flags-title.jpg - 2424 Bytes
This is a collection of flags that were flown during the 17th century. These are by no means complete, nor can I swear that they’re absolutely accurate. So, additions and corrections are welcome!

france3.jpg - 6344 Bytes

France: Gold fleurs-de-lis on a field of white. Prior to 1590, the flag had a background of blue.

23fleur.gif - 6744 Bytes

France: There was no set standard for the number of fleurs-de-lis. There could be as few as three or as many as 23 or more.

britunio.gif - 1450 Bytes

Great Britain: James Stuart created this flag after he became King of England in 1603. He combined England’s Cross of St. George with Scotland’s white cross of St. Andrew, which evolved into what is now known as the Union Jack. James decreed that all British ships would fly the Union flag from their mainmasts.

stgeorg.gif - 936 Bytes

Great Britain: In 1634, King Charles reversed the decree by his father and ordered that only ships of the Royal Navy and "ships in Our immediate service and pay" would fly the Union Jack. All other English ships would carry the Cross of St. George (above), while Scottish ships would fly their traditional colors (below). To this day, civilian English ships are not permitted to fly the Union Jack.

standrew.gif - 953 Bytes

Scotland: The Scots resented that James’ design of the British flag partially covered their longtime symbol, the Cross of St. Andrew. Even after James introduced the Union Jack, this flag continued to be flown on the foremasts of Scottish ships. Similarly, during James’ rule, English ships carried the Cross of St. George on their fores.

ireland.gif - 1208 Bytes

Ireland: Although each Irish province had its own flag, this one was used unofficially to represent the whole country starting in the 16th century. The blue field was changed to green by the United Irishmen in the rebellion of the late 18th century.

spain.gif - 3007 Bytes

Spain: The Cross of Burgundy, Spain’s flag since 1496, when Philip I, Duke of Burgundy, introduced it to Spain after his marriage to the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel.

portugal.gif - 3892 Bytes

Portugal: This flag was introduced when Portugal declared its independence from Spain in 1640. Spain did not recognize Portugal as a separate nation until 1668.

netherland.gif - 732 Bytes

Netherlands: This flag flew above the Dutch homeland as well as its colonies in the New World, including New Amsterdam (New York).

unitedea.gif - 1120 Bytes

Dutch East India Company: The "OC" in this variation of the Dutch flag is from "Vereenigte Oost Indise Compagnie" (the United East India Company). The "A" refers to the home port of Amsterdam. It was also common to invert the initial of the home port.

absent.jpg - 1828 Bytes
Conspicuously Absent:
The Jolly Roger.

English Civil War

Between all the guards, regiments, and divisions of the two armies, there were many flags. Here are just a few.

ecwar7.gif - 1639 Bytes

Royalist: 3rd Captain’s Colours, Blue Regiment

ecwar5.gif - 8928 Bytes

Parliamentarian: Essex’s Bodyguard. Inscription: "Cave adsum"

ecwar6.gif - 10952 Bytes

Parliamentarian: Sir William Sanders of Buckinghamshire. Inscription: "PRO DEO ET PATRIA"

ecwar4.gif - 9095 Bytes

Parliamentarian: Robert, Earl of Essex. Inscription: "VIRTUTIS COMES INVIDIA"

ecwar2.gif - 5596 Bytes

Royalist: Lord Hopton’s Troop of Guard. Inscription: "ET SACRIS COMPESCUIT IGNIBUS IGNES"

bottom.jpg - 12098 Bytes