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Romania - Military and Naval Colors Since 1989


Last modified: 2019-08-06 by alex danes
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Military Colors

[Military Colors] by Alex Danes


The color of military units is made up of the Aquila, the banner (the canvas of the color), the rod and the accessories.

The motto "Honor and Homeland" is inscribed on the observe on the prop and the full name of the military unit is inscribed on the reverse. The support is screwed on the truncated cone muff on top of the rod. The Aquila, the prop and the ornament are made of gilded copper plate. The banner is made of double-textured silk, it is rectangular in shape, 100 cm long and 66 cm wide, identically adorned on both sides.

On the banner the colours of the Romanian flag are strip-copied, beginning with blue next to the rod, then yellow and red. On the yellow strip in the centre, 18 cm from the banner basis Romania's coloured arms is applied. It is embroidered in gold and silver thread. It is 29 cm long and 21.5 cm wide.

On each of the four corners, 5 cm from the banner edges are two-branch wreaths embroidered in gild thread. They are 18 cm high and have the signs of the military force the unit belongs to inside.

On the three free sides, the banner is attached 5-7 cm long golden thread fringes and to the corners of the red strip there are 10-12 cm tassels made of golden thread.

The banner is attached to the rod by means of a stainless stick, 70 cm long. The brown wooden rod is 240 cm long and 3.5 cm in diameter. The metal stick is attached to the top of the rod with a truncated cone brass muff, 6 cm high, on which the Aquila is fixed. On the lower side, a 3.2 cm brass ring is inscribed the full name of the military unit. The truncated cone muff and the ring are gilded.

The rod has a brass cylinder on its lower end for protection purpose. The cylinder is closed at its lower end and is 4 cm high and 3.4 cm in inner diameter.

Quoted from "The Colors", Romanian Ministry of Defence homepage.
Calvin Paige Herring, 11 May 1998

Romanian military colours can be seen on the municipal website of Alba Iulia (1 December 1999 celebrations) at The image gallery shows detailed images of the colours and, compared to our image, it seems that the shield is larger on the real flags and that the ornaments in the corners of the flags are yellow and not white.
Ivan Sache, 16 May 2005

I attended 3 different military parades in Bucuresti. None of the units I saw had "permanent" military colors. They were using ordinary Romanian civil flags and were affixing the fringe and all the defacements with straight pins. The defacements were well made and embroidered. Had they been any smaller, they would have made excellent uniform patches. After the parades ended, someone would remove all the defacements from their respective flags and put them in a box.
Clay Moss, 16 May 2005

The description of the military colors found above is a translation of a part of the information found here. I think that the rest of the information is relevant too, so I'm going to summarize it below, after a short introduction to the subject:

These flags are called in Romanian "Drapel de luptă", which literally means "battle flag", that's why you will usually find them under this name on English pages. They are not to be confused with the Romanian war flag, which is identical to the national/state flag.

Every military unit has a flag of this kind. It is the symbol of the honor, bravery and military glory and evokes the past struggles for national liberty of the Romanian people and the military unit's traditions. The flag reminds every soldier his sacred duty to serve Romania faithfully and defend its unity, sovereignty and independence. The flag is kept at its respective unit and it is permanently guarded by the military men on duty. If the flag is lost in the battle or any other circumstances, the unit is dishonored and disbanded.

The flags are granted by Decree of the President of Romania, following the proposal of the Minister of Defense, Minister for Internal Affairs or the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service.

Although all the flags are identical to the description above, the weapon signs in the corners are different for each type of military unit:
[Land forces] [Air forces] [Naval forces] [General Staff of the Army] [Gendarmerie] [Romanian Intelligence Service]
The land forces have two crossed swords The air forces have two wings united trough an airplane propeller (the aviation), a rocket and a canon crossed in the middle, behind the wings (the rocket units and anti-aerial artillery), and a radar below (the radiolocation). The naval forces have an anchor The general staff of the army has two crossed swords, an anchor and two united wings combined The gendarmerie has an oval shield with its logo (a rhombus with the letter J in the middle) over two crossed swords The Romanian Intelligence Service has an eight-pointed star with the letters SRI in the middle
Note: The gendarmerie is not an Army unit, but a military structure subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Department of the Interior/Home Office). The Romanian Intelligence Service isn't subordinated to any Ministry, but to the Romanian President and the Parliament.

Each flag has some accessories:
  • a cravat (4 cm wide, 132 cm long) for decorations. It's made of golden lace with two silk threads attached, one red and the other blue. Each of the endings has a 6 cm long tassel.
  • six scarfs for the guards of the flag (7.7 cm wide and 178 cm long), made of leather covered with red silk. The edges have a 0.8 cm wide ornament made of yellow silk. The color bearer's scarf has a black leather muff for the flag's rod end (4.5 cm internal diameter, 20 cm long), while the other men's scarves have instead a 10 to 12 cm long golden-yellow tassel.
  • a protective cover, made of impermeable textile material. Not to be confused with the transparent plastic cover used on bad weather conditions.
The units that didn't get a military color use the flag of Romania for the same purpose.

If the unit changes its name or number, the prop and ring are changed too, but not the other elements of the flag. The replaced elements are kept in the unit's museum. The flags of the disbanded units must be handed to the military museums of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the Romanian Intelligence Service respectively.

Apparently, each ship of the naval forces and coastguard is considered a military unit. The military colors is their naval ensign.
by Alex Danes, 12 September 2008

I've found a page of the Firefighters in Bucharest. The text is not that important because it has some inaccuracies. The forth flag reveals that the firefighters themselves have a separate symbol in the corners of the flag (the weapon sign), but the image is so small that I couldn't distinguish anything.
Alex Danes, 24 January 2009


The military colors are brought out from their shop case when:

  • the soldiers sworn to the colors
  • military parades, muster inspection or military colors official presentation occur
  • the (ex-) commander of the unit gives/takes charge
  • the unit salutes at military funerals
  • on other occasions, when ordered to do so.
Before the military colors are granted to any unit, they are blessed with holy water by an Orthodox priest.

When in formation and standing, the color bearer keeps the military colors near his foot, holding his right hand down on the rod and his left hand on the rod, at his chest level. The rod's low end must be in front of his right foot. When saluting from this position, the military colors are bowed at horizontal for the Romanian President and other heads of state and at 45 degrees for the other civil and military staff.

When marching, the color bearer holds the military colors vertically. If the unit is walking more than 100 meters, the rod is introduced inside the scarf's muff. When traveling by vehicle, the color bearer with the military color stands inside the unit's commander's car. During the march, the color bearer salutes by bowing the military colors at 45 degrees, regardless the person.

When two military units cross each other (either one or both of them are marching in formation) the military colors are bowed for salute at 45 degrees.

If the weather is bad (it is raining, snowing or there is a strong wind) the military colors are protected by a transparent plastic cover.
by Alex Danes, 12 September 2008

Naval Ensign

[Naval Ensign] 2:3, by António Martins-Tuválkin


The naval ensign is identical to the Romanian national flag and it's made of bunting. Its dimensions are accordingly to the rank of the ship: bigger for a higher rank ship and smaller for a lower rank ship. The hoist edge of the ensign has a reinforcement linen sewn to it, so that the flag can be hoisted on a staff line.
by Alex Danes, 12 September 2008


The ensign is hoisted on the stern daily at 08:00 o'clock AM and on holidays at 09:00 o'clock AM. This is usually done in the presence of the entire crew. When the ship is sailing, the ensign is permanently hoisted at mast's peak. The ensign is lowered at dawn, without the presence of the crew when the ship is anchored.
by Alex Danes, 12 September 2008

Navy Jack

[Romanian Naval Jack] 1:1, by Željko Heimer

In regards to the current Romanian Jack, neither Armand nor I know of the date when it was taken into use. We can only speculate that it was fairly recent. His picture was taken in March 1998.
Calvin Paige Herring, 11 May 1998

National flag in square format with two white anchors in saltire defacing the blue stripe in its middle. Based on editions of Album des Pavillons the flag was brought into use between 1995 and 2000 (or 1998, when already it was reported by Paige Herring).
Željko Heimer, 20 December 2002

Navy Jack, 1995-1998(?)

[Romanian Naval Jack, 1989-1995] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

A light blue flag with the national flag in the canton and a black outlined anchor in the middle of the fly half. The naval jack in the same pattern as the current naval rank flags was mentioned in Romanian official documents on 19-Nov-1995, and this is probably the date of the adoption, too. (Are the other rank flags from that they too?). It was abandoned before March 1998.
Željko Heimer, 22 December 2002

This information came from a booklet of the Romanian Navy itself. Since then, I saw a Romanian frigate in a port visit here; she had a different jack: plain tricolor with two white intertwined anchors in the blue. I took a photo and this new jack will appear in the next correction to the album.
Armand Noel du Payrat, 5 May 1998

Corr. 27 to the French Navy Album was based on an official Romanian Naval document dated 19 November 1995.
Armand Noel du Payrat, 6 May 1998

The image was reproduced in FOTW format from images at the Romanian Military website, but the detail of the anchor is my problem. It shows a single blue foul anchor with black holding lines. Any change must have been quite recent.
Calvin Paige Herring, 5 May, 1998

Masthead Pennant

[Romanian masthead pennant] ~1:10, by Željko Heimer

Triangular pennant in the national colours. This was used since mid 19th century, right?
Željko Heimer, 20 December 2002

Coastguard Ensign

Album des Pavillons (1990 edition) shows a Coast Guard Ensign,