Last modified: 2018-01-18 by pete loeser
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags | 2016 |
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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.
Unidentified Flags on Page 1:
Unidentified Flags on this Page:
Unidentified Flags on Page 3:
Unidentified Flags on Page 4:
Unidentified Flags on Page 5:
Unidentified Flags on other pages:
Image from William Garrison, 28 March 2016
Hopefully you can view the attached jpg. It shows (I believe) three flags of ISIS. The one in the top right seems similar to an ISIS flag, but there appears to be 2 lines near the top of the flag. It may be an ISIS sub-unit flag. My poor eyesight can't read the Arabic.
Source: FP (Foreign Policy) Magazine website; The Middle East Daily, March 28, 2016.
William Garrison, 28 March 2016
Note: I have reduced the image (used above), but retained the area of the image Bill refers to at original size, clipped and pasted in the lower right corner.
Rob Raeside, 28 March 2016
I can't even see three flags. Can we get them indexed, so we know what we're talking about?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 9 April 2016
Image modified by Pete Loeser, 22 April 2016
[Click image to enlarge]
Sure. At first I thought I'd found what may have been a fourth flag that I marked as "D" but on closer examination discovered that what I marked "C" is an enlargement inserted by Rob. So A, B, and D are the three apparent flags mentioned by Bill Garrison. "C" is merely an insert and not part of the picture.
Pete Loeser, 22 April 2016
Erm, do we all agree that this is a cloth on a frame, that most of the top dexter is missing, and that the top sinister folding over, obscuring part of the cloth and showing its own writing in reverse, in colours that strongly suggest the cloth was not meant as a flag?
Whether anything depicted on it also appears as a real flag is a different avenue of research, and I who can't read what it all says am not the right person to go there.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 24 April 2016
I have to say the following: I totally agree with what Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg wrote on April 24, 2016: "...suggest the cloth was not meant as a flag". To me it is just a representation of a real Isis flag and the picture we have is not a proper flag at all. Also, this UFE should be included in our section "Militias and
Esteban Rivera, 21 May 2015
Image from Jens Pattke, 10 April 2016
Here is a photo from Kaesong Industrial District. Can anyone identify the flag? Probably the flag of a South Korean construction company.
Jens Pattke, 10 April 2016
It belongs to the Hyundai Asan Company, who had a part in building the park. There is a variant of this flag as well, minus the logo text, and in Hanja (Chinese characters taken and used for Korean and have Korean pronunciation.)
Zachary Harden, 10 April 2016
Yes, this is a branch flag of the Hyundai Asan Group. See this image of the Kepco flag.
Jens Pattke, 11 April 2016
Image from Esteban Rivera, 10 April 2016
You're not going to believe this: I was just heading to a business appointment here in my city and just passed by a Hyundai dealership of construction machinery and found the Asan logo as well. So I guess this is not a company working only in North Korea, but worldwide.
Esteban Rivera, 18 April 2016
This has been identified as a flag of a British and Irish trade union known as Unite.
Image from Esteban Rivera, 10 April 2016
Today I located this picture (source) which shows on the left the flag of KEPCO (a Korean government electricity company), but on the right, I cannot identify the other flag (it is a green horizontal flag with a yellow "O" and below some inscription in Korean).
The picture was taken in Kaesong, in Pyeonghwa (P'yonghwa-ri: Choson'gul) (literally "peace") (source: Peace Village - North_Korea) subdistrict/village.
Other websites featuring the same image are: Image #1 (source); Image #2 (source); Image #3 (source); and Image #4 (source).
If anybody has further information I'd really appreciate it.
Esteban Rivera, 10 April 2016
Even though I am not speaking Korean, I have been able (hopefully!) to partially translate the Korean characters on this flag. The first one (the flag is viewed from the back) is obscured by the bent flag, but the second is "jae" and that third is "hae", or, more appropriately: 재 and 해, respectievly. Exactly what they mean, I still do not know. Since the Korean characters are syllabic, they may mean many things (I guess).
Using Korean Wikipedia(!), I found both characters on the "industrial disaster" page and the imagery using Google pictures with those two characters is quite overwhelming.
I think it thus may mean something along the lines of "safety" or "disaster (prevention)" or "exist". In fact, the infinitive "(to) exist" is written 존재해, though this can just be coincidence. Clearly, I need to improve my Korean before trying to find unknown Korean flags, as I am no nearer a positive ID on the flag! However, I would like to hope that I helped out a wee bit.
Daniel Lundberg, 3 May 2016
Image by Jens Pattke, 25 May 2017
The flag is the Korean equivalent of the Japanese safety flags. The hangul reads 무재해 (No Accident).
Miles Li, 25 May 2017
As Miles points out, the flag is the 무재해 flag meaning "Zero Hazards" or "Disaster free". In fact, the symbol in the middle stands for numeral "0" (as in zero accidents in the workplace). Indeed further research indicated there seem to be two versions:
Images from Miles Li, 19 April 2016
Attached is a photo, taken at Frankfurt Airport in the then West Germany, some time between 1958 and 1961. It shows, between the flags of KLM and Pan Am, an unidentified airline flag, featuring a white arrowhead symbol on a red globe on a dark blue field. The emblem resembled the cap badges worn by Trans World Airlines flight crews; however as TWA rarely used blue on its liveries, there are doubts as to the actual identity of the flag.
Source: Postcards of the Lockheed Constellation aircraft.
Miles Li, 19 April 2016
After looking at the picture you sent one can see that the aircraft on the foreground is indeed a TWA one, so it is indeed in the TWA terminal of the Frankfurt Airport, which lead us to think that this was the TWA flag. Here's a bigger (picture #1) (source #1) (picture #2) (source #2) [in this last URL it mentions that the postcard was issued 1961 and shows a personal message sent back then, and you can also use a zooming tool in the picture]. The postcard was produced by Krüger.
As you mentioned, the symbol on the flag in the middle looks like the cap badge worn by TWA pilots in the early 1960's as in (this image) (source) suggests. The same postcard appears on the following sites as well:
Images from Randy Young, 19 April 2016
These are the current and previous flags of El Al, respectively, turning the graphics that Esteban
linked from Wikipedia into FOTW-standard graphics.
Meanwhile, I don't think that the 2nd flag in the photo at is El Al. The characters on the flag don't appear to me to be "IAL,"" as the "L" would be turned backwards, "facing" the hoist. That said, it leaves me more confused than ever as to what the symbols/characters in the white stripe could be.
Randy Young, 19 April 2016
My idea is that this flag is of the British BOAC.
Jens Pattke, 19 April 2016
Speculative Image by Pete Loeser, 30 April 2016
In Louisiana, south of New Orleans, today I saw in a rural yard a regular American flag and one rendered in black and yellow... there are places to buy this on line (cap or patch, air freshener, etc.) but no explanation of it... does anyone know what this flag means?
milopyne, 30 March 2016
Seems to be just artwork, without meaning. See electrosky.
Al Kirsch, 6 April 2016
Just a wild thought on this flag: there's a song called "Black and yellow" by American rapper Wiz Khalifa. In the music video of the song, he appears wearing a hat with the Pittsburgh Pirates logo which, by the way, is a capital "P" letter in yellow, with a black background. Also, in the lyrics, he mentions the following: "Black
stripe, yellow paint..." which may be a reference to African Americans (represented by the black
color) in the stripes, as well as the yellow which, in the song, represents gold, money and diamonds.
I'd classify this flag as another Fictional flag similar to the USA national flag.
Esteban Rivera, 10 May 2016
Just found another explanation for the colors: "The song is a reference to the colors of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and their NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Khalifa has stated that he bought a car in those colors because of his allegiance to Pittsburgh and the Steelers. The music video for the song made the connection to Pittsburgh explicit, showing various iconic locations in the city."
Source: Black and Yellow.
Esteban Rivera, 10 May 2016
Image by Pete Loeser, 25 June 2016
The same manufacturer who is selling the Yellow and Black American Flag is now also offering a "retro" version in red, black and yellow. While the yellow and black version has been seen as a physical flag, this red/black/yellow version has thus far only appeared on T-Shirts, serving trays, luggage tags, etc. The meaning of these flags still remains a mystery, other than a way to make some bucks. It will be interesting to see if some group re-purposes these flags and gives them a new meaning other than a way to generate income.
Pete Loeser, 25 June 2016
Looking for a meaning of the Yellow and Black American Flag, it possibly is most likely going to be a flag supporting the New Orleans Saints, another National Football League club. The colors are black and gold (a darker gold, mind you) and avoided the use of the Saints logo due to possible trademark issues. Another thought is that the gold/black combination is used by Vets or by those in the field of Security or Loss Prevention (the prevention of theft in a business).
Zachary Harden, 10 December 2016
Image from Robert Goldman,
Last 4th of July a replica of the Hermione, the ship that Lafayette sailed on his second voyage to America in 1780, was docked at the South Street Seaport on the East River in New York City. I was fascinated by the large flag it was flying. When I inquired I was told that it was a Revolutionary War Era Naval Battle Flag.
The exact flag is not illustrated on the FOTW website, although there are a couple of flags with similar characteristics. This flag had staggered stars of 4, 5 and 4 with 5 red stripes, 4 white stripes and 4 blue stripes. I had never seen a flag with red, white and blue stripes before. It was thrilling to see the ship, it's cannon and the flags it was flying, especially with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. I was wondering if you knew about this flag and its history. Perhaps it is just an inaccurate replica.
I did look at the Serapis Flag and noticed it to be similar to the flag I saw except for the stripe pattern. So I can presume it's a variation of the the Serapis Flag, [...or perhaps even the Arthur Lee Flag]? I couldn't find it.
Robert Goldman, 30 April 2016
Photo from V. Akopyan, 1 May 2016
I am wondering if you can give me any information about this banner I found. It is a three color triangle banner with a star. I could not find the name of company who made it. An attached tag says "Spiegel Novelty Co. Inc. FLAGS BANNERS 103 Nassau St., N.Y.C."
V. Akopyan, 1 May 2016
This is almost certainly a US yacht club flag, but I don't think it is one that we have included in our website yet.
Rob Raeside, 1 May 2016
Can we can get information on the banner V.A. found. Did V.A. find this one hidden in the attic of a derelict house? Or is there provenance that might tells us more of when this was made?
A better description could be: "A triangular burgee with a red hoist and a black fly separated by a narrow flyward white chevron, the red carrying a five-pointed white star with one point pointing down"? Is there a reason not to assume that the flag is upside down with the star normally pointing up?
Strange, as the design elements all seem rather start of last century, so you'd expect it to have been documented somewhere. Even stranger, as their toy shop next door even made it into LIFE magazine (in an ad for Mattel toys). Let's see:
* A Spiegel Novelty Company was incorporated 30 January 1947, and still exists, though now a LLC, currently under one Irnest Spiegel, though not at the right address.
* Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Nov 22, 1979 has a "William Spiegel, president of Spiegel Novelty, a New York flag dealer".
* Billboard 1920 has Spiegel Novelty Co. at 11 Ann Street, New York.
Assuming all these are the same company, we're looking at a pre-1947 flag, as Spiegel Novelty was not yet incorporated.
In the lighting of that photograph the fly seems black. However, a dark blue also often shows up black in a picture. If that were the case here, the burgee might be that of the Bently Yacht Club. A Lloyds Register of American Yachts from the teens of the 20th century would probably show it. And in this case the flag is upside down.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 May 2016
Image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 2 May 2016
Image from Pete Loeser, 7 May 2016
We received an unsigned inquiry with only the following text: "A lapel button, no back, so not even a manufacturer." Apparently the button has a French Flag with a gold star on it, surrounded by 12 gold stars. Perhaps the button was part of an uniform, military, merchant marine, etc.? Any ideas?
Pete Loeser, 7 May 2016
These flags have been identified as those of the Leeward Islands (French Polynesia), Tahaa (French Polynesia), and Tubuai (Austral Islands, French Polynesia).
Image from Gabriel Smit, 5 May 2016
Recently I stumbled on a flag that I cannot identify, not even with your library. It seems obvious it is somehow related to Tibet, likely the Kagyu school. I observed the flag in the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, here in a bit of public greenery. Nothing in the near vicinity provided me any clues, and web searches are thus far also unsuccessful.
Gabriel Smit, 5 May 2016
Looks somewhat like a police star, doesn't it? I don't know about the script; it doesn't look angled enough to be Tibetan to me.
Curiously, the photograph google maps has for that map location seems to have a flag with a bar along the fly edge, rather than the hoist - not something that happens by accident.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 18 May 2016
Not Tibetan: this is Balinese lettering, namely the om-monograph (Also see). In hindsight, Balinese is a good bet for an UFE sighting in A'dam.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2016
Congratulations! I was myself checking various Indian-influenced scripts, since it definitely wasn't Tibetan.
Corentin Chamboredon, 18 May 2016
A similar flag was already reported as a Galungan flag (Balinese holiday) used in Indonesia. [but no star]
Esteban Rivera, 18 May 2015
I believe we can label this as a positive ID, only that it (the flag submitted with the star) is another variant of a Galungan flag.
Esteban Rivera, 21 May 2015
It is indeed, and especially so because in both versions the symbol are placed incorrectly, at least from a typographic point of view: The "ᬑᬁᬵ" symbol should stand upright, roughly resembling the digit "2".
António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 June 2016
Image from William Garrison, 19 April 2016
Hopefully somebody can identify this ISJK flag version [on left]. No attributable source. Caption reads "ISJK Is Coming".
William Garrison, 19 April 2016
This is simply a variant of the IJSK Flag
with the slogan "IJSK is coming" [added for the English speaking West].
Esteban Rivera, 21 May 2015
Images from William Garrison, 20 April 2016
A couple of unknown flags here with Arabic lettering. Source: Both Images. (Original file name of Image #32a was "Islamic Jihad Flag 4" and for Image #32b it was "Hamas Kids Flag Temple Mount").
William Garrison, 20 April 2016
Image from William Garrison, 24 April 2016
I have no idea who/what/where. Only that the E- in the middle line suggests this is Persian script rather than Arabic. Hence, maybe Iranian group (in Syria?). (source)
William Garrison, 24 April 2016
At the Assyrian International News Agency website, this photo (credit line: Ahmad Al-rubaye/AFP/Getty Images) is legended thusly: "Iraqi Sunni fighters from the Jubur tribe hold a flag in front of a house damaged during clashes with the Islamic State in the village of Sharween, northeast of Baghdad, on Jan. 27. The U.S. is trying to get more Sunni tribes to drop their support for ISIS and fight with the Iraqi government and the Americans". (actual photo)
The writing on the flag is in the Arabic script but, as William points out, it doesn't seem the usual Arabic language orthography. It must be then another of the many languages that are usually spelt with Arabic letters, Persian being much less likely than, say, (soranî ) Kurdish. Granted that the Jubur tribe is Arabic-speaking, but the photo caption might be inaccurate.
I read "قبٻُلة الٰجوٜر" (with two dots side-by-side under the funky beh and not really a damma over it) on the upper line (blue letters) and "السٛو.." on the second line (red letters), but neither means anything to me.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 April 2015
Other images of this flag can be seen here: (image) (source) published on March 17, 2015, and at (image) (source), published on March 29, 2016. It also can be found at (image) (source), published on March 28, 2016), and here (image) (source). This last article claims to be published on February 3, 2015: thus the image of the flag is earlier than 2016. This article contains the picture's caption which reads: "Iraqi Sunni fighters from the Jubur tribe hold a flag in front of a house damaged during clashes with the Islamic State in the village of Sharween, northeast of Baghdad, on Jan. 27. The U.S. is trying to get more Sunni tribes to drop their support for ISIS and fight with the Iraqi government and the Americans. Ahmad Al-rubaye/AFP/Getty Images" (this seems to be the original source of the image, since it is the oldest article showing it).
Indeed, Sunni Awakening movement (حركة الصحوة السنية / Harakat al-Sahwah al-Sunnīyah), also known as Sons of Iraq (أبناء العراق / Abnāʼ al-ʻIrāq), also known as Anbar's Salvation ( إنقاذ الأنب / Inqādh al-Anbār), the National Council for the Salvation of Iraq (المجلسالوطني لإنقاذ العراق / -al-Majlis al-Wa anī li-Inqādh al-Irāq), the Sunni Salvation Movement ( حركة الإنقاذ السني / Harakat al-Inqādh al-Sunnī), the National Council for the Awakening of Iraq (المجلس الوطني لصحوة العراق / al-Majlis al-Watanī li-Sahwat al-'Irāq) were coalitions between tribal Sheikhs in a particular province in Iraq as well as former Iraqi military officers that united to maintain security in their communities. They were initially sponsored by the US military. The movement started among Sunni tribes in Anbar Province in 2005 to become an ad hoc armed force across the country in less than a year. The Sons of Iraq were virtually nonexistent by 2013 due to former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's unwillingness to integrate them (fully) into the security services. It was first established and known as an anti-AQI vigilante group known as Thwar-al-Anbar (the Anbar Revolutionaries) (TAA) and evolved into Sahwah al-Anbar (SAA)
Awakening movements in Iraq are also referred to as:
- "Mercenaries" (labeled as such by a Prime Minister Maliki's aide; also dubbed as such by al-Qa'eda)
- "Concerned Local Citizens" (CLC)
- "Sons of Iraq" (SOIZ) - labeled thus by the U.S. Military/Government of Iraq
- "Very Worried Iraqis" (VWI) - labeled thus by the U.S. Military/Government of Iraq
- "Critical Infrastructure Security" (CIS) - labeled thus by the U.S. Military/Government of Iraq
- "Abna Al-Iraq" (AAI) - labeled thus by the U.S. Military/Government of Iraq
- "Sahwa" Militia
- "Former Sunni insurgents" (CFR) (labeled as such by Senior Fellow Steven Simon)
The main active tribes (and subtribes whenever the case) groups were:
- Albu Risha
- Al-jabbour (جبور / Jebour, Jibour, Jubour, Jabur, Jaburi, Jebouri, and Jabara - sometimes spelled as Jubbour and Al-jubour) (source)
- Shammar (شمّر / Šammar) (source)
- Dulaim Confederation (لدلي /also known as Dulaim, Dulaimi, Al-Duliam, Dulaym or Albu Alwan, Al-bu Fahd and the Al-bu Assaf sub tribes. (source)
- Albu nimr (source)
- Albu isa (also known as Al-bu Issa)
- Albu dhiyab (also known as Al-bu Dhiyab)
- Albu ali (also known as Al-bu Ali)
- Albu fraj
Sources: Sons of Iraq and Anbar Salvation Council
The above mentioned tribes are part of the Arab tribes in Iraq and the Coalition of Shiite militias to fight Isis.
In conclusion, the above reported flag is the flag of Sunni Awakening Movement (حركة الصحوة السنية / Harakat al-Inqādh al-Sunnī) known by its various names and usually shortened to Sahwa. When looking for further information on the Jubur tribe I came across this particular article "Unusual Alliance Provides Hope, where this (image) is found, and below the Iraqi flag, one can see a Shiite prophet in the shredded flag near the fly, pretty much like UFE 14-64.
Esteban Rivera, 18 May 2015