Last modified: 2015-08-29 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
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Though Faber College is in Pennsylvania, the
room used during the probation-hearing scene features the Tennessee
flag. Aparently, the directors first wanted to use an
Oregon flag in that scene, but the "State of Oregon"
printed on the flag was too obvious. So they substituted a Tennessee
flag as a "generic-looking" US state flag ... although, of course, few
flags are more typical of "generic" US state flags than Oregon's own.
Andrew S. Rogers, 8 september 2004
I don't think Faber's location is ever revealed. The movie was filmed
on a campus in Oregon, is based on a series of articles about
Dartmouth College (in New Hampshire), and has a Pennsylvania...feel,
perhaps, but the flag is the only pointer as to where it is.
Nathan Lamm, 8 september 2004
Odd. There is a rich vein of Web sites all indicating Faber was
definitively placed in Pennsylvania. But we know how reliable the
non-FOTW-ws portions of the 'Net can be, so I gladly yield to you on
this. One site seemed to imply that Faber was positively placed in
Pennsylvania in the "Delta House" television sitcom that was based on
the movie (that was based on the series of articles...)
Andrew S. Rogers, 8 september 2004
Early in the movie you can see the fort of Champlain flying a french
merchant flag (white cross on blue). Beside the justnest or not of it
flying on *any* fort, in this particular circumstances, we have a
first hand document that prove it false.
There is an engraving in the "Voyages du sieur de Champlain" p.187 (which he published in 1613) made from a drawing of his "Abitation de Quebecq" [residence of Quebec]. Over the sun dial can be seen a pole with a flag flying from it. It is rather small but is bifurcated and near the hoist can be seen 3 cross-like objects (1 over 2) which one would assume to be fleur-de-lys. There are no colours but logic would dictate either a white or blue background.
Marc Pasquin, 30 april 2005
I have been trying to identify a flag shown in the movie Casablanca. It is
painted on a wall over the legend "Ville de Casablanca" and is a French
tricolor defaced with a star and crescent in the center band. The film is in
black and white, of course, but I assume the star and crescent are green.
Larry Holderfield, 2 january 2004
[Editor's Note: This is an unexistent flag as can be read here.]
In this movie which involves the Paris
Olympics of 1924, the flags on the US uniforms have
50-stars, IIRC. Not that I could count them, but they
were definitely in the staggered row pattern of the
current S&S, not the grid pattern of the 48-star
version of 1912-1959.
Terence Martin, 8 september 2004
by David Shiell
This flag was featured in the movie "Dark of the Sun" (MGM 1967). The flag
is supposed to represent the Congo, and is seen in the movie flying from a
car antenna and painted on a barracks wall.
David Shiell, 30 april 2001
Just today I caught the very beginning of the movie Dracula 2000.
In the opening scene, camera is on the crane traveling from the top of
the ship passing next to flying Red-Blue-White (Serbian
Milan Jovanovich, 7 August 2007
First, there's white-blue-red flag of Russia as seen here but a bit later, indeed, there's the Serbian flag which you can see here
Mariusz Borkowski, 8 August 2007
It could very well be that the Russian flag was turned upside down in distress
(I haven't seen the movie, nor do I care to, but the second shot shows a crew
indeed in distress, I don't know what happened in the intervening shots though.)
David Kendall, 9 August 2007
I just watch the movie, but it looks like that dracula arrived on that ship in
THey also read some old church slavonic papers, wich is weird since Vlad is from
Milan Jovanovic, 9 August 2007
Actually, that ship scene is from 1897, and Serbia did use RBW flag
But I think there's no use in searching for logic here, eg. that ship's
name - DEMETER - was written in Latin alphabet, unlikely on a ship
from either Russia or Serbia (landlocked anyway)...
Mariusz Borkowski, 9 August 2007
The arrival of the Demeter in the port of Whitby is described in
Chapters VI and VII of Bram Stoker's "Dracula". The ship is said to be
Russian and to come from Varna (Bulgaria).
At the end of Chapter VI, a coast guard spots the ship with his
telescope and says: "A foreign ship, for sure, probably Russian". There
is no mention of a ensign (not in the next Chapter either), but I guess
that the coast guard identified the ship through its ensign.
Ivan Sache, 10 August 2007
It was quite amazing to see the Exodus" entering Haifa Port after sailing from Cyprus, (BTW, the real Exodus
came from Germany via France and its immigrants were deported to Germany),
with very big IL flag on the back (stern?), a small IL flag on the front
(bow?) and a UK red ensign on the main mast.....
Well, I can't expect any illegal immigrants ship having such combination of flags....
Dov Gutterman, 9 july 2005
During the 1863 battle of the American Civil War that gave its name to the movie, you see command
officers gallop here and yon over the field trailed by staff
officers carrying Second National flags, which were used as HQ flags in
the CS Army. The problem is, no Second National flags were at Gettysburg
in 1863, despite the flag having been enacted by law in early May of
that year . There is a single exception to this and it is the mock-up
Second National flag for the 32nd North Carolina Infantry, but as they
are not portrayed in the film we'll leave this out.
The reason why this was the historical case was a wool bunting shortage at the Richmond Depot which made the flags for Robert E. Lee's army. We have not found a single Second National HQ flag being issued to that army before October, 1863.
The second error is the incorrect version of the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag. Most depicted in the film are of the Fourth Bunting variety, which was not issued until May, 1864! These flags are larger in size to earlier ANV flags and feature larger stars that are more spread out on the arms of the blue crosses rather than the smaller stars that are concentrated on the flag's center star.
Greg Biggs, 28 october 2002
The setting of the movie "My Cousin Vinny" is the US state of Alabama,
a fact central to the plot. The state flag is seen throughout the
movie in courthouse scenes (although, incorrectly, to the right of the
US flag out front). Oddly, the cover of the video box shows, hanging
to either side of the judge, the US flag- and the flag of, of all
places, San Francisco (which I doubt is flown even in courts there,
state flags being used). The movie was not filmed in San Francisco.
Nathan Lamm, 7 september 2004
In the Steve Martin-Bernadette Peters remake of "Pennies from Heaven", the later
plays a schoolteacher in Depression-era America. The flag chart on her
classroom wall shows the anachronistic maple leaf flag of Canada and the trident flag of
Albert S. Kirsch, 8 september 2004
In this 1985 Meryl Streep movie, Whitney Smith's Guyana flag, designed in the 1960s, is displayed in a scene set during Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953.
Andrew S. Rogers, 8 september 2004
Very near the
beginning of the movie we see an envoy sent by the Queen of France
(it's set just prior to the revolution, circa 1780), and we get a
close-up of the flag carried by the envoy. It is basically a
simplified version of the French royal standard, but without the chain or
supporters - i.e., the white seme of gold fleurs-de-lys, with a
simple shield in the centre (blue with three fleurs-de-lys) topped by
James Dignan, 2 january 2005
On a black and white viewing of "Sea Hawk" with Errol Flynn, in one of
the last scenes of the film, Elizabeth Regina comes to the sea port, or
on board ship the flag in the background was quarterly England and
France - the quarters reprenting France looked to be gold lillies on a
white field. I suppose it could have been "light blue" - the film was
black and white, remember - Anybody got a comment about that? Any chance
that the "French quarters" were on a white field, as opposed to a blue one?
John Udics, 3 january 2005
Not unless it was a mistake from the prop department. "france ancien"
represented the english claim the the french throne, a white flag was
symbolic of the Bourbon House so would make no sense being used by an
Marc Pasquin, 3 january 2005
Last night I saw a BBC documentary/dramatisation about the Brooklyn
Bridge, which showed a reenactment of the opening ceremony.
I'm fairly sure a 44-star flag was shown hoisted at the opening (rows of 8,7,7,7,7,8). Yet the opening was in 1883 - that flag would have been used between 1890 and 1896.
James Dignan, 8 september 2004
by Vincent Morley & Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 16 September 2008
Tears of the Sun is a 2003 war film, set in the midst of a
(fictional) civil war in Nigeria. It involves a team of US commandoes
who agree to escort a group of refugees to the Cameroon border,
fleeing from an ethnic milita bent on ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The end of the movie takes place at a Cameroonian border post, with a CM flag featured prominently in some shots. However the flag is plain tricolor, lacking the star we show here, but like the "Original flag of 1960" here. (The film is set in the present day.) Also, the proportions appear to be about 1:2.
Albert S. Kirsch, 8 september 2004
In one scene of the movie, the Panamanian flag on the villain's yacht is upside down.
Albert S. Kirsch, 8 september 2004
A movie about the Navajo code senders of World War II. There is one scene where the camera shows
a close-up of a US flag flying on a pole and you hear the Navajo
soldiers taking the oath of enlistment in the background. This takes place
during WWII in the 1940's, yet the stars on the flag are in a staggered
pattern as in the current 50 star flag. The full flag isn't shown, so I can't count the stars,
but the lower right hand corner of the canton is shown, and the stars
are definitely not in the rectangular 48 star pattern.
Michael P. Smuda, 28 october 2002
The opening scene of the movie takes place in Madagascar, and the
guards outside the fictional embassy of Nambutu are clearly wearing Madagascar
flag patches although I suppose many embassies around the world have local
Nathan Lamm, 28 November 2006
by Marc Pasquin, 10 August 2006
Above is the counterfactual flag
of the British East India Company as seen in the movie
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's chest".
The flag has a black field with the Company's logo in white centered. Not only doesn't this flag even remotely resemble one of its historical counterpart but I wasn't even able to match the logo itself with the company's emblem (has someone seen it before ?).
As to why the moviemakers chose to go with this one instead of the real one, baring the lack of research, I can think of 2 reasons:
by Tyler Dykstra, 25 May 2007
I saw something like the above flag in Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World's End. It is flown by many of the British ships in the film.
From the initials, I assume it's an East India Company flag. Was this a real flag, or was it invented for the film, maybe because of the resemblance between the real E.I.C. flag and the U.S. flag, which would probably confuse a lot of people?
Tyler Dykstra, 25 May 2007
The movie is a 1941-vintage black-and-white Errol Flynn extravaganza sanitizing
Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's life-- and death.
In the opening part dealing with the Civil War, a confederate cavalry detachment is shown riding into battle against the U.S. cavalry with a rectangular battle flag with the southern cross affixed in what appears to be the same dimension as the English cross of St. George-- a blue vertical and horizontal affair with the requisite 13 white five-pointed stars. At least the red field and white outline of the cross seem to be in evidence. I have no idea where Jack Warner came up with letting that one slip by him, and his production chief, Hal B. Wallis, was no slouch when it came to historical research.
Bob Tobin, 19 february 2006
[editor's note: Since the movie is in a black & white, the flag could be one following the "Polk" design which can be seen here]
The movie stars David Niven and Charlton Heston. The film
opens with the hoisting of the various foreign legation flags in the Foreign
Compound next to the Forbidden City. A Royal Marine Band played God Save
the Queen while a Union Jack was raised. It had a central device which I
could not make out, surrounded by a green garland, rather like the Colonial
Governor's standards from that epoch. But of course no Governor in Peking.
What could it have been? A special legation flag? (Always assuming of
course that the film makers knew what they were doing)
Andre Burgers, 19 july 2004
I've seen the movie "Angels and Demons." It shows several flags,
one of which looks like that of the Vatican but with a light blue
stripe at the hoist. This is similar to the Virgin Mary flag in FOTW,
but has the Papal badge on the white stripe. Do you know anything
David,20 May 2009
I've not seen the film 'Angels and Demons', as that genre of
conspiracy theory film isn't really my cup of tea. However, I might
be able to offer a hypothesis, based on my previous experience in this
Funnily enough, this very subject of Papal flags has come up on the FotW list before, in respect of a dramatised documentary about the Pope - I don't remember whether it was John Paul the Great or the present one, but I think probably the present one - where a variation was also used. I also happened to be in the beautiful city of Krakow on the day of the late Pope's funeral and there were many different varieties of Papal and Vatican flags on display there, in the real world.
In general, if an item to be shown in a film is known to represent a specific person or entity, then permission will be sought from the entity concerned for it to be included. To cite another example, Inspector Morse - in which I can be seen on multiple 1980s and 1990s episodes - served in Thames Valley Police, the real police force serving Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. However, by the time the follow up series Lewis came about, the name of the police force had been changed to 'Oxfordshire Police' , a non-existent entity. This was because Thames Valley Police withdrew permission for their name to be used in fictional media, as a future policy decision. Many local businesses, however, do give permission for their premises and trademarks to be used, for the publicity value.
With flags which can be specifically identified with a corporate entity such as the Vatican, I am quite sure that the makers of this film will have taken a decision to make up something resembling a Vatican or Papal flag and thus avoid the need for protracted and undoubtedly ultimately pointless discussion or even legal problems, with the authorities regarding the use of their flags.
You'd have to ask the film makers, to confirm this, but I'd advance this as the most likely explanation. It is always interesting to get this kind of question from someone not on the list, as it is somewhat of a niche interest and can get somewhat esoteric.
Colin Dobson,25 May 2009
The only problem with this hypothesis is that zero effort was made to
otherwise conceal the fact that it is the Vatican we are dealing with.
It would be sort of like setting an unflattering film in Russia,
having everybody speak Russian, showing the Kremlin and the statue of
the Motherland, *say* it is Russia, etc. but show lots of
white-blue-*green* flags -- I don't think anyone who wasn't going to
be offended anyway would be mollified by it. And there surely can't be
legal problems with the use of flags to identify a state that is
identified otherwise anyway -- the filmmakers could get sued for libel
for the content of their film, maybe, but not for props.
Eugene Ipavec,26 May 2009
All this brings to mind again the vexing (!) question of the legal rights of
flags, as designs which may or may not be protected by explicit or implied
copyright. Setting aside corporate LOBs, which almost always use registered
corporate trademarks, what of national states and political entities?
In the first place, virtually all national flags are "published" without copyright desgnation when they are run up a pole or a mast, are they not? The design is "owned" by a public entity, the state or nation. Under copyright law in the USA, for example, government publications are specifically NOT copyright-protected -- does this principle apply generally? (This doesn't include "classified documents" and "state secrets," of course, but that's beside the vexillological point; flags may be obscure, but they are not clandestine -- not even the CIA flag!)
Secondly, most flag designs have been around long enough that even if international copyright law applied, it would have expired a long time ago for flag designs. There have been a number of legal decisions in the USA, at any rate, that point in the general direction of no copyright protection for flag designs.
Elias, and other legal minds, how does this this play out in other nations? Is an exception made, perhaps, for the Saudi flag with the shahada, as a matter of blasphemy? For that matter, is it blasphemous to put something that sacred on a flag? (Recall the suit against McDonald's, I think it was, for printing the Saudi flag, complete with sacred Quranic scripture, on Olympic-themed hamburger bags; when you throw the bag in the trash, you defame the flag and the holy writ. It probably violates the U.S. flag code to do the same to a piece of paper with the S&S, but we just ignore it, as Joe McMillan has pointed out regarding the District of Columbia flag-desecration law, which *says* [in a roundabout description of the action] that the Postal Service may not print a cancellation over the image of the S&S on a postage stamp.)
Can we not say that as a matter of legal practicality, flag designs are solidly in the public domain. Although a specific rendering for illustration (say on FOTW-ws) could be copyrightable, we've already seen how hard that is to enforce, and probably fairly useless as well: is there any vexillographer whose living depends on royalty income from the use of gifs made of flags for FOTW? I doubt it, but dpeak up if I'm wrong. Copyright on a whole book of collected flag designs and factual information is quite another matter, of course.
William Dunning,26 May 2009
I am trying to obtain information on the U.S. flags shown in the
parade scene of the 1989 motion picture "Glory" starring Matthew
I just watched the classic, The Caine Mutiny. Wonderful movie—don't know how I went so long without seeing it!
Anyway, at the very end, as a ship heads out to sea from San Francisco, you can see that it is flying four signal flags. I tried to find their meanings on the Internet, but couldn't one of them. The movie was released in 1954, so perhaps the meanings are different, or some flags no longer used? The flags in this order from top down were:
My own impression of US signal practice during WWII is somewhat impressionistic,
and we have several members of the FOTW List who are far more qualified than I
to answer this, but I believe that a warship leaving a naval base in the
Continental US during the summer of 1944 might simply be flying her alphanumeric
identity, although this term would not have been in existence in 1944. For
example, if the vessel were a destroyer, she might simply fly either DD598
(sorry, while the ship bearing this number actually did exist I can't dig its
name out at present), or simply the number since her type and probably her class
(e.g., Allen Sumner class) would have been known to all USN personnel who saw
her. The 'Standing Into Danger' signal might have been a personal observation or
even an ironic remark by the ship's captain since the vessel would be departing
on an operational mission during which she mould be likely to engage the IJN and
thus would literally be
'Standing Into Danger.'
Ron Lahav,27 June 2008
The third one might be K (yellow-blue). In any event, there may not be a hidden
meaning or signal, rather simply that the Caine was "dressed" leaving port. I
don't mean to exclude the possibility that the sequence is meaningful; I just
mean to include the possibility that it isn't :-)
Albert S. Kirsch,28 June 2008
The first one is the giveaway to the meaning of the four flags. They would be
the ship's call sign. US Navy ships have four letter call signs
starting with N, and they are displayed as part of the standard routine
when entering or leaving port. See further discussion at my Sea Flags
In fact, a little digging reveals that the ship that LTJG Keith is seen
taking out to sea in the final scene in the movie was "played by" USS
Richard B. Adnerson (DD 786), whose call letters were NHKU (blue-white
checks, vertical white-red, vertical yellow-blue, quartered red-white)--
sounds to me like the combination Marina is talking about. See
Joe McMillan,28 June 2008
I recently viewed the movie The Crimson Pirate (1952), starring Burt
Lancaster. While liking the movie will depend on your tastes, it does show
a lot of flags and banners. The main flag on the ship of "the King" is a
many divided variation of a flag of Spain. Castile and Leon dominate the
upper left with at least 6 other divisions.
Michael P. Smuda, 16 april 2004
I am trying to obtain information on the U.S. flags shown in the
parade scene of the 1989 motion picture "Glory" starring Matthew
As far as I can tell, they could either be the Lincoln Parade Flag (but I don't know when this flag was created) or the Great Flower Flag (which fits the time period), but may also be a different flag altogether.
Terry Sackett, 4 april 2005
by António Martins-Tuválkin, 23 June 2008
I've seen a flag
of some non-descript African country or guerilla group in the
1985 movie Gorillas In the Mist.
The flag they have is green on top, black on the bottom and has a white star in the center, basically the same pattern as the Viet Cong but with different colors as can be seen here.
This group arrested Dian Fossey on the allegations of being a "British Spy." Does anybody recognize this flag at all? Is it a fictional one, or was it real?
Daniel Timothy Dey, 15 June 2008
Where's the flag?
Robert Hunt, 15 June 2008
There's a flag graphic on the right side of the jeep door.
Colin Dobson, 15 June 2008
A few days back, I was waiting for my email to download and turned the TV
on for a little zapping while I waited...
... and all of a sudden, there was a flag floating on a ship. It was on screen for a very short time, but looked like this: a light green treefoil (of sorts) on white.
I learned later, after checking the TV programming in the newspaper, that it was a movie: the portuguese title (Tarzan, o Homem Macaco) can be translated back into English as "Tarzan, the Ape-man". It's a John Derek motion picture, with the very blonde Bo Derek as Jane .
Jorge Candeias, 31 march 2001
The banner appears in the Mel Brooks remake of "To Be Or Not To Be." It was a rectangular banner, hanging on an office wall. At the top (in chief?) was the Nazi flag (a horizontal red bar with the white circle and black swastika). The rest of the banner was a vertical black-white-red tricolor. A real banner or just a movie prop?
Phil Cleary, 24 November 1999
In the film (set in 1805), there is a scene where the British warship
disguises itself as a whaler, hoisting a white flag with a black
diamond (not touching the edges). Can someone shed some light on this?
Nathan Lamm, 23 august 2004
I went to see "Max" a movie about Hitler's early years... A couple scenes show a red flag with a dark (black?) star in the center. The year was 1918 and I assume the country was germany .. What flag would this be?
Ted LeBlond, 03 march 2003
Only a guess, but in 1918 Germany was wracked by civil disorder after
the Kaiser abdicated; the flag you describe might be (authentic or
not) a political flag of some kind.
Al Kirsch, 03 march 2003
Given the coloration, this may be an anarchist flag, but that is only speculation. It also brings to mind socialist and communist groups.
Steve Kramer, 04 march 2003
The trailer I just saw on TV of the movie "The Talented Mr Ripley" (Matt Damon) shows a scene in which the star is piloting a gondola (or something like that). Behind him is a large red flag with yellow ornate, oriental type design on it.
Steve Stringfellow, 06 January 2000
It is the flag of Venice
Antonio Martins, 07 January 2000
by Jorge Candeias
Yesterday I went to the cinema to see the film 'Speed 2', in which appear 3 different flags: the flag of France, the Norwegian naval ensign and a flag I couldn't identify: a black-purple-yellow horizontal tricolour. It appears when the ship crashes into the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbeans, probably in the french half of it, since there is also the french tricolour flying
Jorge Candeias 01 September 1997
[ED. Note: later contributions speculated that it might be a faded or oddly lit German flag]
by Nelson Román
The following flag appeared in the film "K-19" as one of the soviet naval flags flown on the submarine or presented during the film associated with the ship.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 25 january 2003
This is a fictional flag, not a real one or a prototype.
Victor Lomantsov, 26 january 2003
Well, it is either based on / inspired by, or mistaken for, the soviet ensign of 1935-1991 -- with a second blue stripe at the top and missing the hammer-and-sickle emblem.
The approximate similarity may be thus intentional or not, but either way this is not your typical "fictional flag", even if these frequently resemble real flags (especially when the «typical south american / central european / sotheast asian / whatever country» is inspired by a very specific single-country reality) -- as it (I assume) is intended to be a Soviet flag, not the flag of an unnamed fictional country so much alike the Soviet Union.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 january 2003
Based on a true story about a cold war Soviet sub. Starred Harrison Ford. National Geographic's first feature film, made with Paramount.
Nathan Lamm, 28 january 2003
It was in an Unidentified Motion Picture (UMP) that had a plot evolving
around a breakaway russian republic (or so it seemed by the bit I saw) and
the UFE was, I guess, it's national flag. The flag was quite well seen,
hanging on the wall behind one of the bad guys that where trying to break
away from Russia: it was the russian flag with a golden yellow star added
to it, old yugoslavian-style. The flag seemed to me longer than the
standard 2:3 dimensions, but not as long as 1:2, so I made it 3:5.
I didn't have time to go on watching, and later when I had a minute to go to the day's newspaper and check the UMP's title, it (the newspaper) had already been sent to the recycling spot. But it was american.
Jorge Candeias, 30 june 2001