Page created: 7th June 2004|
Last updated: 19th June 2004
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The FAME is site devoted to systematic and scientific study of flags and coats of arms. Such symbols often bear strong political and other messages. Inclusion of those symbols here does not mean that the author support or approve the ideas they may stand for.
In the middle of the World War the Emperor prescribed a new set of naval flags on 12 October 1915. It was prescribed that the new flags shall be introduced ceremoniously in use at latter time, but due to the war conditions this was never implemented until the break-up of the Monarchy. However, the new naval ensign was often shown in the propaganda leaflets and post cards and it apeared in 1916 as fin flash on some naval airplanes, and the imperial standards have been made and recorded in use on land.
The hundred and fifty years old Josephinian naval ensign was adapted to the new times with the addition of the second coat of arms to represent Hungarian half of the Monarchy, however, it was not the full coat of arms of Hungary, but the eight stripes red and white coat of arms of so called Hungary Ancient. The Austrian coat of arms was crowned now with the imperial crown and the Hungary Ancient was topped with the crown of St. Stephen. Both coat of arms were offset towards the hoist.
The Emperor and King Franz Joseph I. signed a decision introducing a new ensign and jack into the Navy on 11th October 1915. The day of a ceremonious introduction of this ensign in the Navy was to be determined later on, and the old flags were to be retained in use and changed gradually as they were being worn out. Due to the war conditions, the change of the flags was never performed, so even if this emblem was the de jure flag for most of the World War it was actually never flown.
Some contemporary sources show this flag similar to the dual merchant flag, i.e. with the green fly half of the lower stripe and the full coat of arms of Hungary, or in a similar way, but without the green part (notably, the October 1917 National Geographic Magazine). This, however, is wrong.
The jack and boat ensign, in the continuance of the previous tradition, was the same as the ensign, but for the dimensions and the ratio.
The standard for the Emperor and Empress was set on a wine red field with black-yellow-red-white-green triangular border. In the middle was set coat of arms impaled Habsburg-Austria-Lorraine crowned with two crowns – the Austrian imeprial crown and the crown of St. Stephen, and surrounded with the collar of the Order of Golden Fleece. It is noted that the Emperor Carl I used this standard on land during his holidays on 22 December 1917, and possibly during his visits to the frontline in 1918.
Similar standard was prescribed for archdukesx and archduchesses, differing in the flag field colour – here being orange, and the two crowns were replaced with a heraldic crown.
The flag for Groß-Admiral is red-white-red triband with three white six-pointed stars, one in the middle of the top red stripe and one in each end of the lower red stripe, and overall a golden laurel wreath.
The flag for Admiral is red-white-red triband with three white six-pointed stars, one in the middle of the top red stripe and one in each end of the lower red stripe.
The flag for Vice Admiral is red-white-red triband with two white six-pointed stars, each in the middle of red stripes.
The flag for Rear Admiral is red-white-red triband with a white six-pointed star in the middle of the top red stripe.
The swallow-tailed triangular pennant similar to previous commodore’s pennant was simplified replacing the previous coat of arms with a red six-pointed star in the middle of the white stripe. Possibly this was also prescribed as the seniority pennant as was tradition before.
The red-white-red masthead pennant still remained in use just as it was established in 1786.
The service flag were now established in a new pattern, consisting of the red-white-red stripe along the hoist and a white rectangular field containing differentiating emblems. The emblems for Fledmarschall were in saltire crossed Marshall’s staff and a sword over a laurel wreath.
The emblems in the flag for Generaloberst were three red six-pointed stars one above two and a laurel wreath.
The emblems in the flag for an Infantry General, a Cavalry General and a Feldzeugmeister were three red six-pointed stars one above two.
The emblems in the flag for Feldmarschalleutnant were two red six-pointed stars one above other.
The emblem in the flag for Major General was a single red six-pointed star in the middle of the fly white rectangular field.