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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Proposal for a Jersey Red Ensign

DepartmentDepartment for the Economy
Start date11/03/2010
End date30/04/2010
Type of consultationOther
Deadline for comments30/04/2010

About the consultation

​Ships registered in Jersey are British ships. The entitlement to fly the Red Ensign is recognised in both UK and Jersey legislation. Associated with flying a Red Ensign, there is the recognition of a quality flag: legislative, inspection and safety compliance standards are known to be high. A special ‘defaced’ ensign provides an additional, voluntary, way for owners to show their link with a known and reputable jurisdiction.

Jersey has over 2,000 pleasure yachts on its Shipping Register, 28 of which are 24 metres or more in length. It also has a fleet (currently numbering 63) of small commercial ships such as workboats and charter yachts. It is believed to be a good time to give the Jersey fleet the option of a clearer sense of identity with the Island.

If the proposal is approved, any ship registered under the Shipping (Jersey) Law 2002, whether in accordance with the Regulations for local Small Ships (known as SSR) or full registration, may fly the Ensign. However, what is being proposed is an option and not compulsory. Thus, anyone wishing to continue to fly the plain (undefaced) Red Ensign, will continue to be able to do so.

The design makes use of the existing Jersey Arms and will provide an attractive alternative to the plain Red Ensign. The Arms of Jersey received Royal approval in 1981, when they were established for use on the Jersey Flag. However, the 3 leopards and the Plantagenet Crown have been associated with the Island for much longer and provide a direct link with the British Crown and Jersey’s historic allegiance dating from the time of King John.

The matter has been discussed and clarified with relevant parties including in particular the Garter King of Arms at the College of Arms in London. Because of the proposed use of the Jersey Arms with the Plantagenet Crown it has also been necessary to ask Her Majesty for approval of that design.

Owners of unregistered vessels who live in the Island may fly the plain undefaced Red Ensign at no extra cost. If they wish to fly the new flag, they may register their vessels on the Small Ships Register for £50. This registration lasts for 5 years and is already a basic minimum requirement for vessels visiting foreign ports.

Alternatively, all owners (whether locally resident or not) can apply to put their vessels on the full register which currently costs £302 and lasts for 10 years. This provides proof of ownership and allows a mortgage to be taken out on the vessel. Associated with this is a tonnage measurement which is carried out as a once-only procedure by a private business and might cost in the region of £150.

Under the law, provisions are already in place for fining an owner or Master for ‘carrying improper colours’ and confiscation of the flag is also authorised. Checks will take place to ensure only registered ships fly the flag.

View the proposed design for the Jersey Red Ensign (size 65kb)

How to submit comments to the consultation

Whether you are the owner of a small pleasure craft, a yacht manager, a representative of a Classification Society or Certifying Authority, the operator of a commercially coded ship or other interested party – do contact us if you have any questions or comments.
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