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Flags and Standards Used by the German Army 1936-1945
written and edited by "Fornax" and Pete Loeser

        The German Army had a very intricate system of so-called "Waffenfarben" (Colors of Arms). By means of these Waffenfarben it was possible to distinguish the type of unit the flag or standard belonged to. The colors were displayed on the uniforms, as well as on the flags and standards.

        Special flags and standards for the German Army were introduced in 1936. It was decided that units, which were not motorized had to carry a square flag, whereas motorized units had to carry a standard. The flag was 125 cm square, and it was attached to a flag staff that had an overall height of 3 meters and was surmounted by a Wehrmacht eagle emblem. The standard cloth was 75 cm long and 51 cm high. It was cut in a so-called "hussar-cut," which was 25 cm deep. The staff had to be 2,85 meters high.

Image provided by Fornax
Image provided by Fornax
An example of a flag used by an Infantry unit
An example of a Standard used by an Artillery unit

        During the period that the Third Reich existed, the following colors of arms for not motorized units were used on their flags:

  1. White = Infantry units
  2. Black = Engineer units
  3. Green = Rifle and Mountain Infantry units

        These type of units carried a standard because they were motorized:

  1. White = Infantry units
  2. Black = Engineer units
  3. Green = Rifle and Mountain Infantry units
  4. Pink = Armored units
  5. Gold-yellow: Cavalry units
  6. Bright red: Artillery units
  7. Light blue: Supply troops
  8. Lemon yellow: Signal units
  9. Bordeaux red: Chemical warfare units

        Please notice that the colors white, black and green were used by motorized as well as non-motorized units.

        All these flags and standards represented the whole unit (battalion). Each battalion of the German Army was awarded a flag and standard respectively. They were used at victory parades, during a swearing-in ceremonies, or on other occasions or festivities. A flag was carried in front of the unit by a soldier, whereas a standard was fixed inside an open vehicle, but held by a soldier.

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