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Steinburg County (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)

Kreis Steinburg

Last modified: 2004-12-29 by
Keywords: schleswig-holstein | kreis steinburg | steinburg county | coat of arms (castle) | coat of arms: inescutcheon |
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[Steinburg County (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 3:5 | stripes 1+6+1 ?
by Stefan Schwoon
Flag adopted 20th August 1957, coat-of-arms adopted 30th July 1928

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The relation of the flags of Dithmarschen and Steinburg with the former royal Danish arms [shown at Arnaud Bunel's Héraldique Européenne website] is not surprising since these areas were in the possesion of the Danish king for a long time, and the royal Danish arms featured the arms of Holstein, Stormarn and Dithmarschen.

Stormarn is one of the historical quarters of Holstein (the others being Dithmarschen, Wagrien, and Holstein proper). Stormarn occupied the southern part of the land, including Hamburg. In 1322 it was divided, and only the eastern part remained. So I suppose that Steinburg was originally a part of Stormarn, and the inclusion of the Stormarn arms (the swan) is a reminder of that. The present-day Stormarn county [Kreis Stormarn] lies to the north and north-east of Hamburg, seat in Bad Oldesloe.

Stefan Schwoon, 5 February 2001

Stormarn was divided 1322 between two branches of the counts of Holstein. The part that was split off was the Lordship of Pinneberg (Herrschaft Pinneberg) which was probably the seed for today's Pinneberg county. Hamburg gradually became a de facto independent city at the time. Hamburg's territory was enlarged in 1937 at the cost of Stormarn county.

Stefan Schwoon, 9 February 2001


My illustration above is not based on official records, but on this image. Still, it looks like a plausible flag. Proportion of the stripes seems to be 1:6:1. Adopted 20.08.1957, according to Dirk Schönberger's Administrative Divisions of the World website. Larger image and meaning of arms at Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website.

Stefan Schwoon, 31 January 2001

From Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website:

The arms were granted on July 30, 1928. The county is named after the castle Steinburg built before 1307. It was the seat of the governor of the Amt Steinburg, one of the territories in Holstein. The three small shields represent the three old districts in the Amt Steinburg. The image of Christ is taken from the seal of the Wilstermarsch district, the Nesselblatt [nettle leaf] is the arms of Holstein, the swan is taken from the Krempermarsch district. The waves indicate that the Steinburg was a so-called water castle, a castle surrounded by canals, and, at the same time, represent the Elbe river.

Literature: Stadler 1964-1971 and Reissmann 1997.

Santiago Dotor, 23 October 2001