When the Fury tank enters the town, a pink object is visible on the tank. What is that?

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  • 2
    ...a boogie board?
    – Liesmith
    Aug 3, 2015 at 12:48
  • For all that this makes me curious, too... I'm not sure that it's important to the plot, so this seems like a "trivia" question.
    – Catija
    Aug 12, 2015 at 22:25
  • It looks like a stained piece of fabric. A rag with red on it.
    – user23896
    Aug 13, 2015 at 6:49

5 Answers 5


TL;DR: it's a mail bag and it's there to identify it as 'friendly' to planes.

I thought for sure it was a captured Nazi flag, but finding the same thing on other tanks suggests otherwise. What follows is highly speculative about what it is and why it's there but IMO, it draws reasonable correlations; history buffs might know better.

Mail bag:


~1h:19m :

cropped screen shot of the movie at ~1:19

If you click the picture you can see what looks like two strings that act as handles or closers. Those may just be the straps holding it down, but both of our pictures have what seems like the rounded bottom that would be sown into 'waterproof' bags of that era.

I had difficulty finding a US mailbag in red, perhaps this is a British thing?

There's plenty of other shots that show most of the other tanks having one. They're usually strapped on a little more haphazardly, though. I guess they got tired of digging it out every time they passed a grunt; there it is, bro. as I doubt the field manual says, "strap red bag on back of tank"...

Although now I speculate as to whether it was a battlefield decision to hang a don't-run-into-me flag on the back, or perhaps it means don't-bomb-me-yo.

At the range, a red flag means a miss:

He had Maggie's drawers..you know what that means...means he couldn't shoot.JFK

Though I can find no military suggestion of this being protocol, it seems reasonable because as the war went on, it became as likely to be bombed mistakenly than otherwise (especially considering it's almost always strapped to the top of the cargo).

Improved technology to assist in identifying friendly forces is also an ongoing response to Friendly Fire problems. From the earliest days of warfare, identification systems were visual... –Wiki


It's a standard identification panel carried by Allied tanks to ID them to Allied aircraft.

New book on the M4 Sherman tank-

“For Want Of A Gun: The Sherman Tank Scandal of WWII”



It is a GI Issue Air Recognition Panel to keep allied planes from bombing and strafing their own tanks. Still in use today except now it is orange and also has a thermal reflective side for night operations. Excellent attention to detail in FURY by the prop-masters.


It is not a mail bag. During WW2 the US had marker panels in various colors. They were originally fluorescent how ever they faded badly and quickly. The first ones were issued to airborne troops. The instructions stated not to expose them to sunlight for extended periods, thus the fluorescent red became pink. They were issued in red, yellow and green. All fluorescent and all had white on they opposite side. They were trimmed in webbing of O.D.#5 or 7. They also had grommets along the sides to secure them in place. Reference book: Government Issue collectors guide US Army ETO page 147 ISBN# 2-913903-87-8

  • Could you add an URL?
    – 030
    Apr 17, 2018 at 10:16
  • www.histoireetcollections.fr. Apr 23, 2018 at 16:06

it is most likely something added by directors as a sort of gag or joke sometimes they do that if any of those scenes were filmed in October it could have to do with breast cancer maybe? most of the movie is dark and has little color so it could be to add some different color then gray and black. but I'm positive it wasn't to make the movie more accurate.

  • 4
    This is completely speculative with no basis in fact and not supported by any evidence. Why would a director "mar" a serious film with some sort of "gag or joke"... It's one thing to do it in a comedy but not in a serious film.
    – Catija
    May 25, 2016 at 19:59

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