This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Soviet Air Force

Last modified: 2002-11-02 by antonio martins
Keywords: air force | sun: rays throughout | anchor (golden) | anchor: winged |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

Soviet Air Force flag
by Jaume Ollé
See also:

Description of the flag

The Soviet Air Force had one of the most beautiful flags ever made; unfortunately, it is also one of the least known in the West. It had an air force blue field, with a 14-ray rising sun (very similar to that of Japan) in golden yellow, with five rays reached chief and base, plus two at hoist and fly. A red star, with a golden hammer and sickle inside, featured at the centre of the sun-disc, all slightly above the centre of the flag. Under the star was a winged propeller in black and white. Proportion should be 3:5. When was the flag adopted is not clear, but a similar design, used as a badge, ultimately dated back to 3 April 1920. (see plate 15 of Guido Rosignoli’s Air Force Badges and Insignia of World War Two.)
Miles Li, 09 Apr 1998

I've seen an actual photo of this flag in what seems to be 1:2 ratio. The shade of blue is light, yes, and the yellow shade is also light, not dark. The photo is in the back cover of an issue of Modelist Konstruktor magazine of the 1980’ies.
António Martins, 09 Sep 1999

The Soviet Air Force Flag is illustrated in both The Flag Book by Preben Kannik, 1957 [kan57a], page 63, and “Flags of the World” by Gilbert Grosvenor and William Showalter, National Geographic Magazine, September 1934 [geo34], page 394. In both illustrations there is a black and white set of wings above the propellor. The wings are partly in the bottom of the disk and partly outside it; the propellor is outside the disk. In both Kannik and National Geographic there is one ray reaching each corner, three rays at chief and base, and two rays at hoist and fly — thus four blue sectors at chief and base, three at hoist and fly. The central disc was in the Soviet flag slightly above the centre of the flag — according to Kannik and National Geographic... maybe even more than "slightly"... The only difference I could see between the two illustrations is that in Kannik the hammer and sickle is white, while the National Geo. shows it in gold or yellow. Both illustrations show the flag with a gold fringe, on the fly end only
Ned Smith, 28 May 1999

Regarding the dimension of the Soviet AF flag, there has always been much confusion over its exact design even inside USSR. I have seen several photos of the flag:

  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Former Soviet Union, Cambridge University Press, 1994, p.383. Soviet AF ensign flown in a protest rally. Errors: blue strips (rather than yellow strips/rays) on the vertical axis; the proportion, apparently 1:2, might also be wrong.
  • Soviet Military Review, Military Publishing House, USSR Ministry of Defence, June 1988, p.41. Soviet AF ensign hung during a concert. Errors: only 13 yellow rays present; sun disc incorrectly placed at the centre of the flag rather than above the centre. (Also in the same photo is the army flag with the hammer and sickle inside the star, which is most unlikely to be an official design, as well as the naval ensign, which is OK.)
  • Inside the Soviet Army, authored by Carey Schofield, photographs by Leonid Yakutin, Headline Book Publishing PLC, 1991, p.30. Soviet military flags flown in a parade-like manner, meaning that these are probably the correct designs. The details of the Soviet AF ensign is not clear, but compared with the army flag next to it, I am quite sure that the AF ensign has the same proportion as that of the army (i.e. 3:5).
In other words, only those flown during military parades could be deemed “authentic”.
Miles Li, 21 Sep 1998

The Soviet AF flag image of this NGM booklet [geo32] is a fairly faithful reproduction, I would say, except that the rays should be roughly as wide as the blue “strips”.
Miles Li, 12 Sep 1998

Earlier version

older Soviet Air Force flag
by Jaume Ollé

In 1924, the Soviet Union adopted for its Air Force a a design similar to the earlier flag of the Aeronautic Section of the Imperial Russian Navy.
Dave Martucci, 24 Nov 1999

CHANNELS :: Compare Country infoCountry guide & StudyFlagsMapsSightseeingTravel WarningsHotel Directory DESTINATIONS :: AsiaAfricaCaribbean Middle EastNorth AmericaSouth AmericaCentral AmericaOceania PacificEuropePolar Regions UTILITIES :: WeatherWorld TimeISD CodesTravel Links Link Exchange
DestinationsMonuments WONDERS :: AncientModernNatural | Privacy Policy