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City of Bielefeld (Germany)

Stadt Bielefeld, Northrhine-Westphalia

Last modified: 2011-07-16 by
Keywords: bielefeld | brackwede |
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Bielefeld Flag with Coat of Arms

[Bielefeld horizontal flag with CoA] 3:5 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Nov 2007

Description of flag:
The flag's ratio is 3:5. It is a red over white horizontal bicolour with the coat of arms in its centre.
Description of coat of arms:
In a golden (=yellow) field is a red, embattled wall masoned black. The wall is topped by two red towers having eight open (=black) windows and four pinnacles each. In an open arc of the wall is a silver (=white) shield with three red chevrons.
Approved: 17 July 1978 by Regierungspräsident Detmold
Source: Veddeler 2003, p.347.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Nov 2007

Historical City Notes

Bielefeld was mentioned first in 1015, when a man named Tieni sold his acres to the bishopric of Paderborn. In 1214 count Hermann of Ravensberg founded a settlement and granted to it the rights of a city. Between 1240 and 1250 Sparrenberg castle, usually known as Sparrenburg was erected by count Ludwig of Ravensberg. In 1293 count Otto III and his wife Hadwig established an abbey, the core of Bielefeld New Town (Neustadt).
In 1346 Ravensberg kin died out. Bielefeld became part of Jülich in 1348 and later of Kleve (1511). In 1520 Bielefeld and Bielefeld New Town merged.
In 1614 Bielefeld became part of the electorate of Brandenburg, the process of incorporation was finished in 1647. Bielefeld became a boom town under Brandenburgian rule, when the linen industries were established by the electors. The city was in favour especially by the Great Elector.
From 1806 until 1813 Bielefeld became part of the kingdom of Westphalia, a French puppet state, ruled by King Jerome (by the locals aka "King Funny", although life wasn't funny at all in those years), a brother of the French emperor Napoleon I.
In 1816 Bielefeld became capital of a Prussian county district. In 1878 Bielefeld dropped out of the county and became a county free city.
In 1973 the city of Bielefeld, the main part of Bielefeld county and a minor part of Halle (Westfalen) county merged.
Source: "750 Jahre Bielefeld - unsere Stadt im Wandel der Zeit", Sonderbeilage of Freie Presse, a local newspaper, Bielefeld 1964
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 Jul 2011

Historical Flag Notes

The chevron shield is that one of the counts of Ravensberg, count Hermann of Ravensberg established the city of Bielefeld in 1214 as his new capital with privileges according to the version of Münster/Westphalia. 1293 the base of Bielefeld New Town was founded by count Otto III. and his wife Hadwig. 1520 both cities merged. The image from the coat of arms existed on the cities seals since 1231.

Since 1336 there also existed seals of New Town, showing an image of St.George with lance and shield. There is however nothing known about the existence of a flag. It is known since 1701, that the city used a coat of arms with a black gate with a portcullis and the chevron-shield in a silver field. It was topped (?) by a crown and had two lions as supporters. In the 19th century the tincture of the walls was changed into light grey for some funny reasons. In 1890 the shield was modified again, showing a "stonegrey" gate in a golden shield. The whole was topped by a mural crown. Hupp (Deutsche Ortswappen) and Meyer (Wappenbuch) had published a version with a red gate, which was proposed by Roth a little bit earlier, because gold besides stonegrey didn't match basic rules of heraldry. This version was used and finally became official in 1939.

The colours red and white in the flag had been used since the shooting-match (German: Schützenfest) of 1831. It was a revival of the Ravensberg colours. The city chose these colours as theirs officialy in 1833. The colours of the old flag, being black and white, had nothing to do with the colours of Prussia, as I claimed here earlier.
According to Veddeler they were based upon the tinctures of the old coat of arms. This connection had been simply forgotten.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Nov 2007

Bielefeld Banner#1

[Bielefeld banner CoA centred] 5:2 image by Stefan Schwoon, 22 Feb 2001

Vertically red-white with the coat of arms in the centre and shield according to Stadler.
Sources: Staack 1997 and Stadler 1972., p.25
Stefan Schwoon, 22 Feb 2001

From Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website:
The oldest seals of the city date from 1231 and 1263. These already showed a gate, which has been also used as the arms ever since. The actual picture of the gate has changed often during the centuries.
Literature: Stadler 1972, p.25
Santiago Dotor, 18 Dec 2001

Bielefeld Banner#2

[Bielefeld banner CoA shifted] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Nov 2007

Description of flag:
It is a red - white vertical bicolour, The coat of arms is shifted to the top. This variant has the usual shield, called Halbrundschild, e.g. depicted by Veddeler.
Source: Veddeler 2003, p.347.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Nov 2007

Bielefeld Flag without Coat of Arms

[Bielefeld horizontal flag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 7 Jul 2007

Description of flag:
The flags ratio is 3:5. It is a red over white horizontal bicolour.
The flag was used since the beginning of the 19th century. The city then had the same colours as the Prussian province of Westphalia.
Source: "Deutsches Städtebuch, Bd.III 2 Westfalen"; Hrsg: Stoob Stuttgart 1954.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 7 Jul 2007

Bielefeld Flag until 1833

[Bielefeld flag until 1833] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 7 Jul 2007

Description of flag:
The flags ratio is 3:5. It was a black over white horizontal bicolour.
Source: Veddeler 2003, p.347.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 7 Jul 2007

Sparrenberg Castle Flag

[Bielefeld Sparrenburg flag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Jul 2011

Description of flag:
The flags ratio is 1:1. It is a white flag divided by three red chevrons. It is an armorial flag, showing the arms of Ravensberg kin, who died out in 1346. The castle was erected by count of Ravensberg.
Source: I spotted this flag various times.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Jul 2011

Brackwede Borough Flag

[Brackwede borough flag] speculative image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 Jun 2007

Brackwede had been the "biggest village of Europe" since it gained the title of a city in 1956. In 1970 some other municipalities had been incorporated to Brackwede. In 1974 the city became a district of Bielefeld.
Description of flag:
The ratio of flag is 3:5. It is a red over white over red flag with the coat of arms in its centre. The flag was abolished, when the city became a part of Bielefeld.
Description of coat of arms:
In a silver (=white) shield three trees with silver(=white) stems and green leaves are standing upon the peaks of a red mountain, upon which a silver (=white) wheel with six spokes is superimposed. Above all is a red chevron touching the top edge of the shield.
Meaning:
The chevron was taken from the coat of arms of the counts of Ravensberg, who had been the sovereigns until 1346. Mountain and trees are symbolizing the location beneath the Teutoburger Wald. The wheel is a symbol of trade and industry. The coat of arms was granted in 1950. The Amt Brackwede used the same shield without the wheel since 1936.
Source: Stadler 1972, p.29
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 Jun 2007

Brackwede Borough Banner

[Brackwede borough banner] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Dec 2009

Description of banner:
The ratio is approx 3:8. The banner is vertically divided into red-white-red with ratio approx 2:5:2. The coat of arms is within the white stripe and shifted to the top that way that the part above the shield is approx 1/3 of the part below.
Source:this website
You can see the banner hanging at a crane of the local fire brigade volunteers. The photo was made on 17 May 2009 during the fire brigade's road show.
Klaus-Michael Schneider,19 Dec 2009


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