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Mozambican Military flags

Last modified: 2014-06-21 by bruce berry
Keywords: warflag | roundel |
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War flag (1975-1983)

[War flag] image by Željko Heimer, 29 July 1996

The war flag of Mozambique is red with the national symbol in yellow in the canton.
Antonio Martins, 21 Sep 1997

The flag is illustrated in 'Flags and Arms across the World', by Whitney Smith (1980) [smi80] but with no accompanying text or explanation.
Does anybody know when this flag was used? Is it still used or has it been replaced?
Jarig Bakker, 08 Feb 2001

I can't give much more info now then I was able in 1996. I am not aware of any other source than Smith (1980) showing this flag (his earlier work [smi75b] does not show it). Certainly, it is not shown in Album recap of 1995 nor Album 2000. On the other hand a very similar (or even exactly the same) emblem is still used as part of the air force roundel. (black, red equilateral triangle pointing up, yellow emblem). The flag looks more like a party flag, or possibly a military colour rather than the war flag. It may be conceived that such a flag was mis-reported in 1980 as the war flag as still the country was very young and with a very unsettled political sitation.
Željko Heimer, 09 Feb 2001

On Antonio Martins' website it states (my translation):
"In an unusual arrangement, even more so for military flags, this one consisted of a version of the then national flag with a plain red background and a simplified yellow coat of arms. Very similar to what would become the flag of FRELIMO itself."
Jorge Candeias, 20 Feb 2001

In view of Antonio's caption "Moçambique (1975-1983): bandeira militar" I assume that it was an army flag of some kind (FRELIMO paramilitaries perhaps?), but not the Mozambican war flag - Mozambique's war flag is its national flag.
Jarig Bakker, 20 Feb 2001

Actually it isn't clear at all. The expression "bandeira militar" means "military flag". Now, what's a military flag? Either it's a generic term for any flag used in the military forces, or it's something quite close to a war flag. But not quite a war flag, I suppose. My impression is that the status of this flag was pretty close to the status of the Portuguese military flag. The Portuguese military flag does not replace the national flag in any circumstance (and therefore is not a war flag) but is the flag of the Portuguese armed forces. A sort of the top in the hierarchy of branch and regimental colors.
Jorge Candeias, 21 Feb 2001

The technical term for a military color in a number of Spanish-speaking countries is "bandera de guerra"--war flag. But it's not a war flag as defined by FIAV. It's (usually) a variation of the national flag with fancier embroidery and the unit name, motto, etc., on it, carried on parade, not hoisted above the camp as a substitute for the national flag.
Joe McMillan, 21 Feb 2001

The flag is honoured, yes, but soldiers swear to the *national* flag when they finish basic instruction, for instance.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Feb 2001

Mozambican air force roundel

[Mozambican roundel]  image by Jarig Bakker, 26 Mar 2001

This ex-Portuguese colony became independent in 1975 and formed an armed combat air force by 1976. The airforce markings are based on the national flag and consist of a black disc containing a red triangle. On this area various designs: a book for education, a hoe for agriculture, and a rifle for the fight for independence. Aircraft are marked above and below the wings and on the fin.
Source: Cochrane and Elliot's 'Military Aircraft Insignia of the World', 1998.

The emblem on the roundel is uncanny similar to the mysterious Mozambican warflag mentioned above.
Jarig Bakker, 26 Mar 2001

Aircraft Marking.
Black roundel with red up-pointing equilateral triangle containing yellow  emblem - cog wheel, book, rifle, hoe and star.
Željko Heimer, 01 Jul 2002

Força Aérea de Moçambique was formed in 1975 and adopted a red triangle on red square charged with the emblem (as on the flag) in gold inside a gold cogwheel. [cos98] shows the roundel as used also as fin flash. [whe86] shows a red square fin flash charged with gold cogwheel, and inside the cogwheel on white background there is the emblem in gold with red  star.
[cos98] is correct and the roundel is used also as fin flash.
Dov Gutterman, 21 Jun 2004

Naval Ensign

To the best of my knowledge, Mozambique does not have a distinctive naval ensign.
Bruce Berry 19 Jan 1998