Since June 2010 when the States approved the measure, locally-registered ships have been able to fly a specifically Jersey design Red Ensign which identifies them as being from the island. Jersey's Economic Development Minister of the day, Senator Alan Maclean said it would carry a "sense of real history, credibility and permanence."
Any ship registered under the Shipping (Jersey) Law 2002, either on the full register or the Small Ships Register may fly the new Ensign. However, the move is optional as boat owners may continue to fly the plain (undefaced) Red Ensign.
While the design makes use of the existing Jersey Arms, which were added to the existing Jersey flag in 1981, the three leopards and the Plantagenet Crown have been associated with the Island for centuries and provide a direct link with the British Crown and Jersey’s historic allegiance dating from the time of King John.
Approval for the change had also to be obtained from the Garter King of Arms at the College of Arms in London and, more importantly, from the Queen because of the use of the Jersey Arms with the Plantagenet Crown.
Boats from the Jersey Heritage fleet will be flying the Jersey ensign.