Making flags for the Ministry of Defence – Red Dragon Flagmakers

Making flags for the Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence flags

Hoisting the code and signal flags HMS WarriorFor the s/heroes

We have a long history of making flags for the UK Ministry of Defence.  We hold a full set of the MOD spec directives and templates for World flags, as per the BR20 Admiralty Book of Flags. 

When we took over the Chatham Naval Flag Loft (Historic Docks) in the 1980s, we took over the contract to make signal flags, ensigns and foreign national flags for the MOD.

Checking the heads on HMS Warrior Robin Ashburner

In that same decade, we held the contract to make all of the flags, ensigns and pennants for the Swedish Navy - really a very large order which coincided with the contract to make and supply the same to the Dutch Navy and Saudi Navy.

Over the years we have made flags for the Oman Army (regimental) and Code flags for the Oman Navy as well as ensigns for the Royal Dhow.

In the 90s in our Swansea factory, we were commissioned by the MOD to make a batch of fully stitched and sewn Royal Arms for eight different members of the Royal Family for the Queen's flight and over the years, we have supplied vast quantities of national and courtesy flags to individual ships who have needed flags on short notice, usually on a next day service (which meant our team worked over night to make them in time for shipment).  

Back in the day, Mr A, our Chairman, flag oracle(!) and original founder of the original flagmaking business was consulted on the flags and boat dressing by the Govern Glasgow.  This related to their range of frigates and destroyers and his advice that the ships use UK style bunting rather than the US Navy variety (which is lighter) is still a foundation stone of their flag procurement guidelines After all if half of HMS ships had flags of one material and the other half flew flags of a different material, the Quarter Masters departments would have a fit!

We have made numerous xxx pennants for the Royal Navy which are sometimes 48" at the hoist and up to 100 yards in the fly - these are flown when a Royal Navy ship is being laid up - the size depending on the length of the ship and length of service.  We are almost always asked to make these as other contractors dont usually want to know..... but we have the space to do over-size work, so are always happy to help!

As a p.s. white ensigns for the MOD are almost always requested in printed format as they are less expensive than the full stitched alternative.

And p.p.s. The Ormrods at Flying Colours learned their trade with us in Swansea before heading North and setting up their own business.


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