Original German WWII 80cm x 135cm National Battle Flag by N.V.P.F. v Vlissingen & Co. - Reichskriegsflagge
Original Item: Only One Available. Reichskriegsflagge (Imperial War Flag) was the official name of the war flag and war ensign used by the German armed forces from 1933 to 1945. This included the Heer, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine, as it was a National flag. Recently acquired from a veteran's estate this is without a doubt the most impressive battle flag of the German WW2 era, it measures 31.50" x 53.15" or 80cm x 135cm.
Constructed of what feels like light canvas, the flag design features a bright red background with a large white central circle displaying a large Swas (hook cross), overlaid on the German Naval Balkenkreuz (Beam Cross) design also in black to the edges. In the top corner (Canton) is a black on white Eisernes Kreuz (Iron cross). It features a canvas header, with a halyard running the full length of the header, with loops at both ends.
This battle flag is totally original and is in very good condition with some areas of light staining but nothing major. There is the usual age toning, but the red is still vibrant, and there is no mothing we can see. Nicely stamped but faded on the header with the manufacturer information faintly legible:
N.V.P.F. v VLISSINGEN & CO'S KATOENFABR.
Helmond is a city in the southern Netherlands, which was occupied by Germany during WWII. Local industries were pressed into service making war materiel, such as this flag.
The flag is also marked Kr. FL. 80 x 135, indicating that it is a 80cm x 135cm Reichskriegsflagge. There are no Naval markings, so this was most likely a flag intended for Army or Airforce use. However it is always possible that it was never stamped. This size of flag, when used with the navy, would have been used with ships up to 500 tons, including U-Boats, E-Boats, and tugs.
This is a wonderful example of this hard to find flag!
Designed personally by Adolf AH, this flag served the Heer and the Luftwaffe as their War Flag, and the Kriegsmarine as its War Ensign (the National Flag serving as Jack). This flag was hoisted daily in barracks operated by units of the Wehrmacht combined German military forces, and it had to be flown from a pole positioned near the barracks entrance, or failing this, near the guard room or staff building. New recruits in the latter part of World War II were sworn in on this flag (one recruit holding the flag and taking the oath on behalf of the entire recruit class with the recruits looking on as witnesses - before, this was done on the regimental colors).
The flag had to be formally hoisted every morning and lowered every evening. These hoisting and lowering ceremonies took the form of either an ordinary or a ceremonial flag parade. At the ordinary raising, the party consisted of the Orderly Officer of the Day, the guard, and one musician. At the ceremonial raising, one officer, one platoon of soldiers with rifles, the guard, the regimental band, and the corps of drums were all present.
The proportions of the flag are 3:5. Fusing elements of the NSDAP German Flag (swas and red background) with that of the old Imperial Reich War Flag (four arms emanating from off-center circle and Iron Cross in the canton), these flags were uniformly produced as a printed design on bunting.
Raised for the first time at the Bendlerstraße Building (Wehrmacht Headquarters) in Berlin on November 7, 1935, It was taken down for the last time by British occupation forces after the arrest of the Dönitz Government at the Naval Academy Mürwik in Flensburg-Mürwik, Germany, on May 23, 1945.
In his book, Inside the Third Reich, Albert Speer states that "in only two other designs did he (Adolf AH) execute the same care as he did his Obersalzberg house: that of the Reich War Flag and his own standard of Chief of State."
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- IMA in no way endorses the ideals of the Third Reich, this item is intended for serious collectors only, and is sold for its historical significance.
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