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Rear-Admiral of the Blue
Flag Rear Admiral of the Blue 1702 to 1864.png
Command Flag Rear Admiral of the White (1702–1864)
Country  United Kingdom
Service branch Royal Navy
Abbreviation RAB
Next higher rank Rear-Admiral of the White
Next lower rank Commodore of the red, first class

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]

History[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

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