Last modified: 2020-07-26 by german editorial team
Keywords: reichskriegsflagge |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
Image by Olivier Vercammen
Flag adopted 5th October 1935, modified February 1938
Two different patterns of this flag existed:
There were no two variants of this flag, [but two consecutive flags]. The first Reichskriegsflagge was introduced 7th November 1935. Flaggenbuch 1939 [neu39] shows the later flag which replaced the first in February 1938.
Ralf Stelter, 13 Jan 2001
The national war ensign had a red field with a white-black-white bordered black cross with a center disk — thus clearly inspired by the Imperial Ensign. The center disk was somewhat larger and had a white-black bordered swastika instead of an eagle. In the canton there was a white-black-white bordered Iron Cross — instead of the Iron Cross on the black-white-red tricolor. This flag replaced the 1933
Norman Martin, Jan 1998
Actual flags usually had on the border a small eagle with a circled swastika with an 'M' underneath (the mark of the Reichszeugmeister) and a size such as '200 × 335' stamped on it.
Norman Martin, 1 Jun 2000
Is the Reichskriegsflagge (war ensign) flown only on a naval vessel or was it flown in other places? The flags I have seen in period footage/documentaries are usually the "standard" Nazi flag (like the armband) but have seen movie(s) trying to be "authentic" flying the Reichskriegsflagge in Stalingrad or other inland places.
anonymous, 21 Oct 2003
It had to be flown daily at all Wehrmacht installations, preferably at the entrance, otherwise near the guard room or staff building. (Brian Davis, Flags of the Third Reich).
Miles Li, 21 Oct 2003
I have seen a number of period photos of German army installations flying this flag. So it appears to have been used by the army as well as the navy. I would be interested in knowing what regulations governed its use.
Devereaux Cannon, 21 Oct 2003
The 1935-45 Reichskriegsflagge was indeed used by army units. I saw them myself at barracks in Normandy and in Bavaria. I believe indeed that they replaced the unit flags after the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt.
Norman Martin, 21 Oct 2003
The "Decree about the Reichskriegsflagge, the jack of the warships, the merchant flag with the iron cross and the flag of the Minister of war and supreme commander of the Wehrmacht" (5 Oct 1935) says: ..."The Reichskriegsflagge is the national emblem of the Wehrmacht. The flag shall be shown on the Kriegsmarine (navy) warships, on the Luftwaffe (airforce) airplanes and the buildungs of the entire Wehrmacht."
Jörg Karaschewski, 21 Oct 2003
Which makes this one of the very few genuine "war flags" in the FIAV sense of the term, most so-called "war flags" actually being organizational flags of the armed forces, not national emblems.
Joe McMillan, 23 Oct 2003
Images by Olivier Vercammen, 13 Oct 200
Here are both the 1st and the 2nd patten flags.
3:5 image by Carsten LinkeFlown at the top of the mainmast on the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrak)
Speculative image by Pete Loeser, 14 June 2011
I hope you can help me identify a pennant I found amongst my late grandfather's possessions. He served in the U.S. Navy and I assume he brought the pennant home as a trophy from WW2. The pennant is triangular, measures approx. 12-1/2 inches long by 8-1/4 inches at the wide hoisting end; loop and clip still attached. The design is exactly that of the 1935-1938 reichskriegsflagge. It is two-sided, made of a durable cloth, with lots of chain stitching. I've exhausted all means of research available to me (which isn't that much) and I cannot find either a reference to, or a photo of, this pennant. Can you help?
Michelle, 5 Dec 2006