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Command Flags of the Army 1885-1925 and 1933-1945 (Germany)

Last modified: 2012-09-30 by pete loeser
Keywords: german empire | weimar republic | third reich | rank | pennant | quartered | quartered: saltire | bordure (red) |
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Introduction

Extracted from Felddienst-Ordnung (Field Service Regulations, published 1905). This document was the Imperial German Army's standard operating procedures, as we would call such a document today. The three flags are attached to a staff topped by a metal spear and have wire stiffener from the staff at the lower left corner and extending to the upper right corner. The pennant has a horizontal stiffener extending at the division between the black and white colours.
Alvan Fisher

The Stabsflaggen or black-white-red flags for the Army, Corps and Division Headquarters date from 1885. Those of lower commands divided by Waffenfarbe seem to date from early in the 1920s - most of them were in effect by 1925. The pattern for the higher commands were changed in early 1925, but reverted to their earlier design in April 1933. Of course, all of these flags disappeared (except as souvenirs) with the German defeat in 1945. In 1957 (for a few of the higher command flags in 1959), the present flags [were adopted] - basically these were the same as the earlier flags for the lower commands (except for a few changes due to Waffenfarbe changes). Most of this data comes from Jürgen Rimann's paper at the 15th International Congress.
Norman Martin, 10 March 2001


Army Headquarters
Armee Oberkommando

[Army Headquarters (Germany)] 1:1 Image by Jorge Candeias

The text gives a 1:20 scale, which equates to a square about 78cm x 78cm.
Alvan Fisher

This is the flag for a numbered army - Armee being the German word for these major subordinate formations. The Army as a whole is das Heer as in Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH, the First World War German Army High Command).
Tom Gregg


Army Corps Headquarters
Generalkommando

[Army Corps Headquarters (Germany)] 3:4 Image by Jorge Candeias

This flag appears to be that for the General Staff [Generalkommando] for cavalry formations and has a 2:3 format, which would work out to a 62cm x 93cm rectangle.
Alvan Fisher

The Generalkommando flag was, I believe, used to designate corps and army detachments (Armeeabteilungen). This latter was a temporary tactical grouping placing one corps under the command and control of another corps.
Tom Gregg


Division Headquarters
Stab einer Division

[Division Headquarters (Germany)] 3:4 Image by Jorge Candeias

This flag is a pennant, perhaps marking a division staff. The dimensions appear to be 62cm x 100 cm.
Alvan Fisher


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