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Ethiopian Roundel

Last modified: 2006-04-29 by
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1935 Roundel

In the pre-Italian-occupation era (1924-1936) the Imperial Ethiopian Aviation was formed in 1935 and dissolved in 1935 (or 1936). They used a green-yellow-red triband both as "roundel" (1:2) and rudder stripes (1:1) (Cochrane & Elliott, 1998, [cos98])

Dov Gutterman, 12 June 2004

Concering the first markinks of Ethiopia, I located a piece in Insignia at saying: "No markings were carried on the wings of rudder at this stage, but by the time of the Italian occupation rudder stripes had been added and the inscription and Lion of Judah removed. Rudder stripes consisted of equal horizontal stripes of (from top) Green, Yellow and Red. Other aircraft in the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force carried a rectangle on the wing surfaces in Green, Yellow and Red, but it is not known if the Potez 25s did." So it confirms [cos98] report.

Dov Gutterman, 16 June 2004

1946-1974 Roundel

[Ethiopian roundel] by Zeljko Heimer, 18 October 2001

In 1946 the new Imperial Ethiopian Air Force was founded (Ye Ethiopia Ayer Hail or Ye Ithopya Ayer Hayl) and adopted a new roundel (no fin flash): Six points star with 3 rays touching the yellow intrim circle (those in 12,~4 and ~7 o'clock) while the other three had shorter rays.
See photos: and more on the same site

Dov Gutterman, 12 June 2004

1974-1985 Roundel

[Ethiopian roundel] by Zeljko Heimer, 18 October 2001

In Flaggenmitteilung no. 108 (April 1985) I found this air force roundel.

Six points star, with the rays of the same size touching the yellow circle. It is the roundel used from 1974 til 1985. No fin flash. See based on (Cochrane & Elliott, 1998, [cos98]).
However I checked a lot of photos of EAF and not a single photo with such a star. I found the previous star, I found the 5 points star but no 6 points star. It seems the [cos98] is also not so sure about it as he only report: "the design of the central yellow marking has been changed several times. It is currently a simple 5 points star". No dates, no description....nothing more.
Also, the photo at shows an F-5 that left the service in 1984 with 5 points star.
I would take this roundel as suspected or used for short time after the revolution and replaced shortly afterwards.

Dov Gutterman, 12 June 2004

1985-1996? Roundel

[Ethiopian roundel] by Zeljko Heimer, 18 October 2001

The [no more] current Ethiopian roundel has the classical concentric pattern, green - yellow - red, but with thin green and yellow rings.
Source: Album des Pavillons, correction # 30, July 1998.

My speculation that such a roundel was maybe used either in 1974 (after the revolution and to erase the "imperial star until new roundel adopted) or by some rebals....(Eritrean ?)

Dov Gutterman, 12 June 2004

Modern Roundel

[Ethiopian roundel] by Zeljko Heimer, 29 August 2001

Green yellow red roundel with yellow fivepointed star in the central disk. The diameters of disks are approximately 4:3:2. The star does not reach quite the edge of the yellow disk. It must have been changed since, possibly in 1996 when the current flag was adopted, too.
Zeljko Heimer and Armand du Payrat [pay00], 29 August 2001

Nevertheless, a five points star was adopted sometime in or after 1974 and still in use today.
See Many photos of this roundel:

Wheeler, 1986, [whe86] also show the 5 points star. Even thou published in 1986, I can't imagine that info on small change in some African roundel in 1985 could reached him befoe printing...

Dov Gutterman, 12 June 2004