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"POUM Battle Flag" Topic

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MikeO FKA Durruti03 Apr 2016 10:00 a.m. PST

A rare thing here – a surviving battle flag of the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista) militia from the Spanish Civil War; presumably a sub-unit of the Lenin Column.


Apparently the story behind this is that in 2008 a Madrid lawyer, himself a Falangist in his youth, read an interview with a former member of the POUM and recalled the flag given to him as a boy by his uncle who had captured it on the Aragon front in 1937 when a captain of Nationalist infantry.

As a gesture of reconciliation the lawyer decided to donate the flag to the Andreu Nin Foundation which preserves the memory of the POUM. It's thought to be the only surviving POUM battle flag.

Points of interest include it's size – similar to the small flag featuring in the "Land and Freedom" film attack. If the scene is watched carefully the flag-bearer sticks the short pole in his webbing at the back, sashimono-style, so he can use his rifle which would seem reasonable (strangely enough the SCW mod for the Call of Duty 2 PC game has something similar).

As for the design, it has the standard POUM lettering along the bottom with the hammer-and-sickle in the corner. The other lettering seems to be unit designation; I make out "SECC O", "GRUP" and "SABADELL", latter being a town in Catalonia.

Some lettering is perhaps missing? I would have expected "Secció" for section and maybe also unit numerals? Perhaps Lluis or another member from the region can shed more light on that?

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2016 11:44 a.m. PST

A POUM flag – can Eric Blair be far behind?

Captain DEwell Inactive Member03 Apr 2016 2:35 p.m. PST

Interesting story.

Primalucem Inactive Member04 Apr 2016 8:52 a.m. PST


Hussar123 Inactive Member06 Apr 2016 10:35 a.m. PST

agree, interesting story.

Fatman Inactive Member09 Apr 2016 4:26 p.m. PST

Wow that is a great story. The very fact that someone with Falangist leanings is willing to make such a "gesture of reconciliation" is worth noting. The significance of the flag makes it even more interesting. While I have nothing in common with POUM I have always been fascinated by their participation in the SCW. Thanks for sharing.


Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member11 Apr 2016 1:51 p.m. PST

From one of my best friends in Spain, there's still a lot of unhealed memories (especially as the dictatorship is in living memory for almost everyone) but there's been a lot of individual efforts to put the past behind and move on.

It's sort of inspiring stuff, really.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2016 2:08 p.m. PST

Thanks I'd missed the movie and how have ordered a copy.

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