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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
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
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
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
This is the flag for military airports, taken into use in 1930. Ratio
Jaume Ollé, 25 Feb 2002
This Soviet-inspired flag was officially adopted, but practically never
Grzegorz Skrukwa, 12 Mar 2001
[cos98] show 4 plates, one for each
airfield and one without any text beside: "1918" [in fact it is variation
Insignia in a abstract of "Early Polish Aircraft Markings" (http://www.insigniamag.com/pol.html) 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 (http://www.insigniamag.com/pol2.jpg) 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 (http://www.insigniamag.com/pol1.jpg) 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 (http://www.insigniamag.com/pol4.jpg) 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:
"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 http://worldatwar.net/chandelle/v2/v2n2/lvg_cv.gif.
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 http://www.airliners.net/open.file/600733/L/.
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 - http://www.scramble.nl/pl.htm.
Dov Gutterman, 22 Jun 2004
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