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     Home > SOVIET MILITARIA > Military, Propaganda and Award Flags

    Unit Banner of the Civil Aviation Detachment of the town of Mineralnye Vody, circa 1963.

    Unit Banner of the Civil Aviation Detachment of the town of Mineralnye Vody, circa 1963. In plush crimson velvet with gold fringe; measures approximately 5' wide x 4'4" tall (not including the fringe).

    The front side features large portrait of Lenin in applique cotton with hand-embroidered silk outlines and border. In the upper right above the portrait is the slogan "Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!" The embroidered inscription below the portrait reads "Combined Mineralnye Vody Aviation Unit of the North Caucasian Civil Aviation Agency."

    The reverse side has large national emblem of the USSR beautifully embroidered in silk, with carefully cut-out pieces of azure and brown cotton on the background representing the oceans and continents. The manner of the artwork, details of the fringe and especially the materials used to create the banner are of distinctly early, 1950s- 60s style.

    The banner is in excellent condition. Beside a couple of very minor spots, the portrait, national emblem, embroidered writing and velvet background are free of soiling or damage of any kind. The fringe is completely intact. The flagpole sleeve shows use but is still perfectly sound, does not have excessive wear.

    Located just north of the city of Pyatigorsk in the mountainous region of Russia's northern Caucasus, the town of Minerarlnye Vody was founded in the last quarter of the XIX Century mostly as a railway terminus. Although its current Russian name means literally Mineral Waters, the town has no sources of artesian water of its own: it was named for being a terminal for thousands of tourists heading to the renowned Caucasian mineral water spas located nearby. Starting from 1920s, it also became a prominent aviation hub which quickly grew to serve many destinations around the Caucasus and beyond, in Transcaucasian Soviet territories further south as well as foreign countries such as Turkey and Iran. In the summer of August 1942, during WW2, the town was overrun by the Germans and upon its liberation the following year, became the location of a large air base as well as important aviation repair and construction facilities.

    Being a major aviation center, Mineralnye Vody greatly expanded its civilian airport of in the post-war years. From mid- 1950s through 1960s, its pilots were among the first in the Soviet Union to start using new passenger jet airplanes such as Tu-104 and Tu-124. Owing to the fact the town had acquired a large number of highly trained aviation cadres as well as top-notch facilities, in 1963 it was allowed to host its own branch of the Soviet civil aviation agency, namely the Combined Mineralnye Vody Aviation Unit. The banner offered here was most likely made and issued during the same year. Not only is this piece one-of-a-kind, but also of extremely rare type: it is one of the "Unit" banners of Soviet industrial enterprises, organizations or military units issued at the time of inception of the unit. Issued individually and only once, banners like this were to be cherished, kept in a special location at the headquarters of the enterprise, and displayed in public only on very special occasions. They are far less common than similar-looking award banners often bestowed upon enterprises or labor teams by various Soviet authorities.

    Item# 35913


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