Last modified: 2012-01-27 by rob raeside
Keywords: delacroix | princess diana | westminster palace | wolfe | reichstag |
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One painting from the French revolution pictures Marianne
(?) leading the revolutionaries and holding the French tricolour.
Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People with "Marianne" as a personification of the French Republic came somewhat later IIRC - in any case being a republican symbol she wouldn't have been appropriate as the 1830 revolution the painting commemorates replaced the Bourbon dynasty with the Orleans dynasty but kept the monarchy. Good painting though - Delacroix really knew his stuff.
An image of La Liberté guidant le peuplecan be found at the WebMuseum (widely mirrored).
Talking about French revolutions and flags. I've just finished reading a book
about the Paris Commune of 1871. The Communards used the plain red flag, the French
tricolour being associated with the provisional government at Versailles which suppressed
the Commune. Apparently strips torn from Communard red flags became prized relics
in 20th century Communist political mythology and one was taken into space by the
cosmonauts of Voskhod 1 in 1964!
The photo shows a young soldier hoisting a red flag on top of the Reichstag and two officers looking at him, and behind, on the street some tanks and a car, and a tram. On the photo the flag is not the one described in FlagFax, it is plain red with the star and hammer and sickle, but without any text. There could be several reasons for that:
Any further evidence? The photograph was later used in the film 'Battle for Berlin',
and is fairly well known and published in many places.
Željko Heimer, 31 July 1997
A Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, carried an interview with the Russian photographer Yevgeny Khaldei some weeks ago. Khaldei is depicted holding a large copy of the Red flag on the Reichstag photo. Khladei is credited with taking the picture. Here are the main points concerning the flag:
Khaldei told the newspaper the flag was made by his uncle, who stitched the hammer,
sickle and star on to a red table cloth taken from the TASS office in Moscow. Khaldei
was then on a short stay in Moscow, but soon returned to the front. On 2 May 1945
Khaldei ordered the three soldiers in his company up to the roof of the Reichstag.
Various arrangements were tried before the final famous picture was made. The day
after the picture arrived in Moscow. However, a month later Khaldei was ordered
to fix the picture because the soldier supporting the one holding the flag had two
watches on his arm!
Jan Oskar Engene, 01 August 1996
The Royal standard that draped Princess Diana's casket is a personal flag used
by members of the British Royal family that aren't entitled to distinctive flags
in their own right. It was adopted by the Windsor family in 1917. The flag has a
white border with 10 ermine tails laid out quarterly. The flag is divided into quarters
and the blue quarter represents the Irish kingdom. The yellow quarter represents
the Scottish kingdom and the red quarters represent the English kingdom. Wales is
not represented as it was not a kingdom when the flag was adopted.
Mark Sensen, 27 September 1997
According to "Flags of all Nations" published by the British Ministry of Defence
(I have the 1989 edition), the flag is the "Standard for other members of the Royal
Family"--other here means for members of the Royal family who do not have their
own standard (i.e. other than the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother,
the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Prince Edward, the Princess Royal and Princess
Margaret; as far as I know Diana never had a separate standard)
Norman M. Martin, 01 September 1997
See also: Why wasn't the Queen's Standard lowered to half-mast when Diana, Princess of Wales, died?
The flag carried by Wolfe at Quebec is not known for sure. Benjamin West's 1770
painting "The Death of Wolfe" takes liberties with what almost certainly happened:
Wolfe is shown expiring elegantly and gracefully, as his friends and allies look
on concerned. In the painting there is a furled flag, which I can't identify. Again,
West probably put it in to add gravity to the occasion. Who can say if there really
was vex. content?
David Cohen, 11 December 1997
The flag is the Union Jack of the period, but the West painting is so notorious
for its concern for drama over historical accuracy that it is hard to tell if West
meant it to be a King's Colour of one the regiments present in the battle. The 15th
(deep yellow), 28th (yellow), 35th (orange), 43rd (white), 47th (white), 48th (buff),
58th (black), 78th (buff) Regiments and two battalions of the Royal Americans were
in the battle, and each carried a King's Colour (Union Jack) and Regimental Colour
(in the colours noted above for each regiment). Wolfe was at the head of the 28th
Regiment when he fell. Edward Penny's 1764 painting of the death of Wolfe is far
more accurate and shows the battle line in the background having advanced from the
point where Wolfe fell, and a King's and Regimental Colour are faintly visible in
the battle smoke.
T.F. Mills, 11 December 1997