Last modified: 2006-09-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags |
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by Martin Karner
[Click on flag for larger version; click here for version with people.]
Last September (2004) I took part in an excursion of the Swiss Society for
Vexillology. We went to the "Lötschental" in the Valais (German: Wallis) canton
to have a look at the old "communal flags" (Gemeindefahnen). The communes of the
Lötschental have been united in one parish several centuries ago, that's why
there's also a parochial flag ("Talschaftsfahne" / Talschaft = community of the
valley). The flags that have been presented to us (it was the first time ever
that they have been together on the same place) are different from the official
communal flags. They're religious flags that are presented to the public only
three times a year on occasion of certain Christian and special Catholic
holidays (the Lötschental is Catholic like the whole Valais). During our visit a
man from one of those villages (Ferden; today he lives in Berne) joined us and
asked if we could help him to find the owner of a certain flag. I offered him to
place his request on the Francovex list because the owner is supposed to live in
France. Some time later this man sent me photos of the flag and photocopies of
the correspondence which took place between February 1991 and January 1993 with
follow-ups until 2003. Because there was no answer on Francovex up to now I
expand the search to this page, maybe the searched flag has made its way outside
the francophone area.
I reported the previous search for this flag in details on Francovex which I don't repeat now. Whoever is interested may contact me for details. I'm also in possession of the letter correspondence which report the research about the origins of this flag (the research was made by the vexillologist Michel Rochat from Geneva). This flag is one of the above mentioned old religious communal flags of the Ferden commune (it's not known how this flag left Ferden. The communal archives have not been searched yet for this). The writings on the flag are "G.F." (=Gemeinde Ferden) and "1788". To make it short: Michel Rochat was one of two middlemen between the owner of the flag and the Ferden commune who wanted to buy back its old flag. During the negotiations the connections suddenly broke and the commune hadn't anymore a connection to the owner who lived in Paris. From unknown reasons Michel Rochat didn't want to communicate anymore about this flag and its owner. Last autumn there was the last try to speak with him on this matter but this time it was his mental weakness (due to his high age) which disabled him to remember. We know that the Ferden commune is still interested to buy this flag, that's why we try on this way to find out something about its whereabouts. I got two photos from 1992/93 in a not too good quality above. One of the photos shows the owner and two women. Please mail us if you know something about these persons and/or the flag. Thank you for your help.
Martin Karner, 8 January 2005
I am looking for the origin of a flag that has a red stripe, then a yellow
square with a red runner in the center of the flag over the yellow square, and
ending with a green stripe. Can you help me? Working in a school we find all
kinds of things packed away in file cabinets. This was on a roll of tiny flags
that the secretary found. The students for history used the internet to find
which flag belong to which country. They found all but a few. Some of the
students are really curious to see where this one came from. It could be from
anywhere or from any event. Was hoping you could help.
Randy Cooper, 2 February 2005
I wonder if you might have seen this flag. I thought at first that it was
Manchukuo (Manshukoku), but now I'm not so sure. This was taken, I'm told, in
the 1880s in Kobe. It appears to be a mission school, or some kind of Christian
school, as the boys all have crosses on their uniforms. Any information will be
Thomas Barr, 2 February 2005
This five stripes flag has nothing to do with
Manchukou or Chinese five stripes flag if the picture
was taken in Kobe circa 1880's, because (1) Manchukou was established on
March 1st 1932 and
(2) Chinese 5 stripes national
flag was adopted on February 10th 1912.
I have not seen the flag before but
this flag design is unusual in Japan.
The most popular Japanese flag
design is a centered emblem in
one colour field such as national flag
and most prefectural flags using only
two colours.. We have stripes flag
as rare case.
This flag looks four or five colours
and stripes which may result from
Christian school as Thomas mentions.
So what four or five colours were
chosen to symbolize Christianity ?
Nozomi Kariyasu, 3 February 2005
In Christianity there are generally 5 colours that are used to represent the
Christian story. first is green: represents God's creation of the universe and
the world. Black: sin enters the world (the wages of sin is death). Red:
represents Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. White: represents the
cleanliness, blamelessness of the souls of the human race once they have
accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The last is yellow or gold which
represents heaven, the eternal resting place.
Justin Yip, 30 December 2005
located by Zach Harden
I see some flags that I might not have seen before. Between the African Union
and Ethiopia flags, there are two flags that I cannot seem to make out what they
are. Also, between the Arab Union and the Islamic Congress, there is a green
flag with a black disk. The meeting flag is the flag that is in the middle of
Zachary Harden, 4 February 2005
The flag that is white with a logo beside the Ethiopian flag is
the Non-Aligned Movement. The logo is in the web at
J.L. Cepero, 8 July 2005
[See our page on the Non-Aligned Movement.]
I saw this flag, can you please tell me what country this belong to - it has
3 parts (bands) - orange (top), white (with 5 or 7 blue stars), green (bottom).
Waiting to hear from you.
Irene Fernandez, 26 February 2005
I wonder if you could help me identify a flag I saw. It has 3 horizontal
stripes: blue on top, white in the middle, and red on the bottom. The middle white stripe has 3 large blue stars in a horizontal line across the middle of the white stripe. I wonder if it is an obsolete flag, perhaps from the
Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Serbia area? If you know what this flag represents, will you please write back and let me know? Thanks.
Mabel Gunther, 1 March 2005
Four more cap badges needing identification - probably shipping companies.
One of the cap badges is that of the Libby Line (i.e. the one with the word
"Libby"). This was one of the major shipping lines of the 20th century. It still
exists, but is now mostly involved in the container traffic.
Michael Faul, 17 July 2005
The last image in the line is the flag of the Argentine company:
Compańia Argentina de Navegación Mihanovich Ltda.
Jan Mertens, 5 August 2005
I was sailing in the San Francisco Bay when we saw a ship at dock flying a
flag the looked very much like the French national flag, except one of the
stripes was a very distinct black, rather than blue. The ship had two flags
(large on in stern, small one in bow) and they were both the same so it wasn't a
case of us mistaking a dark navy blue for black; it was distinctly black.
So... the inevitable, what flag was it?
Nathaniel Meyers, 20 April 2005
by Luc Baronian
A strange commercial-looking white fleur-de-lis on a blue field forwarded to
me by Quebec's Protocol Officer, Patrice DeLaBrosse.
Luc Baronian, 3 May 2005
Could it be some sort of Scout emblem?
Ron Lahav, 3 May 2005
I think the fleur-de-lys is designed to spell out the letters FSC - but I
don't know what they stand for. Ron mentioned scouts - could some combinations
of Federation Scouts Canada work? Just guessing here.
Rob Raeside, 3 May 2005
I also thought it looked like an F key and a G key (musical keys), somewhat
abstractly, but still... Or else, if they are initials, the last letter could
also be an E, I guess.
Luc Baronian, 3 May 2005
by Kevin John Franklin
A friend of mine approached me with a flag which he has been trying to get
identified for quite some time now. It is suspected to be either central or
eastern European in origin. He received it from his grandmother and it is
thought to be from the 19th century. The image is only on one side of the fabric
and he has two of these flags both identical with no makers tags or other forms
of identification. It would be greatly appreciated if you could aid in the
identification of this flag.
Kevin John Franklin, 23 May 2005
I don't think, this eagle looks very German. Especially this "drop" at its
bill let me think more of an East European eagle. Definitely it is not the eagle
of the emperor of Germany.
J. Patrick Fischer, 30 December 2005
I'm not even sure, if this is really a flag! Perhaps it's a tapestry or
tablecloth? The eagle looks different from any eagle I have seen. It is
*definitely* not German, that's sure.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 8 January 2006
by Jorge Candeias
One of my mystery files is an image sent in 1999 with the filename cross-pen.gif.
A search in my archives, this time, produces some results, but no
identification. The image was subject of the following conversation:
At 19:37 23-03-1999, Edward Mooney, Jr. wrote:
While away this weekend I saw a photo of this pennant flying at the top of the main mast of a sailing ship. A small Union Jack/Ensign(?) *appeared* to be at the stern of the boat (it was obscured). Is it a yacht club ensign? Anyone have any ideas?
Then, at 01:25 25-03-1999, Roy Stilling replied:
From its shape - a broad pennant like a naval commodore's - I would guess it's some sort of yachting command flag, perhaps the flag of the commodore of the club in question. I can't find any clues as to which one in any of my books though.
And at 06:35 25-03-1999, so did John S. Ayer:
A burgee or pennant in that position should be either a club burgee or a personal signal. I have found a couple of club burgee sites, but don't recognize that flag. From European waters, did you say?
All I can say is what it's not - it is not the burgee of any yacht club which
is presently entitled to fly a Blue Ensign (either plain or defaced), or a
defaced Red Ensign (although thought I'd seen it somewhere and it is rather like
the fly of the Poole Yacht Club Ensign - but not their burgee). It may, of
course, be the pennant of a club commodore, or a variation on the normal burgee
shape, of a club which can only fly the undefaced Red Ensign, or (has been
suggested) a personal flag of some sort?
Christopher Southworth, 1 June 2005
A triangular version, in which the arms of the St George's cross are
narrower, is shown in the British Isles section of "Yacht Club Burgees" by Colin
Stewart as St George's Sailing Society .
David Prothero, 2 June 2005
by André Coutanche
[Click on image for bigger version.]
More from 'Holidays in the Danger Zone'! The attached screen grab is part of
the opening titles, so there is no context. However, one of the subjects in this
series is the (Trans-)Dniestr Republic, so I am guessing that this shot may come
from that programme since the flag uses the red and
green which we show and the writing, both on the flag and in the background,
André Coutanche, 2 June 2005
by Clay Moss
This flag is in our school's flag collection (Penang, Malaysia), and we don't
know what it is.
Clay Moss, 12 June 2005
I was wondering if you would be able to help me identify this ocean
liner/ships logo. I appreciate any help that you would be able to provide. [The
file name was b137.jpg, in case anyone can find that in a listing.]
Char, 28 June 2005
This looks to be the old marking for the Columbia
Transport Company out of Cleveland, Ohio, a company that sailed ships on the
Great Lakes. This marking was phased out a few years ago and replaced with a new
marking when the company consolidated its operations under the parent company:
Oglebay Norton. The coloring of the new logo remained the same though. One very
famous ship that sailed under the Columbia marking was the Edmund Fitzgerald.
This boat sank in a terrible gale on November 10, 1975, will all 29 sailors
lost. I have attached sketches of both the Columbia Transport logo and the newer
Oglebay Norton logo for comparison.
David Marvin, 5 August 2005
Here is a most interesting flag and may I add very beautiful flag. It was
spotted by Donald Gauthier and we think it's from the
Gaspésie/Iles-de-la-Madeleine administrative region of Quebec. Anyway, Donald is
pursuing his researches, meanwhile if any of you has a clue about this
Unidentified Flag or Ensign (UFE), we will appreciate any contribution.
Luc-Vartan Baronian, 22 January 1998
image located at www.scran.ac.uk by James Dignan, 2 November 2005
[Note image shown at www.scran.ac.uk is artificially stretched horizontally. Image copyrighted by Scottish Fisheries Museum.]
The image is labeled "Title: Fisherman's wedding flag". Anyone know anything
James Dignan, 2 November 2005
image by Mark Satterfield, 24 November 2005
Any help in identifying this flag would be appreciated.
Mark Satterfield, 24 November 2005
I think it's a house flag:
Bayerischer Lloyd (Bavarian Lloyd).
Jan Mertens, 24 November 2005
There is a photo of some Bayerischer Lloyd document - a stock certificate I
suppose - at
http://www.historisches-wertpapierhaus.de/auktionen/pa3/Los0548.jpg. In the
circles at each corner are illustrations of the flag superimposed on an anchor.
While this does not confirm the colors of the flag, I think Jan's identification
is almost certainly correct.
Ned Smith, 25 November 2005
Some info from
The company was founded in 1913 and became a limited company in 1917. It was an inland shipping company. After the Süddeutsche Donau-Schiffahrts-Gesellschaft became Austrian in 1911 the Bavarians wanted their own shipping company on the Danube, wherefore the Bavarian Lloyd was founded.
Which does not explain the double-tailed lion - Bohemian?
Jarig Bakker, 25 November 2005