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Thread: Help / Advice needed on my Large White Ensign (9ft 2in x 4ft 7in)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Help / Advice needed on my Large White Ensign (9ft 2in x 4ft 7in)

    I am hoping somebody will be able to help provide information on this large White Ensign I have. It measures approx 9ft 2in x 4ft 7in, it has what appears to be the following numbers / words / symbols on it - 571 3291, an arrow head, a boxed number 6 followed by BDS and finally White Ensign. Please see attached pictures.

    1) How old is this?
    2) What vessel or vessel type would it have come off of?
    3) What do the numbers / words / symbols represent?

    Any further information is also greatly recieved.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Help / Advice needed on my Large White Ensign (9ft 2in x 4ft 7in)

    Not my field of even remote expertise, but I noticed the broad arrow in the markings on the flag.

    The broad arrow may indicate that it is genuine British issue. http://www.raaoc.asn.au/?q=node/53

    Australian issue in WWII also used the broad arrow, but more usually between two D's (representing Department of Defence) as on the mugs here. http://www.medalsgonemissing.com/Uni...ng-WW2/20.html
    A rational army would run away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Paramilitary wing of CAMRA

    Default Re: Help / Advice needed on my Large White Ensign (9ft 2in x 4ft 7in)

    The broad arrow just means it's government property...
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    South West

    Default Re: Help / Advice needed on my Large White Ensign (9ft 2in x 4ft 7in)

    The numbers look like part of the NATO Stock Number (NSN) which all equipment used by NATO members have.

    It is a 13 digit code laid out as XXXX-XX-XXX-XXXX. The first four numbers being type of kit, second pair country identifier, next seven the actual part number. In the UK quite often just the last 7 are shown on the item of equipment itself. Sometimes there is a series of letters and numbers before the start of the actual NSN.

    An example I have to hand (so to speak), my Gloves Combat MkII are NSN CM/8415-99-978-3713. The 99 signifying UK

    After a very quick search along my theory i found this which is a current NSN (it does not mean the ensign you have is new though just that that NSN is still in use for RN Ensigns)

    RN Ensign NSN 8345-99-571-3291

    Further examples of NSN's and description

    NSN 8345-99-125-1126

    NSN 8345-99-125-1117
    RAF Ensign, 92X184 cm

    The arrow as stated is the typical British Government Property Crowsfoot
    The boxed number on many items of kit is usually the packer/checker ID number, not always though.
    Last edited by leccy; 12-10-2011 at 06:32 AM.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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