Last modified: 2008-07-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags |
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by Devereaux Cannon
I have been sent a UFE which might be described as a St. George's flag, but with the cross shifted toward the hoist and also toward the top. The correspondent who sent this to me had seen it in several locations in Georgia (US), and in North and South Carolina. He has seen it flown in connection with the Confederate battle flag, and assumed it had a Confederate connection. I am not familiar with the use of such a flag in any connection with the CSA Can anyone identify this flag?
There is a flag for "The North of England" which is similar. The red cross on
the white field is a Scandinavian style cross, but this UFE also seems to have
the cross ride up towards the top of the flag. In any event, I have no idea why
any such flag (other than the St. George of England) would be seen in several
locations in Britain's former coastal provinces south of Virginia!
Devereaux Cannon, 10 December 2004
by Wendy Wilkinson
The flag appears to be a red X in the upper left-hand corner on a medium blue
field. My great-grandfather Adolf was in US Cavalry in the Spanish American war
stationed in Cuba, 1898. While there, a comrade (who was an architect's
assistant) made him a present of these architectural plans of a castle painted
by a senior associate. The plans are dated 1822 but otherwise have no other
information. The plans do not indicate the country in which the castle is
located. My grandmother told me the castle was "owned by a Spanish prince." But
Spain was in control of many countries in those days. The blueprints are in
English. I was wondering if the flag (if it is genuine, and not an artist's
rendition of a banner) could be a possible clue to the location of this castle.
Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated!
Wendy Wilkinson, 30 November 2004
The first thing that popped in my mind was "badly rendered British blue
Marc Pasquin, 1 December 2004
I have someone who called me about a flag they are flying. They said it has 5
horizontal stripes of Orange - White - Blue - Yellow - Lime Green. I have no
Lee Herold, 9 February 2004
A pure hypothesis, some kind of Chinese flag. There have been quite a few
imperial rank flags with various colours so this arrangement might just be one
we haven't got yet (especially if the orange bit is a faded red).
Marc Pasquin, 10 February 2004
If this is an old flag, especially if it is one made of wool bunting and the
orange and green are faded, then it may be of great interest. During the
Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, Transvaal and Orange Free State forces combined
against the British. This involved also the fielding of mixed units with men
from both states. Some of these units used flags to designate headquarters which
combined the colours of the two countries. The Transvaal colours were red,
white, blue and green; those of the orange Free State were red, white, blue and
orange. In one or two cases, the orange was replaced by yellow (perhaps through
inability to obtain orange- coloured material). Several of these so-called "vyfkleur"
(five-coloured) flags exist. This may be one of them. I would need to see a
picture of the flag or (better still) to examine the actual item to be more
certain of this.
Michael Faul, 18 July 2005
by Andres Burgers
While watching the third day of the first cricket test between England and
South Africa at St Georges Park in Port Elizabeth on TV this afternoon my
attention was occasionally distracted by the Barmy Army. They were there in some
strength, well tanked up and in good voice. Many St George crosses waving about
especially when the English team did something they approved of. There were
among Barmy Army many members wearing the cross of St George on their T-shirts.
There were also a few who wore a red cross Branchee or Fichee also on their
T-shirts. Would this be only a private variation of St Georges cross among this
crowd or has it some sporting connection like a cricket club flag that you know
Andries Burgers, 19 December 2004
I suggest that this flag may be a remnant of either the Knights Templar or
the Knights Hospitalier.
"Carmel", 25 June 2005
I was looking at Monet's Garden at Sainte-Adresse (see
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/M/monet/adresse.jpg.html for a larger
image) and was wondering what the flag on the left was.
Nathan Lamm, 4 November 2004
We can be sure he actually saw the flags. He painted from life, an important
consideration to impressionists who were all about light.
Al Kirsch, 4 November 2004
Red and yellow are the traditional colours of Normandie, which is where
James Dignan, 4 November 2004
Having read a commentary on this painting only last week, I can say that:
- the scene is painted from an upper room in Monet's parents' house
- the man in the seat is Monet's father
- the painter called this painting "Chinese" or "Chinese-like" referring, I believe, to the rather startling use of colour.
So there are some realist touches. But I agree on the need for caution when discussing flags in paintings.
Jan Mertens, 4 November 2004
I believe that I can identify the flag in Monet's painting. The same Red and
Yellow bicoloured pennant is shown as "France, Commerce, Pendant 4", being the
description of flag illustration 328 in "Vlaggen van alle Natien", edited by
Steenbergen and published in Amsterdam 1865 [stb65]. I don't have information to
identify the signal meaning of Pendant 4 at that time. This would however be
consistent with the 1867 date of Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse. I included
this painting as one of the many artworks involving flags cited in my lecture to
the 20th International Congress of Vexillology, Stockholm.
Ralph Kelly, 5 November 2004
There was indeed a yellow-red bicolour flag used by ships registered in the
French Eastern colonies and Africa coast. The flag is shown yellow-red by
several sources, and pennant 4 might be an erroneous depiction of this flag ...
or the correct depiction of something completely different. Anyway, such a
registration pennant is not expected to be hoisted on the promenade of Sainte-Adresse.
The pennants were for ships only.
Ivan Sache, 6 November 2004
"Vlaggen van alle Natien" does further note that Pendant 4 was part of the
"Reynolds" signal system, which it states was "the same as Marryats signals,
besides the pendants". Marryat's Code of Signals for the Merchant Service was a
system of 10 numerical pendants used to make a range of 4 digit numbers, each of
was assigned a meaning. As the Marryat system, and presumably the Reynolds
system usually hoist several flags and pennants together as a grouped signal,
the use of a solitary signal flag on the shore is either "decorative", one of a
series of signals (unlikely in a private garden) or the single flag had a local
meaning, such as a private yacht club racing signal. However, it is not correct
to say "The pennants were for ships only" as the pennant was part of a signaling
system, it is equally valid to use such flags as part of a signal form shore to
sea as from ship to shore.
Ralph Kelly, 6 November 2004
by Tyler Dykstra
I saw this flag recently, but I can't identify it. It's divided diagonally from
the lower-hoist corner to the upper-fly corner. The upper triangle is blue and
the lower is red, with a yellow stripe dividing the triangles. The southern
cross is in the canton. I think it's Australian, but I'm not sure.
Tyler Dykstra, 10 October 2004
The first flag, submitted by Tyler Dykstra in 2004, shows the southern cross.
During the referendum for independence from the commonwealth, the Australian
Government held a competition for a new flag to be designed. It is possible that
this flag is one of those designs.
"Carmel", 25 June 2005
This might be one of the entries to the
to design a new flag for Australia, although I can't find an exact match on the
Brendan Avis, 9 September
by Ivan Sarajcic
Any idea what this flag represented? It measures 2' by 2'. I thought the three
stars and five arrows would be a clue, but couldn't find anything like it.
Ivan Sarajcic, 4 October 2004
USA Military History: West Point Museum
This is the late 19th century to pre-WW-I period, War Department HQ standard for 3-star US Army General Officers. Flag was generally stood at his HQ office along with the USA National flag, US Army flag, and his Army Field Command (Corps or Group) flag. Some Generals also had present their home state Flag present in their office.
Grendel Night, 14 October 2005
I very much doubt this identification. The eagle looks nothing like any eagle
that ever appeared on a US Army flag of this period (see the
North Dakota state flag for the normal portrayal of the
time); no such flag appears in any edition of Army Regulations from the 1820s
onward, or in any War Department General Order; a 2 x 2 foot (60 cm square) flag
seems awfully small for the purpose stated; and, most tellingly of all, if "late
19th century to pre-WWI" means 1875 to 1914, there was never at any time more
than one 3-star (lieutenant) general in the Army, and for 19 of the 39 years
none at all.
Not to mention that there were no corps headquarters in the US Army between the Civil War (1865) and the Spanish American War (1898) or from then until American troops started arriving in France in large numbers in 1918. Or that the one state that both the 19th century lieutenant generals came from--Ohio--didn't adopt its state flag until 1902.
Joe McMillan, 14 October 2005
The flag is a square, this indicates that it is a military flag. There is no
eagle depicted but a falcon instead. The Saladin falcon or the Quraish falcon is
depicted in the coat of arms of those Arabian states, that built the so called
"United Arab Republic", i.e. Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq, also in the flag of
Egypt. The Quraishis are the tribe the prophet Muhammad belonged to. The red
colour shows that it is neither air force (celestial blue) nor navy (dark blue).
So it has to be army or ministry of defence. The heraldry of the depicted flag
is influenced by the heraldry of US-flags, see for example ZNAMIEROWSKI: "Flaggen-Enzyklopedie"
(ISBN 3-7688-1251-0) p.69 and p.70. There are depicted the flags of the
secretary of war(p.69) and the secretary of defence(p.70) which seems to be the
same. Like the eagle in the US-flags the falcon holds a bundle of thunderbolts
or arrows in his left claw (fly end) as a symbol of war and a branch of an olive
tree in his right claw (hoist) as a symbol of peace. I suppose, it is a flag of
the new armed forces of Iraq which are rebuilt by the US-forces since 2001.
There are only three stars. This seems to indicate a lower rank of the Iraqi
secretary of defence. It may also be the rank flag of a 3-stars general of the
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2005
by Philippe Rault
This is a picture of a WW II "patchwork" flag that an English patient of mine
found in her attic, and that she wishes to sell. I have already seen pictures of
patchwork flags, mainly of WW I, but in 40 years of study of vexillology I had
never seen a flag like this. It is in wool, 4x6', and in good condition. Any
information and comments about this flag would be welcome.
Philippe Rault, 3 October 2004
That's not so much an "unknown" flag -- it doesn't stand for an entity -- but is
rather a pastiche of allied flags in WWII (UK, US, China, and USSR with the Free
French Cross of Lorraine in the center.) It likely hung on a wall rather than
Albert S. Kirsch, 23 June 2007
My guess is that it's a flag for the Free French Forces (or supporters of them)
during WWII. The Lorraine cross in the middle hints at this, and the use of the
flag of the main allied nations could be a way to emphasize the joint effort in
the war and also the French tricolor could probably look to much like the flag
of Vichy France.
Elias Granqvist, 23 June 2007
Mastai's book of American flags has similar
banners for World War I (even including Japan, which was on the Allied side.)
Nathan Lamm, 23 June 2007
I am a French militaria collector and I possess this
flag. Could you help me to identify it? Perhaps it is a XIXth century, German
Renaud, 30 August 2004
The flames strongly suggest a Swiss regiment in foreign service, but I am
afraid I cannot place it. It is not French. The two-headed eagle doesn't seem
quite right for the Austrian Empire.
T.F. Mills, 1 September 2004
Just a wild guess: The county of Hohenberg (which was located in what is now
central Baden-Württemberg in Germany) used a white-red shield like the breast
shield on the eagle. Hohenberg belonged to Austria until 1805. The double eagle
could be Austrian. However, that's my complete extent of knowledge on this
Stefan Schwoon, 1 September 2004
The flamed gyronny flag is traditional in Central-Europe, but the arms are
also of the Hanzestadt Luebeck in Northern-Germany. And in the Regions in
East-Schleswig-Holstein one can find shields gyronny in white and red.
Hans van Heijningen, 30 October 2004
The double eagle seem to suggest Russia. The crowns on the heads are however,
not Russian. The colours indicate Poland, and the crowns seem similar to the
crown on the Polish eagle. Hence, my guess is, that there is a Polish connection
here, e.g., Poland during the time of Russian "occupation" prior to WWI.
Lennart Eriksson, 25 January 2005
At the first glance for me it was a military flag of the
Hansestadt Lübeck. The crowned double eagle is the symbol of the Holy Roman
Empire. The bicolour inescutcheon is the distinction mark of Lübeck. The gyronny
pattern was used by the Swiss, also of those regiments in foreign services. This
is affirmed by ZNAMIEROWSKI and NEUBECKER. But for me it is hard to believe,
that Swiss soldiers were in service of a sea power like Lübeck.In addition red
and white have been the colours of Hansa league.
There is another detail, I cannot recognize properly. I can't see, whether the eagle has two halves of a torn chain at both feet or they are simply the fourth toes of the eagles claws. If it was a torn chain, than the flag could belong to the Hanseatic Legion, a militia that joined the alliance against France in times of French occupation(1810-1813). You can see a flag of that militia in "Die Welt in Bildern, Band 8, Historische Flaggen" p.48, image 176. The depicted flag is white with a golden border of fringes. In the middle is a red Latin cross with a golden "1813" upon the horizontal crossbar. In the hoist corners there are eagles of Lübeck with their tales pointing to the flags corners. Below the cross is a golden inscription (half circle) "Deutschland oder Tod!" (Transl.: Germany or death).
Source: Alfred Znamierowski (2001): "Flaggen Enzyklopädie" , Bielefeld 2001; ISBN 3-7688-1251-0, p.80-81
Otfried NEUBECKER: "Fahnen und Flaggen", Leipzig 1939
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 June 2007
From the image alone it is basically impossible to know what
this flag is. One would have to do some (at least superficial) analysis of the
textile material and the colours etc. to find out the age of the flag first. It
is quite probable that it is not a true military flag, but some flag of a
veterans' association or the like. These are single items and therefore
difficult to identify.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 12 July 2007
by Michael Smuda
I spotted the attached flag in an antique store here in Woodland. It is
unidentified and is priced at $50.00 US. It is a swallowtail. Starting at the
hoist are red, white and blue vertical bands approx 4-1-4 to about half the
lenght. The tail portion is divided into red, white and blue horizontal bands at
about the same ratio of 4-1-4. I didn't get exact measurements, if they are
important I can go back.
Michael P. Smuda, 12 August 2004
I believe the flag is actually a yacht club pennant from a Bay area club. I'm
not sure which one. This info is only slightly better than a guess, I just
recall seeing a similar scheme on yachts in SF bay.
Annie Ogborn, 18 October 2006
During BBC coverage of the Open at Troon (Scotland) I noticed a flag on the
clubhouse flag pole which seemed to be a
White Ensign with crossed golf clubs in the bottom left hand quadrant. I
suspect it might have a connection to Duke of York who is president(?) of the
Royal & Ancient but haven't found anything to confirm this. Can any of your
experts shed any light on this?
Jim Drysdale, 21 July 2004
I frequently see a flag on a house in my neighbourhood that is decidedly
out of place. It looks like a standard Czech flag, but has a single rather large
5-pointed white star in the middle of the blue triangular field.
Martin H., 28 June 2004
It looks a lot like Texas too.
Roger Yonkin, 09 January 2006
Looking for assistance in identifying the shipping line for which the Cadzow
Forest sailed. She was a bark, built in Glasgow, Scotland, by Russell & Co. in
1878 and hauled cargo between Britain and Australia from 1878-1896. She was
eventually wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia River (USA) in 1896. The flag is
described as "A house flag, of a white ground, with a red cross edged with blue,
and blue letters.
George Hubbs, 29 April 2004
I've seen a flag, hoisted on a big motorboat, in the Netherlands. It's a
black flag, with a yellow rectangle in the middle. I hope you know where this
flag stands for.