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Thread: Pennant Flags

  1. #1
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    Default Pennant Flags

    I have noticed that some pictures can show pennants on the aerial's of vehicles, is there a document to allow this or is it a unit specific desire?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    Quote Originally Posted by Surveyor View Post
    I have noticed that some pictures can show pennants on the aerial's of vehicles, is there a document to allow this or is it a unit specific desire?
    When I was in, a long time ago, we carried four flags, blue, yellow, red, green.

    From memory, green was flown by the lead vehicle in a packet of 5-8 vehicles*.
    Blue was flown by the rear vehicle of a packet. (Note blue and green may have been the other way round. It WAS a long time ago.)

    On the ranges:
    A vehicle with guns clear flew green.
    A vehicle at Action flew red.
    A vehicle being handled for a misfire (of the main armament) flew yellow.
    Vague recollection that a vehicle being handled for a stoppage (of the co-ax) may have flown red and yellow.

    Obviously, being professional, we didn't have much need for the yellow flag. 😉

    Any other sort of flag would have been for ceremonial purposes only and there were no rules, only the imagination of the grownups.
    _____
    * Move a division in one lump, nothing else would move. Convoys were broken in 5-8 vehicle packets.
    Emsdorf and Victory!

    14 years' service including seven in armoured recce late 70s - early 80s
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    I'm not sure that there are any rules on such pennants, ceremonies of their various kinds are always a great opportunity for various embellishments on vehicles. Tactically would seem rather daft.

    I notice at shows, not only that the more aerials on a vehicle the less chance that there is any working radio equipment, but where an aerial supports a flag, working radio equipment is less likely to be found on the other end. But each to his own.

    As regards convoy flags, their use is laid down in the Joint Service Road Transport Regulations JSP 341 Chapter 12.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Clive Elliott

    Always wanted old British Army publications of any period (the older the better) eg AC, ACI, AEMI, AESP, AO, COSA, CP, CR, DCI, EMEC, EMEI, EMER, EMPL, EMPS, ER, ETS, JSP, LoC, LTI, MAOS, MRA, RAOS, REA, VAOS, WMTI, etc, Army & WO Coded publications in paper or fiche.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Pennant Flags



    Guys
    thanks, was aware re convoy flags, still see them on the motorway from time to time
    Managed to find a picture showing the Union Flags on the ariel

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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    Quote Originally Posted by fv1609 View Post
    I'm not sure that there are any rules on such pennants, ceremonies of their various kinds are always a great opportunity for various embellishments on vehicles. Tactically would seem rather daft.

    I notice at shows, not only that the more aerials on a vehicle the less chance that there is any working radio equipment, but where an aerial supports a flag, working radio equipment is less likely to be found on the other end. But each to his own.
    Have to agree with the comment regarding aerials, we always refer to those people as belonging to the aerial display team, but again, each to his own. I would comment though, having had the experience, that moving into location and camming up was loads easier without aerials, so off came the whips before we moved off - no coms, no bombs!
    On the theme of the thread though, I can vividly remember tanks and sometimes Ferrets flying pennants, and I don't know, but I always assumed they were for identifying squadrons - a pennant being a small triangular shape flag about 9 inches long of course, as opposed to the 5 foot by 3 foot union jack that everybody had in the war - I know it's true, I've seen the film!

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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    Rather than a flag (rectangular), this is a pennant (triangular).

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    The RAC colours embellished with an RAC badge I am sure are entirely genuine but more of a parade feature than serving as any tactical benefit.

    For those who are "into" flags for all occasions I have details I can post up for flags for use during radio silence in the desert & flags (very non-PC) for identify latrines to be used by different peoples.

    This last weekend I had three vertical whips of different types & a mast for a UHF yagi, no flags but enabled me to operate on 6m/4m/2m/70cm. The least DX turned out to be another Land Rover 30 yards away.
    Clive Elliott

    Always wanted old British Army publications of any period (the older the better) eg AC, ACI, AEMI, AESP, AO, COSA, CP, CR, DCI, EMEC, EMEI, EMER, EMPL, EMPS, ER, ETS, JSP, LoC, LTI, MAOS, MRA, RAOS, REA, VAOS, WMTI, etc, Army & WO Coded publications in paper or fiche.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    Quote Originally Posted by scott9643 View Post
    Have to agree with the comment regarding aerials, we always refer to those people as belonging to the aerial display team, but again, each to his own. I would comment though, having had the experience, that moving into location and camming up was loads easier without aerials, so off came the whips before we moved off - no coms, no bombs!
    On the theme of the thread though, I can vividly remember tanks and sometimes Ferrets flying pennants, and I don't know, but I always assumed they were for identifying squadrons - a pennant being a small triangular shape flag about 9 inches long of course, as opposed to the 5 foot by 3 foot union jack that everybody had in the war - I know it's true, I've seen the film!
    Vehicles' squadrons (companies, batteries, etc) can be identified by symbols painted on.

    🔺 A Squadron
    ◼ B Squadron
    ⚪ C Squadron
    🔸HQ Squadron

    We didn't have a D Squadron in my day. Shrug.

    Note the size, colour of symbols is not represented here. This Android tablet gives me a limited selection of shaped characters and I bothered to use them. They were all of similar size, hollow and painted the same colour (in my time. In earlier times, symbols in red or yellow might indicate senior/junior unit in a brigade.) If I remember correctly they were in gloss white, though when bridge plates changed from yellow to grey sometime around 1980, I think squadron signs (and vehicle callsigns) may have also changed to grey.
    Emsdorf and Victory!

    14 years' service including seven in armoured recce late 70s - early 80s
    Happy to pass on tips wrt to:
    Scorpion
    Ferret
    Sultan
    Spartan
    Samaritan
    Series 3 Landrover
    Uniforms & weapons of the period

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    Surley the correct military term for such pennants is Guidons? These were carried on cavalry lances to mark the unit, hence the transposition to tank units.
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    This is a huge subject, particularly if you are thinking of WWII or earlier. Post war, with all armour and many soft skin vehicles having radio, the wearing of pennants on aerials pretty much disappeared, except for ceremonial and the odd particular purpose. Guidons are the light cavalry equivalent of the infantry's colours, while pennants, or pennons, were the red-over-white swallowtail "flags" borne on lances (from the colours of Poland, incidentally).

    Some other flags do continue on vehicles - some commanders still use them on staff cars, defence and military advisers and attaches abroad in some, but not all, countries have them and so on, but these, of course, are not carried on aerials. I understood that one of the reasons pennants disappeared from aerials, apart from their dubious value, was the increased speed of vehicles putting undue strain on the aerials.

    A useful book covering the subject is Volume 4 of "Warpaint - Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903 - 2003" by Dick Taylor. He served in RTR in all ranks from tpr to maj and is also an historian - so he knows his stuff!

    10 68

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    Default Re: Pennant Flags

    Quote Originally Posted by 10FM68 View Post
    but these, of course, are not carried on aerials. I understood that one of the reasons pennants disappeared from aerials, apart from their dubious value, was the increased speed of vehicles putting undue strain on the aerials.

    A useful book covering the subject is Volume 4 of "Warpaint - Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903 - 2003" by Dick Taylor. He served in RTR in all ranks from tpr to maj and is also an historian - so he knows his stuff!

    10 68
    Good stuff 10 68.

    A guidion is not a pennant. See this for a guidion:

    http://www.army.mod.uk/aviation/29056.aspx

    The word Guidon derives from the Italian guidone meaning guide or marker and the Middle French corruption guyd-hommes, hence it is the focus for soldiers in battle. British guidions are seldom triangular.

    A classic example of a pennant can be found near the pointy end of a Lancer’s spear.
    See some examples of British Army flags and pennants here:
    http://www.flags.net/UNKG06.htm

    Then, to mess it up even more, there are flags, Colours and Standards.

    Every vehicle on 3RHA parades in Homs, Libya would fly a pennant, though whether they denoted the regiment, the battery, the gun position in the battery or the rank/appointment of the vehicle commander, I know not for sure. I have a colour photo somewhere of a 2RTR armoured vehicle ‘hidden’ under desert scrim pretending to look like a sand dune, flying a white pennant attached to an antenna whip poking through, like a seaside castle with a ..... pennant from the flagmast. A pennant on a flagmast?

    Look on the Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966 thread for vehicles in Libya with flags and pennants, some fluttering from antennae with something connected on the other end!
    Vol 4 Warpaint, as previously indicated in my Libya thread has glaring inaccuracies. One such is the statement that vehicles never wore camouflage paint! There does not seem to be one clear, authoritative information and advice source or tome that can be trusted, sadly.

    Anyway, take a look at the Libya thread to see a REME flag flying from an antenna with a radio on the other end and it’s my father in his Ferret, Homs 2RTR 1960. Notice the lovely REME Halftrack.

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