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Unusual navy flag - real or fake?

Article about: I'd appreciate opinions on this flag. Approximately 4'x6'. Does not glow under blacklighted, except for a few specs of contamination from laundry powder or something. No visible points of at

  1. #1

    Default Unusual navy flag - real or fake?

    I'd appreciate opinions on this flag. Approximately 4'x6'. Does not glow under blacklighted, except for a few specs of contamination from laundry powder or something. No visible points of attachment.

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  2. #2


    The kanji looks authentic to me [edit: arrgggghhh; see my following post below....]:

    Department of the Navy

    official certification; approval; inspection

    Last edited by ghp95134; 06-20-2016 at 10:08 AM.

  3. #3


    Nice find!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  4. #4


    A stunning flag. Congrats.........


  5. #5


    Time now for Nick to come in and tell us that is a postwar character . Wartime would be . Narvik and I discussed this in a PM; he told me a Japanese man alerted him to the kanji discrepancy.


  6. #6


    The kanji used are all totally correct for the time, but 検定(Kentei) is not a word meaning quality inspected, but is used for certification of skills. Thus it is incorrect to read it as "inspected by the Ministry of the Navy", but should be read as "Certification exam held by the Ministry of the Navy". Each discipline had its own test, but together they were called 戦技検定(Sengi Kentei), meaning Combat Skills Exam. These were the tests they took each year to get the navy's skills rating badges that are much coveted by collectors. Top of the class got the basic badge and if you were top, 3 years in a row, you got the superior class badge, which you could keep only as long as you kept proving yourself each year.

    I think I have commented on this flag before. Before I mentioned that perhaps it was used to mark the venue where the annual navy qualifications test was being carried out, but those facilities would have had official ensigns issued, so I change my mind. Besides the badges, the winners always got a commemorative prize item. This flag is marked as such a prize item from the test. However, prizes were normally things like plaques, and to commemorate the specific occasion, they always mentioned the year of the test, which is missing here. A flag for a prize is awfully cheap and because it didn't count much to have won the medal once, but you needed something to show that you have won it consecutively for recent years, so they always had to show the year and they were to line up on your trophy shelf, so to speak.

    The only remaining possibility is whether participants with mediocre scores got a consolation prize, but I don't remember seeing that in the regulations for the skills badges.

    It depends on what you want, if you want a naval ensign, get one in multipiece construction. If you are a collector of the naval skills badges and related items, this may be interesting, but leaves questions.

    Another thing to do is to check whether the flag really satisfies navy regulations, as the ministry will never use it even for a consolation prize unless correct. At least the aspect ratio is correct, but the orb size and offset should be checked against what I write in the thread pinned at the very top.

  7. #7


    People who want to buy navy flags and want to have an easy way to check conformity to regulations should just measure the gap between the sun and the foist-side edge. That measurement can be expressed as a mathematical function of Y(or X but shorter measurements are easier to deal with at gun shows etc). That formula includes the orb diameter, so by measuring only the gap and Y, you can check whether both the orb size and offset are correct. I will give everybody the homework of figuring that formula out. If you can't, just ask your kid to calculate it for you.

  8. #8


    Thank you, Nick. I appreciate your expert assessment. The flag is quite large and aesthetically pleasing. I will do the test you suggest, but feel more confident now that this is a period item, albeit not a real naval ensign as I had hoped. Due to its size, it seems that it was meant to be displayed in some context. How common ar these huge 'flags'?


  9. #9


    I like the fact that the seams are hand stitched .

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  10. #10


    I am not a collector, so I cannot tell you how rare they are on the market, but as ensigns go which this is not, size 6 was more common than this size 3 in my research.

    Also forgot to mention that similar to the army, these naval combat skills exam contests had a victory flag for the winner. That was in the regulations, but I never got around to checking how it looked. Either way it would be a design one would recognize as such at a glance, not something you would mistake for an ensign.
    Last edited by nick komiya; 06-20-2016 at 06:11 PM.

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