I’ve been using flags as my terrain objective markers for a long time. And recently I made some more for New Zealand, UK/GB, India, USA, Germany (replacement), Japan, China and Australia.
What went before
In my post on Crossfire Markers for Status and Objectives I showed some of my national flags, which I use dor Crossfire Objectives.
At the time I made:
- 8 x Soviet Flags (WW2)
- 8 x Nazi Flags (WW2)
- 8 x Spanish Republican (SCW)
- 8 x Spanish Nationalist (SCW and WW2)
- 8 x Israeli (AIW)
The Soviet and Nazi flags have served me well as most of my Crossfire has been on the Eastern Front. I’ve also used the Spanish flags for the occasional Spanish Civil War outing. And the Nationalist flag does double duty for the Blue Division on the Eastern Front. I never did the Arab-Israeli Wars project, so those Israeli flags have been rather neglected.
There are, however, some problems with these flags. Firstly, some folk object to Swastikas, in fact in some countries you can get arrested for displaying a Swastika, so I want to replace them with something more politically acceptable. The second problem is that my Spanish Nationalist Flag is actually for 1945 and they used a slightly different variant during both the Spanish Civil War and WW2. I also lack flags for a lot of countries I now have figures for: New Zealand, UK/GB, USA. Finally, I’ve got plans for Burma Campaign and I need flags for India, Japan, and China.
The new flags
I made up some new flags for New Zealand, UK/GB, India, USA, France, Germany, Japan, China and Australia. I made only three flags for each new country; last time I made eight for each country, but I found I never used the extra five.
My starting point was addressing the two problems: get rid of the Swastikas and get the right Spanish flag. While I was about it I thought I’d get flags for all the other nations I’m now fielding as my focus has shifted to the Italian Campaign.
Plus I added in the flags I’d need for the Burma Campaign including some extras for the Pacific War.
I’ve been using the Kiwis a a lot recently, the men of 2 (NZ) Division in Italy. And I might do 3 (NZ) Division in the Pacific. And there is the whole patriotism thing. So obviously I needed a New Zealand flag.
United Kingdom / Great Britain
Of course I needed the Union Jack for Old Blighty.
With my eyes on Burma I needed the Indian flag. Admittedly Indian troops also fought in the Italian Campaign.
You haven’t seen them on table yet, but I’ve got a US battalion so they need flags too. As Neil pointed out in the comments, the USA used the 48 Star flag during WW2 (actually from 1912-1959).
Initially I’d used the 50 Star modern flag. Oops. Some of the group photos show this flag. I’ll keep them to use in Vietnam.
You have seen my Goumiers – A Moroccan Tabor in Italy and I can also use my US battalion as French. So obviously I needed France.
You’ve seen my Soviet flags before and I didn’t change them. Which is why there are eight, not three.
Germany is where the big change came. Previously I was using Nazi flags. But Swastikas are problematic for some folk, particularly in those countries where the Swastika is illegal. Flames of War get around the Swastika problem by dropping the the official national Nazi flag and using a generic battle flag for the Germans, based on the German National flag of WW1. That’s what I’ve done too.
Burma. Japan. Rising Sun. Say no more.
I’m quite interested in the Japan – China war and quite like the idea of fielding Chinese troops in the Burma Campaign. So I need some flags for China.
My mate Brett Simpson continues to enthuse me about Aussie ventures in the Pacific War, and I can use my Kiwis in Italy or Welsh in Burma as stand ins, so I need some flags for Australia.
I replaced the Spanish flags with the proper Nationalist flags for Spanish Civil War and for the Blue Division on the Eastern Front.
The other new flags
While I was in a flag making frenzy I made the templates for the flags of some other nations as well: Hungary, Romania, Finland, Poland, and Italy. I don’t think I’ll ever field troops from these nations but some folk might.
Using Flags as Terrain Objectives
Using the flags is dead simple. All my maps have any terrain objectives marked and I place a flag on each terrain objective on table. This helps both sides remember what they are fighting over. When the objective changes hands, I change the flag.
For example, in KB4R The Swamp – A Crossfire Battle Report all three objectives (Forward, Hill, Farm) start under Spanish control.
They stay under a Spanish flag …
… Until taken by the Soviets.
Download and use the flag template
To make these flags I created a flag template. This meant I could print out the flags without having to do a fancy paint job.
You can Download the flag WW2 Flag Objectives Template (PDF).
My flags are glued to 2″ flat head nails, which are themselves glued to 2p coins. All of which are painted and flocked.
7 thoughts on “Using WW2 National Flags as Objectives in Crossfire”
Looking good, Steven. I’ll admit while I never had an issue with any of your markers, reading some of your AARs on the train so close to other passengers always made me nervous. I never had to actually explain myself, but one often wonders.
Very nice. A shame about the swastika issue, but I understand. And to Disgruntled Fusilier: you should try reading on an aircraft H M Government’s consultation document about storage of explosives… I DID have to explain myself to fellow passengers with whom I happened to share a taxi afterwards.
These all look terrific. Look forward to seeing one with the Spanish Republic colours.
I’ve already got the Republican flag. You can see it in the “what went before” photo. I just didn’t feature it here because I was focussed on WW2.
Your USA flags have 50 stars. It only had 48 during WW2. I think you should consider giving the US your Spanish Nationalist treatment.
Oh no! I didn’t know that little fact. Always an opportunity to learn.
I have corrected the template and will correct the photos when I make the new US objective flag.