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"Ancient Chinese Flags" Topic

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624 hits since 8 Jan 2005
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Vinco Imperator08 Jan 2005 9:45 a.m. PST

Hi Guys,

I bought a 15mm Chinese army (Specifically Chao Chinese, but anything around the Ch'in Empire will do) just a few months ago. As always, I'd like to give my different units banners. Only problem is, I don't know what Ancient Chinese banners look like. All I know is that the Ch'in chariots had black flags, and one of the later dynasties had orange flags for their chariots.

Are there any websites out there with such info on? I'm busy painting the army now, so I need the info rather urgently.



Ivan DBA08 Jan 2005 3:32 p.m. PST

The Han switched to Yellow mid-way through, but started out with the Black inherited from the Ch'in.

Here's a Han army with banner apparently derived from a TV miniseries. While that source probably doesn't bode well for their authenticity, they are interesting and worth a look.


It doesn't have any banners, but for what its worth, here is a Chao army.


Sysiphus08 Jan 2005 4:31 p.m. PST

Molniya Miniatures offer a set of Ch'in flags. They look pretty good. They make them for their 27mm figures but may produce them in 15mm scale. You could buy one set and use it as a reference; could be cheaper than an Osprey book?


Vinco Imperator14 Jan 2005 11:58 a.m. PST

Thanks guys. I did buy the Osprey book, but it doesn't seem to have any info beyond the Black/Orange flags


Come In Nighthawk31 Aug 2018 3:58 a.m. PST

What about for 28mm? For Shang, Zhou, Qin, as well as Early Han?

Aristonicus09 Sep 2018 3:16 a.m. PST

Holy thread necromancy batman.

Come In Nighthawk12 Sep 2018 6:48 p.m. PST

The thread LIVES!!!!! grin

Still a valid question 13 years later! Why start a new thread?

GurKhan14 Sep 2018 2:06 a.m. PST

I have an article in Slingshot 290 (Sept/Oct 2013) on Chinese dynastic colours, which gives what information I could collect on who used what colour flags. The back-issue's available at link

Come In Nighthawk22 Sep 2018 6:58 p.m. PST

Thanks… Picked up a copy of Slingshot #290… Helpful, but from the discussion, am thinking that for the Shang & even "Early Zhou" I can pretty much do what I want!! All the "evidence" of what was done in the Bronze Age is in fact post-dated by centuries, and not contemporaneous… All evidence I could find (including in the article) suggests the "formula" by which these "decisions" were made was not "invented" until sometime during the Warring States Era (476-221 BC), or fully 800 to 1000 years after the Shang…

All the forgoing leaves me planning now to use the basic colors, but as I see fit… Maybe paint Shang Nobles in "white" and/or "bright red" garments (as opposed to "dull red" to use for later "convicts!"). Then, a-historically, paint the troops of each "division" (using "Hail Caesar!" rules), in a "uniform" or "clan" color -- instead of all the "line dogs" in "peasant dull-brown!" Leaning towards, "Prussian Blue," grey, off-white, brown, and a dark brown-red… Maybe green instead of brown, or dark brown-red… Reserving shades of "yellow" to "hedge my bets" for the "Early Zhou!"

Thanks again!

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