Buy State Flags from Allstate FlagsBuy US flags from Five Star Flags
This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Austro-Hungarian Naval Rank Flags

Admirals of the Austro-Hungarian Navy

Last modified: 2003-09-06 by marcus schm÷ger
Keywords: rank flag: navy | austro-hungarian empire | tricolour:horizontal (red-white-red) | star: 8 points (yellow) | star: 6 points (white) |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



See also:

1853-1874 Flags  

Gro▀admiral 1853-1874

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1894 to 1915] 1:1, by Zeljko Heimer, 9 October 2000 

1:1 flag, red-white-red with crowned shield, 5 black triangles at each side.

Flag adopted 1853, although apparently this flag may not ever have been actually used.
Norman Martin, 2 December 2001

Admiral 1853-1874

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1894 to 1915] 15:17, by Zeljko Heimer, 9 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red with crowned shield, black-yellow-black canton. Vice-admiral and Rear Admiral hoisted the same flag on different places.
Zeljko Heimer, 11 October 2000

From 1853-1874, there were 2 flags I have been able to find:

  1. Gro▀admiralflagge: Like the 1894 flags but square without stars, 
  2. Admiralflagge. Like the ensign, but almost square, with the arms centered and a black-yellow-black canton. 

One painting for 1866 shows the Admiralflagge used by Rear Admiral Tegetthoff, so I think this was used for Admirals, Vice-Admirals and Rear-Admirals. (Remember this was also the Prussian usage at the time). 
Norman Martin, 10 October 2000

This flag is given by Siegel (1912) as the Admiral's flag, 1828-1880, after 1880, flag of the Gro▀admiral.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 14 October 2001


1874-1894 Flags

From 1874-23 December 1894, the Gro▀admiralflagge became the flag for admirals, while the previous Admiralflagge became the flag for Generals in the Army. 
Norman Martin, 10 October 2000

The British 1889 edition of Flags of All Nations shows all Austro-Hungarian admirals using a flag of the same pattern as that adopted in 1894, but without stars. Relative grade was indicated by hoisting on main, fore, or mizzenmast.

The American 1870 and 1882 Flags of Maritime Nations show the flag described by Norman Martin. It was the same as the central portion of the 1894 flag, without the border or stars, but with a square canton 1/3 of the hoist, divided horizontally black-yellow-black. It was also flown at main, fore, or mizzen to denote the grade of the flag officer represented.
Joe McMillan, 11 October 2000


1894-1915 Flags

Flags of admirals of the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Navy (Kaiserliche und K÷nigliche Kriegsmarine) before the 1918 revolution. The images are based on hatched drawings in the 1905-06 Jane's Fighting Ships

Admiral 1894-1915

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1894 to 1915] 15:17, by Zeljko Heimer, 9 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red with crowned shield, 5x6 black triangles, 0-2-1 8-armed stars.

Vice-Admiral

[Austria-Hungary Vice Admiral, 1905] 15:17, by Joe McMillan, 9 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red with crowned shield, 5x6 black triangles, 0-2-0 8-armed stars.

Rear Admiral 1894-1915

[Austria-Hungary Rear Admiral, 1905] 15:17, by Joe McMillan, 9 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red with crowned shield, 5x6 black triangles, 0-0-1 8-armed stars.
Zeljko Heimer, 11 October 2000

The crown seen here is the royal crown that is neither St. Stephen's (Hungary) nor St. Vaclav's (Bohemia). It's the same crown used on the naval and (for the Austrian arms) the merchant ensigns of the time.
Joe McMillan, 10 October 2000

These are the rank flags adopted 23 December 1894. They were "replaced" (at least officially) 12 October 1915. At that time, the continued use of the (1894-1915) flags was for the time being authorized and it appears that the new flags were never actually used by the time of the dissolution of the k.u.k. Navy in 1918.
Norman Martin, 10 October 2000

German Navy's 1905 Flaggenbuch, British Admiralty's 1907 and 1916 Flags of All Nations, and US Navy's 1914 Flags of Maritime Nations all show these flags with large stars and with the flag not square but slightly longer in the fly than in the hoist. The central triband is 5:6, with five black triangles edging the vertical sides and six edging the horizontal.
Joe McMillan, 11 October 2000


1915-End of Empire Flags

The 1915 flags were (not quite square) Austrian tribands with white 6-pointed stars on the red stripes: 1-0 for Rear-Admiral, 1-1 for Vice-Admiral, 1-2 for Admiral. The Gro▀admiral flew a flag like the Admiral but with a gold wreath overall, so that
the upper star falls between the branches while the lower part of the wreath falls between the two lower stars (it virtually touches them close to the top of the lower stripe). 
Norman Martin, 10 October 2000

Gro▀admiral 1915-1918 

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1915 Onwards] 15:17, by Zeljko Heimer, 25 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red with wreath, 1-0-2 6-pointed stars

Admiral 1915-1918

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1915 Onwards] 15:17, by Zeljko Heimer, 9 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red, 1-0-2 6-pointed stars

Vice-Admiral 1915-1918

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1915 Onwards] 15:17, by Zeljko Heimer, 17 October 2000

15:17, red-white-red, 1-0-1 6-pointed stars

 Rear-Admiral 1915-1918

[Austria-Hungary Admiral, 1915 Onwards] 15:17, by Zeljko Heimer, 17 October 2000

 15:17, red-white-red, 1-0-0 6-pointed stars.

Zeljko Heimer, 11 October 2000


Commodore

[Commodore] 2:5~ by Zeljko Heimer

In use as Commodore's flag, since 1853, but called the Cornette from 1786 to 1853
Norman Martin, 2 December 2001

The old versions are unclear to me. Norman Martin says quoting Baumgartner [bmg77] that in 1880 there was no change in the pennant. In 1894 it was described as a "broad-pennant red-white-red with coat of arms".
Zeljko Heimer, 1 December 2001

When flown from the "Querstock", this flag was used as a seniority pennant.  The flag was adopted in 1874 (Lehnert (1886) says 1880, but is apparently incorrect, at least as far as the date of adoption is concerned; possibly there was a period before it was actually used). There was no previous version as far as I know.
Norman Martin, 2 December 2001

The cornette is in the same colour and design as the Ensign since 1786: used as Commando-Signal for the commander of a Schiffabteilung (Siegel 1912)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 2 December 2001


Origin of the black-yellow-black canton

What was the origin of the black-yellow-black canton of the first admirals' rank flag (later adopted with modifications for Army generals)? Why not a black-yellow canton, i.e. the "Reichfarben" flag?
Tom Gregg, 3 September 2002

I believe that it is just that - the Reichsfarben. The thing is that there was no requirement for the Reichsfarben to be a simple horizontal bicolour - they could have been used in any suitable combination. For example, the lamp posts and the like were coloured with black and yellow spirals, toll-bars were coloured "bendy" of black and yellow etc. I guess that black-yellow-black in the admiral's flag was just another quite suitable combination for the purpose.
Zeljko Heimer, 4 September 2002