Heritage Structure | Section 6 – Camp Flags

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  1. General. Camp flags are flown to identify the organizational or functional "family" to which a particular installation belongs. Historically, they aid personnel in finding a particular unit. They may be used to mark headquarters and to encompass bounds while on field exercise, manoeuvres, on a parade ground or in barracks. They may also be flown, if appropriate, at such locations as saluting bases.
  2. Command Camp Flags. Command Flags are descendants of the former navy and air force service ensigns. From this lineage they gain the additional right – beyond being flown as identity markers – of being carried on parade on certain important ceremonial occasions when command or other consecrated Colours are not appropriate or available, and when it is desirable to indicate the formation to which a formed military body belongs. (Command flags must not be confused with command Colours; see Chapter 5.) The Maritime Command Camp Flag is also the Canadian Naval Jack and is flown on board ship within the guidelines established in Section 3.
  3. Branch Camp Flags. Branch flags are descendants of the former army corps flags. These flags mark the physical location of a unit of a functional branch (see Canadian Forces Administrative Order 2-10) or, in such circumstances as a large tented camp, encompass the boundaries of the area occupied by that particular group.
  4. Field Formation and Unit Camp Flags.
    1. Only field formations, military colleges, armoured regiments, infantry regiments and service battalions may be authorized their own camp flag designs.
    2. Other units shall only use the flag of the branch or command which matches the unit's principal function, e.g., maritime command, air operations or logistics (see Notes below).


  1. Static formation headquarters, such as Land Force Areas, 1 Canadian Air Division, bases, stations, schools, etc., are not 'field' formations or units, and are not entitled to camp flags.
  2. Subject to the approval of the Air Staff and registration with the Inspector of CF Colours and Badges, and after five years of continuous service, Air Command units may be authorized the use of branch flags matching their principal function and marked to indicate their identity as air force units (see paragraph 5b.). In the majority of cases this will be the Air Operations Branch Camp Flag with a unit identifier.
  1. Design.
    1. Command flags follow a common pattern as illustrated in Figure 4-6-1.
    2. Each branch, field formation and unit camp flag has a simple and distinct field (e.g., the red over blue of the artillery) which is easy to fabricate locally and can be identified from a distance. It may also have additional, secondary emblazonment to further identify the organization involved (e.g., the Dental Branch badge on that branch's flag). Tertiary emblazonment (e.g., a 400 series air squadron numeral or other unit symbol on the air operations branch camp flag, or a battalion or other numeral on a regimental camp flag) to identify separate components is a matter of command, branch or regimental policy Guidelines for the customs involved may be obtained from National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ)/Director of History and Heritage (DHH) through the appropriate branch adviser.

Figure 4-6-1 Common Command Camp Flag Design


  1. ChThe basic design of camp flags is controlled to prevent duplication and, thus, confusion. Authorized camp flags are illustrated in A-AD-267-000/AF-001, 003 and 004, Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces (CF). Requests to register or change an authorized design shall be submitted to NDHQ/DHH – Attention: Inspector of CF Colours and Badges – through the normal chain of command, with the approval of the Branch Advisors (see also Note 2 to paragraph 4 and Section 1, paragraphs 8 to 11).


  1. Camp flags shall not be be dipped or lowered as a means of paying salute or compliment.
  2. Compliments shall not be paid to camp flags.
  3. Camp flags shall not be:
    1. 'presented' (see Chapter 8 to A-AD-201-000/PT-000, CF Manual of Drill and Ceremonial) on parade or in any ceremony which may afford the flag special treatment or honour. They may, however, be taken into service or initially broken on flagpoles in public display to mark their adoption; or
    2. drapped over a casket (see Section 2, Paragraph 17).
  4. Carrying of Camp Flags
    1. Only command camp flags may be carried on parade within the guidelines noted in Section 2, paragraphs 34 to 40 (see paragraph 2 above).
    2. Field formation, branch and unit camp flags are strictly location flags and shall not be carried under any circumstances, on parade or otherwise.
  5. Camp flags may be flown:
    1. alone; or
    2. if appropriate for the location (see sections 4 and 5), with the National Flag and CF Ensign on or in front of a headquarters building, positioned in accordance with flag protocol and precedence (see Section 2, paragraphs 1 to 7).
  6. Camp flags shall not be draped for funerals or used to cover a closed casket (see Section 2, paragraph 17).
  7. Units using branch or unit camp flags to identify themselves and their function will not normally fly command flags as well.


  1. Commands, branches, field formations and units, entitled to their own camp flag (paragraphs 2, 3 and 4a), shall apply for approval of their proposed design, through normal channels to NDHQ/DHH, attention: Inspector of CF Badges and Colours (see Section 1, paragraphs 8 to 12).
  2. Camp flags shall be of standard flag dimensions of “length of two, width of one”, and be:
    1. a minimum of 90 cm in length and 45 cm in width (normal size); and
    2. a maximum of 182 cm in length and 91 cm in width.
  3. Smaller camp flags may be used as vehicle and parade-square markers. According to branch or unit custom, these minature camp flags may be of flag or pennant shape only. Desk-top copies for personal display are unregulated except by the Command, branch, regiment or unit concerned.
  4. Command and, for historic reasons, military college camp flags are normal supply items. All other camp flags shall be privately procured by the units concerned with no costs payable from public funds.
  5. By custom, branch advisors and commanding officers may authorize ex-service member associations to use camp flags for self-identification. Tertiary emblazonment shall always be used to prevent confusion, normally the word "ASSOCIATION" or some equivalent. (See also Chapter 6, paragraph 60, for parallel instructions for badges.) Ex-service member associations shall conform to camp flag usage in accordance with paragraphs 7 to 11.

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