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National civil ensign of New Zealand flown from the stern of Hikitia

An ensign is a national flag when used at sea as a country's maritime flag. It serves as a distinguishing token, emblem, or badge, such as a symbol of office in heraldry. The military rank of ensign, a junior officer<ref name="types">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> once responsible for bearing the ship's ensign, derives from it.

Large versions of naval ensigns called battle ensigns are used when a warship goes into battle.

Ensign sections
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