This work presents an analytical study of the flow and energy loss immediately downstream of rectangular sharp-crested weirs for free and submerged flows, using the theory of plane turbulent jets and the analysis of some relevant studies. The flow regimes downstream of the sharp-crested weir is characterized as the impinging jet and surface flow regimes. Based on the flow characteristics and the downstream tailwater depths, each flow regime is further classified, and the relative energy loss equation is developed. It is found that significant energy loss occurs for the regime of supercritical flow and the upper stage of impinging jet flow. The energy loss for the submerged flow regime is minimal.