Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Union's latest mainstay mass-produced mobile suit in AD 2307, the Union Flag (aka Flag) is the successor of the VMS-15 Union Realdo (aka Realdo). It is developed with a totally new concept in mind and not directly based on the Realdo, but it does have some similar features as its predecessor. Additionally, its model number is reset to '01' and not a continuation of the Realdo's to signify that it is a new generation of general purpose, transformable mobile suit. It is said that the Flag's high level of completion lead to the AEU to use the mobile suit as a reference when developing the AEU-09 AEU Enact.
Like the Realdo, the Flag can transform between the humanoid MS mode and fighter jet-like Flight mode. The main purpose of the Flight mode is not for travelling within the Union's territories, but for deployment to any location around the world as part of the Union's self-declared duty of being the "world's police". Unlike the Realdo and other earlier flight capable mobile suits, the Flag is designed to change modes without the need for parts swapping in bases. However, it was not originally intended to transform in midair or in combat as doing so places high burden on the joints, but highly skilled pilots soon managed to achieve it. This is thanks to the advanced piloting technique known formally as 'Graham Maneuver', and more commonly as 'Graham Special', that is named after its inventor, Graham Aker.
The Flag has outstanding mobility and flies at high speed thanks to four hydrogen plasma jet engines, two located in the back-mounted main flight units and another two smaller ones in the sub flight units on the rear waist. The engines' hydrogen fuels are stored in the bonds of the carbon molecules that made up the mobile suit's frame, this not only removes the risk of explosion when hit by enemy attacks but also eliminates the need to set aside space for fuel tanks. The Flag has the same cockpit as the Realdo, whereby the cockpit seat rotates to match the mobile suit's modes and this serves to enhance the pilot's resistance to G forces; the seat is in a recline-like position during Flight mode and is in a close to an upright position during MS mode. This cockpit is located in the drum-like abdominal section of the mobile suit.
As a solar energy model, the Flag has built-in antennas for receiving solar power from the Union's Orbital Elevator via microwaves, and this theoretically meant that it would never run out of power. Unfortunately, the Union has yet to establish a comprehensive power receiver network in its territories, diminishing the usability of this feature. Furthermore, as the Union often deploys its forces overseas, it is impossible to have a comprehensive power receiver network for its operations. The Flag has numerous tiny sensor elements embedded in its face to display luminescence patterns for intimidation, communications, etc., and the suit's main camera is located in a gap between its face and head armor. While the Flag's upper and lower body can be separated like the Realdo's, it has an additional spare cockpit (also called a sub cockpit) in its waist. However, they cannot combine while flying separately.
The Flag's battle style revolves around its high mobility, and in accordance with it being a flight capable unit, it uses weapons that focus on operability and are lightweight. Its basic weaponry consisted of 20mm machine gun, linear rifle, sonic blade (plasma sword), defense rod, missiles and some of them can be regarded as improved version of the Realdo's. In consideration of air resistance, the sonic blade (plasma sword), missiles and some other optional weapons can be stored in the Flag's limbs. Additionally, the linear rifle can generate an electromagnetic shield during Flight mode to reduce air resistance, contributing to the suit's high speed. There are also hardpoints/connectors located on the armor next to the elbow and knee joints for mounting various equipment such as the defense rod. The highly versatile Flag can adapt to different environment and combat roles by changing its parts and equipment, resulting in ground variant with extra armor, aerial recon variant, space-use variant, etc.
With its excellent capabilities and performances, the Flag was the strongest mobile suits when it was rollout. Unfortunately, it was soon outclassed; first, when Celestial Being began its armed interventions with its GN Drive-powered Gundams, and later when the United Nation Forces (of which the Union is member of) deployed the GN Drive Tau-powered GN-X series to counter the Gundams. However, certain aspects of the Flag like its flight speed are superior to some GN Drive and GN Drive Tau-powered units like the GN-001 Gundam Exia, GNX-603T GN-X and the GNX-604T Advanced GN-X. In AD 2312, even with the GN Drive Tau-powered mobile suits becoming the mainstay of the Earth Sphere Federation Army, the Flag series and other older mobile suits remain in service as the deployment of the former is still ongoing. Additionally, the GN Drive Tau-powered mobile suits have limited operating time and require specific recharging facilities.
- 20mm Machine Gun
- A physical projectile weapon located on the left side of the abdomen, it is usable in both MS and Flight modes. Although lacking in firepower, it can be rapid-fired and has high utility value. It is used for intercepting missiles, anti-vehicles, anti-personal and other cases where heavy firepower is unnecessary. In mobile suit combat, it is mostly for restricting enemy movements.
- Defense Rod
- Mounted on the forearm hardpoint, it is a defensive device made of super-hard carbon and is used by mobile suits that cannot equip a heavy shield. It uses rotary motions to deflect/ricochet incoming enemy projectiles, and can generate a plasma field upon contact with the projectile to reduce the impact. The defense rod may break if hit by an attack on its front side. As it is primarily designed for MS mode, it is not equipped if the mission only involve aerial battle in Flight mode.
- Linear Rifle
- The main weapon of the Union Flag, it is a rifle that fires 120mm caliber shells via electromagnetic acceleration. A certain degree of charging is typically needed to fire the weapon, but it can switch to a low-power mode for rapid firing during close combat. There is also an internal mechanism for switching to a different type of shell during this alternate mode. At the back of the rifle is a removable pack containing the battery unit and magazine, and it can be switched out instantaneously. In MS mode, it is handheld when in use and can be attached to the side of the leg when not needed. It is attached as the nose unit in Flight mode, where it can generate an electromagnetic shield from its muzzle to control the airflow and hence reduce air resistance, contributing to the mobile suit's high speed. This is not an added function, but a simple and logical application of the weapon's existing system.
- Sonic Blade (Plasma Sword)
- A knife-like melee weapon, the one used by Union Flag has a blade made of super-hard carbon that flips out of the handle during use. The blade can vibrate at a high frequency for high cutting capabilities. Additionally, by focusing plasma into an elongated blade shape around the physical blade, the weapon can be utilized as a plasma sword. The plasma sword's length vary according to its output and it can last for 3 minutes at full power. Resembling a crude beam saber, the plasma sword was created while developing the beam saber. The Sonic Blade (Plasma Sword) is stored in the forearms' weapon racks when not in use for aerodynamic reasons, and can be replaced by other weapons such as rockets and grenades depending on the mission's needs.
- A missile can be stored in the missile rack located on each leg's shin region and various types can be equipped to suit the mission. The shin armor flips outward when launching the missile. Although mainly used in Flight mode, they can also be used for anti-air fire from the ground by changing the missile type. The missiles are stored internally for aerodynamics, but this limits the amount of missiles carried, thus when required, additional missiles/missile pods can be mounted below the main and sub wings and between the legs.
Special Equipment & Features
- Chaff & Flare Dispensers
- The circular parts of the feet dispense substances for disrupting radar and infrared guidance, and they are used against enemy missiles approaching from the rear during Flight mode.
- Luminescence Facial Patterns
- The Union Flag's face section is embedded with clusters of tiny sensor elements that are few millimeters in size and they can display various luminescence patterns for communications, intimidations, etc. An AI automatically determines which pattern is shown. The most well known of these patterns is the eye-like display on one side of the face. However, the patterns are not limited to one side, simultaneous display on both sides is possible.
The Union Flag was the Union's latest mass production mobile suit in AD 2307. However, the ageing VMS-15 Union Realdo still served as the Union's primary mobile suit due to its superior numbers. The limited number of Flags then were mainly assigned to mobile suit team leaders and ace pilots. One such ace pilot, Graham Aker, used a Flag adjusted to be left handed, to confront the GN-001 Gundam Exia after Celestial Being's first Ceylon intervention and proved to be a difficult foe. He briefly locked blades with Exia using the Plasma Sword but the weapon was soon knocked away. Graham then skillfully evaded Exia's GN Sword attack, and tried to tear off the Gundam's shoulder armor. However, he was quickly shook off by Exia and retaliated with the Linear Rifle. Graham was forced to retreat when Exia destroyed his Linear Rifle using the GN Beam Saber.
Graham switched to the SVMS-01E Graham's Union Flag Custom following his transfer to the new anti-Gundam investigative taskforce. He was later joined by two other Union Flag pilots, Daryl Dodge and Howard Mason. When the Celestial Being's Gundams intervened in Taribia's attempt to leave the Union, the trio was deployed separately from the Union's fleet in the area, with Graham leading in his custom Flag while Daryl and Howard followed in their normal Flag. However, only Graham's custom Flag managed to catch up to Exia and they had a brief battle that ended when Exia escaped into the waters below.
During the civil unrest in the Kingdom of Azadistan, the Union deployed the anti-Gundam investigative taskforce as part of its military aid to the country in anticipation of the Gundams appearing there. Graham, Daryl and Howard tried to intervene when traitors attacked Azadistan's solar antennas facility, but they could not differentiate who the traitors were as they were also using MSER-04 Anfs like the defenders. When a mysterious missile barrage destroyed the facility, Daryl and Howard's Flags flew off to locate who had launched the attack, while Graham and his custom Flag confronted the nearby GN-002 Gundam Dynames that had tried to intercept the missiles. However, the trio was soon redirected to protect the royal palace when part of the Azadistan’s military launched a Coup d'etat. Later, the trio and their mobile suits were outside the royal palace when Exia arrived to return the kidnapped conservation opposition member, Rasa Massoud Rachmadi, whose abduction had contributed to the civil unrest. Graham ordered Howard and Daryl not to attack when he noticed Exia was unarmed. They also did not attack when Exia left as Graham reasoned that doing so would make them the villains.
The anti-Gundam investigative taskforce was subsequently officially named "Overflags" and reinforced with 12 more ace pilots who all piloted Flags. Alongside Daryl and Howard's Flag, these 12 Flags were overhauled into the SVMS-01O Over Flags. This team then became the Union's frontline unit against the Gundams until the introduction of the more advanced GNX-603T GN-X in AD 2308. After the defeat of the Celestial Being, the Earth Sphere Federation was formed and GN Drive Tau-powered mobile suits were eventually mass produced, causing production of older mobile suits such as the Flag and its variants to eventually cease. Despite this, the Flag series and other older mobile suits continued to be deployed by the Earth Sphere Federation Army, and were also operated by the anti-federation organization, Katharon.
During the Break Pillar Incident in AD 2312, the Union Flag was among the numerous mobile suits of both the Earth Sphere Federation Army and Katharon that worked together to prevent the falling outer wall pieces of the damaged Orbital Elevator, La Tour, from damaging the city at the elevator's base.
Notes & Trivia
- In Episode 2 of Season 1, when Graham's Flag confronted Setsuna's Exia after the armed intervention at Ceylon Island, the Flag was shown drawing out its Plasma Sword and attacking right-handed, despite Graham being left-handed.
- A transformation style similar to the Flag's is also used in Gundam AGE, especially by RGE-G2100 Clanche and its variants.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 HG00 1/144 SVMS-01 Union Flag model kit manual
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Gundam 00 Japanese Official Website Union Flag Profile
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 'Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Archives' Book
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 'Veda ~Mobile Suit Gundam 00~ "Ultimate" Art Works II' Book
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Archived Gundam 00 English Official Website Union Flag Profile
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mobile Suit Gundam 00N Chapter 12
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Second Season Celestial Being (Krung Thep) Development Report – VMS-15 Union Realdo
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 'Dengeki Data Collection - Mobile Suit Gundam 00 First Season' Book
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 9.31 'Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Mechanics 1st' Book
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Mobile Suit Gundam 00N Chapter 2
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Gundam.Info's Gundam MS Movie Files: Union Flag (from Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Mobile Suit Gundam 00V Vol. 006 GN-003/af-G02 Gundam Kyrios Gust
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 2, Gundam Meister
- ↑ Gundam 00 Japanese Official Website Graham Aker Profile
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 'Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Data Archives' Book
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Mobile Suit Gundam 00N Chapter 1
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 HG00 1/144 AEU-09 AEU Enact Demonstration Color model kit manual
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Gundam 00 Japanese Official Website AEU Enact Profile
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 'Mobile Suit Illustrated 2015' Book
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 1/100 SVMS-01O Over Flag model kit manual
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 '300 Years Later' Sourcebook
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 20, Blade of Reformation
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00V Vol. 001 GN-001/hs-A01 Gundam Avalanche Exia
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00V: Battlefield Record Chapter 3
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 42, Within the Scattering Light
- ↑ HG00 1/144 GNX-609T GN-XIII ESF Type model kit manual
- ↑ 'Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Mechanics 2nd' Book
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Mobile Suit Gundam 00V Vol. 003 SVMS-01SG Union Flag Ground Package Shell Type
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 3, The Changing World