Anti Warning Submarine Signal Flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by AmericaHurrah, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think might be able to probably guess as to what it could possibly be..... Or..... Maybe not.....

    Regardless as to what the stencil reads, I think it is "supposed" to "look like" a World War II American "Service Banner" for a store, or a company, or a business, or an association (etc.) that had 10 of its employees (or members) serving in the one of the United States Armed Services.

    I don't think that it is a "true" one, though. Keep in mind that I am NOT - repeat NOT - an expert in historical Flags, historical flag fabrics, historical flag construction, historical flag grommets, historical flag header stencils, historical BLUE Star Service Banners, historical navy flag "official" dimensions, etc.

    A WWII "navy" flag with brass (not steel) grommets instead of ring & toggle connectors?
    A WWII banner with UPSIDE-DOWN Stars? (Or is its "header" sewn onto the WRONG end of the banner?)
    A WWII "Blue Star Service Banner" with WHITE Stars instead of BLUE ones?
    I can't quite tell, but are those 10 Stars PRINTED or Sewn?
    It is supposed to be a WWII U.S. Navy flag, BUT is it made of Cotton or Wool?
    A NON-Square (rectangular) U.S. Navy SIGNAL Flag?
    GOOGLE the phrase (use the quotation marks) "Submarine Anti Warning Signal Flag" and see where ALL of the 23 pages returned point to..... (You can "expand" the list up to 149 pages.)

    Oh, and before I forget, here's a link to a "WWII 1944 USN Navy Ships Submarine Anti Warning Signal Flag WW2 / 4x6 Feet" (without Stars) that the same seller sold for $75.00 on August 12, 2013 :

    I am NOT an "expert" BUT..... get out your crayons and color me "D-U-B-I-O-U-S" !!!

    I'm just sayin' . . . . .

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  3. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    I believe Robin is correct but I going to ask a good friend who has served on subs and knows their history about it.
  4. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    A son-in-service banner variant was certainly my first reaction. Grommets in 4 corners makes no sense to me for anything but a flag made for a wall display in this case. The rest of the construction is ok. I'd expect a bit better quality, but it's plausible. The stencil, however, is curious. Could be an outright fake stencil, but if so, why choose wording that really makes no sense at all. What does "anti warning" mean? The verbiage is silly, but then again, if it's a recent addition, crooks are often not geniuses.
  5. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

  6. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    For what it's worth, the US Navy did have a submarine warning flag that dated back to before World War II. It was a red flag with a white rectangle containing a black silhouette of a fish:

    World War I Submarine Warning Flag

    Their purpose was to warn other ships to steer clear of an area where submarines were operating, to prevent accidents. In addition to being flown as flags, they were painted on the bows of submarine rescue ships. You can see one in this photo of the USS Chanticleer (ASR-7) -- it's just aft of the "7" hull number.

    ASR07_CHANTICLEER_1962.jpg (Click for larger image)

    (Bonus question: can you read the Chanticleer's flag signals and determine where the photo was taken?)

    I'm not quite sure what's going on with these two Ebay examples . . .
  7. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    I just got back an email reply from my neighbor who is a Commander in the Navy and has served on submarines and quite the submarine historian said that he had never seen that flag before.
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I suspect that the flag version is no longer used. However, I remember seeing it painted on submarine rescue ships when I was in the Navy in the 1970s. The last ASRs were retired in the 90s, and their functions (e.g., escort of submarines on sea trials) are performed by other types of ships.

    The only reference that I could find offhand was in the 1917 "Flag Number" of National Geographic. This shows a color plate of the of the flag, with the explanation: "When submarines are operating in times of peace a submarine warning flag is flown on their tenders, while the submarine itself bears on one of its periscopes a small metal flag of the same design." Here is a photo of the submarine G-2, ca. 1915, that shows one of the metal flags:

    USS G-2 1915.jpg (Click for larger image)

    There are a lot of errors in that issue of NG. However, the article was written by a serving naval officer, so the information pertaining to then-current Navy practice is probably reliable. It would be interesting to know if there is any official documentation regarding this flag and its use.

    Peter Ansoff

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