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Unidentified Flags or Ensigns (2013) - Page 2

Flags submitted in 2013 - 2 of 4 pages

Last modified: 2018-01-05 by pete loeser
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags | 2013 |
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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.

Identification Key:

= Positive ID (Positive Identification)
= Tentative ID (Tentative Identification)
= Some Speculation

Unidentified Flags on Page 1:

  1. Soviet Sailors with Unknown Japanese Flags
  2. World War II Japanese Pennants
  3. Qatar military flags
  4. UFE Israeli Political Flag on BBC News
  5. Morocco: green-white-green?
  6. Unknown Japanese or Chinese Maritime Flag
  7. Unidentified Spanish flag
  8. Zolfaghar Tank Flag (Iranian)
  9. UFE Third Reich
  10. Unknown Sao Paulo Revolutionary Flag
  11. Possible Canadian Headquarters Flag
  12. Unknown DFC Pennant
  13. Unknown British West Africa flag
  14. Shell Oil Pin
  15. Venture II Pennant
  16. Queen Eleanor Defaced Ensign
  17. Unknown Russian Flag
  18. Unknown Waffen-SS Commanders Flag
  19. Strange Confederate Battle Flag
  20. Unfamiliar Myanmar Military Flags
  21. Possible German Municipal Flag
  22. Flag in German Travel Magazine

Unidentified Flags on this Page:

  1. Unidentified historical flag (likely Tuscan)
  2. Unknown Eagle Pennant (US)
  3. British East India Company War Flag (GB)
  4. British Attachment on American 35-Star flag?
  5. John Brown's Flag
  6. Another flag from Hungary
  7. TM Military Flags?
  8. Prussian WWI Parade Standard
  9. Salcombe-built Schooner Flags
  10. Five Pakistani Military Flags
  11. Orange and Green Flag

Unidentified Flags on Page 3:

  1. UFE Belgium Flag
  2. Variant PKK/KKK Flag (Kurds)
  3. Unknown Ensigns
  4. Fictional flags
  5. Imperial Russian Navy Flags
  6. Unknown Flag in Washington D.C.
  7. Red Pennants against a Blue Sky
  8. Unknown Flag in Libya
  9. Unknown Japanese Flag
  10. Unknown Yacht Club/Shipping Line Pins
  11. Unknown Burgee

Unidentified Flags on Page 4:

  1. Flag Outside a Church in Brazil
  2. Strange Anarcho-Syndicalists Flag
  3. RAN/RCN Mystery Pennant
  4. Unknown Hamas flag
  5. Hezbollah, Iraq-Lenanon, ISIS Flag?
  6. Unknown Eurasian flag
  7. German Military Flag (WWII)
  8. Chuvash or Volga-Ural UFE

Unidentified Flags on other pages


13-23. Unidentified historical flag (likely Tuscan) Positive ID

Image from Julie Morton, 11 May 2013

Hi, I work for a costume frame shop in Scottsdale AZ. This antique flag is currently in our shop. I'm wondering if you can help me date it. It's quite large and marked "Tuscan Ensign" on the top border.
Julie Morton, 11 May 2013

It is clearly similar to historical Tuscan flags, but has some significant variations in the coat of arms
Rob Raeside, 12 May 2013

The coat-of-arms surprises me a little, since it shows wrong tinctures. For example:

  • the third quarter (red and white diagonal stripes) should in fact be blue and yellow stripes with a red border to represent the coat-of-arms of Burgundy.
  • the first quarter (horizontal blue and white stripes) should be red and white to represent the old coat-of-arms of Hungary, and only on one half.
  • the inescutcheon, or smaller coat-of-arms, makes me think that the maker misunderstood the remaining half of the first quarter, which normally shows a white double cross on a green hill, that is to say the modern coat-of-arms of Hungary.
  • the fourth quarter (two golden keys) may show some papal connection, but the real coat-of-arms shows two golden fishes for the duchy of Bar (now a French city).
I may simply be wrong, but all these striking similarities make me think this is just a totally defective flag. Heraldry is always tricky to understand, so that wouldn't be really surprising. Here is the correct depiction of the coat-of-arms of the Grand-Duchy of Tuscany.
Corentin Chamboredon, 12 May 2013

I had had similar experiences with Spanish 18th century military colours (Habsburg era), spotted in the Museum of Sta. Cruz de Tenerife. There it was the exception that all the quarters had their proper tinctures. Some of them, and of course not always the same quarters, were wrong at least on one of the colours. Thus I am not really surprised.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 May 2013

Thank you for the information. The owner of this flag appreciates it as art. I was curious as to it's possible age. It is safe to say this piece is circa 1840?
Julie Morton, 12 May 2013

According to Arnaud Bunel's site, it appears that coat-of-arms was first used in the grand-duchy of Tuscany when Leopold II of Habsburg-Lorraine (1747-1792) received this polity in 1761 after his father's death as an apanage. The coat-of-arms remained in use until the Italian unification in 1860 (minor the Napoleonic wars period, which came with brand new but quickly outdated coat-of-arms). I don't know when this flag was created, but it was between the end of the XVIIIth and the middle of the XIXth centuries.
I think this is the same flag shown on FOTW: The thing is that the tinctures are wrong, and the guns aren't very clear on our images, but they are on wikipedia's image.
Corentin Chamboredon, 12 May 2013

Oh I see. So it's possible the blues were once purple?
Julie Morton, 12 May 2013

The blue stripes seem too clear to me. I don't think they could have waned in such a manner. If it had been the case, the other colours would even be paler, which is contradicted by their quite bright shades.
Corentin Chamboredon, 12 May 2013


13-24. Unknown Eagle Pennant (US) Some Speculation

  
Images from Vicci Mills, 13 May 2013

I am so glad to have found your site and your lists of flag history is quite impressive. After weeks of searching for answers to this flag I was hoping you could help me identify it or provide any leads. It measures 70 inches long. I got it with some yacht burgees and the man who owned them had passed, but served in the marines.
Vicci Mills, 13 May 2013

Regarding the Unknown Eagle Pennant, if you look at the eagle in the hoist of the pennant it is clearly cannibalized from a U.S. Virgin Islands flag. My surmise is that this is an civilian "American" pennant made for a pleasure vessel of the yachting public. Likely someone wanted an eagle & stripes pennant. It bears no resemblance to any "official" U.S. government pennant. My best guess is some flag maker made this on the cheap by cannibalizing a printed eagle instead of appliquing an eagle from scratch.
Jim Ferrigan, 4 June 2013


13-25. British East India Company War Flag (GB) Positive ID

This flag has been identified as the Gridiron Jack of the English India Company.


13-26. British Attachment on American 35-Star flag? Some Speculation


Image from Norman Rozeff, 24 May 2013

My antique merchant brother in Maine cleaned out an estate there. Among the items was an American Civil War era flag of 35 stars. Sewn to one side of it was the flag shown in the attachment. It is not something either of us recognized. Do you know what this flag is and its purpose?
Norman Rozeff, 24 May 2013

I have a few clarification questions to help in the identification process.

  1. Was the flag two-sided and you removed it to take the photo?
  2. Could you provide a picture of the 35-Star flag it was attached to?
  3. What was the orientation of the attached flag on the 35-star flag, and could you perhaps provide a photo of it laying in place?
At present I am personally leaning towards it being a flag of the EIC, but what it would be doing flying in American Civil War waters is a conundrum to me, perhaps as a privateer prize?
Pete Loeser, 1 June 2013

The flag is 15" 5/8" by 11 1/2 " the star section measures 6" wide by 5 1/2". With the flag field facing left the cross side is on that side. The back side rear is all red. They are sewn on both the rear and front of the flag covering the stars. The stars are 5 row of 7 stars. It is hand sewn over the star field and the white section is sewn over the red field like applique. That makes a red cross with the white looking like arrow heads. It is only one flag. So the flag was two sided and then cover up with red and the white put on like applique. I cannot remove the applique without damaging the flag. It was difficult to count the stars. I used a light to back light the field of stars.
Robert Rozeff, 2 June 2013

Someone created a complicated entity with these flags.
Norman Rozeff, 2 June 2013

It sounds like somebody covered up the canton of a 35-star US Flag with a modified British Union on the obverse side and a plain red canton on the reverse side. I continue to suspect a EIC flag.
Pete Loeser, 3 June 2013

Looks like someone making a Grand Union Flag out of a Stars and Stripes. but they haven't added the blue (yet). I could imagine a sympathiser of the United Stated living in the Confederate States to do so to hide his Stars and Stripes. I'm not sure what to think of it if it's from Maine.
Plus, this is not the number of stars from the start of the war, so it would have had to be either made or purchased during the war, or brought up to date, which I also find somewhat unlikely for someone living in the Confederate States.
Maybe it's not so much hiding the S&S, but a post-war project using an outdated S&S to create a Grand Union, with the obverse having been done to the point where they needed blue, and the reverse not having progressed beyond the red field.
It would still be interesting to know what kind of pattern the stars have, though.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 3 June 2013

One thought that comes to my mind re the above suggestion is that someone might have figured that it would be easier to create a theatrical prop for a revolutionary-era historical drama or pageant by just sewing a new canton over an existing US flag rather than creating a new flag from scratch. Perhaps the planned placement of the prop would not show the reverse. Why no blue in the canton? As Peter Hans suggested, perhaps the projected play or pageant fizzled before the flag was finished or maybe the creator decided it was close enough as it was (it might have been intended to be displayed draped and not fully extented, so the omission would not be so glaring).
Ned Smith, 3 June 2013

 20th Maine Regiment  34-Star flag

While researching information on the 13th and 15th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiments formed in December 1861 in Augusta, Maine, I started looking for images of the units. They were part of the invasion force here in south Texas in November 1863. By chance I came across the regimental flag for the Maine 20th. It is attached as is a 34 star flag used by a Maine Regimental unit.
I now suspect that what you have is a Maine Regimental flag that had sewn over the regular American one. That would make sense having been found in Maine.
Your sewn over American flag was next in line to the 34 star one shown here.
Norman Rozeff, 19 June 2013

There is another possibility: US Flags, especially hand-wavers like this one (it is certainly not related to any military color given its size) were well overstocked by the end of the Civil War in 1865. Just a decade later the nation was in the thralls of the Centennial Celebration and the so-called "Grand Union" was a very popular flag. Covering up the canton of a surplus US flag is my suspicion but that's all it is. As to the color irregularity, many newspapers published black & white images only. Someone who did not read the print very carefully may have simply made a mistake. Any way this plays very well into Ned's "play or pageant" theory and I agree it is the most likely scenario. I have seen weird flags used in that way before.
In my opinion, there is a zero possibility of it being the East India Co. flag.
Dave Martucci, 21 June 2013

Taking this possibility a step further - if this flag was intended for use in a photo of a Centennial celebration in 1876, then the appearance of the reverse of the canton wouldn't matter and the actual color wouldn't matter in that B&W era.
Ned Smith, 23 June 2013


13-27. John Brown's Flag Tentative ID

Image from Dan Coppock, 4 June 2013

I'm doing a bit of an impromptu research project on Union flags in the Civil War. I came across a daguerreotype of John Brown holding a flag of the "Subterranean Pass Way" but you can't see much of the design of the flag. I was wondering if you'd ever come across it or know what it would look like.
Dan Coppock, 4 June 2013

This is a new one for me. I am familiar with two flags associated with John Brown. One claims to be the flag used by John Brown at Harper's Ferry in 1859 and the other was simply a white flag used by a couple of his followers, including a son I believe, who were killed trying to surrender carrying it.
I have never heard of a flag called the "Subterranean Pass Way" flag. It would help if you forwarded a picture of the daguerreotype you are referring to so we have a visual to work from.
Pete Loeser, 4 June 2013

Thanks for following up on this, some ancestors of mine were in the raid and others were involved in the Underground Railroad, so it would be neat to see the standard they fought for.
Here's the picture I came across; and it's the only reference I know of to the flag of the organization, so I don't know how accurate the description of it is.
Dan Coppock, 4 June 2013

I have seen the photo before but just what the flag is, no one knows for sure. The famous auctioneer Wes Cowan states it is the “Subterranean Pass Way” flag in an Auction catalog from December 2007, but does not give any references, so I do not know what that was based on. (photo only)
I have not researched the "Subterranean Pass Way" in any meaningful way so don't know much about it. Frankly, I have studied this photo in the past and never came across the "Subterranean Pass Way" before.
Dave Martucci, 4 June 2013

Although this identifies the flag, does anybody know anything about what this flags design was, or the historical context of the SPW (Subterranean Pass Way)? Apparently it was either a militant version of the underground railroad, or a political organization or party founded by Brown.
Pete Loeser, 4 June 2013

Text from the Wes Cowan auction website: "An oversized plate, housed in a pressed leather case, with a simple purple silk pad, stamped in black Washington Gallery. Hartford CT inside a ribbon surround, and below in block letters Washington Galery [sic]. Hartford, CT. The image framed by a heavy stippled brass, arch-topped mat; the preserver likely from a later 1860s-70s image. The plate itself marked 'O' in one corner.
In the other Washington studio portrait, Brown wears the same outfit and raises his right hand as if taking an oath while he grasps a standard in his right hand. This is the flag of the S.P.W., the 'Subterranean Pass Way,' Brown's militant counterpart to the Underground Railroad In that composition, the lower face and right hand are slightly out of focus with movement as Brown lifts his arm and nods his head forward a bit. It exhibits considerable damage; vertical and horizontal 'wipes' mar the plate in numerous areas. Both daguerreotypes are house in pressed leather cases, each with a simple purple silk pad, stamped in black italics "Washington Gallery. / Hartford CT" and below in block letters 'WASHINGTON GALERY [sic]/ HARTFORD, CT.'"
I´m trying to get a usable image of the flag, and find out a little about the SPW, since only Dave has heard about it before now.
Pete Loeser, 5 June 2012

I looked at those images, but the image is indistinct, colored and flawed so I do not we will ever discern a design for the flag in that image. I have never heard of this organization before, but I will look around.
James Ferrigan, 5 June 2013

Since Brown rejected the pacifist approach of most abolitionists, he wanted to differentiate his more militant strategy from their "Underground Rail Road" and labeled his plans "The Subterranean Pass Way" See Fergus Bordewich's webpage "John Brown's Subterranean Pass-Way" (January 14th, 2006)

From Bordewich's excellant overview: "JOHN BROWN believed that God himself had ordained him to bring an end to slavery. Achieving his goal hinged on a radical and deeply secret scheme: the establishment of an 'Underground Pass-Way' that would extend the Underground Railroad more than a thousand miles southward through the Appalachian Mountains into the heart of the Deep South. This highway to freedom would drain the South of slaves, Brown believed; they would travel north to the free states protected by strongholds manned by armed abolitionists and freed slaves. Few abolitionists knew what Brown really had in mind. Brown's dreams ended in the debacle at Harper's Ferry.
What was John Brown's Subterranean Pass-Way? As Brown envisioned it, it would be an underground highway that would reach 2,000 miles all the way down through the Appalachian Mountains through Virginia and Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and into the Deep South, as far as Georgia. It was the vision that Brown had in mind when he marched into Harper's Ferry in 1859."
It would thus probably be more accurate to refer to his SPW as a plan or a strategy then as a formal organization.

While it is difficult to make out the design on his flag, it does appear to follow a standard model for many American military and militia flags of the period - assuming that image enhancements haven't created details not really there. Many such flags were similar to the example shown at the official US Army webpage having the national coat of arms on a blue field.
Ned Smith, 5 June 2013

The more I study the circumstances of this photo and the timeline of John Brown's career, the more skeptical I get about auctioneer Cowan's description of it as the "flag of the Subterranean Pass Way." I'm even a bit skeptical of whether it was "John Brown's flag" at all, except in the mundane sense that he was holding it in a well-known portrait.
First, as I already mentioned, the Subterranean Pass Way was a strategy, not an organization. Secondly, even if Brown had decided to produce a flag for his strategy, the plan was a product of the 1850s, while the daguerreotype was shot in the photostudio of Augustus Washington in 1846. Two portraits of Brown were known to have been made by Washington. One was a conventionally posed portrait, the other a portrait seemingly posed to record Brown's militancy and determination. That one included a flag, but there is no evidence to conclude that it was Brown's property, rather than a conventional prop supplied by the studio, or one brought in just for the occasion.
I think we ought to be very cautious in labelling this flag until more evidence surfaces.
Ned Smith, 6 June 2013

Well, it would eventually have been an organisation of people who defended those strong points along its way. Somebody very determined and thinking very far ahead might indeed have created a flag for what was not yet anything more than a one-man movement. So it might be possible.
I'll mention here that I'm not sure whether he's supposed to be swearing by that flag or whether he is forbidding passing on this way, under that flag.
Has Mr. Washington portrayed others in a determined stance? Maybe there are other pictures where this flag shows.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 June 2013

That is certainly true; I don't deny the possibility. It is just that unless more evidence surfaces, it would be rash to assume Cowan's label is accurate. Also, even if the movement in the 1850s did have a flag, it would also be rash to assume it was the same flag shown in the 1846 daguerreotype. And the same would apply to two other organizations led by Brown: (1) the League of Gileadites which he organized in 1850 to resist enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, and (2) the guerilla band he led in "Bleeding Kansas" later in the decade.
In referrence to your question about Mr. Washington portraying others in the same determined stance? it is an interesting suggestion and I'll try googling it.
Ned Smith, 6 June 2013

To summarize, at the moment we have identified the flag as one being held by John Brown in the daguerreotype, thus giving it a "John Brown's flag" label, but are unsure that it is connected with his "Subterranean Pass Way" movement, or are even sure of it's exact design (other than looking like a standard used by the period military). It therefore looks condemned to be assigned to my dreaded Sargasso Sea of "Tentative IDs" for the moment, rats...
I will, however, contact Fergus Bordewich, and ask for some of his input to this discussion if he is willing. He is a well-respected expert on John Brown, perhaps he can help with this conundrum.
Pete Loeser, 6 June 2013

For what it's worth, at the secret convention Brown convened in Chatham, Ontario, in 1858 to draw up a provisional constitution for his proposed anti-slavery government of the US, the following was adopted as part of Article XLVI: "...our flag shall be the same that our fathers fought under in the Revolution." [the claim in that article that Brown and his followers didn't seek to overthrow federal or state governments strikes me as a bit disingenuous in light of what is known of Brown's goals]
I did find more daguerreotypes by Augustus Washington online, but nothing comparable to the portrait of John Brown holding the flag. The closest was an image was of Liberian Senator Edward J. Roye being sworn in, but that was either the formal ceremony, or a recreation of it, and no flag was evident. (Source: American Colonization Society at Assata Shakur Forum)
Ned Smith, 7 June 2013

You've got to love "...our flag shall be the same that our fathers fought under in the Revolution," don't you. Let's see, how many one-of-a-type flags would that be...
Pete Loeser, 8 June 2013

Oh, I expect that very few would qualify, unless the fathers of everyone at the convention fought in the same unit. But it's interesting to see that the fathers of all present fought in a war eighty years earlier. I wonder if American wars breed longevity. But indeed, it would be interesting to have an estimate for the number of flags used by the (eventual) United States in their War of Independence.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 8 June 2013

Well, that depends - if John Brown and his associates were speaking as vexillological scholars the number might be quite high; if they were speaking as members of the 99.9999999% rest of humanity than it would be one... the stars and stripes.
Ned Smith, 9 June 2013

Following further research, unlike my easrlier skepticism I find that Brown apparently did talk of his "Subterranean Pass Way" before the 1850s, although he did no concrete actions to carry it out until later. So he might have designed a SPW flag at the time the daguerreotype was made. That still doesn't mean that is the likely identity of the flag in the image under discussion.
One author, who had met Brown, stated decades later that Brown had an additional daguerreotype made around 1850. This one showed Brown with an African-American, John Thomas, who was holding a "small banneret lettered S.P.W." [John Brown and his Men Richard J. Hinton, 1895, p. 27] Modern scholars have not found evidence of the existence of this daguerreotype and some have reservations about the overall accuracy of many of Hinton's recollections.
For whatever it is worth, if Hinton's claim is true, the flag held by Brown in the surviving daguerreotype would seem to be too large to likely be described as a "small banneret", and whatever design it carried, the most prominent feature on it does not seem to be SPW.
Ned Smith, 9 June 2013

First, I hesitate to give you my definitive opinion on the flag because all my John Brown reference materials are currently in storage, and difficult of access. However, I believe that there is a full discussion of the flag in David S. Reynolds's excellent recent book "John Brown, Abolitionist." It's easily available. Reynolds himself teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, and should be easy to reach, if necessary.
That said, the flag was not a studio prop. It was a standard with meaning for Brown, and those he sought to lead. The Underground Pass-Way was not a movement; it was a highly speculative plan for militarizing the Underground Railroad, and extending it far into the South. The Harper's Ferry raid was an abortive attempt to put this into action. (Though by the time the raid took place, I think Brown knew the larger plan was unrealistic, and was bent on martyrdom.) I don't think anyone knows what the flag looked like unfurled, but I may be wrong; Reynolds would know.
You are already aware of my essay on the Pass-Way on my website (under the blog). There is also a discussion of the Pass-Way in my book Bound for Canaan, which puts it (and Brown) in the context of the larger Underground Railroad.
Fergus M. Bordewich, 11 June 2013

I looked up David Reynolds´ book on Amazon. With the help of "Look Inside", page 87 notes: "The banner [?] may be inscribed with the initials S.P.W."
Dan Coppock, 12 June 2013

I contacted David Reynolds about UFE13-27 "John Brown's Flag" and he recommended I get in touch with Louis DeCaro, who he identified as an excellent John Brown biographer. I did as suggested and received this reply:

"In response to the note to David, I would be happy to make some comments.

First, as a long term researcher and biographer of John Brown, I have never heard of the flag allegedly brought to Harper's Ferry by John Brown. On one level, it makes sense that Brown might have a flag, considering his extensive use of formality and military protocol, such as preparing and publishing a constitution, holding elections for a provisional government, and issuing certificates of military commission to his officers. His provisional constitution states that their flag would be the same as the nation's flag. On the other hand, I've never once seen a reference to any flag brought to Harper's Ferry. I am acquainted with many details referencing everything from gunpowder to whistles brought to the Ferry, as well as what was left behind in John Brown's Maryland headquarters, but have never seen reference to a flag. I don't know where the Douglass Memorial home got the flag, but unless the current archivist/caretaker can provide provenance, I'm more than skeptical of its alleged origin as a John Brown flag.

Second, as to the Subterranean Pass Way flag, we have only one reference, found in Richard J. Hinton's book, John Brown and His Men, published late in the 19th century. Hinton was a Kansas associate of JB and is often dismissed by historians because he does have errors in his book and depends at times on unreliable sources. However, he was both an eyewitness and insider and his book can be very helpful if used wisely. Hinton speaks of a daguerreotype taken of Brown with his black associate, Thomas Thomas, in which the latter was holding a "banneret" labeled "S.P.W." for subterranean pass way (p. 27). Unfortunately that dag has been lost, but we have the more famous portrait of JB taken at the same setting, with JB alone holding the banneret and other hand upraised, both done by Augustus Washington. (The latter was quite choreographed since Brown would have to have held the banner in his right hand and raised his left hand for the portrait, since daguerreotypes reverse the image - in this case creating an image of him with his right hand upraised.) We are sure the extant dag is from the same session and this was the "banneret" blazoned with 'S.P.W.' I believe a little of the lettering is ever so slightly visible.

It is not clear whether SPW was a Brown invention, but I suspect it was the terminology in use in the earlier part of the 19th century. We should recall that in the 1840s, the literal railroad was only beginning to develop, and so the metaphor for escaping slaves had not yet been updated to 'railroad.' Brown lived in Springfield, Mass. from 1846-49 and made a lot of contacts with antislavery people, whites and blacks, and worked with people who assisted fugitives from slavery in the Connecticut valley, just as he had in eastern Ohio. I suspect the dag of JB was supposed to be featured along with the other one taken with him and a black man, perhaps to be used in the carte-de-visite format of the day. Recall that JB also founded a militant resistance movement in reaction to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, but he probably already had some kind of militant organization in mind in the later 1840s when the pic was taken. The flag or banneret never appears anywhere else, not even in reference. So I think it was more of a prop than an actual banner employed by Brown, although perhaps it was a prototype for the kind of organization he had in mind.

Image from the Gilder Lehrman Collection

You should be aware that there is an actual flag that you've overlooked, and it is held in the Gilder Lehrman Collection, housed at the NY Historical Society. This was not Brown's but it came from antislavery Ohio and was probably familiar to him and his sons.

Louis A. DeCaro, Jr., 15 June 2013"
So, although we seem no closer to the actual design or identity of the flag, we do seem to be learning more about John Brown's movement and a bit about his use of flags.
Pete Loeser, 15 June 2013

[Reference the information provided by Louis A. DeCaro, Jr.] If I read this correctly, it means we're seeing the reverse of the flag, mirrored, since it appears to be the obverse, [but] I've not seen anyone else confirming that they saw the "banneret" blazoned with "S.P.W."; could you point out where? If there's information that makes certain that these two dags were from the same sessions, we can be almost certain that we're seeing the SPW banneret; Brown would have had to lug around multiple flags with the intention of having several unrelated dags made, for this to be untrue.
"Banneret" to us has a specific meaning, but the word may merely have been intended to describe a not too large, rather square type of flag.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 31 August 2013


13-28. Another flag from Hungary Some Speculation

Image from Clayton Horner, 11 June 2013

A swallowtail Hungarian flag with the arms.
Clayton Horner, 11 June 2013

Obviously a hand-waver, and probably no more, but I have been asked for background.
Rob Raeside, 11 June 2013

Perhaps a tiny flag on the pin as the "staff", worn like a badge? Looks too small, and not flexible enough for proper waving. The surface it is put upon looks like a carpet, or one of those pads the pins are put upon when arranged in a collection.
Tomislav Todorovic, 11 June 2013


13-29. TM Military Flags? Positive ID

Image from Jose Antonio Jimenez Ruiz, 9 June 2013

On Wikipedia [a helicopter tows] what seem to be the flags of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan. Perhaps from top to bottom: the national flag, the flag of Air Force, the Army flag and the flag of the Navy?. Does anyone have news on these flags? Do [we] have pictures in FOTW-gifs?
Jose Antonio Jimenez, 9 June 2013

Jose is correct and the images can be found on Wikipedia under the Flag of Turkmenistan.
Jeroen van Leeuwen, 18 November 2015


13-30. Prussian WWI Parade Standard Positive ID

obverse     reverse
Images from William Garrison, June 20, 2013

This was identified as a rare German-Prussian World War I era parade standard on e-Bay. It reads: "This is an original parade standard from the WW1 era (1914-1918) and not a replica or reproduction. It measures approx. 45 x 48 inches and has 8 pole loops. The standard features high quality German bullion embroidery and has silver fringe on 3 sides. There are some small moth holes as shown in the photos. This is a two sided standard and both sides are shown in detail. It is in very good to near excellent condition - great condition for its age." [Details in Question]
William Garrison, June 20, 2013

The SPD celebrated recently its 150th anniversary. But 150 years ago its predecessor was established, a so-called Arbeiterverein. This flag is probably affiliated with the German Labourers´ Movement. As the colours are black-white-red, I am in doubt, whether its from the 1920s. I guess, its older. In case of doubt, ask Marcus! He is the specialist in party flags.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 20 June 2013

Definitely far from SPD! Although I am (kind of) a specialist in party flags, this does not refer to individual flags of the Weimar era, such as this one.
The "RVA" refers to the Reichsbund vaterländischer Arbeiter- u. Werkvereine, a right-wing workers' association close to the right-extreme DNVP, thus the black-white-red.
I do not find much online about the RVA, especially Wikipedia lacks an article on it. As far as I understand, the RVA was founded in 1924; probably dissolved (gleichgeschaltet) in 1933.
A similar flag can be found on the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum website in Leipzig
Marcus Schmöger, 21 June 2013

It's a square banner with a fringe along three sides. The front has three horizontal stripes black-white-red, approximately 2:3:2. In the upper hoist, within the black, is a white outline of an iron cross, bearing in white, from top to bottom, a crown, a "W", and a year. The latter looks like 1914, but I lack the necessary detail.
In the white the text "Verband Groß-Berliner Arbeiter- und Werkvereine im R. v. A." (wtq) [sz]. The text in red, except for the capitals in red, and those also written or drawn with internal decoration in their loops.
In the lower fly, within the red, a white oval badge with a dotted border along its edge, which may well be stitching. Low in the badge are the letters "RvA"; but the main content is a black mark that at first appears to be a German rune or a house mark, but which actually is a hammer and sword crossed in saltire. This most likely refers to "Hammer und Schwert" - Hammer and Sword - referring to a joint community that includes both workers and soldiers. As such it's a symbol from the political left, end(?) of the second decade of the twentieth century, but in the course of the next decade was used more by right wing organisations and at the end of that decade became a symbol of the Hitler Jugend.
This, the organisational side, is the same for the Leipzig version [the photograph of which we should probably appropriate for easy comparison, if the museum doesn't mind], except that the text there is "Reichsbund vaterländischer Arbeiter- u. Werkvereine e. V. Bezirksverband Leipzich". Apparently the Leipzich branch is a direct part of the RvA, where the Greater Berlin branch is a separate organisation within the RvA.
The unit side of the UFE is blue/grey, with centered the shield of Berlin on a white spanning disk with a narrow gold border. Around that runs a decorative gold border, and on the outside of that two arcs of text in gold: The upper text is indeed "Mit Hammer und Schwert, (wtq); the lower text continues this with "für Heimat und Herd." (wtq) [u"]. So, in all: With hammer and sword for home and hearth. (Heimat/Home is probably to be understood in its sense of "homeland", whereas the Herd/Hearth refers to the individual home.) Another gold border follows the rectangular shape of the flag, with in its corner multi-coloured decoration that I can't see clear enough to determine whether they are more than just bunches of pretty flowers.
The unit side of the Leipzich version is similar in structure, but the field is the Saxon Green over White, it has the Leipzich shield, and the texts are "Für Deutschtum, Tapferkeit", (wtq) [u"] and "Wahrhaftigkeit und Treue." (wtq), plus horizontally on the left of the disk "1912" (wtq) and in the right "1927" (wtq). So: "For Germanness, Bravery, Truthfulness and Loyalty". And the dates appear to indicate fifteen years since a 1912 foundation. Since we don't know why the Saxon colours were sometimes Green over White and sometimes White over Green, the order of the colours probably doesn't help us much. Considering the Leipzich version has the Saxon colours, the Berlin version may have Prussian blue.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 25 January 2016


13-31. Salcombe-built Schooner Flags Positive ID

Image from Roger Barrett, 20 June 2013

Can you help me please? I'm the Chairman of Salcombe Maritime Museum in Devon, England. In the museum we have a collection of paintings of Salcombe-built schooners. Many of them display a flag on the foremast as shown on the attached photos. The flag is red and rectangular and in all cases has an S followed by a number e.g. S106. Do you know what the flags signify?
Roger Barrett, 20 June 2013

I guess the red ensign should not be discussed. On the mizzen mast there seems to be a name pennant resp. a name flag. On the great mast there is a number flag. Such number flags were used by German ship owners for insurance purposes and inorder to be identified by passing ships. This happen in times, when there didn´t yet exist proper house flags of the ship owners. As far as I know, a special ship had no proper number. The number flags only were given for just one sail (and perhaps back).
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

The painting of the Isabella can also be found in high resolution where it is captioned: "Isabella of Salcombe, J. Evans Master entering Smyrna, 1853". The painting does indeed show a red rectangular flag, approximately 2:3, with a red field and in white the text "S.74", and the other example in the image has "S106", but is otherwise identical.
Flags like these are registration flags. Their characteristics are that they have a specific pattern, in this case apparently 2:3, red, white letters and a code starting with S, to which for each individual registration a registration number is added, here "74" and "106".
What kind of registration they indicate differs between places and times, but often they indicate registration of the ship's (maybe even trip's) insurance, or membership of the owner or master in a mutual insurance organisation.
Salcombe did indeed have a mutual insurance, founded in 1811 or 1831. (On the Internet 1811 is more popular but that's because it's in the hundred-fold copied text of Wikipedia.) I don't know what happened to it, but it's likely that it existed at least until the steamships became an economically superior alternative, probably in the last quarter of the 19th century. Since we now have 1853 as an example date, this Salcombe mutual insurance would seem a likely register for this flag.
I expect Roger Barrett has access to local archives and can more easily determine the time frame of the mutual, and whether registration numbers match members lists. I hope we'll hear from him whether this will lead to a successful identification.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 September 2013

I am extremely grateful to you for your very helpful message. You certainly seem to have solved the mystery! Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of information about the Salcombe Shipping Association - apart from annual reports published in local newspapers. These are only very short summaries of the annual meeting held every June in a local pub. There are no references to flags issued by the association. However, I have looked at the pictures we have of Salcombe ships bearing flags of this type and, with one exception (Nellie) the ship's launch date ties in chronologically with the numerical sequence of the flags:

Flag Number
Ship Name
Year Launched
S27
Jessamine
1839
S31
ED
1839
S41
Dolores
1841
S42
Lady Courtenay
1842
S69
Cynosure
1847
S73
Fanny
1850
S74
Isabella
1852
S87
Prothesa
1855
S97
Susan
1857
S105
Ernest
1858
S106
Clara
1858
S122
Willie
1860
S126
Nellie
1867
S127
Marian
1861
S130
Huntress
1862
S133
Erme
1863
S150
Restless
1865
S151
Island Maid
1865
S158
Caroline
1866
S162
Annie
1867
S166
Peggy
1868
S168
Zenobia
1868
S171
Leader
1869
S180
Morning Star
1871

Perhaps Nellie was issued with the code number of an earlier ship that had been lost? The date range is, as you can see, from pre-1839 to 1872. The Shipping Association, usually referred to as the "Salcombe Club" was formed in 1831 and wound up about 1883 when the building of wooden sailing ships largely came to an end in Salcombe. This all seems to confirm that the flag with its "S code" was unique to Salcombe - presumably the "S" stands for Salcombe?
For your information I have attached a list of ships in the Exeter Shipping Association between 1838 and 1844. The penultimate column gives the flag no. of each ship in the "club". The image has been scanned from Vol 2, p100 of "The New Maritime History of Devon", Conway maritime Press, London, 1994.
Roger Barrett Chairman, Salcombe Maritime Museum, 5 September 2013


13-32. Five Pakistani Military Flags

Image from Esteban Rivera

In an article regarding the Pakistan Air Force JF-17 aircraft a picture shows five Pakistani military flags, but only two can be recognized at least optically (on the background, left). The whole picture shows "A JF-17 on display at the IDEAS 2008 defense exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan" (November 24-28). One can also see the flags in a video titled "JF-17 Thunder & Pakistan Nuclear Missiles at IDEAS 2008" and similar flags can be seen at: Military Photos Net forum (see photo here) and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex forum (see photo here).
Esteban Rivera, 24 June 2013


13-33. Orange and Green Flag Some Speculation

Image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 9 July 2013

[Cathy, I missed this one back in 2012 because we had no image, so I squeeze it in here - Sorry, Pete]

Could you please tell me what country or entity, if any, has an orange and green bicolor flag with no other emblems on it? The (one) orange bar and (one) green bar are vertically divided. Also, the orange bar constitutes 1/3 of the flag and the green bar constitutes the other 2/3. There is no white on the flag.
Cathy Nelson, 6 March 2012

I fear I have no direct answer. To the best of my knowledge there's no country flag with a design matching the above. The closest I could think of is a pattern that is rather red and green, the arms-less version of the flag of La Matanza de Acentejo in the Canary Islands. However, to visualise the design, and to allow Cathy to confirm or correct my interpretation of "vertically divided", I drew a version of this design.
I'm also curious about what prompted this question. Is this flag depicted somewhere, was it flying somewhere, has it flashed past on TV? That also might give us an idea of where to look for this flag. Or is the question merely intended to determine whether the pattern is unused or not?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 9 July 2013


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