US Submarine Battle Flags

  • Flag
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Although previously discussed, Battle Flags were Banners which have been used throughout History by most National Armies of The World. They were used by Army Units to mark Battle positions on a Field of Conflict or to rally Troops to a central point on same. Their usage can be traced back (in form), for well over the last 3,000 years. While Naval Forces do not traditionally use Battle Flags (although Battle Ensigns exist), the practice of using these Banners as Ground Forces would, can be seen with Submarine Warfare. The Imperial German Navy during World War I used a form. Most well known examples were used by The US Navy in World War II. No officially authorized, most Submarine Battle Flags could only by flown when a Submarine was on the surface. Mostly they were seen when a Submarine came into Port or was being resupplied. Of course, The Nation Ensign (designed for Submarines), was flown. Most Battle Flags were attached to the Vessel's stern or it's Conning Tower. Designs and coloring varied with the ''fancy'' of a Captain or Crew (with either a squared or Pennant design used).. Most were actually hand-made by Sailors and as such were often high regarded and prized (as a set of National Colors would be). Imagery often included a faux ''Jolly Roger'' motif (recalling those ''Wolves of The Seas''.....Pirates). Coloring was varied, but mostly Blue and Red were chosen as Field colors. By similar custom with USAAC Pilots, who marked their ''kills'' by images painted onto their fighter or bomber fuselage, Submarine Battle Flags did the same. Images of ''sunken ships'' (Japanese or German), along with the few rare Fighter Aircraft were stitched onto these flags. Sometimes patriotic (often derisive) wording and phrases were also applied to such Battle Flags. Most often, these flags were ''double sided''. This allowed the name of The Vessel and it's identification or Class Number were applied. The fate of many of these unique and rare Battle Flags found their fate at the bottom of the Ocean when their Ships were sunk in combat. Some made their way back home, mostly saved by a Crewman. A few remained with those Submarines that were not eventually salvaged – and became Museum Ships.