The navy ensign leading the famous British D-Day assault on Normandy
This white ensign was formerly part of the collection of Wall Street financier, business man and promoter of Anglo-American goodwill, Calvin Bullock. His 1 Wall street offices in New York City contained the world leading collections of memorabilia pertaining to Napoleon & Lord Nelson. In the 1930s he sought to collect Confederate Flags and during World War II he acquired a representative collection of US, British, French and other allied ensigns from his many international, military and naval acquaintances. After his death in 1944 his son, Hugh Bullock kept the flags on display as a memorial to his late father.

In 1864 the English Admiralty decided to end the ambiguity caused by the Red Ensign being both a civil ensign and a naval ensign, and the White Ensign became the sole ensign of the Royal Navy. It was also used by vessels from the Empire serving with the Royal Navy.

This battle ensign was on the leading Royal Navy ship of the invasion that assaulted the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944. Calvin Bullock was the intended recipient of this flag and also a German war ensign (see ZFC1074) captured by British Forces in the attack on Bayeux days after the landings. Commander Anthony Kimmins secured the flags for Bullock for his return visit to New York. However when he arrived to present them Calvin Bullock had died two days before. In his book, "Half Time" published in 1947, Kimmins relates the story:

"About a fortnight after D-Day I was again sent over to the United States...True to form, I had two more flags for Mr. Calvin Bullock's museum in my suitcase-the tattered White Ensign of our leading ship in the invasion, and the swastika (ZFC1074) which had been flying above the Hun headquarters in Bayeux... I learnt that he had died of a heart attack a few days before my arrival... Fortunately he left his son Hugh, a man who will carry on his father's great traditions, and I was proud to present the flags to him at the first meeting of the Forum after his father's death."

Although wartime constraints precluded Commander Kimmins from revealing the name of the ship from which this flag came, subsequent research indicates that it was most likely the HMS Scylla, as the flagship was the British Headquarters Eastern Task Force on D-Day.

The Bullock documents record the transfer of the flags from Commander Kimmins to the Bullock family. "Ensign flown through the operation of the leading ship of one of the assualt forces. (Normandy D-Day) (From Commander Anthony Kimmins, R.N. - June 23, 1944)" Text on hoist : "ENSIGN White 8 BD" This White Ensign was the 10th flag on the "West wall clockwise from S.W. door in Lecture Room." There it hung for many years after Bullock's death being retired in the 1980s only after the death of his son Hugh.

Exhibition History:

First Presidio Exhibit
(ZFC0228)
English Royal Navy, "White Ensign", From The Lead Ship In The Invasion Of Normandy On D-Day

Second Presidio Exhibit,
2003 - GALLERY VI
(ZFC0228)
British Royal Navy White Ensign from the Invasion of Normandy on D-Day

Publication History:
Kimmins, Anthony, Half-Time: The Autobiography of Captain Anthony Kimmins, London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1947, P. 246.

Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 125.


Provenance:
• Royal Navy Lead Vessel,
• Acquired by Royal Navy Commander Anthony Kimmins on 6 June 1944.
• Intended for the Calvin Bullock Collection, Presented to Hugh Bullock, New York, New York, 23 June 1944.
• Purchased for the Zaricor Flag Collection by private treaty from the estate of Calvin Bullock, New York City, 1997.



ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed

Sources:
Kimmins, Anthony, Half-Time: The Autobiography of Captain Anthony Kimmins, London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1947.

United Kingdom: the White Ensign, Flags of the World, 17 November 2011, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gb-ensw.html

White Ensign, Wikipedia, 17 November 2011, from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Ensign

THE COLOURS OF THE FLEET, The Flag Institute, 17 November 2011, from: http://www.flaginstitute.org/pdfs/the_colours_of_the_fleet.pdf

HMS Scylla, Wikipedia, 17 November 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Scylla_%2898%29

EASTERN TASK FORCE, D Day Ships, 17 November 2011, from: http://www.jeroenkoppes.com/ww2/ships/default.asp

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection