Last modified: 2011-06-13 by german editorial team
Keywords: third reich | nationalsocialist | hitler: adolf | fuehrer | disc (white) | swastika | cross: swastika (black) | eagles: 4 (gold) | garland | bordure (faceted) |
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by Jaume Ollé modified by Yasuo Ohfuji
Personal flag of Hitler. A red square flag with a central white disk. Just inside the disk a gold oak-leaf garland, inside of which a black-white bordered upright black swastika reaching the garland. In the upper hoist and lower fly a Nazi Party type eagle, in the other two corners a Nazi National Eagle, all in gold and with the tops of the heads pointed towards the center of the flag. Illustrated in Flaggenbuch 1939, plate I and Davis 1975, p. 82. Replaced the Presidential Standard. Davis 1975 says that after Hitler assumed the position of Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces [in 1938], this was called Standarte des Führers und Obersten Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht, but Flaggenbuch 1939 and all the miscellaneous manuals etc. I picked up in 1945 do not agree.
Norman Martin, December 1997
In 1938 Hitler assumed the powers of the War Minister after dismissing Field Marshal von Blomberg from that post and reorganizing the Ministry into the High Command of the Armed Forces Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW. In 1941 Hitler made himself Commander-in-Chief of the Army, in the wake of the Soviet winter counteroffensive which resulted, among other things, in the dismissal of the previous Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal von Brauchitsch. Thus the Commander-in-Chief of the Army flag became redundant at that time though technically, I suppose, Hitler would have been entitled to use it.
Tom Gregg, 18 December 1997
A report was received that Hitler's standard was changed around 1940. The eagles were reported to be reversed compared with the earlier pattern and the white disk removed. If I understand Lucien Phillipe correctly, I believe that the change was made after 8 February 1938 when Hitler took the title of Supreme Commander of the Armed forces.
Jaume Ollé, 11 June 1998
Allow me to express some doubts. All of the contemporary examples of which I am aware, including photographs, drawings and plates show the same design (that shown in the Flaggenbuch 1939). Davis 1975 explicitly denies any change in the design in 1938 (though he claims a change in the "correct title"; even this is not supported by any contemporary information I have, and is contradicted by all examples I have seen, e.g. Davis 1975). I would appreciate any information to the contrary.
Norman Martin, 13 June 1998
I do not think that Hitler changed his standard, because the Reichsgesetzblatt (official gazette) has no law concerning such a change. Other official publications do not mention a change at that time. The standard of the president is always mentioned in the Reichsgesetzblatt. Here is my hypothesis. It is possible that as he became Oberbefehlshaber der Wehrmacht in 1938, Hitler used the Flagge des Reichskriegsministers und Oberbefehlshaber der Wehrmacht. But he still had his own standard adopted in 1935. I do not see how the white disc can be missing.
Pascal Vagnat, 14 June 1998
[With] Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg's dismissal from office in 1938, the office of War Minister was abolished [and] Hitler himself took over as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Though I cannot say for sure, I seriously doubt that he would have used the old War Minister's flag.
Tom Gregg, 14 June 1998
As in the case with the personal flags of most other world leaders, that flag is probably not unique. There would have been many examples of the Personal Standard of the Führer for use at various ceremonies and locations. I have seen two printed examples one was for sale at a militaria show in Baltimore, (ca US $4500.00 IIRC), another was donated to the US Navy Academy Museum from an alumnus in Texas. I would not be surprised if the example in the Soviet exhibit was embroidered. Nor would I be surprised to learn that similar expensively hand-sewn personal standards had been at the Reichstag, at Hitler's home, his vacation retreat, a miniature one on his car, etc.
Nick Artimovich, 25 August 1998