Last modified: 2012-08-09 by pete loeser
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This flag is identified as a Prussian NCO's lance pennant and is now located on the Prussian Cavalry Regimental Standards and Guidons page.
Image by J. Patrick Fischer, 29 Apr 2003
I found this flag on a poster in the German consulate of Guangzhou/PR China. I only know, that it was about a competition about environment.
J. Patrick Fischer, 29 Apr 2003
This flag is identified as Das Corps Thuringia Studentenverbindung and located on the German Students' Associations page.
"The Pillars Of Society" by George Grosz
I have found a flag which I have been unable to indentify. It appears in the 1926 painting "The Pillars Of Society" by George Grosz (a German Expressionist artist). It looks very similar to the North German Confederation / German Empire flag 1867-1918 except in the middle of the white stripe, it has a black stripe which extends from the left side to about the middle of the flag.
Kieran Ball, 19 Jun 2003
This could be the Naval Reserve Ensign (flown by merchant vessels commanded by Naval Reserve officers). It was a horizontal black-white-red tricolour with an Iron Cross at the hoist.
Miles Li, 19 Jun 2003
Image sent by Marcus Schmöger, 2 Sep 2003
In yesterday's newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung 1 Sep 2003, p. 39) there was a photo of a demonstration here in Munich (mainly organised by the Green party and its youth organization), pleading for the legalization of Cannabis-Hemp. The photo showed an interesting flag: on a field of interwoven green hemp leaves on white, a red disk with a bigger green hemp leave. Anybody knows this flag (inscription is "hemp", so I guess it might have appeared in some English-speaking countries).
Marcus Schmöger, 2 Sep 2003
Image from capri-shop.com
This flag is a version of the Hemp Flag.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 4 June 2011
photo #1 - Image from Jörg Karaschewski, 13 Jan 2004
During my search for German colonial flags I found a picture with a flag like that one of the "Deutsch Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft" (German East-African Society). But this flag shows an emblem in the centre. Any idea to he origin of this flag?
Jörg Karaschewski, 13 Jan 2004
Though having problems with the resolution, I think that I have recognized the following elements: black centred cross, red canton with 5 white stars, in the centre within a black edged roundel the base of the badge of Togo (palm tree with two snakes). According to Hormann/Plaschke and Schurdel the German colonial flags were just a bit more than proposals made by Dr. Wilhelm Solf (1862-1936), together with Johann Albrecht Duke of Mecklenburg (1857-1920). As Germany lost WWI it also lost its protectorates and the colonial flags had nearly no chance of ever being hoisted. The colonial flags, however, were black over white over red tricolours with the base of badges in the middle of the white stripe. An (official) flag like that being depicted here seemed to have never existed.
According to both sources from above the depicted flag without the roundel was the flag of the German East Africa Company, according to Hormann/PLASCHKE also called "Petersflagge." These authors also claim, that there existed a German colonial movement after WWI targeting the regain of German protectorates. So that flag may be a propaganda flag of a section of this movement. If there were 4-point stars within the canton, the flag could be dated between 1933 and 1945. The NSDAP ordered 4-point stars for some reasons I don't know. However, the Reich Colonial League flag had a diamond shaped emblem enclosing a swastika.
Sources: Jörg-M. Hormann; Dominik Plaschke: "Deutsche Flaggen Geschichte, Tradition, Verwendung", Bielefeld/Hamburg 2006; ISBN 3-89255-555-5; Harry D. Schurdel: "Flaggen & Wappen Deutschland", Augsburg 1995; ISBN 3-89441-136-8; p.225ff; Hormann /Plaschke also depict a coloured version of badge of Togo (white background, green elements). The description of the chiefs on p.87 however doesn't match the images on p.85. So this information might be doubtful.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 June 2007
I agree with Klaus-Michael Schneider that it looks a lot like the (uncrowned) shield of Togo. If it is, however, I can't quite place all the details. The flags surrounding it are apparently black white red, should date the scene somewhat. But more important might be the setting. We're not looking at your average sitting room, not even your average conference hall, this was the Reichstag.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 4 June 2011
In reference to the picture of the "Unknown German Colonial" flag hanging in the Reichstag, discovered by Jörg Karaschewski, I think we are the victims of a "PhotoShop" artist here. I base this on several factors, both historical and technical, which I share with you.
1. According to all documentation I've seen, the colonial flags were proposed, but not put into use.
2. Having a colonial flag hung behind the speaker's podium would be against all normal practice, which was to place a national flag there.
3. This whole thing reminds me a bit about another German Colonial flag hoax, that of German New Swabia, in fact, the same basic flag design was used on this photo, aparently attempting to tie it into the work of Ottfried Neubecker, I guess to lend it some credibility. Neubecker seems to have become the "Shakespeare" of German flag design, and like the barb, often gets a lot of credit for almost anything flag related in German Vexillology, even if he didn't do or say it.
4. And lastly, a close examination of the photo indicates, at least to me, a slightly different texture, grain and feel on the flag image, especially around its edges. Also notice the white tone seems a bit brighter than the whites in the rest of the picture, and although I admit I'm not an expert on such things, it just rings false.
Pete Loeser, 24 July 2012
You may well be right. One detail in the picture leads me the speculate about the occasion represented- regardless of whether it was a faithful representation or photo-enhanced. Isn't that a casket lying in state in front of the podium? The two men flanking it seem in Third Reich-era garb. Was this a special ceremony for a recently deceased former colonial official. The World Statesmen website says former Togo Governor Edmund Bruckner died in 1935.
Ned Smith, 25 July 2012
I agree that it's a bit of a mystery.
It's certainly the Reichstag, and from the clothing worn by the figures in the photograph, I suspect that it's post First World War. That means that the photo was taken either in the Weimar era or, less probably, during the very brief period between Hitler's appointment as Chancellor on 30th January 1933 and the destruction of the Reichstag by fire on the 27th of February 1933. The reason I say this is that the Reichstag of the subsequently proclaimed Third Reich met (exceedingly infrequently, needless to say) in the Kroll Opera House across the road and had a totally different interior design.
I agree that the flag and the surrounding drapes don't look quite "right", and might well have been added later. What I don't really understand, however, is why someone would spend time and effort doing this. Certainly, during the period when the photograph appears to have been taken, it was common practice to "touch up" prints in order to bring out details which would otherwise have remained indistinct. Perhaps that's what happened in this case.
I also agree that the flag is that of the deutsch-ostafrikanische gesellschaft, but my eyes aren't good enough to discern the colonial badge of Togo in the centre. Whilst this flag was very popular among right wing elements and adherents of the Second Reich throughout the Weimar period, it does seem peculiar to see it defaced in this manner.
I believe that one correspondent suggested that the photograph may have been taken at the funeral of a former colonial governor of Togo. This is interesting as there certainly appears to be a flower-covered bier in front of the dais. I think, however, that he mentioned the date 1935, which would not, in my view, be possible for the reasons outlined in my first paragraph.
But if the flag is, as it seems, that of the German EAST Africa Company, why would it be defaced with the badge of Togo, which lies, of course, in WEST Africa?
The plot thickens!
I realise that these observations get us no nearer to the truth, but they might supply some useful background.
Peter Johnson, 28 July 2012
Images from Jens Pattke, 13 Jan 2004
By adjusting the contrast of the original picture with an image editing software displays the logo of the company and the Southern Cross with five-pointed stars. Then comparing the adjusted image (photo #2) with this photo (photo #3) which was taken in 1937 on the occasion of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the German Colonial Society, the solution to the puzzle can be found.
Image from Jens Pattke, 13 Jan 2004
This flag is the flag of the German Colonial Society (Deutsche Kolonial-Gesellschaft). The German Colonial Society (DKG) formed on 19
December 1887 through the merger of the German Colonial Society (Deutscher Kolonialverein; est. 1882) and the Society for German Colonization (Gesellschaft für Deutsche Kolonialisation [=Ansiedlung]; est. 1884), with headquarters in Berlin.
Subdivisions of the DKG were the Colonial Economic Committee (Kolonialwirtschaftliche Komitee; est.1896), the main association of German naval associations abroad (Hauptverband deutscher Flottenvereine im Ausland; est.1898) and the Women's Association of the German Colonial Society (Frauenbund der deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft; est. 1907).
In the context of Nazi indoctrination, the DKG 1936 integrated with their collections, institutions and members in the Reich Colonial League (Reichskolonialbund). This was dissolved in 1943 from war-economic reasons.
The flag (after 1920) was based on the flag of the German East Africa Company. On a white cloth, a black cross is placed. In the red canton five white four-pointed stars, which are arranged as a constellation of the Southern Cross. On the black cross is placed the DKG-socity logo, which shows a palm tree with the initials "DKG". The DKG-logo resembles the badge of the former German colony of Togoland.
Jens Pattke, 29 July 2012
I have viewed Jens' enhanced photo (photo #2) with great interest as it shows the badge in the centre of the flag with far greater clarity...I fear, however, that I have to cast doubt upon Jens' dating of the picture. This is for architectural reasons connected to the appearance of the Reichstag's interior...I believe that in Jörg's original photo (photo #1), I can discern a Nazi swastika flag left of the dais; and the two young chaps by the flowers certainly seem to be wearing Hitler Jugend armbands. Accordingly, I would date this picture some time between September 1930, when the Nazis became the second largest party in the Reichstag, and February 1933, when the interior which we see was utterly destroyed by fire.
Peter Johnson, 29 July 2012
Correction: The photo was taken in october 1932 in the Berlin Reichstag. Occasion of the commemoration in 1932 in the Berlin Reichstag was the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the German Colonial Association (Deutscher Kolonialverein - DKV). The German Colonial Society (DKG) formed on 19 December 1887 through the merger of the German Colonial Association (Deutscher Kolonialverein; est. 1882) and the Society for German Colonization (Gesellschaft für Deutsche Kolonialisation [=Ansiedlung]; est. 1884), with headquarters in Berlin.
In the context of Nazi indoctrination, the DKG 1936 integrated with their collections, institutions and members in the Reich Colonial League (Reichskolonialbund). This was dissolved in 1943 from war-economic reasons. The DKG was a branch in this Reich Colonial League.
Jens Pattke, 5 August 2012
Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 27 Feb 2009
I spotted this car-sticker on 3 April 2006 in Hamburg-Farmsen. It is a blue pennant with a thin yellow bordure and two white chevrons pointing to the fly. It most likely belongs to a yacht club.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 27 Feb 2009
image by Vinson Nash, 17 Dec 2008
I was recently watching the film "Third Reich in Color" and during several scenes showing activities of the German-American Bund in New Jersey during the late 1930s several members were shown carrying a flag that I had not seen before and cannot identify. The flag was a dark blue with a white circle surrounding what appeared to be a black gear shaped object with what looked to be a red letter "D" in a german-looking font. The flag had yellow/gold fringe. It doesn't look to be what was apparently the official flag for them. I thought perhaps you might have seen it before.
Vinson Nash, 17 Dec 2008
The German-American flag would appear to be from the US, rather than Germany. I'd say it's rather labour union like, isn't it
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 4 June 2011
Images sent by Matthew Brown, 29 Oct 2009
I recently discovered this flag at a small auction house in Australia and I am trying to establish where it came from. I think it is WW1 era, and the horse represents the house of Hannover? With the crown of the king? Allegedly the flag was captured by Australian forces? I've attached some photo's and would love any information you might have?
Matthew Brown, 29 Oct 2009
This surely cannot possibly be anything to do with the Kingdom of Hannover, which was abolished and absorbed into the kingdom of Prussia in, I believe, 1867 or thereabouts.
Peter Johnson, 31 Oct 2009
The horse might be from Braunschweig (Brunswick) as well. The figure in the upper hoist corner obviously is a "th"-rune. And looking at the reverse, the fleur de lis often is used by scout associations. But don't ask me which one.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 June 2011
The Hanoverian flag, if it is that, has a rather old style of the horse, where it has a ground. I think this was used when Hanover was not yet a kingdom. The crown, however is not an elector's cap. Would that make the bearer's Hannoverians from the Electorate, but in England where their lord was king? The rune is also sometimes used to represent H, though others use it to represent W. I don't know whether that's a regional or temporal difference, or neither. Anyway, it raises the question of when people used runes on flags. It's position has a quality of unit emblem or number over it, hasn't it?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 4 June 2011
Some remarks about this flag Let’s start from the reverse. It shows the emblem of the Deutscher Pfadfinderbund (DPB) as it can be seen on their homepage. Deutscher Pfadfinderbund means German Scouts Movement and was founded in 1945 shortly after WWII. The emblem is called the Rautenlilie (diamond lily). A modified version, together with a three-leaf clover (called Klilie, which could be translated into "clily") is used by the Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (BdP), another German scouts association: Therefore, we have definitely a German scout’s banner. But which tribe?
This is the tricky question of the obverse. Firstly, we have the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hannover used between 1837 (the year when the personal union between the ruling houses of Hannover and Great Britain came to end, as Victoria became queen in London and the Kingdom of Hannover did not allow a female succession of the throne) and the 1866 coat of arms (when Prussia incorporated Hannover). The "steed of Saxony" is still used (without ground) in the coat of arms and flag of the state of Lower Saxony and was used in the short lived Land Hannover (23rd, Aug to 23rd Nov, 1946, then merged with others [Land Oldenburg, flag slightly different to the former Grand Duchy Land Schaumburg-Lippe flag and Brunswick flag: also - with other versions of Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe - to Lower Saxony) and in the British Occupation Zone of Germany.
The version "steed on ground" can still be found on the flag of the Welfenbund (Guelph Movement), strong supporters of the Guelph houses of Hannover and Brunswick, especially to the House of Hannover. This movement came into being already in the 19th century as an opposition to Prussia. Their political/parliamentarian arm was the Deutsch-Hannoversche Partei, shortly named Welfenpartei (Guelph Party). Under the pressure of the Nazi Government the party terminated themselves in 1933.
In the late 40s and the early 50s of the 20th Century the Guelph Movement and others requested a re-installation of the Land Hannover, but without any success. In my opinion the flag has to be embed in this tradition: a Lower Saxony Scout’s tribe of that time probably called by themselves as "Guelph tribe". Especially the non-denominational German scout organisations had and still have some "Viking traditions", expressed e. g. in symbols or names of their divisions. Some examples and some pennants can be found at the bpd homepage. The Thurisaz rune on the left probably stands therefore, too. It symbolizes inner strength, facing the faith, and selflessness.
I am afraid the flag cannot be backtracked to its origin. However, I forwarded the pictures to the DPB board. Perhaps they find out more.
Werner Bußmann, 13 December 2011