The Horbal Family Page

The official Polish flag for  general use consists simply of two horizontal fields of equal size, with the top one white and the bottom one red. The flag that features Poland's white eagle set against a red shield on the white field is known as a "bandera" (ship's flag or ensign). According to Polish flag tradition, it is meant to be flown by Polish ships at sea and by Polish diplomatic
missions and other official institutions abroad.

Many Polish Americans, however, consider the eagle flag more distinctive and prefer it to fly from flag posts or display it at various functions.

The colors of red(amaranth) and white began appearing on banners and flags in the 17th century, although they were still not the official  national colors. The SEYM (assembly) introduced Polish national colors in 1831, but they were officially recognized as state colors until Poland regained her independence in 1919, when the white and red flag was first flown. Polish institutions and offices abroad and airports, harbors and merchant vessels fly the flag with the national emblem.