Was the Red Baron from World War I really a Baron and how did he get his name?

No. In the Red Baron’s native Germany he was called Der Rote Kameliegger, meaning “The Red Battle Flyer.”

Why the “Red”? Before effective anti-aircraft guns made camouflage a necessity, pilots tended to paint their planes bright colors as a way of identifying each other.

Von Richthofen favored red.

These colorful planes looked so brightly festive when grouped together that earthbound soldiers called them “the flying circus.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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