Product Description: This is a wonderful and textbook example of an original German Balken Cross flag. These were aerial recognition flags that featured the “Balkenkreuz” emblem used on German vehicles, aircraft and armor, rather than the national swastika emblem. These flags were used in combat to identify German vehicles on the ground to friendly Luftwaffe aircraft overhead. This one actually appears to have seen field use. It has some minimal staining here and there, and a few small holes, but no major damage at all. The colors remain vibrant. This German Balken Cross Flag is single-sided, as is typical; these were meant to be strapped to vehicles rather than flown as flags. All four of the original corner grommets used to tie this to the hood or roof of a vehicle are intact. This flag measures about 100 cm x 195 cm, or 39″ x 77″. These Balken Cross aerial recognition banners are vastly more rare than the regular national flags. This is a great example of a scarce flag, showing traces of field use.
Historical Description: The red flag with white central disk and black swastika was introduced by Hitler in the 1920s as the flag of the National Socialist political party. In 1933, shortly after the Nazis took power, this party flag was recognized alongside the black-white-red Imperial tricolor as one of Germany’s national flags. In 1935, the use of the tricolor flag was discontinued, and between September 1935 and May 8, 1945, the Nazi party flag was the sole national flag of Germany. From its creation in the 1920s through the end of the war, this swastika flag was made and used in endless variations, from the massive banners hung at Party Day rallies to small pennants, bunting flags, and hand-held paper flags distributed along parade routes. These flags, banners and pennants flew from ships, were hung from official and private buildings, and were displayed outside business and private homes. At the end of WWII, the Allied military governments abolished the use of all Nazi symbols, including the national flag. Most Third Reich era German national flags were simply destroyed.
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