons, together with the spaces between them that have the same width as the bars of the chevrons, fill approximately half the depth of the flag. The fork is orthogonal, the chevrons are obtuse.
 Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 October 2003

Strick Line & Co. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of the Strick Line Ltd., London. A white, swallow-tailed burgee with a blue border at the top and bottom edge. Four chevron stripes, alternatively red and blue are placed across the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and two Inglefield clips is attached.

The line was founded by Frank Clarke Strick (1849-1943), a Swansea businessman with a background in coal exporting and shipbroking. He began his career as a shipowner in 1887, his vessels carrying coal to the Mediterranean ports and the Gulf and importing iron ore. By 1913, Strick's companies, La Commerciale Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, The Anglo-Arabian and Persian Steamship Co. Ltd and Anglo-Algerian Steam Ship Co. (1896) Ltd had all merged to form Strick Line Ltd.

The company was sold in 1919 and shortly afterwards became Strick Line (1923) Ltd, a part of the P&O group. In 1946 the company name reverted to Strick Line Ltd. In the post-war period the company traded worldwide, and in particular with the Gulf States. It was taken over by P&O in 1972 and went out of existence in 1974."
Jarig Bakker, 31 August 2004

Regarding the variation in the shape of the Strick Line houseflag, the one I remember while serving with them from 1958 until we were taken over by P&O is this one with the fork taking the whole fly not just the white band and the four chevrons occupying most of the white band. The Commodores pennant (see below) was as per the small version found by Neale Rosanoski with the chevrons in line in the upper canton at the hoist not staggered as in the other version (this I do know as I was the 3rd. Mate on the 1960 Kohistan which was the first ship to wear it!) The funnels had five chevrons which met at front and back starting with red. This led to a typical crude seaman's description of "a kiss at the front and a **** behind"! Two stories result from this - at the end of the war all masters tried to find the paint to return their ships to their proper colours, one even managed to paint the hull black not knowing that the company had decided to retain grey, seemingly only one ship got the funnel correct. In later years senior management heard of the description of the funnel above and changed the last two ships to four chevrons per side so that they no longer met. Only the cost involved stopped the whole fleet being changed!
Alasdair McCulloch, Master Mariner (Rtd.), 7 March 2007

Commodore's flag

[Frank C. Strick & Co. houseflag] image located by Neale Rosanoski

Frank C. Strick & Co. Most sources, Talbot-Booth being the major exception, show the fork taking all of the fly rather than just the white band. All usual sources agree that the chevrons occupy most of the band. The funnel view given only applies to the port view, starboard also shows the chevrons pointing forward. The company had a commodore's flag being a white tapered swallowtail, a red cross and in the canton the four red-blue chevrons. The company was absorbed into P&O (owners from 1919) in 1972 and although P&O appear to have used their name for registering ships until the early 1980s I understand that the flag was not used after 1972.
Neale Rosanoski, 24 May 2004

Strick Line & Co. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, 28 December 2004

Strick Steamship Co. Ltd. Commodore's flag - white tapered swallowtail, red cross; in canton four chevrons RBRB note: Commodore's flag is flown separately from the ordinary flag, from the foremast.
From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Capetown, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).
Jarig Bakker, 28 December 2004


Suffolk Marine Ltd.

[Suffolk Marine Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2006

Suffolk Marine Ltd., Lowestoft - Israeli-style blue-white flag; in center white "S".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 15 February 2006


Summersfield Steamship Company Limited

[Summersfield Steamship Company Limited houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels [Wedge 1926]

Summersfield Steamship Company Limited, Liverpool. White flag bordered red; in the center "S.Ltd." in red.
Jarig Bakker, 15 January 2005


Supervessel Express

[Supervessel Express houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 23 November 2007

[Supervessel Express houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 23 November 2007

Supervessel Express Co., Ltd at Southampton (GB) has a website, showing a flag resembling that of the Syrian firm Al Fahel:

“SUPERVESSEL EXPRESS LTD specializes in shipbrokering and chartering with the co-operation of Al Fahel Shipping Co.” The firm is a charterer and ship broker. This page, oddly, shows two variants (drawings) of the house flag. In the upper left corner of page: horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue in a 1:2:1 ratio it seems, a white oval in the centre partly extending into the blue stripes and on which is placed a blue stylized initial ‘S’ (serifed). Not only the oval, Al Fahel-like, is leaning to the right but the initial is shadowed in grey as well. On the right, lower down, we find a variant: horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue, a white diamond in the centre partly extending into the blue stripes and on which is placed a blue stylized initial ‘S’ (serifed).
    Describing these flagoids may seem rather fruitless – even if a table flag shows up confirming one or the other we still do not know if a life-size one exists – but at least they are on record.
Jan Mertens, 20 November 2007


B.J. Sutherland & Co., Ltd.

[Summersfield Steamship Company Limited houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 17 April 2006

B.J. Sutherland & Co., Ltd., Newcastle on Tyne.
Wedge 1926, Wedge (1951), Loughran (1979), and Talbot-Booth (1937) all have per saltire red (top and bottom) and blue (hoist and fly), with the letters positioned as shown (all white). According to Loughran it was founded 1892 and ceased operations in 1955.
Jarig Bakker, 17 April 2006


E.J. Sutton & Co

[E.J. Sutton & Co houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 February 2009

[E.J. Sutton & Co houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 February 2009

 Browns Flags and Funnels, 1951 edition (wed51).

The funnel in Browns Flags and Funnels, 1951 edition, is black, with a yellow band on which are 1 and 2 half dark blue diamonds. The house flag in the book is white with a black diamond on which is inscribed EJS & Co, in white over two lines. An anoymous painting submitted by a visitor to this site showed a flag with the letters on two lines.
Ralph Kelly, 7 February 2009


British Shipping lines: continued