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white ensign

the British naval ensign, consisting of the red cross of St. George on a white field, with the British union occupying the upper quarter along the hoist.
Origin of white ensign
First recorded in 1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for white ensign
Historical Examples
  • His yachts flew the white ensign of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • She's flying the white ensign and an admiral's pennant, and, yes, a flag of truce.

    The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
  • Along came a submarine, flying the white ensign of the Royal Navy.

    Some Naval Yarns Mordaunt Hall
  • The St. George's white ensign flag and pendant alone are used.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • In the white ensign the St George's cross in the fly is 2/15 of the width of the flag.

    British Flags W. G. Perrin
  • Stars and stripes on one shoulder, the white ensign on the other!

  • He reported a schooner anchored opposite Bangalang, sporting a long pendant at the main, and a white ensign at her peak.

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
  • One by one ships fell away and replaced the red flag by the white ensign.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
  • The outcry raised led to the papers connected with the grants of the white ensign being laid before the House of Commons in 1859.

    British Flags W. G. Perrin
  • It was inconvenient in action, too; hence, Nelson at Trafalgar ordered the whole of his fleet to hoist the white ensign.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme
British Dictionary definitions for white ensign

White Ensign

the ensign of the Royal Navy and the Royal Yacht Squadron, having a red cross on a white background with the Union Jack at the upper corner of the vertical edge alongside the hoist Compare Red Ensign, Blue Ensign
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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