First off I would like to point out that this is not a site of historical learning, rather it is a free service site for historical wargamers. The site contains computer generated flags for miniatures wargamers. Although I would not state that the flags are a definitive history of the banners they represent I do believe that they are reasonably accurate or where speculation has been used they are at least historically plausible. The flag I received a fair amount of email on was the "piss on the British" revolutionary war flag. "Is that a real flag?" I have been asked a dozen times. Well not that I can say definitely but it certainly is historically plausible. I got the idea from the much underrated Al Pachino film "Revolution" where in the Boston Harbor scene (filmed in Kings Lynn, England) there are such slogans painted on the walls of buildings by riotous mobs. Many of the slogans of the day were hand painted onto silk and cotton banners and used as unofficial banners and standards. Where such speculation has been used I have noted on the plates.
I started to create these a few years ago, when I got tired of painting flags on foil. Although they are printed on regular ink jet paper with a color ink jet printer they can be made to appear very dynamic and realistic. This site contains full instructions as to how to accomplish this.
The flags take quite a while to generate and I do welcome contributions from viewers. Some viewers have assumed that these are scanned from books or magazines. They are in fact generated from scratch on the computer and start off as the standard style, which is why this type appear first.
Although I recognize and acknowledge the great contributions such scholars as Pat Condray and publications by Osprey, Wargames Illustrated / Miniature Wargames and their contributors, Wargames Research Group, and others have produced, I do not directly copy their work but work from descriptions and illustrations they present. I will not accept any images scanned from others' work for this site..
The flags are © Copyright Ian Croxall
1995 - 2002. These flags are free for your own use for the purpose of decorating
miniature figurines. You may photocopy them for the use of friends without
their own computer access but please don't sell them commercially or otherwise
use them for profit and discourage others from doing so. They may not be
used on other websites without my written consent. All creators of other
flags used on Warflag are credited on the page that displays the flags
and have been used here with their consent.
When I began doing the flags, the internet was very young, computers were very slow by today's standards, and a 40 MB hard drive was "big". Consequently, those earlier flags are quite a bit lower resolution than newer ones, and drawing programs were more primitive.
Newer generation flags are higher detail and rendered. The old ones are left on the site as. I still use them. Back to top of page.
In some flags I have used some artistic license to alter small aspects of flags to make them more presentable. I make no excuses for this because the ultimate end result I desire is a good looking flag to complement a well painted figure. For the same reason and to avoid pointless clutter that makes flags look muddy, I follow a simple rule:- if it cant be seen from two feet away, don't draw it. So if you see a flag with a small device apparently missing from a center field, for example , this may well be intentional.
With the newer 'realistic' flags (see ACW and WSS lines) I have taken the originally drawn flag and simply replaced the predominant background colors with a pre generated color swath that was created by scanning a water color picture in white then using a graphic program to color this to the desired colors.
I have received some email offering constructive suggestions as to the actual color of a flag being a little off, particularly the blue on British and US/CS flags. This is more artistic license. I find that when printed, these colors look better that the more 'realistic' darker colors. However, the images are deliberately created as bit map images so that they can be edited in Windows Paint Program, where you can use whatever color you think appropriate. The flags simply need to be converted back from their Web site Gif format to a Bmp format using a graphics convertor. You cannot do this however, with the "realistic' images, unless you do it pixel by pixel. Back to top of page.
Once the images have been saved locally to your hard drive, they can be opened and re sized in their existing format a graphics graphics program.
However, the cost of color photocopying has come down in price considerably in recent years. I would now suggest printing the flags at their natural size and color photo reducing them to the size you desire.
Photocopying at 62% will resize them for 15mm and 22% for 6mm figures. Back to top of page.
Before printing the flags it is necessary
to save them locally to your computer. To save individual images just do
With respect to colors, you will get the best results using a quality ink jet paper. Do not use regular photo copy paper, the colors will be too dull and the details will loose definition. The best papers are those with a high clay content with a shiny surface (however I didn't get good results with photo quality paper). After printing, because ink jet papers are water soluble you will need to seal the paper. I use Krylon Acrylic Artists sealer, which should be available from an office or art supplies store. This is prayed on and dries in minutes, then the flag is ready to cut out and mount. I am sure there is some Brit' and French equivalent, and if some one has brand name they would like to suggest, I would be happy to post it. To omit this sequence you can print with a color laser printer or color photocopy the inkjet printed flags at a copy store - they will not then need sealing. Back to top of page.
Very nice results can be produced by printing directly on a color Laser Printer. Various office supplies, at least here in the US, offer printing services on color laser. Convert your images to the image format the store requires and see what they can do for you. Its still going to end up cheaper than many commercially available units. Back to top of page.
To mount the flags, coat the reverse side of the flag with enough white glue, that the two halves will slide around each other while you position them. Wrap and curl the flag back and forth around a paint brush handle and generally shape until the desired effect is obtained. You can hold the flag in position with objects placed around it until it dries, after which it will be quite rigid and hold its dynamic shape. If you want to get creative, for armies whose flags change during the war, such as the English in the War of the Spanish Succession (after the act of union), American Revolutionary War rebels and American Civil War rebels (both of whose national flags changed almost yearly ) try the following. While the flag is drying move it up and down the flag shaft to prevent it sticking. After the flag has set it can then be removed from its pole and the process repeated with the other style flag. This way, the flags can be now interchanged and you can have the current flag flying depending on the scenario being played.
To create pole cords you will need a few stands of copper wire (from a few feet of stripped speaker wire). Put a few strands together (the amount will depend on scale) and anchor one end of the bunch to your painting desk with a thumb tack (drawing pin). Hold the other end of the wires in the chuck of an electric screw driver or variable speed drill. Rotate the drill slowly while pulling out he slack and holding the bunch taught until the strands are tightly bound. What you should have at this point is something that looks remarkably like scaled down rope. Prime it black and dry brush the appropriate color. This also makes good reigns for chariots and horses etc. It keeps it shape well. For the French flags in the 18th century up to the American Revolution, don't use pole cords. They had scarves. For the War of Spanish Succession use the pole scarves displayed with the French of the American Revolution period (Small white strips above the colonels colors).
If you end up with a white strip around the edges of the flag, mark it out the edge of the tip of a black felt marker. Back to top of page.
As the flags are created in Windows Paint, it is very easy to modify them using this program. After saving them locally, convert them to a BMP file using a graphics convertor.
The flags can have such things as battle honors easily added using the Text feature of Paint. Flags, in many armies were very similar except for the background color which was often the facing color for the regiment. This can easily be changed by using the 'fill' command in Paint. feel free to experiment. You can always copy it first so that if you mess it up you can start again.
One viewer told me he likes to use the 'Skew' command to make his flags appear more drooped. Although I don't prefer this method I encourage you to experiment and find what works for you.
Join the Warflag discussion page (link from home page) for more advise and suggestions. Back to top of page.