Rear-Admiral of the Blue

The Rear-Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Rear-Admiral of the White. Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence ninth; after 1805 it was the tenth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank (pictured adjacent is the command flag for an Rear-Admiral of the Blue).[1]

Rear-Admiral of the Blue
Command Flag Rear Admiral of the White (1702–1864)
Country United Kingdom
Service branchRoyal Navy
AbbreviationRAB
Next higher rankRear-Admiral of the White
Next lower rankCommodore of the red, first class

History

The Navy Royal inaugurated squadron colours during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) to subdivide the English fleet into three squadrons. There were three classes of admirals and differentiated by using coloured flags.[2] In 1620 the official Flag ranks of Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Rear Admiral were legally established that arose directly out of the organisation of the fleet into three parts, in 1688 the rank of Admiral of the Fleet was formally created.[3]

The Rear-Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank Rear-Admiral of the White (see order of precedence below). Royal Navy officers currently holding the ranks of commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals.[4] From 1688 to 1805 this rank was in order of precedence ninth; after 1805 it was the tenth. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank.[2]

Order of precedence Admirals of the Colour

The Navy was divided into three squadrons Red, White and Blue in order of seniority. Admirals were appointed to these squadrons and therefore their rank and squadron split the seniority originally into nine bands then later 10 with "Admiral of the Fleet" as senior to all others.[1]

Seniority was therefore from 1805 to 1864:

  1. Admiral of the Fleet
  2. Admiral of the Red Squadron (rank created in 1805)
  3. Admiral of the White Squadron
  4. Admiral of the Blue Squadron
  5. Vice-Admiral of the Red Squadron
  6. Vice-Admiral of the White Squadron
  7. Vice-Admiral of the Blue Squadron
  8. Rear-Admiral of the Red Squadron
  9. Rear-Admiral of the White Squadron
  10. Rear-Admiral of the Blue Squadron

Seniority was therefore from 1688 to 1805:

  1. Admiral of the Fleet (rank created in 1688)
  2. Admiral of the White Squadron
  3. Admiral of the Blue Squadron
  4. Vice-Admiral of the Red Squadron
  5. Vice-Admiral of the White Squadron
  6. Vice-Admiral of the Blue Squadron
  7. Rear-Admiral of the Red Squadron
  8. Rear-Admiral of the White Squadron
  9. Rear-Admiral of the Blue Squadron

Admirals without an appointment were colloquially referred to as Yellow Admirals. Ships of the Royal Navy flew the Ensign that coincided with the squadron of their commanding officer.[1]

See also

Citations

  1. Perrin, W. G. (William Gordon) (1922). British flags, their early history, and their development at sea; with an account of the origin of the flag as a national device. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 76–109.
  2. "Information sheet no 055: Squadron Colours" (PDF). Library and Information Services. The National Museum & HMS Victory, Royal Navy Portsmouth. 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  3. "Naval Ranks NMRN Portsmouth". www.nmrn-portsmouth.org.uk. Portsmouth, England: The National Museum of the Royal Navy. 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  4. Costello, Ray (2012). Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ships. Oxford England: Oxford University Press. p. 222. ISBN 9781781386200.
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