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Hanseatic City of Wismar (Germany)

Hansestadt Wismar, Landkreis Nordwestmecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Westpomerania

Last modified: 2013-11-24 by german editorial team
Keywords: wismar | bull's head | fish(3) | flueger | pennant | sail | seagull | ship |
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[City of Wismar flag] 3:5 image by Stefan Schwoon, 13 Feb 2001

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City of Wismar

The "City and Lordship of Wismar" (Stadt und Herrschaft Wismar) was a member of the Hanseatic League. It was occupied by Swedish troops in 1631 during the Thirty Years' War and was ceded to Sweden by the Treaty of Osnabrück 1648. Sweden transformed Wismar into the most fortified city in Europe. The Northern Alliance took the city on 20th April 1716, and by the Treaty of Frederiksborg (July 1720), Sweden pledged never again to fortify the city. In 1803 the Duke of Mecklenburg leased Wismar from Sweden for 100 years in exchange for 1,250,000 Taler. More historical information (German text only) at the Wismarer website and this personal website.
Santiago Dotor, 28 Sep 2000

The current flag consists of six stripes alternatingly white and red. Sources: Staack 1997 [saa97] and Günther 1999 [gue99a].
Stefan Schwoon, 13 Feb 2001

Wismar "civil" flag

[Wismar civil flag] 2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Jan 2007

Civil flag - Although the current flag of Wismar is already depicted by St.Schwoon, there exists another nowadays flag, I call it the "civil" flag of Wismar, knowing that this denotation is not quite correct. I visited Wismar for a few days in January 2006 and the only flag, you could see everywhere in town, was that "civil" flag. Many locals believed this flag being the official one. Unfortunately there was no flag hoisted in front of the townhall then.
Description of the flag: It is a horizontal 6-stripes flag with alternating white and red stripes starting with a white one at the top of flag. In the centre of the flag there is the current coat of arm of the City of Wismar. In a different version the coat of arms is slightly shifted to the hoist.
Description of the coat of arms: According to the Hauptsatzung (statutes) of Wismar the coat of arms shows a red ship heading the left side. Upon the prow there is sitting a black-headed seagull, at the stern is a rudder, what else? The ships sail is formed like a shield bearing the coat of arms of the Dukes of Mecklenburg(-Schwerin), a bulls head in a yellow field. Above the shield is a yellow mast-head (a look-out post). At the top of mast is a yellow cross. Below the cross is a horizontal 4-stripes white-red-white-red pennant. In the blue wavy sea below the ship are three silver fish in a triangular formation, two of them facing the flyend, one of them facing the hoist.
According to the Hauptsatzung of Wismar this one is the current coat of arms, based on one of the oldest city-seals. A picture of the seal you can see in: Whitney Smith: "Die Zeichen der Menschen und Völker", Luzern, p.83. According to Hauptsatzung the old coat of arms is still valid. It is a shield divided per pale. The right side is showing a half bulls head of the Dukes, the left one is divided by fess three times: argent over gules over argent over gules, i.e. white-red-white-red.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Jan 2007

Wismar 1916 flag

[Wismar 1916 flag] 3:5 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Jan 2007

In 1916 there existed another 6-stripes flag of Wismar with the image of the seal in its centre in a white roundel. The ship however was of brown colour.
Source: Ottfried Neubecker: "Fahnen und Flaggen", Leipzig 1939, p.95.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Jan 2007

Wismar Hansa pennant

[Wismar Hansa pennant] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Jan 2007

Hansa pennant: (should be part of contribution about hansa pennants) It is a horizontal 4-stripes white over red over white over red pennant. According to Paschke I'll date the flag before 1700. I believe in the existence of that pennant, because it occurs in the current coat of arms, which is based on an old seal and according to Paschke there existed an equal flag version before 1700. I could see variants of that pennant in various places in the city, being e.g. part of a company flag and depicted on the Wassertor and the old school-building.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Jan 2007

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