Item:
ONSV4349

Original German WWII Battle Flag by Wlissingen Helmond of Holland - 100cm x 170cm Reichskriegsflagge

Item Description

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. Recently acquired from a veteran's estate this is without a doubt the most impressive battle flag of the German WWII era, it measures 39.4" x 66.9" or 100cm x 170cm.

Constructed of wool with a canvas header, the flag features a bright red field with a large white central circle displaying a large swas, with the German Beam Cross (Balkenkreuz) design also in black and white to the edges. In the top corner canton is a black on white Iron cross.

This battle flag is totally original and is in very good condition with some areas of staining but nothing major. Nicely stamped but faded on the header with the manufacturer information partially legible:

N.V.R.P.F [WLISSINGEN & Co'S KATOEN]FABR.
HELMOND (HOLLAND)

Helmond was city captured early in WWII by Germany, and at that time was part of Holland, which later became part of the Netherlands. The flag is also marked (faded) Kr.FL. 100 x 170, indicating that it is a 100cm x 170cm Reichskriegsflagge. There are no Naval markings, so this was a flag intended for ground forces use.

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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