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Westphalia 1945-1946 (Germany)


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[Westphalia 1945-1946 (Germany)]
by Pascal Vagnat

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In 1945, after the defeat of the Nazi regime, all the Nazi and Prussian emblems, flags, coats of arms, seals were forbidden. As there weren't any legal, authorized emblems, especially at the state and regional level, the former Prussian provinces, among others, had to adopt or re-adopt emblems. That was the case of the province of Westphalia. In order to solve the problem of the absence of seals for the Westphalian communes, the Oberpräsident of Westphalia ordered in a circular of the 21st December 1945, that the seals in use in Westphalia should show the Westphalian coat of arms, that is "Gules a horse forcene Argent" with the name of the relevant authority. At the same time it was stipulated that every authority which was formerly allowed to display the Reich service flag or the former Prussian state flag, should from then on display the flag of the province of Westphalia. The buildings of the [Allied] military powers weren't concerned by this circular.

The 1945 flag of Westphalia differed from the flag of the same province adopted in 1882 and still used during the Republic of Weimar: the flag had the coat of arms of the province in the canton. This flag lasted until 1946 as the new Land North Rhine-Westphalia was created by the British military power. Source: Veddeler 1987.

There are other flags which lasted only few years after the war, but I have no information about them. We could think that the provinces of Rhineland, Hannover, Brunswick, Schaumburg-Lippe, Oldenburg, the Free State of Lippe etc. used their pre-war flags, with some light modifications, like in the case of Westphalia.

Pascal Vagnat, 20 May 1999