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Danish Yacht Flags

Last modified: 2013-12-18 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: denmark | scandinavian cross | dannebrog | danmark | yacht |
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According to Pedersen's (1979) list, the Danish yacht club ensigns are as follows:

Basic pattern: Dannebrog with swallow tail, various letters and emblems in upper hoist red field (canton).

The flag regulations of Kjøbenhavns Amatør-Sejlklub - Copenhagen Amateur Yacht Club - mentions that (translated):

  • The national flag can be flown by all Danish pleasure craft without special permission.
  • The yacht flag (the split flag) is the Danish naval flag with the letters YF in gold in the upper square. The colour is dark red with a white cross. According to the proclamation of the Ministry of State's on 11 October 1957 on the use of yacht flags, this yacht flag can be used by such Danish fulldeck craft (halfdeck craft) as are intended for pleasure use only. ... According to the Ministry of Justice (1979), the yacht flag can not be used on land.
  • Several Royal resolutions (replace by appropriate type of declaration) from 1873-1899 give specific sail clubs and row clubs permission to display special distinguishing marks in the upper square of the flag.
If we can trust their thoroughness, and they are even more thorough than I'm quoting, then I'd say the permission to use special distinguishing marks is an additional permission, and doesn't take away the existing permission to use either a yacht ensign or a national flag.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 June 2001

General yacht ensign (no specific club)

[Royal Danish Yacht Club] 56:107 image by Željko Heimer

"Y.F." in yellow. Approved by Royal resolution of 15 August 1865.

The state flag with yellow letters 'Y.F.' in the canton of the red canton. Y.F. stand for Yacht Union in Danish. This is the "generic" Yacht Ensign, to be used by yacht clubs that are not granted any other special flag. This is also a civil flag, so bright red field seems to be in order.
Željko Heimer, 26 May 2004

On a visit to Denmark I saw quite a lot of Yacht Flags. Variations include, the size of the Y.F., from so modest its height is not a quarter of the height of the first quarter to so bold a spanning rectangle would take more than half the surface of that first quarter, letters in gold-paint and letters in bright yellow, letters and dots outlined in black (!), and flag colours from bright red to almost violet. Unfortunately I didn't manage to speak to owners of the latter colour of flag to ask whether it was meant to be Navy-red, and if so, why. Unfortunate, since these were the only flags that were noticeably darker.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

The Danish yacht-flag (the only splitflag allowed to be flown by civilians) should have the color code U193 (called Royal-red or Commander-red in Denmark) apart from the national flag 'Dannebrog', which is U185 (a lighter red).
Kenneth Ley Milling, 24 July 2006

Earlier version

[Royal Danish Yacht Club] 56:107 image by Željko Heimer

Flaggenbuch (1939) shows a flag similar to that in Album des Pavillons (2000), but the letters are larger and centered in the canton. Unless the two are equally valid variations, otherwise I tend to believe it the Album des Pavillons (2000) version a bit more to the Flaggenbuch. Surely, we need more data.
Željko Heimer, 2 June 2004

Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub (Royal Danish Yacht Club)

[Kongelig Dansk Yachts] image by Željko Heimer

"Y.F." and three gold stars. Royal resolutions of 28 February 1873 and 25. July 1891.

The state ensign with yellow emblem in the canton consisting of the letters "Y.F." and three five-pointed stars in rising diagonal.
Željko Heimer, 2 June 2004

The Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub ( was founded 3 July 1866 as Dansk Forening for Lystsejlads. Currently the only all-Denmark and biggest yacht club, with 2000 members. With its 25th anniversary King Christian IX granted the club the right to call itself "Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub and later that same year the current standard was introduced. In this same year it apparently also received the Royal Privilege. I wonder what the earlier, 1873, privilege allowed?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

Smalandenes Sejlselskab

"Y.F." and two crossed letters "S" in gold. Royal resolution of 30. July 1882.
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

Dansk Forening for Rosport

Danish Rowing Sport Association

[Dansk Forening for Rosport] 56:107, image by Željko Heimer

The state ensign with yellow emblem in the canton consisting of the letters "D.F.f.R." (Dansk Forening for Rosport) over two oars in saltire, all golden. The oars are set with the broader side upwards, but the Flaggenbuch (1939) drawing does not show these, instead the have what look like small cross-bars at the lower ends to signify the way they are held in the rowlocks. The flag was adopted in 1888 and would presumably still be in use (would it be used only by the member's row-boats when abroad, or also on clubhouses and similar?).
Željko Heimer, 3 June 2004

Introduced by royal resolution of 14 March 1888.
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

Just to point out that Dansk Forening for Rosport, have a web site .
In the shop they offer a "Vimpel med den tidligere logo" (burgee/pennant with previous logo). I don't know what that looks like, though, nor whether they also have one with the current logo. They also offer  "Langtursflag", which I would say is the flag we show.
That flag, however, I would not call a "yacht flag", which is the topic of the page where we describe it. The DFfR is, after all, not a yacht club but rather the Danish rowing federation.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 09 January 2012

Randers Sejlklub

Randers Sailing Club

[Randers Sejlklub Yachts] 56:107, image by Željko Heimer

The state ensign with yellow emblem in the canton consisting of the letters "Y.F." and a five-pointed star below them. It may be noted that Flaggenbuch shows three different designs for the initials "Y.F." in the three last flags. Actually designs are the same but their size relative to the flag size and their positioning are different in each of the three flags. This may be significant and may be reflecting the designs as shown in the original grants or as used in practice. On the other hand, Album des Pavillons (2000) (and probably some other sources) shows the letters the same in all three flags, probably for "simplicity" sake.
Željko Heimer, 3 June 2004

Introduced by royal resolution of 18 May 1889.
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

The date we give for the Royal Resolution that established the flag, 18 May, is actually the date upon which the club's original application for an ensign defaced with a white cross below the letters 'YF' was turned down by the Ministry (on the grounds that it was "precisely the recognition badge of a Vice-Admiral" and asking that they "submit a different proposal"). I do not have a copy of the club's reply, but the application for an ensign defaced with a gold star ("below the letters YF" rather than to the side as we show it) was submitted by the Ministry of the Navy (signed by N.K. Rayn) on 28 May 1889, and approved (in the name of the King) by Crown Prince Frederik on 29 May 1889. This authorization was conveyed to the club, and permission granted to fly the ensign as described, in a letter dated 1 June 1889. I also have a note (on which I unfortunately failed to record a source) that the star should be tilted 18 degrees towards the hoist?
Christopher Southworth, 12 May 2004

Centralforeningen for Jydske Roklubber

Central Union of Jutland Rowing Clubs

[Centralforeningen for Jydske Roklubber] 56:107, image by Željko Heimer

Introduced by royal resolution of 3 April 1897. 
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

If this is same as that of D.F.f.R. as it sounds, then the ensign might be something as shown above.
Željko Heimer, 6 June 2004

Soro Sejlforening

"Y.F." and 'cistercian rose' in blue and white. Royal resolution of 18 May 1899. 
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

International sailing canoes of Dansk Kajak-Forbund

[International sailing canoes of Dansk Kajak-Forbund] 56:107, image by Željko Heimer

"D.K.F." in gold. Royal resolution of 18 July 1934.
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

Jan Oscar Engene titles the ensign as "International sailing canoes of Dansk Kajak-Forbund". That means, if I am not much mistaken, that the
ensign is granted for use on the canoes in foreign waters (since it is only then when the Danish canoes would have need of an ensign, anyway). This may not be such a frequent event, if it has ever happened, but this may still be a valid flag. Also, as far as I understand the naval regulations there is no reason that would prohibit a canoe that could use this ensign abroad to fly it in home waters as well, when they see fit.
Željko Heimer 6 June 2004

Sea scouts of Det Danske Spejderkorps

[Sea Scouts] image by Joe McMillan, 9 February 2000

Anchor on scout lily (colours not mentioned). Royal resolution of 17. February 1949.

Sea Scouts of the K.F.U.M. (=YMCA)

Gold anchor with triangle containing a scout lily, all in gold. Royal resolution of 21. February 1950. 
Jose C. Alegria Diaz, 25 January 2000

Copenhagen Amateur Sailing Club

[Copenhagen Amateur Sailing Club]image by Ivan Sache, 8 May 2000

White pennant with a red cross and a red star in canton.
Ivan Sache, 8 May 2000

Middelfart Sejlklub and Middelfart Sejlforening

Founded in 1910, merged with Middelfart Sejlforening 195?-1966. Moved to new marina 1980. (See Broforeningen Haug.) Middelfart Sejlforening also moved to the new marina. Apparently it has picked a new burgee at some point (after the split?) as it now has: Violet with in a white circle the black silhouette of the new Little Baelt Bridge (built shortly before 1970, I think).
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

Broforening Haug

White over red with in black an H over an anchor. (Not really a Yachtclub, but I group it here for geographical reasons.)  Haug is the beach on the south side of the North-Western tip of Fyn, on the North side of which lies the original city of Middelfart. One gets the impression that for nearly a century this group of fishermen had a little jetty here for their boats, until Middelfart expanded over the hill towards the South and suddenly noticed it had a southward looking coastline here, and developed it in the late 1970-s into a big marina enveloping the modest work of the fishermen.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

Kalvø Baadelaug

ca. 3:5:3 green, white, blue, tapering, with over all K over B in black at the hoist and a black fish from 1/6th of the length to 2/3 of the length in the white.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

Rudkøbing Sejlklub

I saw two versions of this burgee.  The old burgees are white, blue border all around and 3 fish swimming flyward. New burgees are white, blue border along the free edges and 3 fish swimming hoistward. Although white, 3 fish swimming dexter, is the shield of Rudkøbing, and the club's site shows a burgee like the old ones.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

Sundby Sejlforening

[Sundby Sejlforening flag]
image by Jorge Candeias, 6 August 2005

Sundby has a sailing club, appropriately known locally as Sundby Sejlforening, which by analogy with other Germanic languages I'd guess means Sundby Sailing Club. It has a website at and a triangular flag consisting of a pentagonal white area at the hoist charged with a red star and the rest being red.
Jorge Candeias, 6 August 2005

Traeskibs Sammenslutningen

[Traeskibs Sammenslutningen flag]
image by Kenneth Ley Milling, 02 June 2012

Not a yacht club burgee, but also in the sejler leksikon, Traeskibs Sammenslutningen has a web page at A white pennant with a black "virgin block" representing the interests of the heritage of wooden ships, and their owners/preservers.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

Traeskibs Sammenslutningen (Association for Vintage Wooden Yachts) has a banner flying in several Danish harbour-areas and marinas. I found a little copy off it online and reconstructed a better and bigger version of the significant banner. Just to say, there'll be no copyright problems publishing this graphic on your website, if you want to. I hereby give full rights to use my graphic :-)
Kenneth Ley Milling, 02 June 2012

On occasion I tried to create an image for this, but failed to create something I found convincing enough to share. His image is much better, with a jomfrublok that looks convincingly like the one used by Traeskibs Sammenslutningen. Though at the time I was unable to give a translation beyond the literal '"virgin block"', over the decade since then I've learned that in English this part of the rigging is called a triple deadeye.
The link we have, BTW, is outdated and should now go to
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 03 June 2012