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Société d'Opérations Maritimes et Fluviales Flag

Aug 03, 2017

[House flag of SOMEF]         [House flag of SOMEF]

House flag of SOMEF

Presentation of SOMEF

Founded at Liège in 1920, the company (website) became part of the Usinor steel group in 1998; the Antwerp branch was transferred to Satem/Ocean Logistics and SOMEF Liège eventually winded up as part of the Arcelor steel group in 2002.
Now sailing under the name (and flag?) of Arcelor, the former company offers not only transportation on rivers and canals but also on roads and railroads plus harbour and warehouse handling.
The French inland shipping company CFNR is 40% owner since beginning of 2006, alongside Arcelor; this move is called the first phase of an acquisition process.

This firm tried out push navigation on the Albert Canal, linking the Meuse/Maas to the Antwerp harbour, already in 1945, thus being a precursor - at least in Western Europe - of the Rhine trial runs of the late fifties.
A remodelled steam tug was used for the purpose, pushing - instead of pulling - two pontoons, as shown in Antwerpens maritiem verleden by Baetens & De Vos (black and white picture). Only the canal flag (white rectangle on red field) is in evidence, flown on the bow of the left pontoon.

House flag of SOMEF

The house flag of SOMEF is shown in Duwvaart by Jansen & Van Heck. The flag is swallow-tailed, vertically divided white (square field 2/3 of flag length) and blue (the remaining 1/3), the indentation taking up not more than 1/4 of flag length; on the white stripe or square is a blue S inside a blue circle and blue sans serif letters beneath the circle spelling out SOMEF. The diameter of the circle is about 1/3 of the flag height.
A photography in the same book shows another and no doubt more recent flag which was offered on Belgian eBay last year. There is still the white field - now rectangular - and blue circle with S plus the company name in blue albeit in upper case now.