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- Date of production 1943
- Place of creation Poland
- Dimensions height: 565 mm, width: 567 mm
- ID no. MAK/47/M
- Object copyright The Museum of the Home Army dedicated Gen. Emil Fieldorf “Nil”
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
The flag was made in 1943 upon the initiative of the Inspector of the Home Army Inspectorate for Rzeszów, Major/Lieutentant-Colonel Łukasz Ciepliński a.k.a. Pług. The development process was supervised by Special Affairs Officer Dr. Gabriel Brzęk a.k.a. Dewajtis.more
The flag was made in 1943 upon the initiative of the Inspector of the Home Army Inspectorate for Rzeszów, Major/Lieutenant-Colonel Łukasz Ciepliński a.k.a. Pług. The development process was supervised by Special Affairs Officer Dr. Gabriel Brzęk a.k.a. Dewajtis. The process began with the announcement of a competition for the flag design, published in a secret magazine — Na Posterunku [At the Post], Issue 39 from October 1942. The contest was won by Officer Cadet Zdzisław Andrzej Krygowski. Interestingly enough, the main prize for the winner was...a pistol. At that time, a gun was more valuable than money. The embroidery was executed by Bronisław Pyrz a.k.a. Daniel of Błażowa. In the autumn of 1943 the flag was finally consecrated. In January 1944, it was passed for storage to the leading unit of the Home Army's Rzeszów Inspectorate — the district of Dębica. The flag was minded by Lieutenant Ludwik Kubik a.k.a. Lucjan. It was he who saved it from perishing. In August 1944, the house where the flag was hidden was crossed by the front line and was engulfed in fire. Putting his life in danger, the flag minder brought the precious item out of the flames. During communist rule, a story about the flag having been consumed by fire was spread by Home Army soldiers of the Rzeszów Inspectorate while questioned by the Security Service seeking the flag. The flag luckily lived to see a more favourable time and was passed on to the Home Army Museum. It is one of the most valuable commemorative items strictly associated with the history of the Home Army.
The flag looks similar to objects of this kind that were made for the Polish Army before the war, yet the symbolism expressed on the flag refers to Poland's situation at that time and the content represented in the flag is directly related to the Inspectorate's organisational structure. Its obverse features an officer's cross with an eagle in the middle that is breaking fetters on its legs. The lower arm features a cryptonym of the Inspectorate — Rtęć, and the external horizontal one — the date: 1939, the internal horizontal one: 1943 — the year the flag was made. The reverse also has an officer's cross, yet with the image of the Mother of God of Częstochowa with a crown-shaped eagle over her head, which is located in the centre of the cross. The Mother of God is represented against a background of churches and houses symbolising the Region of Podkarpacie, an operational area of the Inspectorate. An inscription on the upper arm says “Honour”, and the one on the lower arm says “Homeland.” The horizontal ones: “RP — the Republic of Poland.” The corners of the flag sheet include the names of the cities of the Region of Podkarpacie, coinciding with the branches of the Home Army districts. The organisational structures more or less corresponded to pre-war districts that belonged to the Rzeszów Inspectorate: the internal left corner features the Rzeszów coat of arms and a cryptonym of the Rzeszów District — Róża [Rose]; the right one features the Dębica coat of arms and a cryptonym of the Dębica District — Deser [Dessert]; the lower external corner features the Kolbuszowa coat of arms and the inscription, Kefir — for the Kolbuszowa district; the lower internal one features the Brzozów coat of arms without a cryptonym as an exception to the rule, since the Brzozów District did not exist. The Home Army's Regional Inspectorate for Rzeszów itself was a part of a larger structure — the Home Army's Sub-district of Rzeszów, a part of the Home Army's Kraków District. At the peak of its activity, the Inspectorate included 20,000 soldiers and was one of the Home Army's most active organisations. During the Storm [Burza] campaign, the Inspectorate reconstructed the 24th Infantry Regiment; however, the military situation within the Inspectorate's area resulted in the front line stabilising in a way that crossed the Inspectorate's territory. The Dębica District was the first district in the Rzeszów Inspectorate to suffer repression from the new communist authorities and the Soviet Security Service — this was the beginning of a new dark chapter in the lives of many Home Army soldiers who disclosed themselves during the Storm campaign — arrests, imprisonments, executions and deportations deep into the Soviet Union. Their hard fate was shared by the Rzeszów Inspectorate's flag, hidden until Poland regained its independence.
Elaborated by the Museum of the Home Army dedicated Gen. Emil Fieldorf "Nil”, © all rights reserved