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France: Light-transport vessels' pennants

Last modified: 2009-10-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: light-transport vessel | francis garnier (light transport vessel) |
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Light-transport vessel Francis Garnier

[Pennant of Francis Garnier]         [Pennant of Francis Garnier]

Pennant of Francis Garnier - Images by Ivan Sache, 21 May 2009
Left, reverse of the flag;
Right, erroneous obverse of the early version of the flag

The light-transport (bâtiment de transport léger, BATRAL) Francis Garnier, was launched on 17 November 1973.
Based in Fort-de-France (Martinique), the Francis Garnier has saved several lifes and brought first help during the many hurricanes and storms that have scoured the Caribbean Islands.

The ship is named for the officer Francis Garnier (1835-1873), who spent all his career in Far East. In 1865-1868, he took part to the French expedition on the Mekong and the Yang-Tsé-Kiang, which he eventually commanded after the death of Commandant Doudart de Lagrée. A brilliant geographer and cartographer, Garnier shared in 1871 the Medal of Honour of the Congress of Geography with Livingstone.
Back to Asia, he settled in China to explore the upper valley of Mekong but was called back to Tonkin by Admiral Dupré to solve a dispute between the French colonists and local rebels. Commanding 200 men and four gunboats, he seized in November 1873 the citadel of Hanoi and the main forts of the delta of Mekong. On 21 December, while peace was about to be signed, a troop of "Black Flags" attacked the citadel of Hanoi and killed Garnier.

The pennant of the Francis Garnier is a rectangular flag with a golden fringe.
The obverse of theflag is blue with the name of the ship, as BATRAL / FRANCIS GARNIER, surrounded by four fouled anchors pointing to the corners of the flag, all in gold.
The reverse of the flag, with the FNFL ensign pattern, is charged with the badge of the ship.

The badge of the Francis Garnier, adopted in 1995 and superseding an early badge adopted in 1974, is a shield of "modern shape" with the upper angles cut, bordered or and supported by an anchor and a cannon of the same. The shield is azure with a pagode or port and windows sable and roofed gules, flanked by the writings HANOI and 1873 sable. The chief of the shield bears a cartouche gules with the writing FRANCIS GARNIER sable.

The pennant manufactured in June 1997 had the obverse and reverse swapped, and had to be remade accordingly.

Source: Net-Marine website

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2009