Defaced Blue Ensign Club Seniority


New member
14 Sep 2009
Gibraltar, RGYC.
Visit site
Is there a seniority list for clubs who are authorised to issue warrants for a defaced blue ensign?

Its the other way round, its Royal Clubs that issue them to members. The pecking order is The Royal Yacht Sqaudron at the apex of the pyramid and all the royal clubs beneath jostling in rank according to their vintage, like wine.

Many have been puxxled through the years by what Lewis Carroll meant by the words to the song the Cheshire Cat sung in Alice in Wonderland..:D

He was of course referring to Cowes Week.

Twas Brillig, and the slithy toves,
did gyre and gimbel in the wabe. all mimsy ...etc.,:D


Well-known member
4 Jan 2005
Me - Edinburgh; Boat - in the west
Visit site
Is there a seniority list for clubs who are authorised to issue warrants for a defaced blue ensign?

There probably is but as I wear an undefaced blue they are all lesser to my own august establishment and thus I am the Ronnie Barker to their Ronnie Corbett while the RYS plays John Cleese. The whole ensign subject is possibly worthy of some sort of social anthropological study if only there was any money left to fund such research.
26 Dec 2009
Tottington Hall, near Bury, in the Duchy of Lancas
Visit site
Does the very senior ( 1720 ) Royal Cork Yacht Club issue warrants, and what does its ensign look like?


Answering me own question....




New member
23 Jun 2004
Me: Castle Douglas, SW Scotland. Boats: Kirkcudbri
No, its the song sung by the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland....puzzled everyone for generations, but I think it fits Cowes Week perfectly.:D

Almost right. It's from "Through The Looking Glass" and Alice finds it in a book belonging to the White King:

There was a book lying near Alice on the table, and while she sat watching the White King (for she was still a little anxious about him, and had the ink all ready to throw over him, in case he fainted again), she turned over the leaves, to find some part that she could read, '—for it's all in some language I don't know,' she said to herself.

It was like this.

sevot yhtils eht dna,gillirb sawT'
ebaw eht ni elbmig dna eryg diD
,sevogorob eht erew ysmim llA
.ebargtuo shtar emom eht dnA​
She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright thought struck her. 'Why, it's a Looking-glass book, of course! And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go the right way again.'

This was the poem that Alice read.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.​
'It seems very pretty,' she said when she had finished it, 'but it's RATHER hard to understand!'​

Thanks to Project Gutenberg for the above.


Well-known member
2 Jun 2007
Visit site
Is there a seniority list for clubs who are authorised to issue warrants for a defaced blue ensign?

Who cares ? Total load of old b00lix anyway. From the posts so far, I get the general impression that that seems to be most folks opinion.

I wear the Blue because I choose to. As far as im concerned my RN service entitles me to do so, but in reality, I dont give a flying fidd about what I see as stupid outdated rules, laws & regulations, which were devised by a class system to maintain their stupid self assumed status.
Wearing the Blue does & has brought certain advantages however.

I have only been challenged once and that was in Falmouth about 3 years ago. As if I cared. What a joke. Working on deck I noticed this old boy standing there on the pontoon eye-ing us up & down, in his blue blazer, razor sharp pressed trousers, and cravat. At first I ignored him knowing from his body language he was dieing to have say something,
but unsure as to how to open a conversation.
Eventually I made eye contact with him allowing him the opening he was looking for.
Looking up atop my mizzen he said '' I say old boy, I notice you're wearing the Blue Ensign''
Playing the idiot, I looked up and said '' do you mean my blue flag mate'' ?
He thought, as I knew he would & expected, that he was talking to some low life idiot.
He went on with an authoritative manner to explain to me, assuming I did not know, that I needed a warrant and authorisation to wear a bluey. I played a subservient attitude for a few more minutes, allowing him to think he had the upper hand & that I accepted his attitude, and obviously quite superior knowledge.
Eventually I stopped him in his tracks and told him that we had only had the boat for a few weeks and that the missus & I had looked in the book and saw that UK boats should wear a white, blue or red flag. The missus thought that the white one & red one did not colour co-ordinate with the colour of our green hull. So we bought and flew a Blue one.
Even with my by then jocular attitude he didn't realise I was taking the pi55 out of him.
At my reply he went red as red in the face & I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He was reaching for breath as he wandered back down the pontoon, mumbling about riffraff like us and standards.