Admiral of the Blue
Admiral of the Blue
Flag_Admirals_of_the_Blue_Squadron_Royal_Navy.png
Active 1545-1864
Country Kingdom of Great Britain
Branch Royal Navy
Abbreviation ADM (B)
Next higher rank Admiral of the White
Next lower rank Vice-Admiral of the Red

The Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank 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. From 1624 to 1805 this rank was the third highest rank; after 1805 this was the fourth highest rank. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank. (pictured opposite is the command flag for an Admiral of the Blue).

1) History

The Admiral of the Blue was a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, immediately outranked by the rank 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. From 1624 to 1805 this rank was the third highest rank; after 1805 this was the fourth highest rank. In 1864 it was abolished as a promotional rank

2) Order of precedence Admirals of the Colour

Today we are used to the White Ensign being flown by all ships of the Royal Navy. However in Nelson's Day a different system was in use. 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 into 9 bands with ‘Admiral of the Fleet' forming a tenth senior to all others.

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 1624 to 1805.:

  1. Admiral of the Fleet,
  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.

3) See Also

  1. Flag Officers Promotion Path (1545-1864)

4) Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_(Royal_Navy)

5) Attribution

  1. Image of the command flag of Admiral of the Blue from 1545 to 1864: By Navops47 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70835986
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