Help HMS crests

I've got a customer from ARRSE who wants me to engrave a crest similar to this:


for another ship. And I've had to draw it from scratch... but I've noticed that the threads in the rope take on different directions depending on ship and artist... Does the direction mean anything? Is there a correct way?

Thanks for any help,- C

Thanks Always,

me too... but the shape I'm interested in is the diamond... the rope threads on the one I showed go (clockwise) horizontal, horizontal, horizontal, vertical... but other versions can also be found... just seems a bit weird... I mean... there must be a standard, mustn't there? This is the RN with some pretty serious traditions, not the Austrian Boat Corps.



Lantern Swinger
I can't remember when but somewhere around 15 years ago, the decision was taken that all shore establishments would have the diamond-shape as in the first example above and all seagoing ships would have the circle as in the 2nd post. RFAs have pentagonal badges.
Prior to that, it was a matter of choice or history - I'm not sure which.

A member of the College of Arms, which controls and issues heraldic arms in England and Wales, advises the Ship's Badges Committee and produces designs.

See for a little official background and who the official contact is.


Lantern Swinger
Brains you are quite right except I think it was a bit more recent than 15 years. As to previous shapes, there was supposed to be some order. With Carriers having one shape, Cruisers another and every one else round. I cannot recall which of the first two were diamonds or pentagons. I I have a suspicion that the shape conventions were never strictly followed.

PS. I can confirm that what is invariably refered to as a "Crest" is officially a "Badge"


At one time the shape of the crest indicated the type of ship, ie capitol, cruiser, minor, aux etc. I think there were originally four shapes, circular, shield, pentagon and diamond or lozenge.These came into force in the early part of the last century. However with the decrease in size of the Navy, the rules have changed. When I don't know. I think there is one shape for sea going ships, one for shore estabs and one for flags and misc etc. A seamanship manual or ancient buffer may be able to tell you more.



A Ships Badges Committee was formed in December 1918. It determined that Badge shapes should be as follows:-

Circular for Battleships
Pentagonal for Cruisers
Shield Shaped for Destroyers
Diamond Shaped for Aircraft Carriers, Depot Ships, Submarines, Sloops and Auxillary Ships.

In 1935 badge design was passed to the College of Heralds.
In 1976 the MOD standardised badges into the following categories:-

Circular for HM Ships, Submarines, RN Air Squadrons
Diamond for Shore Establishments
Pentagonal for RFA, RMAS and PAS vessels

The outer edging represents rope and it would appear that the "lay" of the rope can be left or right! So I suggest that you reproduce the "Sultan" crest just as you have shown it.
Whilst on the subject, can anyone help me please?

I'm sourcing a cap tally and/or ship's crest for HMS Ferret.

Anyone any bright ideas where I might find one please?



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