German Army Flag of the Reich Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces

SKU: 20.GOR.05.004

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  • German Army Flag of the Reich Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (1st version) Obverse

Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    July 23, 1935

History


The flags of the Wehrmacht were initially the old tradition flags of the Imperial Army, which had also been the flags of the Reichswehr. New Wehrmacht flags were introduced on March 16, 1936. All individual colours of units were replaced by the Reich War Flag on August 28, 1944.

Flags and pennants were not only used for individual units, but also to identify high-ranking officers or command posts. Staff flags for commanding officers of units usually showed numbers and (Latin) letters, at least in times of peace, to help identify units more accurately.

There are also National Insignia Pennants (Hoheitszeichen) for officers that were used exclusively on motor vehicles.

The Flag of the Reich Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Reichskriegsminister und Oberbefehlshaber der Wehrmacht) has two version.

The first version was introduced on July 23, 1935. The center shows the same pattern as that for the flag of the Reichswehr Minister, a black/white/red flag with a superimposed Iron Cross. Around it on a white square are four Wehrmacht style eagles on swastikas, with the eagles’ heads pointing towards the middle. The flag has a black/white/black border. Obverse and reverse are identical, with the eagles being mirrored and the swastikas opening counter-clockwise.

The second version was introduced on October 5, 1935 and was to be used starting on November 7, 1935. The flag is a red square inside a black/white border. In the middle is a black swastika on a white disc with multiple black and white borders. The vertical and horizontal arms of a cross of multiple black and white lines emerge from behind the disc. In the upper left and lower right corner is a black and white Iron Cross, and in the upper right and lower left corner a Wehrmacht style black and white eagle.

This flag was discontinued on February 4, 1938 when the Reich Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Generalfeldmarschall von Blomberg was dismissed and Hitler declared himself Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

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