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Governor's Flag (Gibraltar, United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2010-03-27 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: gibraltar | governor | union flag | castle (red) | key (yellow) | garland (green) |
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[Governor's Flag (Gibraltar)]
image by Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005

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The gold ring around the disk on the Governor's flag was originally added at the insistence of the Government of Gibraltar to correspond with the grant of arms of 1502, and was subsequently added to those of other Governors in error. Having become the accepted pattern, the gold ring was retained when the diameter of the central disk and garland were increased in the 1999 revisions to the 1989 Edition of BR20 (these last having provided the pattern for the current Governor's Flag shown [above]).

Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005

Incorrect Variant

[Incorrect Variant - Governor's Flag (Gibraltar)]
image by António Martins and Jaume Ollé

(Ed.: charged with incorrect slanting-walls castle.)

Governor's Flag 1982-1999

[Governor's Flag 1982-1999 (Gibraltar)]
image by Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005
Badge Detail
[Badge Detail - Governor's Flag 1982-1999 (Gibraltar)]
image by Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005

Drawn from a scan provided by David Prothero. Note that the castle is white here.

Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005

When and why did the castle on the Governor's flag change to white? This does not appear to be reflected in the other colonial flags. Why did they then change (or restore) it to red in 1999?

Peter Johnson, 05 Apr 2005

The gold castle of the 1875 badge was at variance with the original grant of 1502 (confirmed, to the best of my knowledge in this form, by a Royal Warrant of 1936) which shows a white or natural stone castle, and therefore, when the Governor's flag reverted to the correct arms the castle regained its proper (at least original) colour. I should have asked Graham Bartram (whilst we were speaking on the 'phone) why he changed the colour to red in the 1999 revisions – it is quite likely (but by no means certain) that it was to bring the Governor's flag into line with the 1995 Civil Ensign and/or the Civil Flag, or maybe because the 1936 Warrant showed it thus, or possibly because Gibraltar so requested it?

Christopher Southworth, 05 Apr 2005

White – certainly not. "Proper" i.e. natural stone maybe, but far from white. Actually I would even think it was gold/yellow, as compared to the bordure and key.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Apr 2005

Martin Grieve and David Prothero and I thought "natural stone" for the 1502 grant too – I included "white" because of the more modern scan from David that Martin copied. Strangely enough, I thought that the original castle was actually gold also – it logically should have been – but all the evidence seemed to point otherwise?

Christopher Southworth, 05 Apr 2005

This is still a bit of a puzzle for me personally. I drew the badge of the older-style castle from BR20 and – coloured it gold to match the illustration in that publication. David Prothero then sent me a scan of two Governor's badges that Chris mentions here, and the castle on the earlier version looked white with black mortaring to me. The 1982-1999 version gave me quite a shock as I was expecting to see a red castle!

I kept at white, but perhaps both of these badges should be re-coloured to a pale grey? I doubted if there was any mortaring on the latter version as the silhouette is clearly supposed to be the same castle as what we observe on Gibraltar Civil Ensign/flag. It could be the case that the white castle with heavy black mortaring was mistaken for grey, but I am afraid we cannot answer that one for sure.

Campbell and Evans do state that the castle is "grey" – on the blue Ensign at least. (I refer only to the versions which we show with a white castle/black mortaring, i.e. changing this to grey castle/black mortaring? The gold castle version to remain unaltered, of course.)

Martin Grieve, 05 Apr 2005

Campbell and Evans may (and do on page 61 plus Plate IX-6) give grey, however as we've discussed, the 1939 Flaggenbuch and 1955 Edition of BR20 (plus Pedersen 1971 - 319) show gold, and Graham Bartram shows it so in the 1999 revisions and current edition.

Christopher Southworth, 05 Apr 2005

Governor's Flag 1875-1982

[Governor's Flag 1875-1982 (Gibraltar)]
image by Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005
Badge Detail
[Badge Detail - Governor's Flag 1875-1982 (Gibraltar)]
image by Martin Grieve, 07 Apr 2005

Drawn from a scan provided by David Prothero.

Martin Grieve, 04 Apr 2005