List of flags of the Luftwaffe (1933–45)

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This article shows a list of flags of the Luftwaffe (1933-1945) which were used in the years between 1933 and 1945 by the German Luftwaffe.

Supreme Commander of the Luftwaffe[edit]

Since the beginning of the German Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring was its designated head. In 1933 he was called Reichsminister der Luftfahrt (Reich Minister for Aviation), when on February 26, 1935, he was instituted as Commander-in-Chief of the German Luftwaffe. He held this title until April 1945, when he was banned by Adolf Hitler and replaced by Robert Ritter von Greim.

Flag Date Designation Description
OKLw1 links.svg 1933–1935 The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation (left side) The flag was introduced on May 5, 1933. Placed in the center of the flag was the variant of the German eagle, that was used until 1935 as National Emblem. Probably this flag was used until April 1935 when the following alternative pattern exclusively came into use.
OKLw1 rechts.svg 1933–1935 The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation (right side) The reverse side was the same as the obverse but with inverted symbols. Just like on the left side, suspended from the base of the wreath was a representation of the Pour le Mérite decoration.
OKLw1 links Alternative.svg 1933–1935 The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation (left side), alternative pattern[1] This was an alternative variant of the Command flag that was probably used during the same time as the previous one. Since April 1935 this flag was called Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation and Supreme Commander of the Luftwaffe.
OKLw1 rechts Alternative.svg 1933–1935 The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation (right side), alternative pattern This is the presumptive appearance of the right side of the flag. Because of the fact that there is no image available of the reverse side, this is a reconstruction. It is assumed that the right side was made in a similar style like the first pattern.
OKLw2 links.svg 1935–1938 The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation and Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Force (left side) Introduced in the end of the year 1935 the new model of the flag displayed the symbol of the German Luftwaffe, a flying golden eagle, in the four corners of the flag. The golden border of the flag contained 76 small swastikas.
OKLw2 rechts.svg 1935–1938 The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation and Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Force (right side) The reverse side of the flag was the same as the obverse, but with inverted symbols. In addition there was a representation of the Pour le Mérite decoration.
OKLw2 links.svg 1938–1945 (de facto until 1940) The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation and Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Force (left side) Identical to the previous version.
OKLw3 rechts.svg 1938–1945 (de facto until 1940) The Command flag for the Reich Minister for Aviation and Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Force (right side) This flag was introduced on April 28, 1938. The right side was identical to the previous version, except for an added pair of Luftwaffe Field Marshal's batons. The change of the flag took place at the same time as the promotion of Göring to a Generalfeldmarschall (Field Marshal).
Reichsmarschall Version 1 links.svg 1940–1941 Standard for the Reichsmarschall (left side) Shortly after Göring was promoted to a Reichsmarschall on July 19, 1940, he had himself manufactured a personal standard. In practice this standard most likely was also used as Command flag for the Supreme Commander of the German Luftwaffe and de facto replaced the previous command flag. This fact is observable in some contemporary pictures.
Reichsmarschall Version 1 rechts.svg 1940–1941 Standard for the Reichsmarschall (right side) Placed in the center of the right side of the standard there was the Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, a decoration which was uniquely awarded to Hermann Göring.
Reichsmarschall Version 2 links.svg 1941–1945 Standard for the Reichsmarschall (left side) The new version of the standard was introduced in February 1941 and shows in the center the Reichsadler (National Eagle) in a revised design.
Reichsmarschall Version 2 rechts.svg 1941–1945 Standard for the Reichsmarschall (right side) The Großkreuz now is sourrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves.

Other rank and command flags[edit]

Flagge Datum Bezeichnung Beschreibung
Staatssekretär der Luftfahrt.svg 1937(?)–1945 Command flag for the Secretary of State for Aviation Erhard Milch held this position from 1933 to 1945. In 1938 he additionally was instituted as Generalinspekteur der Luftwaffe.
Chef Generalstab Luftwaffe.svg 1937–1940 The Command flag for the Chief of the Air Force General Staff Introduced on September 1, 1937, abolished on July 13, 1940. The last Chief of Staff was Hans Jeschonnek. He committed suicide on August 19, 1943.
Generalluftzeugmeister.svg 1940–1944 Service flag for the Generalluftzeugmeister Introduced on July 13, 1940, abolished on June 20, 1944. Erhard Milch held this position during the whole period.
Chef einer Luftflotte Version 2.svg 1937(?)–1940 Flag for an Air Fleet Commander and Commander "East"
Chef einer Luftflotte Version 1.svg 1940–1945 Flag for an Air Fleet Commander
Kommandierender General eines Fliegerkorps.svg 1937(?)–1945 Flag for a Commanding General of the Luftwaffe
Kommandeur einer Fliegerdivision.svg 1937(?)–1945 Flag for the Commander of a Luftgau or a Fliegerdivision, Leader of Naval Air Force units
Generalfeldmarschall Luftwaffe Rechte Seite.svg 1941–1945 Flag for Field Marshals of the Air Force (right side) Introduced on February 17, 1941. This flag and the following ones were so called Hoheitszeichen (National Emblembs). In case there was a command flag in use, these National Emblems had to be applied as well.
Generalfeldmarschall Luftwaffe Linke Seite.svg 1941–1945 Flag for Field Marshals of the Air Force (left side)
Kommandierender General der Luftwaffe.svg 1941–1945 Vehicle flag for Commanding Generals of the Luftwaffe National Emblems exclusively were used as vehicle flags.
General der Luftwaffe.svg 1941–1945 Vehicle pennant for Generals of the Luftwaffe
Übrige Angehörige der Luftwaffe.svg 1941–1945 Vehicle pennant for the remaining members of the Luftwaffe

Literature[edit]

  • Flaggenbuch, Bearbeitet und herausgegeben vom Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, Berlin 1939, Reichsdruckerei, M.Dv.Nr.377
  • Brian Leigh Davis: Flags & Standards of the Third Reich, London 1975, ISBN 0356048799

References[edit]

  1. ^ DAVIS, 1975 shows a black-white colored picture of the left side of the flag on page 136.