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Poland - Airforce flags

Last modified: 2014-09-27 by andrew weeks
Keywords: air force | navy airports and airfields | balloon | ufe |
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Flag of Airfields and Military Landing Zones of Polish Navy

[Flag of Naval Airports and Airfields] by Adam Kromer, from his website.

The Oct 99 issue of "Air Forces Monthly" clearly shows the new Polish Air & Air Defense Forces ensign (like the state ensign, with the AF roundel in the upper hoist), flying above a military airfield.
David C. Fowler, 11 Oct 1999

Old Flag of Airfields and Military Landing Zones of Polish Navy

[Flag of Airfields and Military Landing Zones of Polish Navy] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Polish Air Force Ensign

[Air Force Ensign] by Graham Bartram, 10 November 1997, from his site, touched up by Antonio Martins, 27 Feb 2001

According to the Ordonnance of the National Defense Minister dated 29 January 1996, relative to the use of symbols of armed forces of the Polish Republic and to other symbols used in the armed forces of the Polish Republic, this is the flag of the airports (of the landing grounds) of the military forces. The "roundel" is officially called (in French) "Échiquier d'aviation" (airforce chessboard?). This flag flies and must be lowered near the commanding office of the permanent and provisory military airports (landing grounds).
There is also a similar flag for the navy: (flag for the airports (landing grounds) of the navy). It is the same but with a white anchor under the chessboard on the red stripe. The anchor has a white rope with it. The ratio length anchor:width flag is 2:5. This flag flies near the commanding offices of the permanent or provisory airports (landing grounds) of the navy.
Source: Moniteur polonais, Journal officiel de la République polonaise, Varsovie, 28 Février 1996, #14.
Pascal Vagnat, 9 November 1997

I saw the Polish Air Ensign flying at the War Memorial. If the Polish Airforce used it for this purpose it is probably their equivalent of an Air Ensign. After all the main place you see the Royal Air Force ensign is at Royal Air Force bases, and the UK civil air ensign is meant to be flown at civilian airports.
Graham Bartram, 10 November 1997 

Air Force and Air Defence Flag

[Air Force and Air Defence Flag] by Adam Kroger, 4 Sept 2000, from his site.

This flag is entitled: FLAGA WOSK LOTNICZYCH I OBRONY POWIETRZNEJ. See also: Flag of the Navy, Flag of the Army.
Jarig Bakker, 4 Sept 2000.

This flag is shown in The World Encyclopedia Of Flags (Znamierowski, p. 83). The insignia is actually a representation of the Polish Air Force's cap badge. TWEOF shows similar flags for the Polish Army and Navy, both red with a representation of the appropriate cap bage. According to TWEOF, all three were adopted in 1993.
Tom Gregg, 23 Apr 2000

Does anyone know how these are used?  They don't look like they'd be flown over military installations (and we know Polish AF bases have the airfields flag), and the one for the Navy certainly is neither the ensign nor the jack.  So are they parade flags of some kind?
Joe McMillan, 23 Apr 2000

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland (Siły Zbrojne Rzeczypospoliej Polskiej) consist of three Forces:
- The Land Army (Wojska Lądowe)
- The Air Forces and Air Defence (Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Powietrznej)
- The Navy (Marynarka Wojenna)
All these Forces have flags,established by Sejm 19 February 1993. These flags  (pl^army, pl~navy and pl^air)  are neither ensigns nor jacks. They are flown over military units on the holiday of each Force.
Grzegorz Skrukwa, 16 Sept 2000

Aeronautical flag 1920-1930

[Aeronautical flag 1920-30] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Aeronautical flag 1920-1930 - variant

[Aeronautical flag 1920-1930 - variant] by Jaume Ollé, 30 Oct 2001

In 1920 Poland was the second state (after United Kingdom) that established an air ensign. It was in use until 1 March 1930. Ratio 5:6
Jaume Ollé, 30 Oct 2001

Flag of Military Airports 1930-1938

[Flag of Military Airports 1930-38] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Flag of Military Airports - alternative version

[Flag of Military Airports alternative version] by Jaume Ollé, 25 Feb 2002

This is the flag for military airports, taken into use in 1930. Ratio 10:21.
Jaume Ollé, 25 Feb 2002

Balloon flag 1930-1938

[Balloon flag 1930-38] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Flag of Military Airports and Military Balloon flag 1938-1945

[flag of Military Airports and Balloons 1938-45] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Flag of Military Aviation 1955-1959

[Flag of Military Aviation 1955-1959] by Adam Kromer, from his site.

This Soviet-inspired flag was officially adopted, but practically never used.
Grzegorz Skrukwa, 12 Mar 2001

Flag of Military Aviation 1959-1993

[Flag of Military Aviation 1959-1993] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Flag of Naval Aviation of Border Troops 1959-1990

[Flag of Naval Aviation of Border Troops 1959-1990] by Adam Kromer, from his site

Polish Air Forces Signs (Szachownica Lotnicza)

[Polish Air Forces Sign 1918-21][Polish Air Forces Sign 1921-93][Polish Air Forces Sign 1993] by Adam Kromer, from his site.
  1918-1921      1921-1993 1993

Airforce Markings: a survey

Early days of Polish military aviation were in the chaotic situation of late 1918, and a situation in which each of three Polish airfield adopted its own marking. as reported by " The national markings worn by the Polish aircraft went through many changes, in November and December 1918 had three different sets of markings? The first was the "Warsaw" (red/white shield) "Cracow" (red Z on white square) and "Lwow" (red/white tips of wing and tail). Each one had its own variations. "

[cos98] show 4 plates, one for each airfield and one without any text beside: "1918" [in fact it is variation of Warsaw)
Insignia in a abstract of "Early Polish Aircraft Markings" ( also show 4 images, one for each
airfield and one with no reference [also a variation of Warsaw in fact]

For Warsaw 1918, [cos98] show a diagonaly divided (top right to bottom left) white-red shield as wings, fusalage and rudder. The extra "1918" plate show black discs on wings, shield on fuselage (diagonaly devided from top left to bottom right) and diagonaly divided disc on rudder.

I suspect that the black discs are not marking but was painted to hide the former German markings.
Insignia ( show for warsaw "Red and White shields are painted over the German fuselage crosses. The rudder carries a diagonally divided circle in Red and White" and in the other image ( shields on fusalage and rudder on black plate [probably also to cover former marking). Note that both Insignia markings are diagonaly devided from top left to bottom right which doesn't mean neccesaraly the [cos98] is mistaken due the numerous variants that existed.

For Lwow 1918 [cos98] show a red over white rudder and white-red wing tips. Insignia add an eagle to the fusalage ( and report: " Fin/ rudder is divided horizontally in Red and White. Eagle is Black and White. Red and White stripes are on all four wing positions, with Red to the left in all cases." Note that [cos98] show white on the left so it
is a mistake.

For Cracow, [cos98] show red "Z" on white and this time Insignia agree ( and report: "The insignia consists of a Red 'Z' on a White square, and appears on the fuselage, rudder and four wing positions"

This situation was over in 1919: reports:
"Officially, the Polish red/white checkerboard marking was approved 1.12.1918 but up until the end of 1918 "old" markings were used. Add to this special markings used on planes in Silesian Uprisings 1919-1921 (blue square on left wing and white on right - both with black outline). Another set of marking was used in 'Zeligowski's revolt' in Lithuania in 1920-21 - red square with white outline on left wing and white square with red outline on right."

Those Silesian (1921) markings are reported also by [cos98] who adds a vertical blue-black-white rudder stripe. The 'Zeligowski's revolt' markings were already discussed under my LT review.

Nevertheless, the new markings were of a chequred square (red in 1,4, white on 2,3) as appear in our <pl-afs18.gif> without the red outline. See

Year passed by and in 1920, the known Polish markings were adopted <pl-afs21.gif>. Red is in 1,4 and white in 2,3. In time and as rudders became thiner, the rudder marking became a fin flash.

The change in Poland in 1993 brought to change in the marking by mirror it. White was moved to 1,4 and red to 2,3 <pl-afs93.gif> . See

Somehow, [cos98] missed this evolution, and he show the two posibilities as "1920 onward".

All other air units beside the Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Powietrznej using the same marking including naval air arm (Lotnictwo Marynarki Wojennej) and army aviation (Lotnictwo Wojsk Ladowych )

More information at:
Polish Air Service - The White Eagles: Polish Aviation 1918-1920 - Polish Air Force - Naval aviation - The Polish Airforce 1918-1939 -
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004

Unidentified Polish forces flag D-Day invasion.

I am a stone mason in England and I am making a memorial to commemorate the different British armed forces that took part. I also have to include the flags (in use at the time) of these other countries that took part in this event - USA, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, and Poland. I believe the flag was diagonal red and white rectangles but can find no reference to it. Can you help?
Chris Perry, 20 Feb 2001

I believe he refers to the fin flash used by the Polish air force, which was *not* a flag, even if it does appear as an element in flags of the Polish air force.
Santiago Dotor, 20 Feb 2001

Ceremonial Standard (WW2)

I just found an old book about the Polish Air Force: which mentions about a standard of the Polish Air Force (Sztandar Polskich Sił Powietrznych), created in 1940 and used from 16th July 1941 to 10th July 1947: here and here. More information about it here (scroll a bit) and here (only in Polish): And pictures here: here and here. The last source tells about the end of its usage (only in Polish). Maybe somebody here knows the language, in order to give better translations than Google.

"Złożenie oznak i oznaczeń Sił Zbrojnych w Instytucie Historycznym im. gen. Sikorskiego nastąpiło na r ozkaz Szefa Sztabu Głównego w dniu 10 lipca 1947 r. Dowódca składający sztandar otrzymywał dowód złożenia sztandaru. Tekst polski podpisał Prezes Zarządu Instytutu prof. Stanisław Stroński, a tekst angielski Prez es Rady Earl of Elgin and Kincardine. W tekście oświadczają oni, „że będą Sztandar ten przechowywali w nal eżytej pieczy i postąpią z nim w zgodzie z władzami, które zarządziły złożenie go w Instytucie”."
"Data 10 lipca 1947 — data złożenia sztandarów, jest symboliczną datą demobilizacji Polskich sił Zbrojn ych na Zachodzie."

Alex Danes, 23 June 2014