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War Ensign 1938-1945 (Germany)


Last modified: 2002-10-19 by santiago dotor
Keywords: third reich | reichskriegsflagge | disc (white) | swastika: fimbriated (black) | swastika: fimbriated (white) | cross: swastika (black) | iron cross | cross: formy (black) | cross: scandinavian (fimbriated) |
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[War Ensign 1938-1945 (Third Reich, Germany)] 3:5
by Olivier Vercammen
Flag adopted February 1938, abolished 1945

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The national [war] ensign had a red field with a white-black-white bordered black cross with a center disk — thus clearly inspired by the Imperial Ensign. The center disk was somewhat larger and had a white-black bordered swastika instead of an eagle. In the canton there was a white-black-white bordered Iron Cross — instead of the Iron Cross on the black-white-red tricolor. (...) Illustrated in Flaggenbuch 1939, plate I and Davis 1975, p. 81.

Norman Martin, January 1998

Actual flags usually had on the border a small eagle with a circled swastika with an 'M' underneath (the mark of the Reichszeugmeister) and a size such as '200 × 335' stamped on it.

Norman Martin, 1 June 2000

This scan shows the war ensign construction sheet as it appears in Flaggenbuch 1939.

Santiago Dotor, 5 June 2000

Two different patterns of this flag existed:

  1. 1935-1938: the bars of the center cross do not connect with the rings of the disc and border rings of the white disc are uninterrupted.
  2. 1938-1945: the white disc shifted slightly towards the seam. There are sections of the outer black border of the disc connected to the outer black borders of the cross, and that outer black border is interrupted by the white fimbriation and the central black stripe of the cross.

Marcus Wendel, 20 September 2000

There were no two variants of this flag, [but two consecutive flags]. The first Reichskriegsflagge was introduced 7th November 1935. Flaggenbuch 1939 shows the later flag which replaced the first in February 1938.

Ralf Stelter, 13 January 2001

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