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Zimbabwe - Air Force flags

Last modified: 2015-05-25 by bruce berry
Keywords: zimbabwe | rhodesia | southern rhodesia | federation of rhodesia and nyasaland | air force | air force of zimbabwe | rhodesian air force |
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 image by Željko Heimer, 30 Nov 2003

See also:

Air Force of Zimbabwe (1980 - )

Following the independence of Zimbabwe in April 1980, the Rhodesian Air Force was renamed the Air Force of Zimbabwe and adopted a new emblem being a Bateleur eagle in flight. The new air force flag retains the light blue field used previously but has the Zimbabwe national flag in the canton with the air force emblem in gold in the fly.
by Željko Heimer, 01 Dec 2003

image by Željko Heimer, 01 Dec 2003

The roundel of the Zimbabwe Air Force is concentric circles of the national colours, viz white, black, red, yellow and green.  A yellow Zimbabwe Bird is also placed on the fuselage and wings.
Bruce Berry, 17 Feb 1998

image by Željko Heimer, 01 Dec 2003

The aircraft fin flash on starboard side is an illustration of  the Great Zimbabwe Bird turned towards the front of the aircraft.  A note explains that the national flag is painted on the port side.
by Željko Heimer, 01 Dec 2003

In 1982, a new post-independence marking was introduced, featuring a yellow Zimbabwe bird sitting on the walls of Great Zimbabwe. This marking was displayed on the fin of the aircraft or on the fuselage of helicopters. No wing markings were displayed. 

In 1994, a new roundel was introduced, featuring the national colours in concentric rings. Initially, the roundel was used in association with the 'Zimbabwe Bird' tail marking used previously, but this was soon replaced by the national flag. The main marking is normally displayed above and below each wing and on each side of the fuselage. 

Those are the marking at http://www.mig-21.de/Bilder/Simbabwe_1.jpg and http://www.acig.org/artman/uploads/afz_j-7iib_001_001.jpg and http://www.scramble.nl/mil/1/afz/gfx/casa.jpg and
http://www.afavia-fotos.co.za/milr1/images/MR1006.jpg

However, this seems to be changed, and today the Zimbabwe Bird is also used as fin flash as shown at: http://www.scramble.nl/mil/1/afz/gfx/f7.jpg, http://www.scramble.nl/mil/1/afz/gfx/sf260.jpg and
http://www.fighter-jets.de/fighterjets/luftwaffen/sim.jpg. (See also http://www.scramble.nl/zw.htm and http://www.fighter-jets.de/fighterjets/luftwaffen.php?land=sim&attr=sim&teil=s).
Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004
 


Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Air Force (1979-1980)

image by Jens Pattke, 23 Jan 2014

In June 1979 the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia government of Bishop Muzorewa was installed and the air force flag was the only military flag to be changed to coincide with the change in the national flag. The roundel remained unchanged.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

In the last year of the Rhodesian War and the first few years of Zimbabwe's independence, no national insignia of any sort were carried on Air Force aircraft. This was legal as long as the aircraft did not fly outside of the country's borders.
Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004


Rhodesian Air Force (1970-1979)

image by Clay Moss, 01 July 2005

In March 1970 the prefix "Royal" was dropped when Rhodesia declared herself a republic following the  Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in November 1965.  A new air force roundel was adopted in the new Rhodesian colours of green and white containing a lion (in gold) and tusk in the centre of the white. The new air force ensign was taken into use on 05 April 1970. The new flag contained the Rhodesian flag in the canton with the roundel in the fly on a light blue field.
Source: Flags and Symbols of Rhodesia, 1890-1980 (SAVA Journal 5/96) by R Allport [all96].
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

image by Richard Allport

On 02 March 1970 Rhodesia became a Republic, and a new national insignia, featuring the Rhodesian Lion was introduced. This marking was displayed in the usual six positions, together with a green/white/green fin flash.

Fin flash is with narrow white stripe as un RAF type C.  A detailed photograph can been seen at http://www.a2oxford.info/pages/rhodesia/images/military32.jpg and a photograph with the ensign at
http://www.a2oxford.info/pages/rhodesia/images/military34.jpg.  It seems that the lion always pointed to the plane's nose. Looking at http://www.a2oxford.info/pages/rhodesia/images/military04.jpg, the lion looks more "goldish" and not outlined in black as shown below (see http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/aa-africa/zim/zim-af-nat-markings.htm).
Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004
 


Close-up of the lion emblem

image by Clay Moss, 07 June 2008

This lion emblem was found in the centre of the air force roundel which was also found in the fly of the Rhodesian Air Force flag.
Source: Flags and Symbols of Rhodesia, 1890-1980 (SAVA Journal 5/96) by R Allport [all96].
Bruce Berry, 04 Sep 2002


Royal Rhodesian Air Force - Southern Rhodesia (1964-1968)

 image by Clay Moss, 25 June 2005

Following the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland on 31 December 1963, the name of the air force was not changed but the roundel and flag were changed to display a SINGLE assegai extending vertically across the entire width of the roundel.
Source: Flags and Symbols of Rhodesia, 1890-1980 (SAVA Journal 5/96) by R Allport [all96].
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

With the break-up of the Federation in December 1963, the national insignia of was revised to feature a roundel with a thinner white ring and a single large assegai spear instead of the previous three small spears. The main marking was displayed on the aircraft above and below each wing, and on the fuselage. A fin flash with a thinner white stripe was also adopted (see http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/aa-africa/zim/zim-af-nat-markings.htm).

Fin flash was RAF type C.
Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004


Royal Rhodesian Air Force - Federal period (1953 to 1963)

 image by Clay Moss, 08 Aug 2004

With the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953, an air arm of the armed forces was created with a distinctive roundel of its own. The RAF roundel was adapted to display three small assegais in black and white vertically across the red centre. The assegais represented the three territories making up the Federation, namely Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland . (Note: the Union Jack was displayed in the canton and not the Federal flag). On 15 October 1954 the air arm was officially designated as the ROYAL RHODESIAN AIR FORCE.
Source: Flags and Symbols of Rhodesia, 1890-1980 (SAVA Journal 5/96) by R Allport [all96].
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

The national insignia of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, created in September 1953, was basically a British roundel with three vertical assegai spears superimposed upon it. The three spears represented the three components of the federation - Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This new marking was displayed above and below each wing, and on the fuselage. The fin flash remained unchanged (see http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/aa-africa/zim/zim-af-nat-markings.htm).

Fin flash was Royal Air Force type A.
Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004


Southern Rhodesian Air Force (1947-1953)

 image by Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004

The Southern Rhodesian Air Force was established in 1947 and initially used the (British) Royal Air Force (RAF) ensign.  Its three squadrons were disbanded after World War II.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Between 1947 and 1953 the Southern Rhodesia Air Force markings were based on standard British national markings. Green/yellow/green bars were added each side of the fuselage roundel.  Some aircraft also had the bars added to the wing roundels, with the bars aligned span-wise (see http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/aa-africa/zim/zim-af-nat-markings.htm).

Fin flash was Royal Air Force type A.
Dov Gutterman, 28 June 2004



 
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