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Colombia - Air Force Flags and Aircraft Marking

Fuerza Aérea Colombiana

Last modified: 2014-05-29 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: colombia | air force | roundel | fin flash |
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image by Jaume Ollé, 5 November 2001



See also:


Overview

The Colombian Air Force's full organizational chart (from the Air Force's official website) is located here.

The Colombian Air Force's operational units (Air Commands, Air Groups and Schools) are seen here: Wikipedia and www.fac.mil.co)
On the operational level, the Air Force is divided into Comandos Aéreos (Air Commands), which in turn have several Grupos Aéreos (Air Groups) and these are divided into Escuadrones (Squadrons). There are also several independent Air Groups as well, which will most certainly turn into Air Commands when they reach the proper capacity and infrastructure needed both in manpower and airpower.

These Air Commands and Air Groups are as follows:
- Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 1 (CACOM 1) "CT. Germán Olano Moreno": official website, flag, CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 2 (CACOM 2) "CT. Luis Fernando Gómez Niño": official website, no flag reported on official website, CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 3 (CACOM 3) "MG. Alberto Pauwels Rodríguez": official website, no flag reported on official website, CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 4 (CACOM 4) "TC. Luis Francisco Pinto Parra": official website:, no flag reported on official website, CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 5 (CACOM 5) "GR. Arturo Lema Posada": official website, no flag reported on official website, CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 6 (CACOM 6) "CT. Ernesto Esguerra Cubides": official website,  no flag reported on official website, CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Transporte Militar (CATAM) "BG. Camilo Daza Álvarez": official website, flag (source: http://www.catam.mil.co/index.php?idcategoria=11898  ), CoA;
- Comando Aéreo de Mantenimiento (CAMAN) "MY. Justino Mariño Cuesto": official website;
- Grupo Aéreo del Amazonas (GAAMA): no official website yet;
- Grupo Aéreo del Casanare (GACAS): official website, no flag reported on official website, no CoA reported on official website;
- Grupo Aéreo del Caribe (GACAR) "TC. Benjamín Méndez Rey": official website, flag (source: http://www.gacar.mil.co/index.php?idcategoria=1555 ), CoA;
- Grupo Aéreo del Oriente (GAORI) "CR. Luis Arturo Rodríguez Meneses" (will soon become CACOM 7): official website, no flag reported on official website, CoA.

It is important to notice that these Air Commands were first called Comando Aéreo de Apoyo Táctico (CAATA), (Air Tactical Support Command)

Regarding the schools, these are:
- Escuela Militar de Aviación (EMAVI) "Marco Fidel Suárez": official website, no flag reported on official website, CoA;
- Escuela de Suboficiales FAC (ESUFA) "CT. Andrés Maria Díaz Díaz": official website, flag, CoA;
- Instituto Militar Aeronáutico (IMA) "CT. José Edmundo Sandoval": official website, flag, CoA
 Esteban Rivera, 26 September 2010

Last February 8, 2013, a new Combat Air Command was set up with its respective flag. A picture gallery of this activation ceremony can be seen here:
Esteban Rivera, 11 February 2013

The pattern followed by these Units' Standards (flags) is the plain Air Force flag with the respective unit's CoA, as seen here:


located by Esteban Rivera, 26 September 2010

GACAR Standard, taken from: http://www.gacar.mil.co/recursos_user/imagenes//unidades/gacar/2010/DSC_7705.JPG

Also, each unit has its own War Flag, which is the Colombian tricolor, plus the name of the unit on the lower red fringe surrounding the CoA , as seen here:


located by Esteban Rivera, 26 September 2010

CACOM War Flag, taken from: http://i.esmas.com/image/0/000/006/083/ALVAROURIBE-P.jpg

As mentioned before, an Air Command has several Air Groups. These Air Groups have in turn their own flags, as seen in this example:


located by Esteban Rivera, 26 September 2010

Standard of GRUCO-41, taken from http://www.cacom4.mil.co/index.php?idcategoria=3015.
The CACOM-4 has an Air Group, called Grupo de Combate (Combat Group) 41 (GRUCO-41), and this is its Standard). The GRUCO-41 has an eagle as its insignia, seen here.
Esteban Rivera, 26 September 2010


Air Force Flag

I located the Air Force flag at <elpibe.urc.net.co>.
Esteban Rivera , 19 May 2000

The flag with the crest and white background seems to be the official one.  They probably changed it since I remember seeing the same coat of arms but on a different background (more like a light blue one). In every TV appearance of the Air Force flag, I have always seen that flag.
Esteban Rivera, 30 May 2000

Photo of the flag at <www.fac.mil.co/simbolos>, arms at <www.fac.mil.co>.
Jaume Ollé, 24 November 2001

A government decree no. 126 of 31 December 1919 to form aviation element of Army was the first step for the establishement of Fuerza Aérea Colombiana. On 4 April 1922 Aviacion Militar was formed and it was renamed in 1943 Fuerza Aérea Nacional and renamrd again in 1947 to its current name. Homepage at <www.fac.mil.co> .
Dov Gutterman, 14 June 2004

The FAC flag was established by Resolution on May 24, 1971.
Source: <www.fac.mil.co>.
E. R., 7 July 2008


Air Force Garrison Flag


image by Jaume Ollé, 5 November 2001

Light blue, the national flag in the canton, the air force roundel (8 points star) in the fly.
Source: Christian Fogd Pedersen: Moussault's lexicon van vlaggen en wapens (Alverdens flag i farver), 1980 [ped80].
Mark Sensen, 22 June 1997

Air Force ensign: Light blue field with national flag in canton and roundel (5 points star) at lower fly
Source: Album des Pavillons (1995) [pay].
Ivan Sache, 12 August 1999

I have two books on roundels, both of which say that the star has had five points since the nineteen-fifties. One says that before that time the star had ten points
John Ayer, 14 September 1999

From <www.geocities.com/Pentagon/7978/facres/simbolos.htm>:
ENSIGN (Roundel): This is the ensign that the Colombian Air Force uses since 1950 in all and each one of its aircraft which goes by the following pattern: On top of the left side (wing), below the right side (wing) and on the tail, one on each side.  In the middles it has a five-pointed white star and on its borders is the national tricolor inverted.
Esteban Rivera, 30 May 2000

In Znamierowski's book [zna99] at p. 85: the text states: "...and Colombia have the air force emblem in the centre", but the picture shows the air force flag with the roundel, not an air force emblem
Marcus Schmoger, 16 July 2000

The image is probably of the old flag at top and the text is about the Air Force New Flag
Dov Gutterman, 17 July 2000

The Album 1995 issue [pay] show another flag wich is omitted from Album 2000 [pay00], but I think only due to the editorial policy and not because the flag is obsolete. That is the Air Force Ensign, of the clasical pattern - light blue with the national flag in canton and the roundel in fly. I think that this flag is not obsolete indicated, and that the Air Force flag of different design does not replace it - this other flag serve entirely different function - it is the flag of the Air Force as a branch of the defence forces, in the same way as there are similar flags for other branches.
Željko Heimer, 23 May 2001


Previous National Air Force Flag


image by Jaume Ollé, 5 November 2001


Flag Without Arms


Air Force (FAC)
image by Carlos Thompson, 2 June 2003

In the front dor of the Military Hospital, in Bogota, Colombia, there are three flags in plain color: dark blue, light blue and red. I supose that the flags are just versions without the coat of arms, of the flags of the Army (EJC), Navy (ARC) and Air Force (FAC).
Carlos Thompson, 2 June 2003

António Martins wrote: "These seem to follow the british pattern...". Given that Colombia military airfield flag follows a British pattern: sky blue flag with national flag in the canton and roundel in the fly; and that Britain had a lot of influence in Latin America post independence, that would be a fair guess.
Carlos Thompson, 3 June 2003


Vertical Flag


image by Jaume Ollé and Eugene Ipavec, 19 August 2008

Flag spotted on 6 June 2008 at Eldorado Airport, Bogota. It was hanged on an hangar and I believe that it belongs to one of two Air Force units: CAMAN or CATAM that are located in this airport.
E.R., 19 August 2008


Air Force Coat of Arms


image by Jaume Ollé, 5 November 2001

This is the Colombian Air Force's Crest. It reads "Sic Itur Ad Astra", which means "Like this you go to the stars".
Esteban Rivera , 19 May 2000

From <www.geocities.com/Pentagon/7978/facres/simbolos.htm>:
THE EAGLE OF GULES: She was made the symbol of aviation itself.  As the queen of all birds she is the symbol of the empire that the AIR ARM exerts over Colombian skies, winds and storms; she is a living image of the power and freedom of our fatherland. Her color is gules or blood and/or fire red, that war or martyr heroes have; it speaks clearly about the transparence and energy of love.  It also shows the strength of the spirit and and the ability to dread, primary virtues of those who are part of the Colombian Air Force and incarnates in its blason , manhood, victory, valor, ellegance and courage. The center of the crest is in Azure (Turqueoise Blue) with an horizontal chief that holds two sabre blades, meaning  guard, truth, loyalty and beautifulness. Its title, also in gold, says "SIC ITUR AD ASTRA" which translates "Like this you reach the heigths".  The golden color symbolizes the "light and commitment, the greatness and wisdom". This is, at a glance, the formidable heraldry of the crest that was made into the symbol of our institution.  Its motto was taken from Eneida de Virgilio in his book IX, Chapter V. The crest's origin was from a contest promoted by the Colonel Arturo Lema Posada, then commander of the military aviation and formalized by the Decree No. 2963 of the 26th of December of 1944, being President of the Republic Alfonso López Pumarejo and Minister of War (Today Minister of Defense), General Domingo Espinel.
E. R., 30 May 2000


Roundel


image by Željko Heimer, 23 May 2001

Alternate depiction:


image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 June 2011


Low-visibility version
image by Eugene Ipavec, 13 December 2005

According to [pay00] - Aircraft Marking - A note to the figure explains that the national flag is painted on the fin as Fin Flash. The marking is a roundel divided horizontally and lower part again vertically in yellow, blue and red and in the center covered with a disk divided horizontally in red, blue and yellow (yellow covering the whole lower half), and over it in the middle a white star. The star is a five-pointed star in Album 2000. In Album 1995 the star is of eight points, and as far as I have observed - ight-pointed star is preffered star shape throughout the Colombian history - so I am inclined to believe that the five-pointed star in Album 2000 might be an error. Other source by hand is [zna99] with eight-pointed star also.
Željko Heimer, 23 May 2001

According to Cochrane - military aircraft insignia [cos98], the star was changed to 5 points in 1953. Wheeler Aircraft Markings [whe86] also gives 5 points in 1986.
Armand du Payrat, 25 May 2001

A government decree no. 126 of 31 December 1919 to form aviation element of Army was the first step for the establishement of Fuerza Aérea Colombiana. On 4 April 1922 Aviacion Militar was formed and it was renamed in 1943 Fuerza Aérea Nacional and renamrd again in 1947 to its current name. Homepage at <www.fac.mil.co> .
According to [cos98], since 1925 the FAC use its complicated roundel, and the only change was in 1953 when the star was changed to 5 points star and instead of a roundel as fin flash, came rudder stripes. See: <www.skytamer.com> (1925-1953) and <www.skytamer.com> (post 1953). Jane's 1945 report 8 points star and national colors as rudder stripes. [whe86] report a 5 points star an a sqare fin flash. <www.aeroflight.co.uk> also report 5 points. Photo at <www.airliners.net/240294> show clearly a 5 points star as well <www.airliners.net/240293> . Unfortunally, old photos are so unclesr and the star so small, so I can't have a good one. We shall have to trust the books on this. The rudder stripes are used on uncamoflagued planes. Combat planes carry a small flag as fin flash (see <www.scramble.nl>).
Dov Gutterman, 14 June 2004

The low-visibility version differs somewhat in layout from the regular roundel, too - the inner ring is a bit larger, and the cental star noticeably smaller.
Source: photo at <www.fac.mil.co>, reported by E.R.
Eugene Ipavec, 13 December 2005

There are several roundels used throughout the years, as seen on the FAC official website (All of the roundels that featured on this website and the explanation of them are extracted from the book: "75 Años en los Cielos Patrios", published by Editorial Margabby Ltd., First edition in 1994, by FAC Lt. Col. (r) Oscar Forero Racines):

First roundel (1920-1924)


image by Eugene Ipavec, 22 December 2009
Source: http://www.fac.mil.co/?idcategoria=7990&facmil_2007=e11b77c1a71e91e26db6ca3aec4ce739

Second roundel (1924-1927)

image by Eugene Ipavec, 22 December 2009
Source: http://www.fac.mil.co/?idcategoria=7992&facmil_2007=e11b77c1a71e91e26db6ca3aec4c e739

Third roundel (1927-1953)


image by Željko Heimer, 23 May 2001

Third roundel (1927-1953) Alternate depiction:


image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 June 2011

Third roundel. Established by Decree No. 289 of February 21, 1927 (1927-1953).
Source: http://www.fac.mil.co/?idcategoria=7994&facmil_2007=e11b77c1a71e91e26db6ca3aec4ce739
 

Fourth roundel- 1953-present (above). 
Source: http://www.fac.mil.co/?idcategoria=7996&facmil_2007=e11b77c1a71e91e26db6ca3aec4ce739

Roundels are seen also on the FAC official website
All of the previously mentioned roundels, its images featured on the website and the text explanation of them is extracted from the folloiwng book:>
"75 Años en los Cielos Patrios", published by Editorial Margabby Ltd., First edition in 1994, by FAC Lt. Col. (r) Oscar Forero Racines.
E.R., 7 July 2008 and 22 December 2009

Different versions of two roundels appear in this source. They differ from Željko's existing gifs at in that the star in the 1927-53 one has 9 rays, not 8, and both have a different division of red/blue in the inner ring. They should not replace eljko's but supplement them, and should be labeled "alternate depictions."
Eugene Ipavec, 14 June 2011


Fin Flash


image by Jaume Ollé, 5 November 2001

Fuerza  Aerea Colombiana uses a thiner vertion of the national flag as its fin flash.
Source: B. C Wheeler, An Illustrated Guide to Aircraft Marking (1986) [whe86].
Dov Gutterman , 8 October 1999


Retired NCO's of the Colombian Air Force


Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 August 2009


Coat of Arms
image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 August 2009

ASURFAC (Asociación de Suboficiales en Retiro de la Fuerza Aérea Colombiana, Retired NCO's of the Colombian Air Force) is an organization that has its own symbols. It consists of the plain Air Force flag pattern with the Coat of Arms of the ASURFAC on the middle.
E.R., 10 August 2009


Air Force Social Action "Our Lady of Loreto"


image by Eugene Ipavec,

The Acción Social FAC Nuestra Señora de Loreto (FAC Social Action Our Lady of Loreto) is a non profit organization made up of wives of Air Force Active and Retired Officers that work voluntarily to support the families of the homes of the most in need of the Air Force. It was established in 1972
The Lady of Loreto was chosen because it represents protection for the houses and the families that live there
Sources: <www.fac.mil.co>, <www.corazones.org> and wikipedia
The Logo can be seen on the header of the website they have. The flag is on a horizontal plain yellow background with the logo on the middle, as seen in the pictures:
E.R., 10 December 2009

The Air Force Social Action "Our Lady of Loreto" was established in 1972.
Source: https://www.fac.mil.co/?idcategoria=237
It has a new flag, the colors being the same, but with a new logo.
This picture taken on July 11, 2013 during the F-Air air show.
For additional information go to: Acción Social "Nuestra Señora de Loreto" (official website)
Esteban Rivera, 21 December 2013