“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Flags of British Weihaiwei

Posted: April 30th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Posting about British rule in Weihaiwei yesterday led me to come across the old flags of Weihaiwei during the British years. I’d never thought about Weihaiwei having a flag before, but they did.

From 1899 to 1902 they used the so-called flag of the Commissioner of Liu Kung Tau/Weihaiwei (above) and blue ensign version (left) for shipping.

Then in 1902 a purely Civil Commissioner, J.H. Stewart Lockhart, was appointed who wrote to London declaring, “The design of the flag hitherto used by the Commissioner of this Dependency is a dragon on the Union Jack and is in my opinion quite unsuitable. I have therefore to request that the Crown Agents may be instructed to have made for the use of the Commissioner two new flags, the device of the Mandarin Duck being substituted for the Dragon, which is as you are aware the national emblem of China and not appropriate in the case of a British Dependency.”

The Mandarin Duck design (they are both ducks), which was part of the Seal, was approved by King Edward VII at some time in 1903. Apparently reflecting native wildlife to that area.

So then they appear to have used the flag left and the blue ensign version for shipping.

All quite confusing so I might have got this a bit wrong. If anyone knows better do let me know.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

2 Comments on “Flags of British Weihaiwei”

  1. 1 Alan C said at 3:26 am on March 28th, 2019:

    Thank you

  2. 2 Roy said at 8:31 pm on March 26th, 2020:

    The Blue Ensign would have been reserved for government of Weihaiwei vessels. If use of the badge was authorised for merchant vessels registered at the port, then it would have appeared on a Red Ensign.

    This is still the practice in the remaining British overseas territories today, although practice varies as to which is used as the “national” flag of the territory by civilians, For instance Bermudians use their Red Ensign, but most of the other territories use their Blue Ensign as their “national flag”.

Leave a Reply