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Branch Davidian

Last modified: 2013-12-02 by rob raeside
Keywords: branch davidian | davidian | lion | star: 6 points |
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[Branch Davidian flag] image located by Ned Smith

See also:

About the flag

Victor Hourteff, founder of the church in the 1940s, used a flag, shown at This flag was green, with a white disk offset towards the hoist and 19 straight line white rays of varying lengths emanating from it (toward the top, fly, and bottom). On the disk is a gray 6-pointed star, upon which is a gold lion (face on), and around the perimeter of the gray star are 12 much smaller 5-pointed gold stars, one at each acute or obtuse angle of the larger figure.
Ned Smith, 9 September 2006

David Koresh's group

Flag in use during the 1993 Waco siege (photo evidence)

[Branch Davidian flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2007

The image at shows a flag, which is very dark blue with a 6-pointed yellow/golden flower or something, with black details, and rotational; the lower fly corner is also white but there's some letters in black on it, matching parallel yellow letters on the blue area.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2007

I'm not certain that they are letters. For one, the flag design doesn't suggest we'll suffer lettering. And for another, I mirrored the image, expecting to see Branch David to spring into view, but there was nothing there. They're not even taking on much of a letter shape. They're almost like prize ribbons, except those don't have a golden carnation with black ribbons. Or a seal? Did this branch preach that the end of times had come, and that the seven seals would be broken?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 December 2007

Reconstruction by Matthew Wittmer

[Branch Davidian flag] image located by Pete Loeser, 16 February 2013

The flags of the Branch Davidian are confusing because each of their flags were basically hand-made and one of a kind. Each was different and we are left with a collection of unclear photos and conflicting verbal and written descriptions. The Mt. Carmel Branch flag is said to have featured a stylized six-winged fiery serpent flying over a white horizon of the earth with the "Seven Seals" of Biblical prophecy lined up on that horizon in a position to trigger the Apocalypse.

To further confuse the issue there are now several replica flags made after the 1993 Waco siege claiming to be the original flag design used by David Koresh's group, and they are generally incorrect. A good example would be the one used in front of the 1995 reconstructed church/museum on the Waco siege site.

In my opinion, the best reproduction of the Waco flag we have is the version done by Matthew Wittmer. On his website he says: "I've created several images of the Mt. Carmel Center flag over the years, each based on my close examination (of video footage taken during the siege) of the actual flag that was flown in front of Mt. Carmel. Care has been taken to recreate as best as possible the likely proportional relationships that existed in the original flag with the understanding that most images of the flag were captured from cameras that were miles away with zoom lenses, at various vantage points, and with the wind blowing it at various angles in all kinds of different light situations. The snake on the original flag consisted of a reflective silver material evidenced by some of the evening video footage where it glistens brightly as the setting sun illuminates the silver. The flag itself was made of satin, as per my discussion with one survivor who worked on it. I am still studying footage that will likely clarify the design of the small "seals" that I see as red at this point. The fixture at the top of the flag pole appears to be a hollow Star of David ornament."
Pete Loeser, 16 February 2013

Reconstruction by Ken Fawcett

[Branch Davidian flag] image by Ken Fawcett, 27 February 2009

The flag was an integral part of understanding why this group was attacked. This image was made using actual video from the standoff. There is nothing at the current church (from Carol Moore's site), that is even remotely similar to objects that were in place during David Koresh's stewardship. The finer details of the flag were gleaned from "freed" Davidians in difficult, often lengthy interrogation sessions conducted while the standoff was still unfolding. The serpent was visible to us as well as the lines in the Star of David, but the details of the (7) blue and gold "seals" were not.
Ken Fawcett, 28 February 2009

If I recall correctly, Ned commented that the star-like object was only the six wings of the winged serpent from Isaiah that appeared in the flag. In our source, the body of the serpent may be on the part of the flag hidden from view.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 28 February 2009

Reconstruction in Wikipedia

[Branch Davidian flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2007

Concerning the Waco split group lead by David Koresh, at a flag is shown:, captioned "This is the flag that was flown by the Branch Davidians over the Mount Carmel Center during the 1993 Waco Siege. This image was made from a sketch drawn from newsreel footage of the siege that was shown during ''City in Fear". It is a very dark blue flag with a large white star of David (a canting element?) at the top hoist and white corner (triangle) on the bottom fly.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2007

I think it is correct that this is a mis-reconstruction:
From an interview with a surviving Davidian, at [caveat- plenty of potentially offensive statements on the page] scroll down to "No Star of David On Davidian Flag"-
regarding the flag shown at Wikipedia, apparently based on an illustration or description from a news article in Newsweek magazine:
"I can't help what lies Newsweek publishes. There was no Star of David on the Davidian flag. What you saw on the Davidian flag that flew during the siege was a six-winged fiery flying serpent. You can read about the fiery flying serpent in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6. The very first sermon David [Koresh- the group's leader] delivered after Lois Roden identified him as a prophet of God was on the subject of the fiery flying serpent. ...Anyway, the six wings of the fiery flying serpent on the Davidian flag were significant because David believed he was fulfilling the Fifth Seal so the Sixth Seal could become a reality. One of the martyrs, the late Julliete Martinez, sewed the flying fiery serpent flag that flew during the siege. Julliete's mother, Ophelia Santoyo, told me this. No, there was no Star of David on the Davidian flag."
Ned Smith, 28 December 2007

Reconstruction in Newsweek

[Branch Davidian flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 December 2007

The said illustration is at It is apparently from Newsweek magazine, issue of 1993.03.05, page 24; an infography credited to Dixon Rohr and Newsweek. It shows a tiny medium blue flag with a large David star at the hoist, no apparent white bottom fly corner. (This Newsweek diagram shows also what seems to be the flag of Texas above on the same pole as something else.)
   So we have now two incorrect depictions: Newsweek’s and Wikipedia’s. The former probably a "placeholder" flag loosely based on the cult leader’s name and/or on the self-styled brand of Anglo-Israelism professed by his followers.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 December 2007

Other flag

[Branch Davidian flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 December 2007

Finally, at an activist of this movement (or of one of its splinter groups) holding a black flag with white saltire.

António Martins-Tuválkin
, 27 December 2007