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Thread: Roundels

  1. #1

    Default Roundels

    In the twelfth century knights had a difficult time telling who their opponent were without the use coat of arms on their shields and flags. This tradition of identifying oneself in battle made its way to WWI when the Tricolore cockade of the French Air Force was the first roundel used on combat aircraft. It was a simple design of a bullseye with each ring painted with the French flag colors.

    After the French threw that first stone, it was a race for other nations to claim their nations roundel. Since some European countries shared the same color scheme, other nations decided to use a symbol instead. The Germans decided to go with the cross (Eisernes Kreuz) that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem. So the use of Roundels and the code to which pilots showed respect for their opponents dubbed them the Knights of the Air.
    German Empire (Along with Austria and Bulgaria)
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    Though the German roundel changed after 1915, Austria and Bulgaria kept the original design through WWI.

    But I did mention that there were countries with the same color scheme. Here is what they were using during WWI
    United Kingdom (And Australia and later Canada)

    France
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    Italy
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    Poland
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    Romania
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    Russia
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    Serbia
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    Slovenia
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    Spain
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    Thailand
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    Turkey (1918)
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    United Kingdom (Canada and Australia adopted the same RAF markings)
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    United States (American Expeditionary Force 1918-1919 only used in Europe)
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    On May 17th, 1919, The War Department ordered use of national star insignia on all U.S. planes. The new design was (Wargamer's current Avatar):
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    Side note: During WWII, the U.S. decided to drop the red circle in the middle of their roundel because of the Japanese red disc called the rising sun.

    For more countries roundels used on aircraft click this Link.
    Last edited by Kermit; 05-18-2013 at 10:07. Reason: Adding the chequer

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    ...The Germans decided to go with the iron cross (Eisernes Kreuz) that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem. So the use of Roundels and the code to which pilots showed respect for their opponents dubbed them the Knights of the Air.
    Partially right.

    The symbol is that old, but it was named black cross.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzes_Kreuz_(Symbol)

    It became the "Iron Cross" in 1813.




    Good side note with the US roundel with star and red dot.

  3. #3

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    Roundel used by US armed forces from 6 May 1942 to 28 June 1943 when white bars and a red outline were added as the result of studies which showed that shape was more important than color from a distance.


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    Roundel used by US armed forces from 28 June 1943 to 31 July 1943 when objections over the use of red in the outline resulted in an official order to change the outline to blue.

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    Roundel used by all US armed forces from 31 July 1943 to 14 January 1947, replacing roundel having red outline, or no outline, but with white bars.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    In the twelfth century knights had a difficult time telling who their opponent was so they decided to use coat of arms on their shields and later flags.
    From Wiki: 'In some periods, the convention was to decorate the aspis; in others, it was usually left plain. Probably the most famous aspis decoration is that of Sparta: a capital lambda (Λ). From the late 5th century BC, Athenian hoplites commonly used the Little Owl, while the shields of Theban hoplites were sometimes decorated with a sphinx, or the club of Heracles.'

    As you don't reference your sources, it's difficult to tell where you're ripping this stuff from, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    Side note: When they entered the war, the U.S. decided to drop the red circle in the middle of their roundel because of the Japanese red disc called the rising sun.
    The USAAF and USN continued to use the 'meatball' until May 42 (as stated by Zakopious), so the statement that the USA 'when they entered the war... decided to drop the red circle' is incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    Though the German roundel changed after 1915, Austria and Bulgaria kept the original design through WWI.
    Austria-Hungary adopted the straight-armed Balkenkreuz in Jul 1918.

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    Last edited by Baldrick62; 05-18-2013 at 14:32. Reason: A-H Nexus mini with Balkenkreuz added

  5. #5

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    I don't mind if people correct my inaccuracies. At least they are reading and replying to my posts. Though I would rather not have my posts turn into English papers with people arguing over which APA or MLA format.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    I don't mind if people correct my inaccuracies. .
    Perhaps we could contact posters via PM with corrections? Saves the old blushes.

    I remember a chap here (no names, no packdrill) got the Union Flag upside-down in a thingy posted on the site - A quiet word, all was sorted and I don't think anyone else noticed.

    Smiles all round.

  7. #7

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    Ok. But where is the chequers?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlgyLacey View Post
    Perhaps we could contact posters via PM with corrections? Saves the old blushes.
    I think there is no need to.

    ...Union flag upside down.

    That's why you should read a post twice before sendig it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlgyLacey View Post
    Perhaps we could contact posters via PM with corrections? Saves the old blushes.

    I remember a chap here (no names, no packdrill) got the Union Flag upside-down in a thingy posted on the site - A quiet word, all was sorted and I don't think anyone else noticed.

    Smiles all round.
    Or just research your subject accurately before posting.

    BTW, from 1916 the Serbs flew with French roundels, because their air arm was provided by France, with a Serbian Red/Blue/White 'flag' marking on the fuselage.
    Last edited by Baldrick62; 05-18-2013 at 12:19.

  10. #10

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    Can't please everyone.

  11. #11

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    Czechoslovakia used these roundels in 1918-1920. As far as I can tell, they are the same as American roundels we see on WWI WOW/WOG airplanes.

    - Phönix C.I, WOW Crossfire booster, 18/18 CF
    - Fokker D.VII, WOW Top Fighters booster, 10/19 (with thin white borders)

    Some airplanes used different markings, such as the Czechoslovak flag.
    - Spad VII, WOW Hit & Run booster, 20/31 HR

  12. #12

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    The American roundel is actually a darker blue but almost identical. Nice find.

  13. #13

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    IIRC Britain used the Union Jack on their aircraft. The aircraft recieved ground fire from friendly troops who percieved it as a cross. So the RFC switched to the roundel.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlgyLacey View Post
    Perhaps we could contact posters via PM with corrections? Saves the old blushes.

    I remember a chap here (no names, no packdrill) got the Union Flag upside-down in a thingy posted on the site - A quiet word, all was sorted and I don't think anyone else noticed.

    Smiles all round.
    Seems to me that is the honourable thing to do Algy.
    I usually do that as a matter of course, but with my poor eyesight I often make mistakes even when reading or answering mail. Even with my big screen set to 175% things get past me, so maybe that is why I feel sorry for other people who make a blooper too. As you say, it sometimes hurts to be made a laughing stock, and we really don't want to drive away members with a bad impression of the Drome. As my old Headmaster used to say. "It can take a lifetime to build up a good reputation, but only a few seconds to ruin one." Or as my mum used to say. "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything".
    Rob.

  15. #15

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    Interesting thing with Polish Chequer shown in the initial post (the year 1918) is that during the course of history the sign was rotated 90 degrees to the right (the year 1993). The reason was a heraldry rule stating that the color of white is more important or has a greater value than red

    1921 Design (crimson red) with outlines:

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    1993 rotated design with slightly different shade of red:

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    Last edited by Nightbomber; 05-21-2013 at 12:26.

  16. #16

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    Well, I'll throw my comments into the discussion...

    Re: Heraldry- The 1993 version is more correct (according to the rules of heraldry), because:
    1. The Polish flag is White (Argent) over Red (Gules)
    2. The upper right corner (or upper LEFT as you would view it) is "superior" and is this White as in the Polish flag
    3. The border is counter-changed (opposite color), and does not count/is not in violation of #2, above.

    Just an FYI from your FLH (friendly local herald).

    Cheers,

    Chris

  17. #17

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    I looked up Union Jack because I didn't really know what that was. I found a picture which was rather interesting and wanted to share...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18

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    Heraldically speaking, what we are looking at is the Union Flag.
    It is only a Jack when flown at the Jack staff of a warship.
    Rob.

  19. #19

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    I love the Union Jack design history. It's so smart and logical besides any historical arguments between the English and the Scots. One thing have been bothering me for a long time and maybe you could answer my question, chaps: Why do the white outlines inside the flag are uneven?

  20. #20

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    The red saltire of the St Patrick flag is off set so that the white saltire of St Andrew doesn't become just an outline to it.

  21. #21

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    I expect we will have to have a new flag if Scotland becomes independent.

  22. #22

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    Speaking of roundels, Serbia also used French roundel, and sometimes national colours (horizontal plain red-blue-white) on fuselage.
    Turkey used black square bordered with thin white line.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Пилот View Post
    Turkey used black square bordered with thin white line.
    I think that might have been the low-visibility roundel for Turkey. They primarily used this
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    from 1918 to 1972.

  24. #24

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    Iv'e got a copy of 'British WWI Aircraft in the Polish Air Force' and looking at the photos most planes had the red square top left as in the 1921 design but some planes show the red square top right as in the 1993 design, maybe they where applied before the standard design was chosen
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbomber View Post
    Interesting thing with Polish Chequer shown in the initial post (the year 1918) is that during the course of history the sign was rotated 90 degrees to the right (the year 1993). The reason was a heraldry rule stating that the color of white is more important or has a greater value than red

    1921 Design (crimson red) with outlines:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	220px-Roundel_of_Poland_(until_1993).svg.png 
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    1993 rotated design with slightly different shade of red:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Roundel_of_Poland.svg.png 
Views:	141 
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ID:	90963

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    I looked up Union Jack because I didn't really know what that was. I found a picture which was rather interesting and wanted to share...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm still trying to figure out how in hell one can fly it "upside-down". I can see where a mirror-image would have the Irish part of the cross in the wrong place; but upside-down is identical to right-side-up....

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    I think that might have been the low-visibility roundel for Turkey. They primarily used this
    Click image for larger version. 

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    from 1918 to 1972.
    Actually, Turkey used the black square during WWI. It was quite simple modification to the black crosses on the white background on the airplanes supplied by Germany.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out how in hell one can fly it "upside-down". I can see where a mirror-image would have the Irish part of the cross in the wrong place; but upside-down is identical to right-side-up....
    If you invert the Union Flag (ie, take what is currently the top edge and 'fold the flag' to make it the bottom edge), the narrow red diagonal from the 'Cross of St.Patrick' is no longer against the staff.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick62 View Post
    If you invert the Union Flag (ie, take what is currently the top edge and 'fold the flag' to make it the bottom edge), the narrow red diagonal from the 'Cross of St.Patrick' is no longer against the staff.
    OK, I see it now -- same effect as having it "backwards".

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    OK, I see it now -- same effect as having it "backwards".
    As a matter of interest Chris, and I can't find where anyone has mentioned this, but I may be wrong, The Union Flag, when flown upside down, is deemed to be a signal requesting help needed.
    Rob.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    As a matter of interest Chris, and I can't find where anyone has mentioned this, but I may be wrong, The Union Flag, when flown upside down, is deemed to be a signal requesting help needed.
    Rob.
    I believe from my 20 years in scouting that it is a hang over from our naval heritage and stems from the days of flying signals from the mast. It was a more sneaky way of clandestine method of signalling for help if you had "problems" onboard that meant you couldn't openly fly distress signals.

  31. #31

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    Hopefully this will help to demonstrate the right & upside down way to fly the Union flag !



    Placing the flag upside down is considered lèse majesté (injury to majesty) and is offensive to some, however, it can be flown upside down as a distress signal. While this is rare, it was used by groups under siege during the Boer War and during campaigns in India in the late 18th century.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    As a matter of interest Chris, and I can't find where anyone has mentioned this, but I may be wrong, The Union Flag, when flown upside down, is deemed to be a signal requesting help needed.
    Rob.
    It seems to be common to the UK and the US.

  33. #33

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    Be aware that the Italian roundel was also sometimes applied in WW1 with the colours reversed.
    i.e. green on the outer ring. It appears that the Italian authorities initially specified colours only but did not specify a running order. Individual squadrons made their own decisions.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Warspite' View Post
    Be aware that the Italian roundel was also sometimes applied in WW1 with the colours reversed.
    i.e. green on the outer ring. It appears that the Italian authorities initially specified colours only but did not specify a running order. Individual squadrons made their own decisions.
    I haven't heard the lack of specification angle before, but it's certainly possible, and absolutely correct that Italian roundels can be either Red/White/Green or Green/White/Red. The explanantion I'd read for the former was that these were generally French-supplied aircraft, where the manufacturer simply painted out the Blue centre of a French roundel and replaced it with Italian Green.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick62 View Post
    The explanantion I'd read for the former was that these were generally French-supplied aircraft, where the manufacturer simply painted out the Blue centre of a French roundel and replaced it with Italian Green.
    That is what I understood the reason to be as well Balders.
    Maybe Attilio can shed further light on the matter for us.
    Rob.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    I think that might have been the low-visibility roundel for Turkey. They primarily used this
    Click image for larger version. 

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    from 1918 to 1972.
    The Black Square was the marking of the Ottoman Empire, not the Republic of Turkey whcih came into existence at the end of WWI.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Maes View Post
    Just an FYI from your FLH (friendly local herald).
    All together now.

    It was a.....

    (wait for it)


    Dove displayed upon a billet checky, or and gules
    Flanked by a pair of cockatrices, dressed in motley like a fool's
    Their feathers are dimidiated by a tree eradicated
    Slipped and jessed in counter-compony

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick62 View Post
    The Black Square was the marking of the Ottoman Empire, not the Republic of Turkey whcih came into existence at the end of WWI.
    You quoted the wrong source. It should have been....

    Quote Originally Posted by Пилот View Post
    Speaking of roundels, Serbia also used French roundel, and sometimes national colours (horizontal plain red-blue-white) on fuselage.
    Turkey used black square bordered with thin white line.
    You are welcome.

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    You quoted the wrong source. It should have been....
    1. You're wrong; I didn't quote any source.

    2. Factually wrong again, as usual.

    'During the First World War, a black square was introduced, outlined in white when required (this is allegely due to the lack of red paint, or to make Axis markings more similar; moreover, the Ottoman Air Force, as a Muslim state corps, even though operating German machines with German pilots, could not use the German Iron cross). In 1918 a first red-white-red roundel appeared, but it was soon replaced with a red square outlined in white, that was used up till 1972.' - http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/tr%5Eairf.html

    'The Ottoman Empire was the one of the largest and longest lasting Empires in history. It was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam, and Islamic institutions. It replaced the Byzantine Empire as the major power in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Ottoman Empire reached its height under Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520-66), when it expanded to cover the Balkans and Hungary, and reached the gates of Vienna.

    'The Empire began to decline after being defeated at the Battle of Lepanto (1571) and losing almost its entire navy. It declined further during the next centuries, and was effectively finished off by the First World War and the Balkan Wars. One legacy of the Islamic Ottoman Empire is the robust secularism of modern Turkey.' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religi...empire_1.shtml

    So who's the turkey now?
    Last edited by Baldrick62; 05-25-2013 at 05:06. Reason: formatting

  40. #40

    Guntruck's Avatar Central England Command Squadron Leader & Librarian
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    Anyone got any popcorn? This could be a long one.....

  41. #41

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    ........and some coke!

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Brain View Post
    All together now.

    It was a.....

    (wait for it)


    Dove displayed upon a billet checky, or and gules
    Flanked by a pair of cockatrices, dressed in motley like a fool's
    Their feathers are dimidiated by a tree eradicated
    Slipped and jessed in counter-compony
    Please Zoe;
    I make heraldic banners for my reenactment group.
    Your making my eyes (and brain) bleed!
    Karl

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick62 View Post
    1. You're wrong; I didn't quote any source.

    2. Factually wrong again, as usual.

    'During the First World War, a black square was introduced, outlined in white when required (this is allegely due to the lack of red paint, or to make Axis markings more similar; moreover, the Ottoman Air Force, as a Muslim state corps, even though operating German machines with German pilots, could not use the German Iron cross). In 1918 a first red-white-red roundel appeared, but it was soon replaced with a red square outlined in white, that was used up till 1972.' - http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/tr%5Eairf.html

    'The Ottoman Empire was the one of the largest and longest lasting Empires in history. It was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam, and Islamic institutions. It replaced the Byzantine Empire as the major power in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Ottoman Empire reached its height under Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520-66), when it expanded to cover the Balkans and Hungary, and reached the gates of Vienna.

    'The Empire began to decline after being defeated at the Battle of Lepanto (1571) and losing almost its entire navy. It declined further during the next centuries, and was effectively finished off by the First World War and the Balkan Wars. One legacy of the Islamic Ottoman Empire is the robust secularism of modern Turkey.' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religi...empire_1.shtml

    So who's the turkey now?
    1) You quoted my comment which is the source I was referring to.

    2) I wasn't the one saying anything about the black square. Read it before you post a reply!!!

    I have expressed my displeasure in talking to you Baldrick and stated you should PM me if you want to chat outside this forum. I can't even put you on my ignore list so do me a favor and get off my necklace.
    "Sorry Baldrick62 is a moderator/admin and you are not allowed to ignore him or her."
    Last edited by 7eat51; 05-26-2013 at 14:41. Reason: Author removed offensive text.

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
    1) You quoted my comment which is the source I was referring to.

    2) I wasn't the one saying anything about the black square you wanker. Read it before you post a reply!!!

    I have expressed my displeasure in talking to you Baldrick and stated you should PM me if you want to chat outside this forum. I can't even put you on my ignore list so do me a favor and get off my necklace.
    "Sorry Baldrick62 is a moderator/admin and you are not allowed to ignore him or her."
    Kermit, this is the first time I see someone insulting another user so blatantly on the Aerodrome. This is something I am neither used to here, nor something I am willing to get used to here the slightest bit.

    I reported your post, which is a thing I hoped never to have to do here.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Watchdog View Post
    Kermit, this is the first time I see someone insulting another user so blatantly on the Aerodrome. This is something I am neither used to here, nor something I am willing to get used to here the slightest bit.

    I reported your post, which is a thing I hoped never to have to do here.
    Watchdog, I tried to reason with Baldrick which he seems to keep antagonizing me. I attempted to put him on my ignore list which I hoped never to have to do here either. This coming from a moderator/admin who keeps about some black square of Turkey when I wasn't the person who mentioned it. So please, do me a favor and talk some sense into him. Perhaps then he'd leave me alone.

    I didn't PM him because that might be considered 'harassment' but I do apologize for my unpleasant tone. I expected more from a senior member of this Aerodrome.

  46. #46

    Guntruck's Avatar Central England Command Squadron Leader & Librarian
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    Sorry, I'm with Jan on this one. You may not agree with Baldrick but this is no reason to stoop to abusive name calling. I have also reported this thread.

    We all have run-ins with other members on occasion because we don't agree with them, but we do try to keep it civilised.

    However, many thanks for reminding me we have an 'ignore' button.

  47. #47

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    Actually I'm not disagreeing with Baldrick. I personally am not interested in the whole square Turkey thing anyway. He just kept roping me in to the discussion instead of directing that discussion to the person who mentioned it. But adding to the fact that he seemed to keep nitpicking on most of my posts got on my last nerve. I'm not one to run and tattle on anyone but I figured others would step in if they seemed it was getting out of hand.

  48. #48

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    Right chaps.
    Let's all move on now. Nothing further to see.
    Rob.



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    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-15-2011, 02:35
  4. US Star Roundels?
    By Tommy Z in forum WGF: Historical Discussions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-24-2011, 22:49

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