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Unidentified Flags or Ensigns (2002)

flags submitted in 2002

Last modified: 2010-07-30 by
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags |
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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: .

Identification Key:

Flags on this page

  1. Three Axes Flag at World Cup
  2. Three Lions St.George's Flag
  3. Black-Blue-Black Flag Stickers
  4. Unidentified Singapore Flag
  5. German Tank Flag
  6. German Vehicle Recognition Drapes
  7. "Y" Flag
  8. Walkyrie Flag

Flags on other pages


1. Three Axes Flag at World Cup

Some Speculation

Image from Ivan Sache

During the World Cup final (2002: Brazil vs.Germany), around the 50th minute was seen on TV a white flag with three red axes. It looked more German than Brazilian. Is anyone to identify it?
Ivan Sache, 1 July 2002

The website at http://www.mindspring.com/~debard/bardeleben.htm shows a three-axes flag that might give a lead.
Ewald Mertins, 28 August 2002

Not sure it does; it's a reference to his family arms, and the axes there are black. What we saw was white with three red axes. Do any of the towns mentioned on the page have arms/flag like that?
Al Kirsch, 29 August 2002


2. Three Lions St.George's Flag

Positive ID

Image from Bill Garrison, 29 August 2002

An unidentified flag posted for sale on eBay, 29 August 2002.
Bill Garrison, 29 August 2002

Being square, it looks like a banner of arms, either personal, civic, or corporate.
Joe McMillan, 29 August 2002

I have no definitive citation for you, but the Three Lions St. George flag looks exactly like several I have seen on TV broadcasts of England national team football (soccer) games. One sees lots of variations on the English flag at such events, and I am certain that I have seen this three-lion version as a banner hung from stadium terraces.
Scott Rogers, 20 May 2003

From http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~bcd/rolemaster/novi/her-list.txt, which seems to be a website dedicated to some sort of role-playing game, is this blazon of the arms corresponding to the "three lions St. George" shown here. "Argent, on a cross gules a lion passant between two lions' faces in pale Or.* Corporate Arms of the FOOTBALL LEAGUE, which governs English domestic competition, March 25, 1974. Crest: On a grassy mount a football surmounted by a swift (Apus apus) volant, all proper. Badge: In front of a chain of twelve links in the form of an annulet agent a lion tricorporate the tails of the upper two bodies in chief Or. The Football League banner flies over Wembley Stadium." This would account for Scott Rogers's comment on our page that he'd seen this flag flying at English national matches, although I gather that the role of the Football League is no longer what it once was.
Joe McMillan, 12 May 2004

It may have been the arms then, but it now uses a soccer ball proper surrounded by an azure and gules circular pattern (similar to a bordure compony). Above this is a crest of a lion passant gardant gules, and below are the words "The football league" in sable (that according to a picture in the Rothmans Football Yearbook 2001-2002, anyway). The logo of the English Premier League is simply argent, a lion statant azure, with left front leg lifted, supported by a soccer ball argent and gules. The lion is crowned gules, and is standing on a base vert. The base contains the words "The F.A. Premier League" in argent between two very thin barrulets argent.
James Dignan, 12 May 2004


3. Black-Blue-Black Stickers

Positive ID

Image from John Evosevic

Lately I've noticed a black - medium blue - black, arranged horizontally auto tag on many vehicles in the area around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Anyone know what this means?
John Evosevic, 3 July 2002

The Black-Blue-Black design is usually seen on a policeman's personal car or family members car. It stands for the "thin blue line". There is also a similar one with a red strip for firemen.
Jim Popovitch, 17 August 2002

The black-medium blue-black flag is actually a police mourning band. It is typically worn as a band across the badge when an officer is killed in the line of duty. I have seen it in use more frequently now as a bumper sticker, I believe this is probably a show of respect for the police officers killed on September 11th.
Troy Corwin, 26 September 2002

This design is an identification to notify other law enforcementpeople that the bearer also works in law enforcement. It representsthe "thin blue line, or brother police officer. The identification of fallen officers uses a badge with black tape or a black elastic band around the center. It is usually only worn when an officer dies, and is worn for up to a week after death, not everyday use.
Bob Cunningham II, 8 May 2006

Although this flag already has a positive identification. it is interesting that the British shipping company James Hall, located in Sunderland, had the same black over blue over black horizontal triband. Source: Lloyds flags and funnels, ed. 1912, p.81, image no.925.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 February 2009


4. Unidentified Singapore Flag

[Unidentified 1960-1961 Flag (Singapore)] Image by by O. Myszor

This flag is described as the flag of Singapore in the Polish Yearbook Swiat w Przekroju from 1960/61. I haven't seen it before.
O. Myszor, 20 May 2002


5. German Tank Flag Positive ID

[German tank flag] Image sent by Mary Oldring

Maybe you can help me. I don't know what this is called. This flag was removed from a German Tank in Holland during World War II. Any information you might have would be gratefully appreciated.
Mary Oldring, 11 Oct 2002

I believe that the yellow flag with a blue cross found on a German tank is Swedish. Soldiers from Sweden were fighting on both sides in World War II, so the crew on that tank probably was from Sweden. I have seen that flag as an alternative flag in Sweden before.
Ted Nordin, 24 Aug 2007

This is a pre-World War II German aircraft identification flag, based upon the Nationalist insignia of the Spanish Civil War. It was used by ground units to help friendly aircraft identify vehicles readily from the air. Designed to be stretched over a flat area of the vehicle that faced upwards. It was used in much the same manner as the "^" insignia was used by coalition forces in the Gulf War to prevent friendly units from being mistaken for the enemy.
Ken Bassford, 15 Oct 2009


6. German Vehicle Recognition Drapes

Positive ID

Image by Tom Gregg

I recently received a World War II flag from a US serviceman who obtained it while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge (in Patton's 3rd army). It's approx. 5'x7', a thin cotton, and the black cross is printed on white cloth. One side of the flag has an eyelet on each corner. The pattern is on one side only. I have had no success in finding any likenesses on the web or in books. Would you have any idea as to the history and use of this design?
Grant Olson, December 2002

My father was a B-17 pilot for the 351st Bomb Group out of Polebrook, England. He was shot down on 22 June, 1944, over Rouen, France and became a POW at Stalag Luft III. As the allied forces advanced, they were marched to Mooseberg. In April, they were liberated by Patton's 3rd army. During this time in Germany, he obtained a flag, that I have not been able to identify. It is approx. 3'x6' with a white circle with a black cross in the middle. The cross is similar to the marking found on Me109 and Fw190 German fighters.
Rob, 7 December 2002

This flag was a typical WWII German airplane recognition symbol for tanks. This item was never used as flag, it was only used to save German tanks from friendly fire. During the war there was also the "normal" swastika flag in use for airplane recognition on tanks.
Jörg M. Karaschewski, 23 March 2004

It appears that the long recurring mystery about this flag is solved, or starting to be. Up to now, we have had several reports of similar flag specimens, mostly from the US. The fact that this flag is not documented in any source — at least none has been reported in FOTW — and that most reports came from people browsing or moreover selling such items on the Internet (e.g., eBay) raised suspicion that it was a modern concoction of a flag which was never produced before 1945. I came across the following in Roger James Bender and Warren W. Odegard, "Uniforms, Organization and History of the Panzertruppe", R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose CA, 1980, p. 284:

"In anticipation of recognition problems between the Army and Luftwaffe support units during the upcoming invasion of France and the Netherlands, the German General Staff issued the following order in March 1940.(3)
... A swastika flag and orange smoke are to be utilized by all troops for recognition purposes when in a combat zone. The swastika flag is, according to circumstances, to be spread out on the ground, to be waved to and fro, or to be stretched across a vehicle...
The swastika flag discussed above was either a standard national flag or a special issue flag with a metal grommet at each corner for tying down purposes. Later in the war, the use of the Balken cross flag (white circle with a Balken cross in its center rather than a swastika, on a red field) gradually replaced the swastika flag. It should be noted that these flags were rarely used in the final stages of the war because the Allies held undisputed air superiority over most fronts."
Footnote (3) says: Ob.d.H./Gen.St.d.H./Ausb.Abt. (Ia) Nr. 450/40g vom 8.3.1940. This order was altered slightly by Order #363, dated April 2, 1941, in AHM, April 21, 1941"
So it appears that the so-called Balken cross flag (a) actually did exist, though it was never hoisted as a proper flag, (b) its use started after the 1940 campaign in France, possibly during or after the 1941 invasion of Russia and (c) was not used after, say, mid 1944. (This is probably a reason why Allied veterans could not spot it after Normandy, except for those held as POWs at Stalag Luft camps.)
Santiago Dotor, 25 March 2004

My only question would be, where did Bender and Odegard get their information about the German Vehicle Recognition Drapes for their self-published book? It was published in 1980, and it is my understanding that the only contemporary (1945 era) sources we have that mention any German Vehicle Recognition Drapes indicate only a very brief use of the swastika type. (Bender and Odegard's cited sources actually only mention swastika-type drapes) This recently "discovered" Balkan Cross version (a white circle with a Balkan cross in its center rather than a swastika) is not historically documented, but began to appear in numbers on the American market in the late 1990s and early 2000s, along with a whole rash of claims of "my grandfather" bringing it home to America "after the war." All one can safely say is if they were manufactured in the 1940s, they were never distributed in large numbers before the war's end. One interesting suggestion made is that the originals had been warehoused, and Allied occupation troops found them and brought them home as souvenirs. (See: Falsified postwar "Balkenkreuz" flag for further discussion) Anyway, we can safely say we have positively identified what they are supposed to be, even if we disagree on their true nature.
Pete Loeser, 27 December 2009


7. "Y" Flag Tentative ID

Image by António Martins, 04 May 2000

…similar to one that was displayed in LA when the community center was shot up. This flag someone is flying and my husband thinks it may be an anti-Jewish flag.
US annonymous, Oct 1999

This is either a variation of the swastika symbol, with three legs and barred ends (cf. the Austrian World War II Vaterländische Front and the South African white supremacist Afrikaner Weerstands Beweging) (If it is this one, I bet we’ll found it that it was hoisted upside down — just a semiotic/aesthetical hunch), or it might be some organization somehow related to the letter "Y" (there’s a US racist organization that uses a "W," for "white," in this flag arrangement, but I know none using a "Y").
António Martins, 04 May 2000

New image provided by Rick Prohaska, 31 January 2010

[This new flag image has been identified as a KKK LLC flag (see below), and based on António's 2000 speculation (above) suggesting our original image was upside down, I include it here for your consideration - UFE Editor]

KKK LLC is a separate organization legally registered as a limited liability corporation. They use this symbol as a flag exclusively. There does not appear to be good feelings between them and the other Groups´ leadership, they do appear to be a significant sized organization with chapters in Europe, as well as the US and Canada. Thier demonstrations are now reaching into several hundred "Stormtroopers," instead of the usually handful, and there are dozens of videos of this group available on U-Tube.
Rick Prohaska, 31 January 2010

I believe this red flag with a black symbol on a white disc (a common neo-Nazi design), and the golden border all around, identifies the UFE02-7 after more than 10 years waiting! The symbol consists of a three "T" shaped elements adjoined at their bases so that one is straight up and the others are rotated at right angles, forming a seamless horizontal stroke.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 13 February 2010


8. Walkyrie Flag Tentative ID

Image by Jaume Ollé, 05 Jun 2000

Nazi group Walkyrie (I don’t know what country); source: communication from José Luís Cepero.
Jaume Ollé, 5 June 2000

This may be a current flag used by the Golden Dawn Movement in Greece. (Other groups use similar ones.)
Rick Prohaska, 30 January 2010

Good point: They do use a cross with a circle: Golden Dawn (Political organization, Greece). The snag is that the Golden Dawn Movement always uses a very Celtic-like Cross, and apparently on every single cross they use there is white on it. This may indeed be another group using it.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, January 30, 2010


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