Last modified: 2006-09-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags |
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Was wondering if you could help me identify this flag. My father brought it
back from the second war. He said it was taken from a German staff car. I have
searched your site but have not found this flag. Any help would be very much
appreciated. The flag is encased in plastic.
Rob Arbuckle, Toronto, 30 May 2006
WW2 Hermann Goering Panzer unit the panzers colors were Pink and Black.
OutPostFlags, 9 July 2006
I saw the most recent flag on the Unidentified Flags or Ensigns (2006) page
(Black-Red-Black Tricolore with eagle and swastika) today and believe it to be
the Car Ensign for the Commanding Officer of an Army or SS Battalion or
Regiment, possibly Artillery (though they use Red-Black-Red with a number).
Matthias Bautt, 25 July 2006
The eagle on the flag is definitely a Luftwaffe
(Air Force) eagle. Therefore, we can certainly say it was not on an Army, Navy,
or SS staff car. As far as the black-red-black background, I do not know the
Rob Arbuckle, 4 August 2006
This flag is obviously a Luftwaffen-flag that was used during WWII. It
resembles very much another flag that is black-green-black (see
http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=5089 (although the description might
be incorrect at this website, due the "Waffenfarbe")). The red colour might
indicate NCO, FLAK etc. (see
Nahne Bienk, 30 August 2006
image by Mike Safran, 4 November 2005
Can anyone identify an old hat devise I came across from a local estate [in
South Carolina]. I thought that it might be White Star line but the one shown
was all red. The flag features a white star with red and blue on either end. I
have enclosed an image.
Mike Safran, 4 November 2005
The "hat badge" in the unidentified 2005 section is more properly called a "cap
device" and it's shown upside down. The three silver stars (which go at the top)
indicate that the owner was a past commodore of a yacht club. The enamel device
shows the burgee of the owner's club, the Columbia Sailing Club.
P/C (for Past Commodore) Joseph A. Tringali, 25 August 2006
by Harvey Williams
I am a collector of restaurant/dinner ware from railroads, airlines, steamships,
etc. I recently came across a dinner plate with a flag logo that I am unable to
identify or locate (e.g., Google, e-bay). The back-stamps on the plate are
"Higgins & Seiter, New York" and "Cauldon, England." The first is evidently the
distributor, and the second the manufacturer. Above is an image of the logo.
Under the logo is "EL PRIMERO" (which doesn't show up in the image very well). I
would appreciate any help that you might be able to provide as to the
identification of either of the flags.
Harvey Williams, 7 August 2005
Given the colours of both pennants and the Spanish inscription, "El Primero", it
could be worthwhile to look into badges and insignia of late XIXth
and early XXth century Chilean shipping companies. One pennant shows
a slanting white "T" also, which could give a lead as to the Company's name (Talcahuano?..).
Anselmo Galindo, 15 April 2006
The unidentified flags from 2005 include crossed flags over a banner on a dinner
plate. According to the inquirer, the banner shows the words "El Primero." The
flag on the left is the burgee of the Tacoma Yacht Club. The flag on the right,
swallow tail with the letter "P," is almost certainly an owner's flag, the "P"
of course being "Primero." I've visited Tacoma Yacht Club and found the members
to be very helpful, generous people. The owner of the plate should check with
Tacoma Yacht Club for further information.
Joseph A. Tringali, 25 August 2006
At http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1980/2848/1600/Crimeia.jpg is this anti-NATO graffitti displaying a row of soviet-era flags, from left to right:
It seems to me, that I know
the flag depicted in item "Red-blue flag in Crimea". I'm not quite sure, but it
may be the flag of Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine. They have a site, but
its English version is incomplete (
http://www.vitrenko.org/start.php?lang=3 ). But the red star on the
blue disc - is their symbol, and they were actively involved in the anti-NATO
Sergiusz Dnieprovsky, 22 August 2006
by Scott Burke
This flag is 42 inches long. We bought an old farmhouse here in midcoast
Maine - Nobleboro. It was hanging on the wall in the barn. The tacks holding it
up were very rusty, so I think it had been there quite a while.
Scott Burke, 14 August 2006
I'm pretty sure this is a prize pennant for the series of annual Friendship
Sloop races held by the Friendship Sloop Society. The pennants are made in three
versions, blue with a white ball and blue letter "F" I think is first place; red
with white ball and red letter is second place I believe; and white with a blue
ball and white letter is third. I witnessed the award ceremony some 18 or 20
years ago, so I am relying on my memory here, but I'm fairly certain that is
what it is.
Dave Martucci, 16 August 2006
by Andres Burgers
My friend is an inveterate collector of anything under the sun, including
flags. Recently he attended the sale of a deceased estate (a former Army
officer) in Cape Town and bought a few flags, among them the strange (for us)
nine bar red-white-blue-white-red-white-blue-white-red flag which I attach
hereto. The heirs could not say how or where their ancestor got it from nor what
it represents. I saw a painting of the Drommedaris, one of the three ships with
which Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape in 1652, where she was wearing a
double Dutch tricolour at the mizzen top, but that of course had only six bars
red-white-blue-red-white-blue. The painting is however not contemporary - in
fact it is very recent from a still living artist. He has the flag of Amsterdam
at the fore and the VOC flag at the ensign staff correct. From this I assume he
did his research properly. Might this mystery flag be a variant?
Andries Burgers, 15 December 2004
As Andries mentions, in the 17th century there was frequent use of a
double-tricolour version of the Dutch flag. In a picture of the Dutch East India
Company Return Fleet in Batavia, triple tricolours are worn by some of the
vessels. In addition there were double tricolours separated by white stripes,
sometimes of the same width as the others, sometimes a good deal wider. This
appears to be a flag of similar type. In the same way, the Dutch jack of
triangles was seen in many variants. It appears that as long as the three
colours were shown and there was a clear impression of the design, no one
bothered much about specific numbers of stripes or arrangement of triangles.
Michael Faul, 26 June 2006
Michael is absolutely right, see other designs of the
Jarig Bakker, 26 June 2006
by Rich Bono
Yesterday I saw a car that had a license tag with what was compositionally
the flag of Morocco but instead of a green star on plain red background, the
colors were reversed—I modified the Morocco flag to obtain pretty much exactly
the emblem I saw on this fellow's car. Do you know what the flag represents? Is
it some nation close to Morocco or a region within Morocco or something else? It
just bugged me that I couldn't find out what it is! I would be grateful for any
help you can give me.
Rich Bono, 28 December 2004
Among your list of unidentified flags I found the Moroccan flag but reversed,
(green with a red star). When I visited Morocco back in 1973 I saw this flag and
asked what it was. It was flying over a building in Tetuan. I was told that it
was a religious flag in Morocco.
Ernst Althin, 21 June 2006
I was able to buy a group of 4"x6" desk flags in California, 24 for $5.00 USD,
which is quite a bargain. I have not been able to identify two of them and would
like to ask for your help. The first one is red with a circle of ten black
5-point stars with another black 5-point star in the center.
Michael P. Smuda, 1 May 2006
I have two sets of flags containing this flag. I bought the second set just to get the booklet that explains what each flag is. The front cover of the booklet says "HISTORICAL FLAG COLLECTION OF OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE". The back cover says "COMMEMORATION OF OUR BICENTENNIAL VONS GROCERY CO." The Red flag, ring of stars, is number 40 and is listed as "Confederate Battle Ensign" again with a paragraph
Like the struggling united colonies before it, the fledgling Confederate states fought under many banners. These battle flags included the "Palmetto Flag," the "Bonnie Blue Flag," and the "Pelican Flag." They symbolized the South much as the Pine Tree and Rattlesnake flags symbolized the colonies, during the Revolution. This simple Confederate ensign, battle-weary, bloodstained, symbolizes the horror and death of war, whenever and whenever it is fought.Dale Grimes, 24 June 2006
This flag is a replica of an 1861 Confederate
"independence flag". The stars are dark blue, not black. The flag is pictured on
page 136 of Boleslaw Mastai's book "The Stars and
the Stripes" (Alfred A. Knopf, New York; 1973; ISBN 0-394-47217-9)
Dave Martucci, 26 June 2006
I was able to buy a group of 4"x6" desk flags in California, 24 for $5.00 USD,
which is quite a bargain. I have not been able to identify two of them and would
like to ask for your help. The second UFE has something to do with
Cincinnati. It is a white flag with a large US shield on it. Across the shield
is a blue scroll with white lettering "Cincinnati 1783" on the scroll. It is not
the flag of Cincinnati. Could this have been a
bicentennial flag? Any ideas?
Michael P. Smuda, 1 May 2006
Maybe it has something to do with the Society of the Cincinnati, which was
founded in 1783.
Phil Cleary, 1 May 2006
Maybe, but it is not the flag of the Society itself, which is a US flag with
light blue stripes and an eagle surrounded by a ring of stars in the canton, as
Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2006
I have two sets of flags containing this flag. I bought the second set just to get the booklet that explains what each flag is. The front cover of the booklet says "HISTORICAL FLAG COLLECTION OF OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE". The back cover says "COMMEMORATION OF OUR BICENTENNIAL VONS GROCERY CO." The Cincinnati is flag number 27 in the set and is listed as "Banner of the Society of the Cincinnati." And then there is a three sentence paragraph:
In 1801 Major James Farlie and Lieutenant John Stagg, Jr., were appointed the task of designing a banner for their association, the patriotic Society of the Cincinnati. Instead of the usual rectangular flag, they put their imaginations to good use and came up with this beautiful shield-shaped design. The unique banner continues the traditional blue and white regimental stripes, and commemorates the Society founding in 1783 by military companions of George Washington.Dale Grimes, 24 June 2006
But the image shows a shield with red & white
stripes, not blue & white. I wonder from what sources Vons Grocery got the image
Ned Smith, 25 June 2006
This flag is a (bogus) replica of what is supposed to be an early proposal
for the Society of Cincinnati, which was founded in 1783. It is in fact a bad
copy of a banner that had a dark blue canton with silver stars and 13 alternate
light blue and silver pales on the shield with a ribbon overall and the same
inscription, although the banner does not have a white field. It is also
pictured in Mastai's book, The Stars and the
Stripes, on page 24.
Dave Martucci, 26 June 2006
by Esteban Rivera
I'm enclosing a picture I found in a Colombian magazine called CAMBIO (http://www.cambio.com.co).
If someone knows the origin or could draw it, it would be
Esteban Rivera, 11 June 2005
This flag shown would appear to be based on some sort of NASDP command flag
such as these on our page on SS command and other car
flags. With the presence of the "Death Head", could it be linked to a
waffen-SS or SS-Totenkopfverbände unit? Alternatively, since the image is modern
(based on the car seen behind the man) could it be a fantasy item that simply
recycled a few elements?
Marc Pasquin, 30 July 2005
I found this website today that features the same flag (
). If you scroll down this page you will find the title "SS Totenkopf Nazi
Flags". At first sight it seems like a replica flag, but I doubt that.
Esteban Rivera, 4 December 2005
Can you please help to identify a British(?) flag I have...it's dated 1898
and has a large standing lion with the words R.A.C. on it.
Steve Winters, 3 March 2005
This is a complete guess, but the Automobile Compagnie de Renault was founded
in 1898. The flag definitely has a lion which is more continental European than
British, but Renaults would have competed in British races from the very early
days of the sport. I don't know if the company ever used a lion as their emblem
(they certainly don't today), but it's a possibility.
James Dignan, 3 March 2005
I don't think we should necessarily assume that the initials are 'R.A.C.'
James suggests 'A.C.R.' (which looks a little forced to me ), but 'A.R.C.' looks
quite likely. The gold lion rampant on green suggests Alderney to me - though
the Alderney lion is crowned - and I don't know where the St Patrick's Cross
André Coutanche, 3 March 2005
Assuming that the initials should be read as R.A.C. I have two wild guesses:
1. I was reading about the history of African slavery and came across the Royal Africa Company = R.A.C.? It is probably unlikely that they would still have existed in 1898, however.
2. Royal Automobile Club? Perhaps too early for them to have existed? [It was founded in 1897, but not called RAC till 1907.]
Andries Burgers, 6 March 2005
The identification with Renault I think may be a bit fanciful, simply from
the order of the letters. The combination of the (possibly) Alderney lion and
the Jersey saltire suggest to us that it may be from the Channel Islands. One
suggestion has been "Alderney Rowing Club" and the date of its foundation.
Certainly the size of the flag as specified to us by the owner suggests a flag
which would have flown over the shore establishment of such a club.
Michael Faul, 17 July 2005
I believe that I have identified the 1898 Lion Flag as belonging to, wait for
this! Ruder Club Aschaffenburg 1898.
I researched this flag entirely through the internet and arrived at the following website page, http://www.ruder-club-aschaffenburg.de/downloads/rca-satzung.pdf, needless to say, it's in German or Bavarian (is there a difference?) However, I downloaded the .pdf file and converted it into a text file, then using my Multilingual software converted the German text into English.
The following is my software translation of part of the .pdf file.
§ 3 colors and flag
The colors of the association are green white red.
The association flag consists of STATUTE of the Rudder club Aschaffenburg of 1898 e. V , conditions 03/2002
2, a right-angled divided field. The left rectangle of the flag field shows a golden, upright-standing lion, which is turned to the flag mast on green reason. The remaining larger rectangle of the flag field has a white reason and is diagonally by two red bars crossed. In the three upper triangle fields divided by the bars the initial letters of the association name are in black set in golden Latin large letter attached. The year of the establishment of the association is drawn in in the same way in the lower triangle field. The large "A" of the abbreviation for Aschaffenburg is in the upper triangle field.
David S Smales, 23 September 2005
[stripes not necessarily accurate]
Outside a building near the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, the Turkish flag
and another flag that I cannot identify were flying. This other flag is an
ensign type with the Turkish flag in the upper left hand corner and a background
comprised of several horizontal stripes. I think the colours of the stripes were
red, black and white. What does this flag represent?
Riaz Sobrany, 16 March 2005
This, and many others like it, are typical Turkish Football
Team flags. I was stationed outside Istanbul in the 1970s and had the same
question - but for flags with varying numbers of stripes - minimum four, max -
about twelve. A Turkish friend explained that each team has a flag of its team
colors with the Turkish national flag in the canton. They are most commonly seen
near football (our soccer) stadiums and most common on Saturdays.
Don Healy, 17 July 2005
This burgee flag was found as an enamel tie-clip: a white triangular field, blue
saltire, with a blue star in the hoist triangle.
Bob, 5 March 2003
This is almost certainly, the Manchester Yacht Club (Mass., US):
Jan Mertens, 25 June 2005
by Tom Gregg
I recently received a WWII flag from a US serviceman who obtained it while
fighting in the Battle of the Bulge (in Patton's 3rd army). It's approx. 5'x7',
a thin cotton, and the black cross is printed on white cloth. One side of the
flag has an eyelet on each corner. The pattern is on one side only. I have had
no success in finding any likenesses on the web or in books. Would you have any
idea as to the history and use of this design?
My father was a B-17 pilot for the 351st Bomb Group out of Polebrook,
England. He was shot down on 22 June, 1944, over Rouen, France and
became a POW at Stalag Luft III. As the allied forces advanced, they
were marched to Mooseberg. In April, they were liberated by Patton's
3rd army. During this time in Germany, he obtained a flag, that I have
not been able to identify. It is approx. 3'x6' with a white circle with
a black cross in the middle. The cross is similar to the marking found
on Me109 and Fw190 German fighters.
Rob, 7 December 2002
It appears that the long recurring mystery about this flag is solved, or starting to be. Up to now, we have had several reports of similar flag specimens, mostly from the US. The fact that this flag is not documented in any source —at least none has been reported in FOTW— and that most reports came from people browsing or moreover selling such an item in Internet (e.g., eBay) raised suspicion that it was a modern concoction of a flag which was never produced before 1945.
I came across the following in Roger James Bender and
Warren W. Odegard, "Uniforms, Organization and History of the
Panzertruppe", R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose CA, 1980, p. 284:
"In anticipation of recognition problems between the Army and Luftwaffe support units during the upcoming invasion of France and the Netherlands, the German General Staff issued the following order in March 1940 (3). "A swastika flag and orange smoke are to be utilized by all troops for recognition purposes when in a combat zone. The swastika flag is, according to circumstances, to be spread out on the ground, to be waved to and fro, or to be stretched across a vehicle. (...)So it appears that the so-called Balken cross flag (a) actually did exist, though it was never hoisted as a proper flag, (b) its use started after the 1940 campaign in France, possibly during or after the 1941 invasion of Russia and (c) was not used after, say, mid 1944. (This is probably a reason why Allied veterans could not spot it after Normandy, except for those held as POWs at Stalag Luft camps.)
"The swastika flag discussed above was either a standard national flag or a special issue flag with a metal grommet at each corner for tying down purposes. Later in the war, the use of the Balken cross flag (white circle with a Balken cross in its center rather than a swastika, on a red field) gradually replaced the swastika flag. It should be noted that these flags were rarely used in the final stages of the war because the Allies held undisputed air superiority over most fronts."
Footnote (3) says: "(3) Ob.d.H./Gen.St.d.H./Ausb.Abt. (Ia) Nr. 450/40g vom 8.3.1940. This order was altered slightly by Order #363, dated April 2, 1941, in AHM, April 21, 1941"
I recently came across this officers cap at a sale and I have made quite a few
enquiries but nobody seems to know anything about it, some have said it looks
Japanese. Have you come across this badge at all. The arm in the centre of badge
is wearing armour.
Ken Katsina, 22 July 2004
The flag is the one of JOSEPH L. THOMPSON & SONS Ltd.: a famous ship yard at
Sunderland, England. This company was involved in the first design of the
Liberty Ships. Why did a shipyard have to use an officer cap badge? Certainly
for the test & trial crew before official flagging of the new ship to her owner.
Source: Loughran (1979), page 79.
Alan Coutret, 22 October 2004
I would like to identify a Naval flag that is depicted in a Roy Cross
painting of a Clipper ship in the Arctic. The flag in question is flying at the
top of the main mast, is square, has a blue field and a white circle in the
centre. The only things that I can find that are similar is either the 'Blue
Peter' or a pendant representing the number 2. Have you any ideas?
Austin Smith, 13 February 2004
Since a blue flag with a white circle does not appear in either Marryat's
code of 1824, or in the Commercial (International) Code of Signals of 1857 -
1900 (although there is "a pendant blue with a white ball" as Austin indicates
above), can we reasonably assume that it is either a private signal of some
sort, or a house flag?
Christopher Southworth, 13 February 2004
A single flag at a masthead is probably a house flag rather than a signal
flag. Four or five steam-ship companies had a house flag like this.
David Prothero, 14 February 2004
The flag mentioned, ( I have a copy of the print Austin is referring to) is
very similar to what my family uses as a "family flag". I don't know the exact
origin of this flag, but I do know the flag was used as far back as 1797 at an
ancestors home in Camden County Georgia. Major Joseph Hardee was the son of a
Captain John Hardy who patrolled the coast in the galley Washington.
The flag has flown at my home, Father's home, Grandfather's, etc. , for as long as I can remember. All of my vehicles also have the flag on the license plate, as did my father's. My father is gone, but I am keeping his tradition. The flag was used during the American Civil War as a battle flag with several variations, but was called the Hardee Flag.
Gourm Hardee, 9 August 2004
by Ivan Sache
A red flag with a thin white cross and a thin white saltire was prominently
displayed in the stand of the stadium of Sfax, during the quarter finals
Morocco-Algeria of the Africa Nations' Cup last Sunday. The flag is probably a
club supporters' flag, but I have no clue on the club it represented. The
Algerian supporters outnumbered the Moroccans, but such a red flag looks, at
first sight, rather Moroccan than Algerian. An element of answer might be given
during the semi-finals: if the flag is still there, it is Moroccan, if it
is no longer there, no straight conclusion is possible.
Ivan Sache, 9 February 2004
The football flag from Tunisia looks like a flag belonging to
Neil Boulton, 24 October 2004
I recently acquired this flag. It reminds me of a Sons in Service flag with the red border and blue stars, but I have not seen a service flag with blue bars. Do you know what this flag actually is? It is 49 1/2" x 32 1/2" in size.
Pete Bochek, 12 May 2003
I was searching on eBay and stumbled across this Liberty Loan poster. What I'm
guessing is that the number of stripes corresponds to the number of Liberty
Loans a town has given to the Great War (World War I) I'm not so sure about the
stars on the FOTW site. Kind of has me stumped. But I believe I have found the
meaning behind the stripes.
Jonathan Backstrom, 31 March 2004
The flag (note the picture is upside down) is one of two variants I have seen of
the special award flag for the Third Liberty Loan of 1918. One with the two
stars and one without - the two stars indicate municipality raised three times
its allotted quota. The flag of the Fourth Liberty Loan, which is similar but
has 4 vertical stripes and no stars. The Liberty Loans were national efforts to
raise extra money for the War effort; the loans were interest-free (at least I
think so; none of the literature mentions any) funds given by US Citizens and
repaid by the US Government after the War. In many cases, the loaners forgave
the loan after the War.
I am unaware if the First or Second Liberty Loan Drives had any flag associated with them, but by the time of the Third Liberty Loan, organizations, corporations or municipalities could sign up many individual donors to make the target amount and get a 3'x5' flag for their efforts.
I have always thought that maybe this design is a combination of the NSF and the proposed flag of the Four Freedoms that was briefly considered as a flag for the UN before the end of the War. That flag was white with 4 vertical red bars that did not touch the edges of the flag.
Dave Martucci, 5 April 2004
An unidentified flag posted for sale on eBay, 29 August 2002.
Bill Garrison, 29 August 2002
Being square, it looks like a banner of arms, either personal, civic, or
Joe McMillan, 29 August 2002
I have no definitive citation for you, but the Three Lions St. George flag
looks exactly like several I have seen on TV broadcasts of England national team
football (soccer) games. One sees lots of variations on the English flag at such
events, and I am certain that I have seen this three-lion version as a banner
hung from stadium terraces.
Scott Rogers, 20 May 2003
http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~bcd/rolemaster/novi/her-list.txt, which seems to be
a website dedicated to some sort of role-playing game, is this blazon of the
arms corresponding to the "three lions St. George" shown here. "Argent, on a
cross gules a lion passant between two lions' faces in pale Or.* Corporate Arms
of the FOOTBALL LEAGUE, which governs English domestic competition, March 25,
Crest: On a grassy mount a football surmounted by a swift (Apus apus) volant, all proper.
Badge: In front of a chain of twelve links in the form of an annulet agent a lion tricorporate the tails of the upper two bodies in chief Or.
The Football League banner flies over Wembley Stadium."
This would account for Scott Rogers's comment on our page that he'd seen this flag flying at English national matches, although I gather that the role of the Football League is no longer what it once was.
Joe McMillan, 12 May 2004
It may have been the arms then, but it now
uses a soccer ball proper surrounded by an azure and gules circular pattern
(similar to a bordure compony). Above this is a crest of a lion passant gardant
gules, and below are the words "The football league" in sable (that according to
a picture in the Rothmans Football Yearbook 2001-2002, anyway).
The logo of the English Premier League is simply argent, a lion statant azure, with left front leg lifted, supported by a soccer ball argent and gules. The lion is crowned gules, and is standing on a base vert. The base contains the words "The F.A. Premier League" in argent between two very thin barrulets argent.
James Dignan, 12 May 2004
Not sure it does; it's a reference to his family arms, and the axes there are
black. What we saw was white with three red axes. Do any of the towns mentioned
on the page have arms/flag like that?
Al Kirsch, 29 August 2002
Lately I've noticed a black - medium blue - black, arranged horizontally auto
tag on many vehicles in the area around Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. Anyone know what this means?
John Evosevic, 3 July 2002
The Black-Blue-Black design is usually seen on a policeman's personal car or
family members car. It stands for the "thin blue line". There is also a similar
one with a red strip for firemen.
Jim Popovitch, 17 August 2002
The black-medium blue-black flag is actually a police mourning band. It is
typically worn as a band across the badge when an officer is killed in the line
of duty. I have seen it in use more frequently now as a bumper sticker, I
believe this is probably a show of respect for the police officers killed on
Troy Corwin, 26 September 2002
This design is an identification to notify other law enforcement
people that the bearer also works in law enforcement. It represents
the "thin blue line", or brother police officer. The identification of
fallen officers uses a badge with black tape or a black elastic band
around the center. It is usually only worn when an officer dies, and
is worn for up to a week after death, not everyday use.
Bob Cunningham II, 8 May 2006