Last modified: 2023-01-14 by zachary harden
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags | 2020 |
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Below is a series of images of flags that have been provided to FOTW; some we have recognized, and some we have been unable to recognize. If you can help us identify any of these flags, please let us know! Contact the: UFE Editor.
Unidentified Flags on Page 1:
Unidentified Flags on Page 2:
Unidentified Flags on this Page:
Unidentified Flags on other pages:
Image from Jim Bills, 22 October 2020
I was hoping to find information about the history of Attack Aviation guidon and flags. The guidon can [could] be seen here (original page screen shot).
I talked to Jon Bernstein, a former army officer and curator at the USMC museum but he could only tell me that the colors began to be seen around Vietnam. Any information you can provide would be much appreciated.
Jim Bills, 22 October 2020
I too was interested in that I'd never heard of such a guidon. Additionally, I cannot find a reference to it in AR840-10; and in terms of the design, although the image was in black and white, it is clearly a "cavalry" style guidon, as only that branch utilizes the split field, numeral over letter and counter-changed battalion numeral.
To learn more, I called US Military Direct to ask. On the first call, the gentleman who answered in a heavy foreign accent, was unfamiliar with this guidon asking if it was Army or Air Force, and asked for an image.
I sent them a screen shot and received the speedy reply, "We had customer requests to place orders several times. How can I help you?"
I wrote back, asking what the colors were? There was no response, so I called again. This time a woman answered, also in a heavy foreign accent, and asked if I wanted to place an order. I said, "No." I wanted to know the colors. She replied that they were black and white.
I asked what type of units ordered these flags, and was told military units.
I asked about the image, noting that all the other guidons on their site were photographs and that this was a line drawing. She asked why I was concerned about that? I said I was not, that I was simply trying to identify this guidon and the type of unit it was for. She said all their guidons were "official," and hung up.
When I returned to the link it now states, "Unavailable product - This product is unavailable or temporary disabled."
So, clearly, we have touched a nerve.
My theory is that this was originally an error that was perpetuated on their website. I think someone trying to place a legitimate order conflated two guidons. Most likely from a higher echelon formation like a division that has integral aviation units like the 1st Cavalry Division where some ground and aviation units might be designated "Attack/Recon" or "Attack Companies."
So, the mystery has not really been solved, US Direct Military is not talking, and there is no official mention of such a unit or guidon.
Jim Ferrigan, 22 October 2020
Jim and I exchanged phone calls on this topic and I echo what he mentions in his email. Most of my American military guidon experience is with Air Force guidons, but I have dealt with Army guidons over the years...I've not seen one in black and white and the attack units I know of would be in different colors/markings (ref Jim's comments). To me, the guidon also seems a bit long...?
A couple of thoughts to consider...
- It has been my experience both while at home with units in the continental US, as well as while deployed (Former Yugoslavia, Iraq, etc), that unit members have guidons made for presentation purposes or special "activities" that more or less comply with their service regulations (since that's what they're familiar with) but deviate for their particular purpose (I have a couple I've used myself). One example, I was part of a deployed joint headquarters back in the mid-90s and the staff had an unofficial guidon made as a group gift for the general's departure using a split purple and white field since it was a joint command.
- The guidon may not actually be military...many US police departments (and I believe fire) use guidons within their department as well in their training academies...the description may not be accurate for the graphic?...again, just another approach to consider.
I know this doesn't nail much down, but hope it adds to the possibilities...
Stan Contrades, 22 October 2020
Images from Jim Bills, 22 October 2020
I am an Army attack pilot. I've had my wings since 98. Started flying attack for the National Guard in 99 where I noticed black and white frequently associated with the attack community. Here are examples of various unit patches that carry the black and white motif from which I have seen black and white attack flags and guidons. After finally looking at AR840-10, I understand why all of our aviation guidons were Blue and Orange or Gold, because the reg. said so! I used to see more of the black and white guidons and flags. Most recently I saw one from a major who was in the 101st. I have sent an email to a friend stationed at Fort Rucker about the color scheme lineage but have not heard back from him yet. I should have asked a long time ago when I was stationed there as well. I will likely call the Fort Rucker Museum tomorrow and see what they say. If I hear anything I will report back. I'm thinking the frequency is notable within the 101st Airborne and wouldn't be surprised if the color scheme harks to their lineage.
Jim Bills, 22 October 2020
It would seen that the schema of using black and white "cavalry" style guidons is a practice, but a practice without portfolio, but rather confirmed through use.
Jim Ferrigan, 22 October 2020
Once again echoing Jim...interesting the guidon is divided horizontally while it looks like a diagonal division is more prevalent with insignia...
Stan Contrades, 22 October 2020
Image from Jim Ferrigan, 22 October 2020
I did find one other site selling a white guidon for U.S. Army Aviation, image attached.
Jim Ferrigan, 22 October 2020
Images located by Jim Ferrigan, 24 October 2020 (cropped by UFE Editor)
A romp around the Internet revealed images containing two "aviation" guidons in use, so they exist in real life. One (#33g) is captioned, "U.S. Army Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB), stand in formation during a color uncasing ceremony on Fort Wainwright, Alaska, April 8, 2019. The ceremony signifies the unit's return home to Alaska from routine nine-month rotational deployment from the Republic of Korea." (Alamy Image ID: T4F2MM))
Another (#33h) is captioned "Lt. Col. Matthew Landrum, commander of the 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, and Command Sgt. Maj. Antonio Ruiz, 1-25 ARB command sergeant major, cased the unit's colors during a Color Casing Ceremony June 1, in preparation for the unit's upcoming orders. The colors will remain cased until the unit arrives at their forward location where the commander and command sergeant major will hold a ceremony to uncase the colors." (Photo by Daniel Nelson, Fort Wainwright Public Affairs))
These allows us to infer that these are in use, if unofficially, both deployed and in country. I will continue my search.
Jim Ferrigan, 24 October 2020
Well done, Jim! If they're unofficial, looks like no one is raising a ruckus...using them in a formal battalion formation (since they're casing the colors they may be deactivating the unit...a big deal) is at least tacit approval! Looks like they read proper on both sides too...
The only thought I had about the drawing that started it all is the length...appears a bit longer than usual (to me): the battalion number being so close to the leading edge means it doesn't take a sleeve into account, so that doesn't help. Oh well...
Stan Contrades, 24 October 2020
To be blunt, I think these are unauthorized, but will check with my contact at the Institute of Heraldry on Monday, to see if something changed for subordinate companies of AH-64 battalions (per doctrine, Attack/Reconnaissance Battalion - AH-64).
With one exception, all aviation guidons are golden orange on ultramarine blue. The one exception is for the troops of the brigade cavalry squadron in combat aviation brigades (per doctrine Attack/Reconnaissance Squadron-Heavy (AH-64), which use white and red cavalry guidons.
A few years ago, there were some unauthorized guidons in use for the US Army Cyber Protection Brigade, which were oriental blue and orange (a mashup of Military Intelligence Corps and Signal Corps colors). These were eventually replaced with standard black on steel gray Cyber Corps guidons.
But for now, I don't know what the story is for these.
I checked the FaceBook pages of a bunch of AH-64 battalions, and they all seem to be using black or dark blue over white guidon, so something must have changed.
Dave Fowler, 24 October 2020
My proposed timeline for adoption of the black and white guidon doesn't work. The earliest use that I could find of the black and white guidon was July 2013, for 1st Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment in Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. The orange and blue guidon was in use during February 2013 for that unit.
Which is interesting, because the last revision of the Army flag regs (which does not mention this guidon) was done in July 2017, and was re-certified as "current" with no mention of the guidon in July 2020.
Using the black and white guidons:
I spoke with the Army Aviation curator down at Fort Rucker. He explained that the black and white colors for the attack community got their origin from the 70s and 80s. Circa 1970 instructor Pilots wore white disks behind the ranks on their instructor pilot hats starting with the Huey instructor pilots. The Scout instructor pilots wore red and white discs on their hats. He said that definitely from 1988 to 1991 the Cobra School wore white disks with an orange inverted triangle on their hats. The inverted orange triangle was the symbol on COBRA Hall. He said around 1984 to 1985 when the Apache was fielded, the Apache instructor pilots started wearing a black over white disk. The motto was "Black Over White We Rule the Night."
It is practice, not a regulation.
Jim Bills, 29 October 2020
Image from Bill Garrison, 11 October 2020
I found this article which said: ":DUBAI: Yemen's army chief of staff said on Saturday that liberating the rest of the country from the Iran-backed Houthi militia would be the beginning of a new era in building a federal Yemen based on justice and equality. General Abdullah Al-Nakhai said the greatest victory will be in celebrating the complete liberation of Yemen and raising the Republican flag at the foot of Mount Maran in the capital Sanaa, Yemen news agency SABA reported. Al-Nakhai called for a united front in the fight against the Hothis." (a href="http://www.arabnews.com">source) caption: cFeb. 2019, unknown blue flag.
Bill Garrison, 11 October 2020
The blue flag is the Yemen Ministry of the Interior, and is already on FOTW. The photo is of a police graduation at Taiz, July 2018. (source) The flag on the left is probably one of the police forces that come under the Interior Ministry. The blue camouflage uniforms are Yemen police.
T.F. Mills, 11 October 2020
Images from Vryniotis Stefanos, 30 October 2020
I came across this Nazi maritime flag, I would be really happy to hear your opinions.
Vryniotis Stefanos, 30 October 2020
Not again necessarily a Nazi flag, as the German national symbols had been captured by the NSDAP between 1933 - 1945. The eagle with swastika thus might be a stamp of the armed forces. Do we know, whether the flag is black or a very dark blue? If it is blue, it might be an ordinary convoy flag, as used by the armed forces and other organisations, e.g. the German Red Cross, the fire brigades, the police or any civil protection organisation. It is probably no naval flag, as it is at least not among the German signal flags displayed in our pages.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 November 2020
Any source from Vryniotis Stefanos as to where did he get the image from?
Esteban Rivera, 11 November 2020
Images from Steffan Giadack Axt, 1 November 2020
Along with greeting you, this time I share a UFE that was shared by Werner Hernández in the Facebook group VexilologÍa- Vexillology. In his message, he adds that this flag was seen in a documentary about Easter Island but that the origin is unknown, so this UFE has been shared that we hope to clarify in time. For this reason, I am sending you the photo and a reconstruction that I made of the flag for clarity.
Steffan Giadack Axt, 1 November 2020
Image from John Rogers, 9 November 2020
I have been spending some time with your website as I have been researching what I believe to be a burgee of a yachting club enamelled on a silver standing cup hallmarked for 1916. Sadly after going through many images I have not have had any luck. I often deal with heraldry in my field, but vexillology not so much. Have I completely misinterpreted what this is? If you happen to know where to look I'd be grateful but either way I hope you like seeing the enamel version of a pennant.
John Rogers, 9 November 2020
Should be Abu Dhabi burgee, my guess.
Valentin Poposki, 15 November 2020
It certainly looks like the Emirate of Abu Dhabi flag, but I can't find one for any current Abu Dhadi Yacht Club that looks anything like it. They sure have a lot of expensive looking boats however.
Pete Loeser, 27 November 2020
Well, there are several clubs in the region, but I don't know which are from the right age. Still, feel free to report them with their burgees, regardless of whether its the right era.
Do we know what continent this UFE belongs to, and whether there's more information then just that a mystery object is bearing such an image?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 November 2020
Image from William Garrison, 11 November 2020
In Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of months-long protests, the killing of Iran's elite forces chief Qassem Suleimani has left many nervous that their country could be about to become the battleground for a war over US and Iranian interests.
(The National News)
The caption reads: "Unidentified green Iraqi flag carried alongside white PMF (Popular Mobilization Forces or al-Hashd ash-Sha'bï) flag during demonstration in Najaf, Iraq c. Jan. 2020."
Source: source #1.
William Garrison, 11 November 2020
That would be the Second Brigade Formations of Imam (AS) Combat Team, part of the Imam Ali Fighting Division.
Shi'a militia in Iraq that identifies itself as part of the "Popular Mobilization" (Hashd Sha'abi). The militia identifies with the site of the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf and the religious hawza (seminary) in that city. In Flag Report 96 there were pictured several flag of this militia and its brigades
Jaume Ollé, 11 November 2020
Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 13 November 2020
Based on this image provided by Chris, 12 November 2020
I recently saw this flag and can't seem to figure out what it represents. I believe it has to do with something in Slovakia. I'm not entirely sure what in Slovakia, but I do know the double cross is a national symbol of that country. Hopefully you can help me out.
Chris, 12 November 2020
It's certainly a symbol used in Slovakia, but I can't see that particular arrangement, plain on a red flag. The Cross of Lorraine also appears on some Hungarian flags, but I cannot spot it there either.
Rob Raeside, 12 November 2020
The red flag with large white double cross is the flag of Slovak Revival Movement (Slovenské Hnutie Obrody), a far-right political movement in Slovakia which was founded in 2004 . The symbolism, as explained by Robert Švec, the movement president, is as follows : ":What does our symbolism express? Flag of the Slovak Revival Movement:
The red color symbolizes the blood of our ancestors who fought for our national and state freedom. The white color symbolizes the purity of our thoughts, strong social feelings and hope. And the double cross, the double cross is a symbol of Slovaks and Slavs. He has been associated with our nation and community for over 1,000 years."
At the movement website, the page dedicated to the movement symbols -no longer online - similarly discussed the cross : "Our symbolism is based on the history of Slovaks and Slavs. The white double cross is a symbol not only of Slovaks, but also of the entire Slavic community. It symbolizes the deep spiritual and cultural roots of the Slavs, which are built on faith. The white double cross is also a sign that appeals to all Slavs, regardless of religion or nationality. It is a symbol that expresses Slavic belonging."
The flag ratio is 2:3 or very close. The cross is set off-center, the points of its bottom right-hand arm usually reaching the vertical midline, but it may be set closer to the hoist as well. The size and shape of the cross may vary somewhat, as well as the shade of red color. [4-11]
Image from Gary Knudtzon, 25 November 2020
Thank You for the opportunity to contact you about a 19th Century-1900's (American?) Steamship House Flag I was hoping you might be able to identify. I have sent some pictures and it measures 58 x 45 Inches. I bought it in Bellingham, Washington State so it might be from the Pacific Coastal area. Any information you might have would be Highly Appreciated Thanks!
Gary Knudtzon, 25 November 2020
This is not a flag that I can find in our US or Canadian sections, at least.
Rob Raeside, 25 November 2020
Image from Dr. Jacob L. Heath, 28 November 2020
I was hoping you could help me identify the flag that is on this stein I recently bought so that I could know more about it. I've attached pictures. In case you can't read the words on the back it says "Herausforderung Ziveier Vereins Regatta 25 VIII 1912."
Dr. Jacob L. Heath, 28 November 2020
I am fairly sure it was the flag of a German, perhaps Swiss or Austrian rowing club. It is, however, not in our collection of German clubs, and I am afraid, the club was dissolved before 1970. So I probably have no chance. As the date is 1912, it might be even in France or Poland today, and then it was surely dissolved.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 November 2020
Thank you for the information. If you find out anything I'd love to hear about it. I bought it from an antique dealer located in Winnweiler, Germany.
Dr. Jacob L. Heath, 29 November 2020
It was a lucky punch. It seems to be the oldest flag of Ruderverein "Deutschland" von 1884, based in Hannover, now part of Deutscher Ruderclub von 1884, based in Hannover. There is however one detail not completely matching. The hand painted B/W image displays a 6-point star. (see here)
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 January 2021
Does this mean there was an older flag with a six-pointed star?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 18 May 2021
No 6-point star, got an official image from club!
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 18 May 2021
Image from Carmen Barcena, 1 December 2020
No luck identifying this flag. The gentleman that made it has passed away and his family is curious to know what flag it is. Odd that the header is also yellow, I've never seen this before. Thought it might be a nautical flag, but couldn't find anything similar.
I saw the flag myself and it is not white which has faded, it is actually yellow and red. You'll note there is a piece of the rope showing at the top which is white. Very unusual, apparently the owner held on to this flag for many years as it had sentimental value for him. Now his grandson has it and is trying to research what flag it is and why his grandfather made it.
Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Carmen Barcena, Ceremonial and Protocol Services, Government of Canada, 1 December 2020
Image from Judith Rae, 8 December 2020
Could you help identify the ensign on glassware. Two crossed flags on left white pennant with a red cross top right hand corner blue with anchor surrounded by stars on right orange pennant outlined in black with black animal, maybe an otter.
Judith Rae, 8 December 2020
The burgee on the left is the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia. The other is a private signal, but I cannot identify the name right off.
Dave Martucci, 13 December 2020
Image from Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 December 2020
A white pennant with blue bordure, shifted to hoist a red disc, superimposed by a throughout horizontal blue-white-blue triband. The club is probably based in Kappeln, due to the car plate. Can anybody assist?
Source: I spotted a car sticker in Hamburg-Borgfelde on 29 Nov 2020.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 December 2020