Last modified: 2019-04-06 by pete loeser
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags | 2016 |
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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 Page 3:
Unidentified Flags on this Page:
Unidentified Flags on Page 5::
Unidentified Flags on other pages:
Image from Jens Pattke, 29 July 2016
After the Second World War, in the years 1946 to 1950, all German POWs who were imprisoned in the former Soviet Union were freed and returned to Frankfurt (Oder). However, many of the German prisoners did not survive the Soviet (Russian) prison camps to return to Germany. Many were buried in Frankfurt. On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary (2016) flowers were laid at the memorial for these German prisoners. In the background of the ceremony is an unknown flag. Can anyone identify the flag? The flag could be a Russian design. Can someone help me? (Reference: OderlandSpiegel Verlagsgesellschaft mbH)
Jens Pattke, 29 July 2016
My attempt at identifying this flag begins on the inscription of the commemorative stone that reads: Heimkehrerlager Gronenfelde 1946-1950 (Gronenfelde Repatriate Camp 1946-1950). The Heimkehrer (literally "homecomer", but a better translation would be "Repatriates"), were German prisoners of war and internees of World War II who were allowed to return to Germany and Austria after the war. The term is also associated with Heimat (a German word that has no exact translation, but it would mean homeland, or home). There are many Heimkehrerdenkmale (Repatriates monuments) throughout the country (Sources: German Wikipedia and Viadrina Muesum).
The Gronenfelde Repatraite Camp housed all the prisoners from the Eastern Front and was located in the outskirts of Frankfurt (Oder) and was established on May 8, 1946 and started operations on July 27, until May 3, 1950 (officially disbanded on August 15, 1950). It was initially under Soviet supervision and from 1948 onwards under the supervision of the State of Brandemburg.
An official 1,125,688 people returned to Germany via this camp. A certificate of discharge was issued for soldiers as well as civilians for war compensations and reparations. The Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv Potsdam (official website) contains the records of the camp when it was under German supervision. In 1946 the Frankfurt (Oder) Stadtverwaltung (City Hall) approved the establishment of a Provinzialverwaltung und der Zentralverwaltung für deutsche Umsiedler beauftragt (Provincial administration and the Central Administration for German resettlers). The proximity of Gut Gronenfeld (a location) gave the camp its name. As early as 1942 the Ministry of Interior (Reichsinnenministerium) had established a camp for foreign workers. The camp was first used, postwar, as a German POW camp and from April 29, 1946, as a Quarantänelager (quarantine camp). Since the camp was in the RDA, the first repatriates who arrived there were received by members of the SED. Pictures of the camp can be seen (here), (here), and (here).
The flag you specifically found is the flag of the VdH (Verband der Heimkehrer) (Association of Retrunees, or Association of Repatriates). The Verband der Heimkehrer, Kriegsgefangenen und Vermisstenangehörigen Deutschlands e. V., or Association of Repatriates, was also known as the Prisoners of War and Missing Germans, was an umbrella organization established in 1950 that gathered the many local VdH chapters. The Österreichische Heimkehrerverband (Austrian Repatriates Association) founded in 1957, evolved from the previously established Interessenverband ehemaliger Kriegsgefangener (Association of Former Prisoners of War). It was a non-profit organization, now incorporated into the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen, or BAGSO (German National Association of Senior Citizen's Organisations). The official website incorporated the Vdh logo and was established in 1989. "It currently includes over 110 nationally active member associations and represents more than 13 million older persons in Germany". Sources: German Wikipedia and BAGSO.
Here you can see the banner (displayed in vertical form, an additional flag to the one you found): It is a banner hanging from a cross bar, with its respective finial bearing the coat-of-arms. The banner is 1.4cm tall x 84cm wide and the cross bar is 3m tall. This particular specimen seems to be from Düsseldorf.
The flag you found is a horizontal flag, with a rhombus in the middle, making it the coat-of-arms made by golden barbed wire and inside, another triangle pointing down, also made by golden barbed wire and inside the letters VdH in golden as well. The flag also features a cross maltese that covers the whole flag with green background, a white border and black on the outside of the flag. (Source). There were various VdH's according to the camps they went through, as these images suggest:
Images from Esteban Rivera, 9 August 2016
Here are two pictures (source) that show a white horizontal flag with a green leaf in the middle (Image #53 - last flag from left to right and Image #53a - the flag first from left to right). Any guesses? It seems to be an official government flag, since it flies next to the flags of Mexico, Canada, U.S and two other flags I can't recognize.
Esteban Rivera, 9 August 2016
Mexico, Canada in mourning, USA, Brazil, Paraguay? I don't know. It's more like four leaves on one twig, by-the-way. While there is some white on them, it doesn't look like a 4-H flag. (I guess that also would require the US.)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 10 August 2016
Image from Clayton Horner, 4 September 2016
I picked this flag up several months ago, and have not been able to ID it. It is a vertical flag, and the size is about 9 feet by 3 feet. Due to the size and quality of manufacture, I do not think it is a garden/decorative flag, but I could be wrong. The photo is not my own, but the one that was originally used by the seller on eBay.
Clayton Horner, 4 September 2016
This flag has elements of the German city of Hamelin (Hameln) - the castle is similar in design, although the colours are reversed. However, the lower part of the shield has a rat instead of a millstone and spindle. Vertical German flags are very rarely banded horizontally - the stripes almost always run vertically, so I suspect if this is from Hamelin, that the flag is either a local decoration, or a tourist banner, commemorating the famous Brothers Grimm tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. I have rotated and stretched the image to make it vertical.
Rob Raeside, 4 September 2016
Image from Dave Martucci, 8 September 2016
I think I should know what this pennant is, but I'm drawing a blank...anyone?
Dave Martucci, 8 September 2016
Perhaps for El Salvador, 1865-1912?
Tomislav Todorovic, 8 September 2016
It is for a Commissioned vessels of the U.S. Army.
Jim Ferrigan, 9 September 2016
Image from Phillip Windsor, 14 September 2016
Could you please identify the pennant on this silver sovereign case?
Phillip Windsor, 14 September 2016
Image from David B Lawrence, 22 September 2016
I came across these flags outside "The Chepstow Castle" (a pub in Chepstow) and despite taking several pictures I did not capture them well. This is the standard modern design of Welsh dragon as on Y Ddraig Goch - but this is a golden dragon on a black flag. The bartender told me that the owner of the pub had bought them recently (and on-line?), but I have not located any on the internet yet. (photo from early September 2016)
David B Lawrence, 22 September 2016
Welsh flag from Wikimedia Commons.
Tomislav Todorovic, 22 September 2016
Speculative Images from Pete Loeser, 22 September 2016
If you took the Y Ddraig Ddu or "The Black Dragon" used by the "Cymru 1400" Republican Movement on their flag and re-colored it gold, we'd get this. Anything here close to what you saw? Of course, this doesn't identify the flag, but might be where the inspiration comes from.
Pete Loeser, 22 September2016
No, not what I saw. I think that Gethin or Sian designed this but I am not sure what their sources were. I presume that they had good historical sources (they founded Cofiwn) but I do not know them. This sort of flows into the whole argument as to how Owain Glyndwr contrived his quartered lions flag.
David B. Lawrence, 26 September 2016
Well, there was a dragon at the actual Chepstow Castle this August. I don't know whether there's a connection, though. Is this blue flag in the photograph actually black in real cloth, and are the shades of gold due to the light, or does it actually have multiple shades? I guess the owner would be the best source of information. He'd probably be proud to fly these flags, and would likely be quite willing to tell more about them.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 22 September 2016
That is exactly what I was speculating about; that somebody has been playing with Y Faner Wen and by placing Y Ddraig Aur onto Y Faner Du they have mimicked the colour scheme of Y Faner Dewi Sant. I have been arguing that The White Flag was an heraldic pun on "Gwynedd" as "The Holy/Sacred Land." (The words Gwen/Gwyn having connotations of white, pure, sacred, holy, etc.)
Incidentally I was over to a party in Llanbedr and went for a walk around the old courtyard of St David's University College where there are similar bosses in the church roofs in different designs. These are early 19 century and their version of the heraldry does not have the escalloped cross but a straight-sided one as promoted by The Knights of St. David who created Y Faner Dewi Sant. (I presume that you know the story about the other St David cross flag which was a black cross on a golden flag ... I forget the details)
I have not had a reply from The Chepstow Castle and I have still not found out where these came from, perhaps somebody will claim this dragon for Gloucestershire? (500 yards across the Wye bridge.) Perhaps Y Faner Du charged with Y Ddraig Aur is supposed to signal a Welsh of "No Surrender"?)
I see that you have adapted (Gethin and Sian's?) artwork with the dragon gardant. I do not think that anybody can be really sure what these dragons looked like - I have suggested that the original Welsh dragon was puce (Y Ddraig Piws) because that then makes sense of The Leek as an emblem : normally it is depicted white stem, green leaves, purple thousand headed flower (decapitated). Puce/Piws means "Flea Coloured" i.e. "Blood Coloured :quot; which fits in better with the history of the imperial draco standards being dipped in blood which had a purple windsock i.e. the actual "flag" part of the original standards of Wales' precursor Britannia Prima (it was the only province of the western empire to not fall to the barbarians and I like to assume that "King" actually "Dwg/Dux" Arthur Pendragon was leading a cavalry troop up and down the A303 in Somerset where Wales is between Queen Camel, West Camel and Camel Hill - which is a lot of Camels ...) The dracos were made of gilded copper or brass.
I have to break off from this merry humour : you will excuse me for mentioning that I think that the proportions of this flag outside The Chepstow Castle were the same as in Y Faner Goch.
David B. Lawrence, 26 September 2016
Image from David Phillips, 21 September 2016
Is this a new flag for Syrian Kurds? Maybe?
Source: US News.
David Phillips, 21 September 2016
The flag forwarded by David Phillips is that of the Manbij Military Council, which is one of three Military Councils of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). On 2 April 2016 the SDF established the Manbij Military Council with the goal of securing the city of Manbij and its surrounding countryside (Manbij offensive). The council also includes a newly established group called the Manbij Turkmen Brigade which joined the Northern Sun Battalion (كتائب شمس الشمال - Kata'eb Shams ash-Shamal) of the Army of
Revolutionaries (جيش الثوار - Jaysh al-Thuwar [flag image], official website).
Throughout 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces have established 3 separate military councils in the Shahba region in order to facilitate and conduct military operations in the region. As of late 2016, the three military councils are the Manbij Military Council, the al-Bab Military Council, and the Jarabulus Military Council.
The Manbij Military Council is a coalition established by 7 components of the SDF group Army of Revolutionaries on 2 April 2016 at the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates. The military council aims to capture the city of Manbij across the river and many of the council members are local fighters from the surrounding areas. Its flag is seen here.
The al-Bab Military Council was established after securing Manbij, and it was established by the SDF on 14 August 2016 with the goal of securing the city of al-Bab and it's surrounding countryside. It was formed by 7 small SDF-affiliated factions. Its flag is seen here.
The Jarablus Military Council is a SDF coalition in the Shaba Region formed by local fighters from the city of Jarabulus and the surrounding areas. It was established On August 21, 2016 in a similar fashion to the establishment of the Manbij and Al-Bab Military Councils. The goal is securing the city of Jarablus and it's surrounding countryside. The council also includes the newly established group, the Manbij Revolutionary Brigades. Its flag is seen here. (Sources: Syrian Democratic Forces military councils)
The Syrian Democratic Forces (قوات سوريا الديمقراطية - Quwwat Suriya al-Dimuqratiya), commonly abbreviated as SDF or QSD, are an alliance of Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Armenian, Turkmen and Circassian militias in the Syrian Civil War. Founded in October 2015, the SDF fights to create a secular, democratic and federal Syria, their goals part of the larger Rojava Revolution taking place in northern Syria, where residents are carrying out de facto self-rule based on the principles of direct democracy and democratic confederalism. The draft for the updated 2016 constitution of the Federation of Northern Syria - Rojava names the SDF as its official defence force". The Federation of Northern Syria Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rojava is not drafted as an ethnic Kurdistan region, but rather a blueprint for a future polyethnic, decentralised and democratic Syria. Rojava is the birthplace and main sponsor of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Democratic Council (the political wing of the SDF, official website, a military and a political umbrella organisation), with the agenda of implementing a secular, democratic and federalist system for all of Syria. The establishment of the SDF was announced on 11 October 2015 during a press conference in al-Hasakah.
The alliance built upon the successful Euphrates Volcano joint operations of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and several Syrian rebel factions of the Free Syrian Army label, who had helped defend the Kurdish town of Kobani during the Siege of Kobani. Euphrates Volcano was joined by Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa, who participated in the capture of Tell Abyad from the Islamic State. At its founding, the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance also included forces from Jazira Canton, such as the Assyrian Syriac Military Council and the Arab tribe Al-Sanadid Forces, both of whom had cooperated with the YPG in fighting ISIL for years.
The following groups signed the founding document:
Images from Victor Lomantsov, 23 September 2016
At the Hockey World Cup (2016) I saw some very strange flags of hockey teams. They had young flag-bearers holding them at the opening ceremony and they were used as big banners below the roof of the arena.
The first was a red flag with an eagle for Russia and the second might have been a black flag of North America? The third had the three crowns for Sweden, and the fourth was a blue flag with what appeared to be the coat-of-arms of the USA.
Victor Lomantsov 23 September 2016
Please see message # 211521. The flags along the stadium roof are the teams participating at the event - they are (from left to right):
Getty images from James Dignan, 22 October 2016
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey featured a curious mix of national and supranational teams. As such it would make sense if they didn't use national flags, but rather used plain coloured banners with the emblem and name of each team. Such banners were displayed hanging vertically, alongside banners of the WCH and a red "advertising-style" banner for this year's tournament. (See this image, which clearly shows that the "NA" flag does represent the North America team). The national flags of all competitirs, whether part of national or supranational teams - was also displayed in the arena.
The competing sides were Canada, the US, Sweden , Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Europe (a combined teams of European nations not otherwise represented) and North America (a combined US and Canadian under-23 team) (details)
In this article are the "nationaL " emblems used by each of the eight teams at the 2016 WCH (including an intriguing light and dark blue shield for Europe - the EU emblem could not be used because it would not represent any Swiss participants)... and here is the emblem (and, presumably, flag) of the 2016 WCH.
James Dignan, 22 October 2016
Image from Kryštof Huk, 7 October 2016
Recently got my hands on this ~1m long flag on a Czech auction site. I was unable to find this specific flag anywhere online but I assume it's a pennant version of Her Majesty's Customs and Revenues flag. Could anybody confirm this?
Kryštof Huk, 7 October 2016
This is indeed the broad pendant version of the flag of Her Majesty's Customs. A (rectangular) flag version can be seen e.g. in H. Gresham Carr (editor): Flags of the World, NY & London 1953, opp. p. 26 on Plate V, image 1.2
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 October 2016
Image by Kryštof Huk, 15 October 2016
Since the flag isn't included at FOTW, I've made a gif version which hopefully fulfills all the criteria for being used on our site, should the UK Editor wish to use it, even though it may seem wrong. (yes, the canton is cut off diagonally on the original).
Kryštof Huk, 15 October 2016
This flag design was originally a special Civil Ensign of 1936, but is now used as a merchant ensign for Belgian Naval Reserve Officers (with the lion slightly enlarged).
Image from Clayton Horner, 15 October 2016
I picked this flag up quite a while ago and have not been able to ID it. It is a gold eagle on a black flag with a gold fringe. It is a double sided flag with a sleeve for indoor display. I do not think that it is a military rank flag (at least not US military) because it does not match the colors of any of the US military branches, the eagle is not on a perch, and the rank represented by an eagle are not entitled to a flag.
Clayton Horner, 15 October 2016
Image from Bob Egbert, 22 October 2016
I was given this old flag by a friend who found it in the attic of an old house here in Milford, Delaware. There were two of them, other was the same but very badly damaged. This flag is cotton, measures 28"x48", is machine sewn, stars are also machine sewn on both sides. It has a small sleeve that a rope could pass through and two grommets made of galvanized or lead metal that are heavily encrusted. There are no identifying marks on this flag whatsoever. The white bar is discolored from storage and the fold marks throughout the flag are quite obvious. Don't know if it is a flag or perhaps a bunting or banner, it is however quite attractive. I am thinking of framing it and hanging it in the house and knowing it will draw attention would love to have any information not only for myself but others that might find it interesting. Hopefully you can answer my questions about this remarkable flags.
Bob Egbert, 22 October 2016
I don't recognise this flag either - the stars seem to be upside down to have the blue band at the top, but who would put them on a blue band at the bottom.
Rob Raeside, 22 October 2016
My first thought was red-white-blue with stars on the bottom stripe. Perhaps a decoration?
Pete Loeser, 22 October 2016
Never thought that the blue stripe could be the bottom, but, who knows? It is a very intriguing thing though, banner, bunting, shipping line flag, all possibilities, especially with the zinc grommets. Anyway any ideas would be appreciated especially the age.
Bob Egbert, 23 October 2016
Bunting. I have some images of a 1939 Dettra catalogue showing a 5 star version. There the stars are pointing towards the top when blue is at the top, but I'd say it's the same intention.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 28 October 2016
Image from Pete Loeser, 26 November 2016
I've run into another weird banner and I hope some of you might have some insight. It claims to be an "Germanic Odinist Irminsul Banner", has anybody ever seen anything like it? Obviously its a modern replica or fantasy flag - note text which includes English, German and two other languages. The sleeve indicates it was designed to be carried on a T-mount or hung at a 45 degree slant. So far all I've got is Irminsul is old Saxon for "great/mighty pillar" or "arising pillar", which was "...a kind of pillar which is attested as playing an important role in the Germanic paganism of the Saxon people," but of this banner, I have nothing but the picture.
Pete Loeser, 26 November 2016
About the use of this flag, seems that lots of flags are being sold online as the "Odinist", "Asatru", etc., but are actually neo-Nazi ones, many of them having been verified as such by photos of their use. Still I cannot say more about this particular one without more background information. [Note: The use of the Irminsul symbol by neo-Nazi extremist groups is discussed at Neo-Nazi flag symbolism.]
Tomislav Todorovic, 27 November 2016
The quote is from Hitler, used by Ahnenerbe (the organisation to research the superiority of the Arians). The Irminsul featured in their activities as well. I don't think they were Odinists, though; that probably wouldn't have been exclusively German enough.
The vertical columns look like decoration to me, not other languages. Since the German has an error that is much more likely to be made by an English speaker than a German speaker, I would say that it's from some English language neo-NS group who would like to repeat past mistakes by remembering.
Can't recall ever seeing one before, but not my thing.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 January 2017
That text and image appeared on the on-line shop PzG, for the first time archived with that content in 2012. The date is of some importance as PzG mentions the research efforts of FotW. As our involvement with this dates from 2016, it apparently isn't a flag he had made after our efforts. The item is described as: "F52 - Germanic Odinist Irminsul Banner Irminsul (Old Saxon, probably 'great/mighty pillar' or 'arising pillar') was a kind of pillar which is attested as playing an important role in the Germanic paganism of the Saxon people. Details: 14 inch X 14 inch wall hanger, banner, flag. nazi flags $15.00 +s/h"
No source for the flag is mentioned. It is, however, obviously an internationalisation of an original German object. The Internet can then help us find what is termed "the original Irminsul tapestry of the SS-Ahnenerbe". The organisation providing this information, Germania International, offers a single-language recreation of the tapestry for sale. I would say PzG likewise (re-)created the tapestry, as a banner, with the quote of Hitler displayed in two languages: German and the language of their US customers. It's a fan item made in China (as that's where PzG have their items made), of no actual WWII meaning at all.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 April 2019
Another hit is at the Library of Congress, providing a better view
of its location in the room.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 April 2019