Item:
ONSV5414

Original German WWII Small Kriegsmarine 85cm x 50cm Naval Battle Flag - Reichskriegsflagge

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The 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 private collector, this is without a doubt the most impressive battle flag design of the German WWII era, even with a smaller version such as this. it measures 33.5" x 19.7", or 85cm x 50cm.

Constructed of wool with a bright red background with a large white central circle displaying a large Swas (hook cross or swas) with 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 rope loops on either end.

This Naval battle flag is totally original and is in very good condition, with the expected wear and damage due to age. The wool construction is unfortunately prone to degradation and moth, as shown. It is marked with the Eagle / M indicating German Kriegsmarine (Navy) acceptance. The header is marked on the right hand side:

Df. Reichskriegsfl. Gr. 3. 85 x 50

This abbreviation indicates the intended use of this particular Battle Flag, as well as the size. We have not been able to find what the abbreviation "Gr." means in relation to a flag, but this is probably a smaller example, maybe for a launch or other smaller vessel.

This is a wonderful example of this classic Third Reich Naval Battle 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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