I was watching a TV show on the battle for Hue, Viet-Nam, and the flag was flying over the provincial government house. Albert S Kirsch, 3 March 2002
This is the flag of the National, Democratic and Peaceful Forces of Vietnam, a progressive organization created under sponsorship of the Viet Cong (and allied with other small leftist factions) in 1968 and was in use for a short time (about 1968-70). I believe that soon after Tet offensive the organization was de facto dissolved. Jaume Ollé, 5 March 2002
image by Leon Lee
On 6 February 1968 during the Tet Offensive, US Marines from "Hotel" Company retook the Hue Provincial Headquarters compound from Vietcong forces after bitter street battles.
The so-called "Vietcong flag" that they hauled down was not the traditional "Blue/Red banner with Yellow Star" VC flag, but rather it had 3-horizontal stripes of Red-White-Red with a Yellow Star in the middle.
Therefore, tentative comments gathered on this unknown 1968 variant of the Vietcong communist flag included:
1) Flag used for "Provincial Communist Government of South Vietnam" during its month-long takeover of the ancient imperial capitol of Hue in 1968.
2) North Vietnam propaganda desired to control world opinion that the warfare in South Vietnam was initiated strictly by South Vietnamese communist despite the fact that North Vietnam controlled the entire apparatus. Hence, they needed a "fake flag" to represent the southern communist.
3) Flag was used exclusively for Vietcong forces. But the 1968 Tet Offensive essentially wiped out their military capabilities. From 1968 onward, vast majority of fighting was conducted by North Vietnamese forces augmented into the VC structure. Hence, they abandoned the 1968 communist flag and adopted the 1969 VC flag to reflect the new troop concentration. Leon Z. Lee, 16 June 2003
It is unclear if this red-light blue-red flag was adopted as the flag for the Vietnam National Democratic and Peaceful Forces (c. 1969-1975) linked to Vietcong (an umbrella for the communists groups). For this organization is reported also as having a flag red over white with a star, but very frequently the (very light) blue is confused with white. The blue-red-blue flag (attributed to Vietcong sea forces), might be another possibility.
As far I know the blue was designated as Montagnard colour in 20 December 1960 by the communists. From then on, I assume, the anticommunist groups would not have used blue in their flags. Jaume Ollé, 30 June 2010
You can find out a little bit more about that flag at my "Historical Flags of Our Ancestors" website, where I have it and a couple more like it displayed under "National Liberation Front Flags 1955-1976." Since many of the Viet Cong flags were hand-made, there were a lot of variants. Pete Loeser, 29 June 2010
I found a very similar flag with light blue in the central stripe in page 160 as fig 189 of Historical Vexillology of Indochina by Herve Calvarine & Olivier Corre of Societe Francaise de Vexillologie issued in 2005, but with a larger star which reaches both red stripes. They mention that the flag was of the Parti Revolutionnaire Populaire (1960) modele officiel republic:
"En fevrier 1968 etait cree lr Parti des Forcees nationales democratiques et pacifiques, emanation du Viet Cong: son drapeau etait rouge, traverse par une bande bleu clair, une grande etoile jaune brochant le tout." Nozomi Kariyasu, 5 July 2005
Translated: "February 1968 saw the creation of the Party of National Democratic and Pacific Forces, an offshoot of the Viet Cong. Its flag was red with a light blue stripe (presumably horizontal) and a big yellow star in the middle." Peter Johnson, 5 July 2010
There was indeed an organization called "Alliance of National, Democratic and Peace Forces of Việt Nam". It was part of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front (Vietnamese: Mặt Trận Tổ Quốc Việt Nam) founded February 1977 (merged Vietnamese Fatherland Front of North Vietnam, National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and Alliance of National, Democratic and Peace Forces of Việt Nam in the South Vietnam). Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_Fatherland_Front
As I was looking at this article called "Politically Significant Groups in South Vietnam", created on 4 May 1966, a CIA released document (original scanned document here: http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs.asp?doc_no=0000196604) by the (U.S.) Directorate of Intelligence, in which they list several groups. Then, I came across this labor union, called Confederation of Vietnamese Labor, or CVT, then I looked up this organization on the web, and I came across the wikipedia link mentioning this labor union, as part of a much bigger umbrella organization which also encompassed the Alliance of National, Democratic and Peace Forces of Việt Nam, of which we are discussing on this thread. Esteban Rivera, 6 July 2010
The full name of the organization is Alliance of National Democratic and Peaceful Forces of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Lien minh cac Luc luong Dan toc, Dan chu va Hoa bình Viet Nam). It is presented at Vietnamese Wikipedia: http://vi.wikipedia.org
It was dissolved in 1977, having merged, along with the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Vietcong) and the Vietnamese Fatherland Front (of North Vietnam), into the present Vietnamese Fatherland Front, which is the Communist-led umbrella organization for all political and other mass organizations in Vietnam.
The photo has a caption which reveals that it was taken in Tay Ninh, on 6 June 1969. It also shows the Vietcong flag. Note that the stars on both flags are the same as on the 1945-1955 flag of North Vietnam. (It means that the Wikipedia image mentioned above is not quite correct, although it is said to have been modelled after this photo.)
At several websites of Vietnamese diaspora, the pages dealing with the battle of Hue, and more specifically with the Hue Massacre, the mass killings perpetrated during the Communist hold of the city of Hue during the Tet Offensive in early 1968, are illustrated with the image of a blue-red-blue vertical flag with a yellow star on the red field. All of these pages attribute the flag to the Alliance of National Democratic and Peaceful Forces of Vietnam, which had actually been founded after the Battle of Hue was over, and say that it was hoisted at the Hue Citadel during the occupation of the city by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces.
The repeating erroneous attribution of the flag suggests that all these pages might be actually citing the same source, which still does not necessarily exclude the flag's existence, but it should be attributed to Viet Cong instead of the Alliance of National Democratic and Peaceful Forces of Vietnam, just like the red-white-red horizontal flag with a yellow star on white field, which was also reported to have been used in Hue at the same time. The flag of the Alliance of National Democratic and Peaceful Forces of Viet Nam must have been inspired by these earlier designs, though.