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Pakistan Air Force

Last modified: 2023-11-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pakistan | air force | fin flash |
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National Standard of the Pakistan Air Force

[National Standard of the Pakistan Air Force] 2:3, by Joe McMillan

The standard pattern for national standards of the Pakistani armed forces, the national flag with the unit or service badge in the upper hoist. Green and white fringe, and mounted on a staff with a large silver-colored finial shaped like a fat saucer mounted vertically. The photos I based the image on appeared to have the flag in 3:4 ratio. Source: The Story of the Pakistan Air Force: A Saga of Courage and Honour (Islamabad: Shaheen Foundation, 1988).
Joe McMillan, 27 January 2002

Air Force Ensign

[Air Force Ensign] 2:3, by Joe McMillan

Air Force Ensign - regular version.

[Air Force Ensign] 2:3, by Joe McMillan

Parade version of Pakistan Air Force ensign. This fringed version of the ensign is carried by Pakistan Air Force colour parties to the left of the national standard of the Pakistan Air Force. I've made it to conform to the 3:4 ratio that I believe is correct for the national standard. It is in any case the same size as that national standard and is similarly fringed, corded, and tasseled. However, its finial consists of a silver-colored spiked ball, like a medieval mace head, with a pair of elevated wings attached.
Joe McMillan, 29 January 2003

The image looks like the fringe was white-green-light blue. Is that correct?
Santiago Dotor, 29 January 2003

I should have mentioned that. I noted in looking at fringed military flags in Pakistan that all the main colors in the flag seem to be carried over into the fringe. The PAF flag was not among those that I was able to examine up close, so the fringe on the image is based on the assumption that the same practice applies. That may
not, in fact, be the case.
Joe McMillan, 29 January 2003

Civil Air Ensign

[Civil Air Ensign of Pakistan] by Miles Li, 17 October 2023

The Civil Air Ensign of Pakistan is similar to other former British colonies that have adopted British forms of flag use. If I am not mistaken, the designer or designers of the new Pakistani Civil Air Ensign knew a bit about vexillology because they did not adopt a cross version. Instead, the vertical blue and white bars were left probably because such a Christian symbol, the cross, would be inappropriate for an Islamic country.
Calvin Paige Herring, 17 February 1998

Fin Flash

[PAF Fin Flash] by Dov Gutterman based on Željko Heimer image

The Pakistan Air Force uses a square green flag outlined in yellow/gold with the crescent and star.
Dov Gutterman, 11 Oct 1999

The roundel and flash did have a yellow border when Pakistan became independent, but it hasn't been used since the late 1950's/early 1960's. Like many Air Forces, the aircraft (especially combat aircraft are usually in subdued shades of green, grey, etc., and the bright outlines go away quickly.
Hugh Calibani, 14 Apr 2000

According to other sources, Pakistan uses both fin flashes side by side (usually yellow bordered for non-combat planes).
Dov Gutterman, 14 Apr 2000

The fin flash given for the Pakistan Air Force was changed in 1998, I believe, and the planes have since carried the national flag on their tails.
Arfan Hashmi, 08 Mar 2000

Air Force Aircraft Marking

Green roundel with a small white disk in the center, all bordered yellow.
Željko Heimer, 10 September 2002

Pakistan Fizaiya was formed on 15 August 1947 and renamed on 23 March 1956. From its foundation it has used a white-green roundel that appears on Air Force Ensign (above). Cochrane & Elliott (1998) showed this roundel and a square green fin flash charged with the crescent and star. Wheeler (1986) showed them both with a yellow border (see fin flash above). Wheeler is wrong. Such a border may have been used here and there but as rule there is no yellow border. See examples of use at and
Dov Gutterman, 21 June 2004

Air Chief Marshal

[Air Force Ensign] 2:3, by Joe McMillan

As the only active duty Air Chief Marshal in the Pakistan Air Force, the Chief of Air Staff does not have a rank flag, and (unlike the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff) does not have a distinguishing flag either; instead he uses the Air Force Ensign as an auto flag.
Miles Li, 17 October 2023

Air Marshal

[Air Marshall] 2:3, image by Miles Li, 17 October 2023

Seen as an auto flag, a shallow swallowtail, horizontal triband, light blue-dark blue-light blue, with three white stars on the center stripe and the PAF's green-white roundel in the upper hoist.

Air Vice Marshal

[Air Vice Marshall] 2:3, image by Miles Li, 17 October 2023

Seen as an auto flag, same as Air Marshal but with two stars.

Squadron Colours

[Squadron Colours] 2:3, by Joe McMillan

The colour displayed by operational squadrons of the Pakistan Air Force. According to The Story of the Pakistan Air Force (1988), these flags were introduced in 1970 as a means of recognizing operationally outstanding squadrons. However, the first entry in the book concerning the actual presentation of such a colour was on 29 April 1972 to No. 6 Squadron. I have therefore chosen this one to illustrate the pattern.

The flag follows the basic pattern of what the British RAF calls squadron standards. The photographs in the book are of the same 2:3 ratio as the 32 x 48 inch British standards, blue with the squadron badge on the center flanked by six white scrolls for battle honors, the border elaborately embroidered with yellow and white foliage. The older colours, including that of No. 6 Squadron, generally appear to have been made in a somewhat darker shade of blue than that used for the PAF ensign. More recent colours seem to be of the usual British-type air force blue. The fringe is yellow, as are cord and tassels. The sleeve holding the flag to the staff is the same blue as the field.

No. 6 Squadron was one of those formed before independence in the old Royal Indian Air Force and was assigned to Pakistan at partition in 1947. Throughout its history it has been primarily a transport unit, but it converted its transports into bombers for service in both the 1965 and 1971 wars. The badge portrays a leaping gazelle. The battle honors on the scrolls read "Kashmir 1948" and "Kashmir 1965." I would think from the history given in the book that No. 6 Squadron also holds a battle honor for "Kashmir 1971" but it is not shown on the photograph of the color.
Joe McMillan
, 4 February 2003

Air Force Base of Rasialpur

Michel Lupant gave a report of his trip in Vexillacta #12 (June 2001) and mentioned several flags. The flag of the Air Force base of Rasialpur is very light blue field
with a "canton" also very light blue, fimbriated in green. In the canton, the Pakistan national flag ... in canton and the roundel at lower "fly". The field of the flag is charged with the base emblem, a yellow disc with a green disc inside, decentered and an eagle head. Note; the roundel is white with a thin green border. Album des Pavillons 2000 shows the roundel with a thick border.
Ivan Sache, 16 October 2001