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Hansa pennants and flags (Germany)

Last modified: 2009-03-28 by
Keywords: hanseatic league | hansa |
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About hanseatic pennants

„Flüger" also „Flügel" or „Vlugher" are small pennants that were hoisted in the top of the mainmast of a vessel. I don't know the ratio of those pennants. Some may have been splitflags, some may have been trapeziums, some may have been triangular or even rectangular. The vessels of Hamburg were the first ones hoisting a "Flüger". In the "Hamburger Schiffsrecht von 1270" (oldest naval law about flags in Germany) you can read:
„Ein jewelc user unghere scal uoren enen ruden ulgher. So we so des nicht ne deit, de scal id beteren bi III marken silu'es uo der stat koze. He ne leoghe ene neder doz an ghestes willen. So welc gast och enen ruden ulugher uozer, de scal gheuen al so uele wert he an useme rechte de claghet."
The language is probably Mittelniederdeutsch which was the commercial language used e.g. for treaties by the merchants of the Hanse league in those days. The letter "u" is sometimes used instead of the letter "v".
Translation: "Everyone of our citizens shall hoist a red pennant (=vlugher/ulugher), those who do not do so shall be punished by a fee of 3 Marks in silver for communal purposes, except they have pulled down the flag in case of danger. If a foreigner hoists a red pennant, he shall pay the same fee, when he is accused by our court."
Afterwards also other towns of the Hansa used pennants as distinguishing marks of their own vessels. All attached pictures are based on the paintings of E.Paschke. The genuine source of the pennants I do not know. The years added to the single pennants are probably those years the pennants were reported.
All pennants are depicted as trapeziums.

Source of all pennants: Poster entitled: "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen", (engl: "The historical evolution of those German national flags used on ships and recognized as German war flags or merchant flags by the naval nations", edited by Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven, 1981, based on an original version of Kapitän zur See a.D. Karl Schultz, all flags on the poster are painted by E. Paschke, all the pictures are all fairly small,approximated size a little bit more than 3 cm2.The poster was still available up till 27 Dec 2003.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Bremen 1695

[Bremen 1695] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 Oct 2007

Bremen 1695: The flag has 9 horizontal stripes in alternating colours red and white, starting with a red stripe at the top end and ending with another red stripe at the bottom end as well. At the hoist there is the typical edge at the hoist consisting of 2 vertical red-white chequered stripes of other flags of Bremen and Wismar.
Source:
Poster entitled: "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen",
[engl: "The historical evolution of those German national flags used on ships and recognized as German war flags or merchant flags by the naval nations",
edited by Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven, 1981, based on an original version of Kapitän zur See a.D. Karl SCHULTZ, all flags on the poster are painted by E. PASCHKE.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 Oct 2007


Hamburg since 1270

[Hamburg since 1270] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

1) Hamburg since 1270: A plain red pennant, see above, from: Hamburger Schiffsrecht von 1270.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Hamburg since 1500

[Hamburg since 1500] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

2) Hamburg since 1500: A plain red pennant with a white shield shifted to the hoist, in the shield there is a red castle with an open black gate and three towers.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Hamburg since 1500 variant

[Hamburg since 1500b] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

3) Hamburg since 1500: The same as no. 2 (based on Paschke) with one difference: the castle has two red doorsteps, the castle is the same like that on the 1568-flag of Hamburg (will be presented in part 2) which is also based on the paintings of Paschke.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Hamburg 1568

[Hamburg 1568] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007

Hamburg 1568: It is a plain red flag with a white shield shifted to the hoist. In the shield there is a red gate with an open black door and three towers, each with a single black window. The castle has two red doorsteps.
Source: Poster entitled: "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen", engl: "The historical evolution of those German national flags used on ships and recognized as German war flags or merchant flags by the naval nations", edited by Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven, 1981, based on an original version of Kapitän zur See a.D. Karl SCHULTZ, all flags on the poster are painted by E. PASCHKE.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007


Hamburg 1644

[Hamburg 1644] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007

Hamburg 1644: It is a plain red flag with a white gate on it shifted to the hoist. The gate has three towers with black windows and probably white crosses on the tops of the left and right tower, probably a white double cross on the mid tower. In the basement there are black (open windows) and one white (closed) window. The door of the gate is open.
Source: Poster entitled: "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen", engl: "The historical evolution of those German national flags used on ships and recognized as German war flags or merchant flags by the naval nations", edited by Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven, 1981, based on an original version of Kapitän zur See a.D. Karl SCHULTZ, all flags on the poster are painted by E. PASCHKE.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007


Danzig 1400

[Danzig 1400] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

4) Danzig 1400: A plain red pennant with two white crosses lined up horizontal and shifted to the hoist.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Elbing 1424

[Elbing 1424] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

5) Elbing 1424: A white over red bicolor with two white crosses lined up horizontal and shifted to the hoist.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Lübeck since 1299

[Lübeck since 1299] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

6) Lübeck since 1299: A white over red bicolor.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Rostock 1418-1868

[Rostock 1418-1868] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007

Rostock 1418-1868: It is a blue over white over red tricolor. (see also Rostock historical)
Source: Poster entitled: "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen", engl: "The historical evolution of those German national flags used on ships and recognized as German war flags or merchant flags by the naval nations", edited by Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven, 1981, based on an original version of Kapitän zur See a.D. Karl SCHULTZ, all flags on the poster are painted by E. PASCHKE.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007


Stralsund 1306

[Stralsund 1306] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

8) Stralsund 1306: A plain red pennant with a white spearhead shifted to pointing at the hoist.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005


Stralsund 1329

[Stralsund 1329] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007

Stralsund 1329: It is a plain red flag with two white arrowheads at the hoist pointing at the mast.
Source: Poster entitled: "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen", engl: "The historical evolution of those German national flags used on ships and recognized as German war flags or merchant flags by the naval nations", edited by Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven, 1981, based on an original version of Kapitän zur See a.D. Karl SCHULTZ, all flags on the poster are painted by E. PASCHKE.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Oct 2007


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