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National Markings
National Markings
Eric Goedkoop
Published by EricGoedkoop
15 June 2005
Page 2

Aircraft of World War I
National Markings
1912 - 1918
Belgium followed the French pattern of markings, employing wing cockades and rudder stripes in the national colors of black, yellow and red. Fuselage markings were not carried.
1912 – 1913

Bulgarian aircraft active during the Balkan Wars were marked on the rudder with horizontal stripes of white, green and red. There are reports – but no photographic evidence – that large areas of the wingtips were painted also, green to port and red to starboard.
October 1915 – November 1918

After entering WWI on the side of the Central Powers, Bulgaria was supplied with small numbers of Fokker, Albatros, Otto, Roland and D.F.W. aircraft by Germany. These retained their German markings. Reports that a green stripe was added below the cross or along the trailing edge of the wing are not substantiated by photographic evidence.
Late 1918

According to some sources, a distinct Bulgarian marking was introduced late in 1918, possibly to differentiate Bulgarian aircraft from German following Bulgaria’s surrender on 28 September 1918. Black Saltire crosses on white fields were carried on wings and fuselages. Most Bulgarian aircraft scrapped after the war, however, still carried their original German markings.
Records indicate that more nationalistic symbols were used at least occasionally on Bulgarian aircraft. Shown are a triangular emblem featuring a gold lion derived from the country’s coat-of-arms found in place of crosses on the wings and fuselage of a Friedrichshafen seaplane, and a roundel of red, green and white reported on the fuselage of a D.F.W. C.V that carried standard German markings on the wings. The placement and design of these insignia would indicate that they were not personal markings, but intended for national recognition. It does not appear that any markings of these types found their way into general use.

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