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Latvia - Military and Naval Rank flags

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by dov gutterman
Keywords: latvia | rank | navy | army | admiral |
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Minister of Defence - Kara ministra karogs


image by Željko Heimer, 9 April 2002

At <www.mod.lv>, one can see the flag of the Minister of Defence.
Dov Gutterman, 25 January 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Minister of Defence (2:3) - The naval ensign with the emblem in canton "sitting" on the crossbar. The emblem consists of a badge of golden rays encyrcling red field in which is "dark" ring aound a white disk with three golden five-pointed stars, one and two. The "dark" ring apears to be black in [neu92] and blue in Album. According to [neu92] the width of the badge is 39/100 of hoist.
Željko Heimer, 9 April 2002

I remembered having seen the 'sun and stars' emblem before as a collar patch for one of the Waffen-SS Latvian volunteer
divisions. A photo of one such collar patch can be seen here: http://www.wssob.com/images/col_19var.gif.
Roger James Bender and Hugh Page Taylor, "Uniforms, Organization and History of the Waffen-SS Vol. 4", describes the insignia of the 15th Waffen-Grenadier-Division of the SS (Latvian no.1) and in pp. 97-98 says: "(...) the three 5-pointed stars within a rising sun was considered the first national  [Latvian] coat of arms and had been the cap badge of the former [1918-1940] Latvian Army........The stars and sun device was designed by the sculptor Prof. B. Dzenis and the cockade upon which it was based had been worn during the liberation wars of 1918-1920. The stars symbolized the three ancient regions of Latvia: Courland, Livland and Lettgallia."
For the latter paragraph it quotes two sources, one "P.H.B." which I cannot quite identify, and Prof. W. Trembicky, "Flags of non-Russian peoples under Soviet rule", The Flag Bulletin, Volume VIII, No. 3, Summer 1969.
We do have a reference also under the Latvian coat-of-arms page saying, "A stylised depiction of the sun was used as a symbol of distinction and national identity by Latvian riflemen - latviesu strelnieki - recruited into the Russian imperial army during WWI. During WWI the sun figure fashioned with 17 rays that symbolised the 17 inhabited Latvian districts. The three stars above the coat of arms embody the idea of the inclusion of historical districts (united Kurzeme - Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale) into a united Latvia."
In my humble opinion, Flaggenbuch also shows a (very) dark blue ring rather than a black one. At least that's what I can tell from my copy of [neu92].
Santiago Dotor, 15 April 2002


Commander-in-Chief of the Army - Armijas virspavelnieka karogs


image by Željko Heimer, 9 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Armed Forces Commander (2:3) - The naval ensign with the naval jack in canton. The [neu92] captions the flag as "Flagge des Oberstcommandierenden der Armee und des Inspekteurs der Armee". I guess the first part of this caption is translated well enough as Armed Forces Commander. The Armed Forces Inspector might be a function no longer existing?
Željko Heimer, 9 April 2002


Commander-in-Chief of Naval Forces


image by Željko Heimer, 19 September 2002

From <www.navy.lv>:
"The Flag of CinC of Naval Forces - The basement of the Flag of CinC of Naval Forces is Ensign. In the middle of the white quadrilateral, which is situated in the upper corner and tights to the mast, is situated the Ensign. The proportion of the length and the width of the Flag is 3:2. The Flag of CinC of Naval Forces is making up in the following sizes (in millimeters): I size – 300x200, II size – 660x440, III size – 990x660, IV size – 1200x800.
The Flag of CinC of Naval Forces uses:
- With the permission of CinC of Naval Forces to hoist the Flag on the mast in the place of location of military units or on the ships, to show the attendance of CinC of Naval Forces – if CinC of Naval Forces per position is the superior person;
- CinC of Naval Forces with his order can signify one warship as a flagship of Naval Forces. In this case the Flag of CinC of Naval Forces stays getting on the front mast constantly – day and night, without the reference is CinC of Naval Forces onboard or not;
- The I size’s Flag of can be used as a standard, affixed to the front wing of the car, or as a table-standard;
- On the suggestions of CinC of Naval Forces.
The Flag of CinC of Naval Forces do not carry in processions and outlooks."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002


Flotilla Admiral - Admirala karogs


image by Željko Heimer, 9 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Commander of the Navy or Admiral (2:3) - The naval ensign with a red ball in canton. The [neu92] defines the ball diameter as half the canton height, i.e. 1/5 of hoist, and Albums seems to match with the image. The [neu92] captions the flag simply as "Admiralsflagge" not mentioning Commander of the Navy, but it does not give any other flag for that function. I guess that the Commander would always be an admiral...
Željko Heimer, 9 April 2002

From <www.navy.lv
"Admiral's Flags - Admiral's Flags are the Ensigns, each Flag satisfies to its Admiral's grade. Admirals` Flags are making up in the following sizes (in millimeters): I size – 300x200, II size – 660x440, III size – 990x660, IV size – 1200x800.
Admirals` ensigns use:
- Flags hoist on the mast in the place of location of military units or on the ships, to show the attendance of Admiral, if Admiral per position is the superior person.
- The I size Admirals` flag can be used as a standard, affixed to the front wing of the car, or as a table-standard.
- On the suggestions of Admiral.
Admirals` Flags do not carry in processions and outlooks.

Flotilla Admiral's Flag - In the upper corner, in the middle of the white quadrilateral, which tights to the mast, is situated a carmine ring. Its diameter is equal 1/5 of the flag width."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002


Rear Admiral


image by Željko Heimer, 19 September 2002

From <www.navy.lv>:
"Rear Admiral's Flag - In the upper and in the lower corners, in the middle of the white quadrilateral, which tight to the mast are situated carmine rings (one in each quadrilateral). Their diameters are equal 1/5 of the flag width."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002


Vice Admiral


image by Željko Heimer, 19 September 2002

From <www.navy.lv>:
"Vice Admiral's Flag - In the upper and in the lower corners, in the middle of the white quadrilateral, which tight to the mast, and in the upper corner outside are situated carmine rings (one in each quadrilateral). Their diameters are equal 1/5 of the flag width."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002


Commander of Flotilla


image by Željko Heimer, 19 September 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Captain (2:7) - White swallow-tailed flag with the ensign near hoist. The indentation in the fly is 3/2 of hoist, and distance from fly end of the ensign to the indentation is half the hoist (this provides for the construction details given in l'Album). The caption of this flag is somewhat ambigous in English (just as German in [neu92] "Kapitaensstander", but when we compare it with the French caption "Capitaine de Vaisseau" it is clear that this is rank flag for the highest naval rank lower then admiral. Both Album and Flagenbuch display it as being hoisted hanging from a crossbar.
image by Željko Heimer, 11 April 2002

From <www.navy.lv>:
"The Pendant of Commander of Flotilla is a smaller size Ensign. There is sewed on white flag cloth continuation with keel cut in the end of it. The proportion between the width and the length of the Pendant is 1:3,5. The Pendant of Commander of Flotilla is making up in following sizes (in millimeters): I size – 700x200, II size – 1360x390.
The Pendant of Commander of Flotilla uses: The Pendant of Commander of Flotilla shows, that War (Coast Guard's) ships unit are under the command of Commander of Flotilla. The Pendant of Commander of Flotilla hoists on the mast, and it stays day and night there, without the reference is there Commander of Flotilla onboard or not."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002


Commander of Squadron


image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

From <www.navy.lv>:
"The Pendant of Commander of Squadron is a smaller size Ensign. There is sewed on State Flag’s colors cloth continuation with keel cut in the end of it. The proportion between the length and the width of the Pendant has to be 1:3,5. The Pendant of Commander of Squadron is making up in following sizes (in millimeters): I size – 700x200, II size – 1360x390.
The Pendant of Commander of Squadron uses:
- The Pendant of Commander of Squadron shows, that War (Coast Guard) ships unit is under the command of Commander of Squadron. The Pendant of Commander of Squadron hoists on the mast, and it stays day and night there, without the reference is Commander of Flotilla onboard or not."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002

Missing from the Album [pay00], but the same as "Commander of Submarine Division" in Latvia - Flaggenbuch Era Flags.
Dov Gutterman, 17 September 2002


Commander of Division


image by Željko Heimer, 11 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Senior Officer Afloat (4:9) - Triangular pennant in pattern of the naval ensign. Neubecker in [neu92] provides the prescribed size: 40x90 cm, with cross being 4+2+4 cm and length of the white canton 25 cm. He also captions it "Dienstaltersstander An der Raa", which would mean that the position of hoisting was also determined, "Raa" refering to a certain part of a ship. Album refers here to Baltic Squadron, probably as it was the most convinient place, and not because this flag is somehow particularly connected to it (or is it?)
Željko Heimer, 11 April 2002

From <www.navy.lv>:
" The Pendant of Commander of Division is a triangle form Ensign, which finishes with keel throat stricture outside the border. The proportion between the length and the width of the Pendant has to be 1:2,25. The Pendant of Commander of Division is making up in following size (in millimeters): 900x400.
The Pendant of Commander of Division uses: The Pendant of Commander of Division shows, that War (Coast Guard, special) ships unit is under the command of Commander of Division. The Pendant of Commander of Division hoists on the mast, when the Commander of Division is onboard."
Zach Harden, 1 September 2002


Port Commander - Ostas valdes karogs


image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Port Commander (1:2) - National flag with white canton conatining two blue crossed anchors. Neubecker [neu92] designates the length of the canton 1/3 of the flag length (i.e. 2/3 of hoist) and height equal to the top red stripe, and [pay00] follows this closely.
[neu92] captions this flag as "Flagge der Hafenverwaltung", which if I am not mistaken, is better translated as flag (or even better ensign?) of port authorities, i.e. it is not just hoisted on the ship (boat) carying the commander, but also other vessels of the "harbour police" (this last term is my interpretation). And if so, ---/-S- symbols might be appropriate.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002