Last modified: 2020-11-13 by pete loeser
Keywords: ufe | unidentified flags | 2016 |
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Below is a series of images of flags that have been provided to FOTW; some we have recognized, and some we have been unable to recognize. If you can help us identify any of these flags, please let us know! Contact the: UFE Editor.
Unidentified Flags on Page 1:
Unidentified Flags on this Page:
Unidentified Flags on Page 3:
Unidentified Flags on Page 4:
Unidentified Flags on Page 5:
Unidentified Flags on other pages:
Image from Kamil Salus, 22 March 2016
I have been researching this flag...and have no clue what the origin of it is or what it means. I've been following your website for a long while and coming to you as an authority on flags. Can you please help me figure out what this flag is all about?
Kamil Salus, 22 March 2016
This flag was seen in Mystic, Connecticut.
Rob Raeside, 23 March 2016
This could be a coincidence, but five Turks were killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul today... could it be some kind of Turkish mourning flag?
James Dignan, 23 March 2016
I'll caveat this up front by saying that I don't have a definite answer on this ID, only additional speculation.
1) Could this object be less of a flag and perhaps more like a banner, maybe even advertising something? The general shape of it, as well as the way it seems to be attached to the window frame at the four corners looks more like some sort of commercial banner rather than a folded flag.
2) Could the design on the object be less inspired by national symbols and perhaps more indicative of symbols from numerology, astrology, tarot, or other forms of fortune-telling? The more I look at the symbols and try to find some sort of connection between the crescent and star, the arrow, the nine smaller stars in a specific configuration, and the numeral "5" the more I keep coming back to numerology and astrology as the one common factor between them.
As I said, I really just have more speculation and questions than I do answers, but I wanted to put it out there for what it's worth. Thanks for humoring me!
Randy Young, 24 March 2016
Looks nothing like any astrological symbols I've ever seen or worked with - and certainly not Tarot related. It's possible, but I'd say highly unlikely.
James Dignan, 25 March 2016
The more I think about this flag, the more I think the combination of number, symbol (arrow), and star and crescent indicates some military unit. There is a Pakistani Air Force squadron called the Arrows, but unfortunately they're the 11th squadron, not the 5th. It could be a squadron of some middle-eastern air force, though, or something similar.
James Dignan, 25 March 2016
Could it be something like a Shriner's chapter flag? Another thought that occurs is that the arrow is just that: an arrow that point toward something and used as such.
Marc Pasquin, 27 March 2016
Kamil, when originally reported, it was mentioned that this flag was spotted in the Chicago area hung outside a residential building. Do we know the area code, neighborhood, County, or any other further references so we can improve our search? Any details are greatly appreciated.
Esteban Rivera, 9 November 2020
Image from Jim Loos, 23 March 2016
I have a mystery flag in a photo that I know was taken in the summer of 1906. At this date the United States had 45 states in the union, but the flag hanging in the background has a star field arranged in a 6 x 8 rectangular pattern. Unfortunately, 7 of the 48 star positions are hidden by a person's head in the foreground. However, the pattern I see is different from the oddball examples of 45-star flags shown on your site, so I am curious whether this could in fact be a 45-star flag, or if perhaps some flag manufacturers jumped the gun and issued a 48-star flag several years before Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona were admitted.
Jim Loos, 23 March 2016
Were 48-star flags available as early as 1906? This predates even the introduction of the 46-star flag. Our page shows variant designs for the 45 star flag, but not this one.
Rob Raeside, 23 March 2016
I oldest dated 48-star flag I have ever seen was dated 1898, so the answer is yes, flags were made in anticipation of statehood long before it was fact.
Jim Ferrigan, 24 March 2016
Image from Jim Loos, 25 March 2016
Given the information from Jim Ferrigan that 48-star flags appeared as early as 1898, I made a search of old newspapers available at the Library of Congress site. I found several references to 48-star flags in 1898, one of them is attached (from Butler Citizen, Butler PA, June 30. 1898). Additional mentions of 48-star flags are made in various newspapers through the years prior to 1912, so it is indeed clear that some flag manufacturers made the flag that way, either to celebrate the new territories gained in the Spanish-American War, or to anticipate the statehood of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.
Jim Loos, 25 March 2016
Image from William Garrison, 28 March 2016
Hopefully you can view the attached jpg. It shows (I believe) three flags of ISIS. The one in the top right seems similar to an ISIS flag, but there appears to be 2 lines near the top of the flag. It may be an ISIS sub-unit flag. My poor eyesight can't read the Arabic.
Source: FP (Foreign Policy) Magazine website; The Middle East Daily, March 28, 2016.
William Garrison, 28 March 2016
Note: I have reduced the image (used above), but retained the area of the image Bill refers to at original size, clipped and pasted in the lower right corner.
Rob Raeside, 28 March 2016
I can't even see three flags. Can we get them indexed, so we know what we're talking about?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 9 April 2016
Image modified by Pete Loeser, 22 April 2016
[Click image to enlarge]
Sure. At first I thought I'd found what may have been a fourth flag that I marked as "D" but on closer examination discovered that what I marked "C" is an enlargement inserted by Rob. So A, B, and D are the three apparent flags mentioned by Bill Garrison. "C" is merely an insert and not part of the picture.
Pete Loeser, 22 April 2016
Erm, do we all agree that this is a cloth on a frame, that most of the top dexter is missing, and that the top sinister folding over, obscuring part of the cloth and showing its own writing in reverse, in colours that strongly suggest the cloth was not meant as a flag?
Whether anything depicted on it also appears as a real flag is a different avenue of research, and I who can't read what it all says am not the right person to go there.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 24 April 2016
I have to say the following: I totally agree with what Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg wrote on April 24, 2016: "...suggest the cloth was not meant as a flag". To me it is just a representation of a real Isis flag and the picture we have is not a proper flag at all. Also, this UFE should be included in our section "Militias and
Esteban Rivera, 21 May 2015
This flag has been identified as the flag of Hyundai Asan Company.
This has been identified as a flag of a British and Irish trade union known as Unite.
This flag has been identified as the Korean Safety Flag.
Images from Miles Li, 19 April 2016
Attached is a photo, taken at Frankfurt Airport in the then West Germany, some time between 1958 and 1961. It shows, between the flags of KLM and Pan Am, an unidentified airline flag, featuring a white arrowhead symbol on a red globe on a dark blue field. The emblem resembled the cap badges worn by Trans World Airlines flight crews; however as TWA rarely used blue on its liveries, there are doubts as to the actual identity of the flag.
Source: Postcards of the Lockheed Constellation aircraft.
Miles Li, 19 April 2016
After looking at the picture you sent one can see that the aircraft on the foreground is indeed a TWA one, so it is indeed in the TWA terminal of the Frankfurt Airport, which lead us to think that this was the TWA flag. Here's a bigger (picture #1) (source #1) (picture #2) (source #2) [in this last URL it mentions that the postcard was issued 1961 and shows a personal message sent back then, and you can also use a zooming tool in the picture]. The postcard was produced by Krüger.
As you mentioned, the symbol on the flag in the middle looks like the cap badge worn by TWA pilots in the early 1960's as in (this image) (source) suggests. The same postcard appears on the following sites as well:
Images from Randy Young, 19 April 2016
These are the current and previous flags of El Al, respectively, turning the graphics that Esteban linked from Wikipedia into FOTW-standard graphics.
Meanwhile, I don't think that the 2nd flag in the photo at is El Al. The characters on the flag don't appear to me to be "IAL,"" as the "L" would be turned backwards, "facing" the hoist. That said, it leaves me more confused than ever as to what the symbols/characters in the white stripe could be.
Randy Young, 19 April 2016
My idea is that this flag is of the British BOAC.
Jens Pattke, 19 April 2016
Speculative Image by Pete Loeser, 30 April 2016
In Louisiana, south of New Orleans, today I saw in a rural yard a regular American flag and one rendered in black and yellow... there are places to buy this on line (cap or patch, air freshener, etc.) but no explanation of it... does anyone know what this flag means?
milopyne, 30 March 2016
Seems to be just artwork, without meaning. See electrosky.
Al Kirsch, 6 April 2016
Just a wild thought on this flag: there's a song called "Black and yellow" by American rapper Wiz Khalifa. In the music video of the song, he appears wearing a hat with the Pittsburgh Pirates logo which, by the way, is a capital "P" letter in yellow, with a black background. Also, in the lyrics, he mentions the following: "Black
stripe, yellow paint..." which may be a reference to African Americans (represented by the black
color) in the stripes, as well as the yellow which, in the song, represents gold, money and diamonds.
I'd classify this flag as another Fictional flag similar to the USA national flag.
Esteban Rivera, 10 May 2016
Just found another explanation for the colors: "The song is a reference to the colors of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and their NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Khalifa has stated that he bought a car in those colors because of his allegiance to Pittsburgh and the Steelers. The music video for the song made the connection to Pittsburgh explicit, showing various iconic locations in the city."
Source: Black and Yellow.
Esteban Rivera, 10 May 2016
Image by Pete Loeser, 25 June 2016
The same manufacturer who is selling the Yellow and Black American Flag is now also offering a "retro" version in red, black and yellow. While the yellow and black version has been seen as a physical flag, this red/black/yellow version has thus far only appeared on T-Shirts, serving trays, luggage tags, etc. The meaning of these flags still remains a mystery, other than a way to make some bucks. It will be interesting to see if some group re-purposes these flags and gives them a new meaning other than a way to generate income.
Pete Loeser, 25 June 2016
Looking for a meaning of the Yellow and Black American Flag, it possibly is most likely going to be a flag supporting the New Orleans Saints, another National Football League club. The colors are black and gold (a darker gold, mind you) and avoided the use of the Saints logo due to possible trademark issues. Another thought is that the gold/black combination is used by Vets or by those in the field of Security or Loss Prevention (the prevention of theft in a business).
Zachary Harden, 10 December 2016
Image from Robert Goldman,
Last 4th of July a replica of the Hermione, the ship that Lafayette sailed on his second voyage to America in 1780, was docked at the South Street Seaport on the East River in New York City. I was fascinated by the large flag it was flying. When I inquired I was told that it was a Revolutionary War Era Naval Battle Flag.
The exact flag is not illustrated on the FOTW website, although there are a couple of flags with similar characteristics. This flag had staggered stars of 4, 5 and 4 with 5 red stripes, 4 white stripes and 4 blue stripes. I had never seen a flag with red, white and blue stripes before. It was thrilling to see the ship, it's cannon and the flags it was flying, especially with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. I was wondering if you knew about this flag and its history. Perhaps it is just an inaccurate replica.
I did look at the Serapis Flag and noticed it to be similar to the flag I saw except for the stripe pattern. So I can presume it's a variation of the the Serapis Flag, [...or perhaps even the Arthur Lee Flag]? I couldn't find it.
Robert Goldman, 30 April 2016
Photo from V. Akopyan, 1 May 2016
I am wondering if you can give me any information about this banner I found. It is a three color triangle banner with a star. I could not find the name of company who made it. An attached tag says "Spiegel Novelty Co. Inc. FLAGS BANNERS 103 Nassau St., N.Y.C."
V. Akopyan, 1 May 2016
This is almost certainly a US yacht club flag, but I don't think it is one that we have included in our website yet.
Rob Raeside, 1 May 2016
Can we can get information on the banner V.A. found. Did V.A. find this one hidden in the attic of a derelict house? Or is there provenance that might tells us more of when this was made?
A better description could be: "A triangular burgee with a red hoist and a black fly separated by a narrow flyward white chevron, the red carrying a five-pointed white star with one point pointing down"? Is there a reason not to assume that the flag is upside down with the star normally pointing up?
Strange, as the design elements all seem rather start of last century, so you'd expect it to have been documented somewhere. Even stranger, as their toy shop next door even made it into LIFE magazine (in an ad for Mattel toys). Let's see:
* A Spiegel Novelty Company was incorporated 30 January 1947, and still exists, though now a LLC, currently under one Irnest Spiegel, though not at the right address.
* Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Nov 22, 1979 has a "William Spiegel, president of Spiegel Novelty, a New York flag dealer".
* Billboard 1920 has Spiegel Novelty Co. at 11 Ann Street, New York.
Assuming all these are the same company, we're looking at a pre-1947 flag, as Spiegel Novelty was not yet incorporated.
In the lighting of that photograph the fly seems black. However, a dark blue also often shows up black in a picture. If that were the case here, the burgee might be that of the Bently Yacht Club. A Lloyds Register of American Yachts from the teens of the 20th century would probably show it. And in this case the flag is upside down.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 May 2016
Image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 2 May 2016
Image from Pete Loeser, 7 May 2016https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/y/yu~1950.gif
We received an unsigned inquiry with only the following text: "A lapel button, no back, so not even a manufacturer." Apparently the button has a French Flag with a gold star on it, surrounded by 12 gold stars. Perhaps the button was part of an uniform, military, merchant marine, etc.? Any ideas?
Pete Loeser, 7 May 2016
Image by Željko Heimer, 25 October 2003
Flag of Yugoslavia
I suspect the button is sideways and we are looking at a variant of the old flag of Yugoslavia with the European Economic Community ring of stars. Yugoslavia cooperated intimately with the EEC before the 1990s and much was made of this. There were several attempts to make
Yugoslavia a member but this never happened. See: Yugoslavia and the European Economic Community.
Dave Martucci, 27 January 2019
Did anything come from this, Dave Martucci's interpretation of UFE16-28? I wonder if there's a way to make it more certain: E.g. do such buttons have a fixed direction that will allow the owner to determine up? Or are there specialist Yugoslavia button collectors that might help? (Or EEG/EU idem?) If that was a big deal in the EEG, does that make it likely that such a button would have been "museumed" somewhere? And, of course, would this be the only material, or would there be flags, stamps, whatnots?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 May 2020
Image from Pete Loeser, 10 June 2003
Civil Flag of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1868-1918)
I love Dave's ability to think outside the box and see connections that other miss. That said, to play devil's advocate, I need to point out that the star on the Yugoslav flag was red, not gold. Now it is true the blue "Flag of Europe" has 12 gold Stars in a circle (also used by the Council of Europe and European Union), but why add a large 13th gold star?
Now lets turn the button the other way, then we have the Civil Flag of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1868-1918). The red/white/blue tricolor (trobojnica) has been a state symbol of Croatia for generations, and wasn't Croatia trying to join either the EEC or EU for years? Maybe this button dates back to the time they were trying join (they finally succeeded in 2013), and the large gold star was meant to suggest that.
Any other speculations?
I attached an image of the Civil Flag of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1868-1918), the Flag of the Kingdom of Croatia (early 19th Century-1848), and the flag of State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (1918). It is actually all the same flag and all we'd have to do is add a gold star.
Pete Loeser, 10 June 2020
These flags have been identified as those of the Leeward Islands (French Polynesia), Tahaa (French Polynesia), and Tubuai (Austral Islands, French Polynesia).
Image from Gabriel Smit, 5 May 2016
Recently I stumbled on a flag that I cannot identify, not even with your library. It seems obvious it is somehow related to Tibet, likely the Kagyu school. I observed the flag in the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, here in a bit of public greenery. Nothing in the near vicinity provided me any clues, and web searches are thus far also unsuccessful.
Gabriel Smit, 5 May 2016
Looks somewhat like a police star, doesn't it? I don't know about the script; it doesn't look angled enough to be Tibetan to me.
Curiously, the photograph google maps has for that map location seems to have a flag with a bar along the fly edge, rather than the hoist - not something that happens by accident.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 18 May 2016
Not Tibetan: this is Balinese lettering, namely the om-monograph (Also see). In hindsight, Balinese is a good bet for an UFE sighting in A'dam.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2016
Congratulations! I was myself checking various Indian-influenced scripts, since it definitely wasn't Tibetan.
Corentin Chamboredon, 18 May 2016
A similar flag was already reported as a Galungan flag (Balinese holiday) used in Indonesia. [but no star]
Esteban Rivera, 18 May 2015
I believe we can label this as a positive ID, only that it (the flag submitted with the star) is another variant of a Galungan flag.
Esteban Rivera, 21 May 2015
It is indeed, and especially so because in both versions the symbol are placed incorrectly, at least from a typographic point of view: The "ᬑᬁᬵ" symbol should stand upright, roughly resembling the digit "2".
António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 June 2016
These have been identified as variants of the IJSK Flag and been moved.
These flags have been identified as variants of the Islamic Resistance Movement and moved.
This has been identified as a flag of the Sunni Awakening Movement and moved.