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Admiralty Flag (Hamburg, Germany)

Admiralitätsflagge, Flag for State Shipping Buildings and Jack for State Vessels

Last modified: 2015-05-15 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: hamburg | castle(white) | star(6-point) | anchor(blue) | admiralty | admiralitaet | masoned |
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[Ensign and Admiralty Flag (Hamburg, Germany)] 2:3 image by Jaume Ollé, 24 Jan 2001

See also:

Current State Ensign

Flag adopted 6th June 1952, first adopted 14 May 1751

The Admiralitätsflagge (admiralty flag). Several versions of this are already among the historical flags. It shows on a red field a blue anchor with a yellow horizontal bar behind the castle. Since 1642 the admiralty (the office responsible for all harbour and shipping matters) had its own arms: the blue anchor with the white castle. It is not clear to me from my sources since when has the flag been used. In the newer regulations (1949 and 1951) the use of this flag is decreed: the admiralty flag is used as state flag on state buildings serving shipping, and as a jack on Hamburg state vessels. Sources: Smith 1975, Schurdel 1995, Laitenberger and Bassier 2000 and Gaedechens 1855.

Marcus Schmöger, 29 May 2001

The use of the admiralty flag is described in Hertenstein 1985 (Jörg Hertenstein, Die Flaggen des Bundeslandes Hamburg, in Hamburgische Geschichts- und Heimatblätter no. 11, pp. 153-158, 1985). There are three main places in Hamburg, where this flag is (or has been) hoisted:

  • Überseebrücke;
  • branch office of the port authority;
  • office for stream and harbour construction.
Boats and ships of Hamburg authorities use this flag as jack, frequently in the form of a metal plate rather than in the form of a cloth flag. The jack is used by the police, fire brigade, harbour doctor, customs, pilots, and also towboats chartered by the Hamburg authorities. Furthermore some service launches display the admiralty flag at the starboard gaff, if the harbour captain is on board.

Marcus Schmöger, 25 November 2003

State Ensigns 19th-20th Centuries

[State Ensign 1837 (Hamburg, Germany)] 2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Sep 2012

Ensign of Hamburg State Vessels - model 1837:
The ratio was 2:3. It is the same castle as given in the merchant version - a white castle with blue tower windows, a partially open white portcullis flanked by two red spyholes and masoned at the bottom - but smaller and superimposing a black anchor with yellow bar, i.e. an admiralty flag.
Source:Gaedechens 1855, p.42ff
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Sep 2012

[State Pennant 1837 (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Sep 2012

Hanging pennant of the state vessels - model 1837
It is a swallow tail pennant, split up 1/3 at the flyend. The castle with anchor is shifted to the hoist and rotated anticlockwise 90°, thus it appears upright, when hanging down from the mast.
Source:Gaedechens 1855, p.42ff
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Sep 2012

State Ensign first reported 1842

[State Ensign 19th-20th Centuries (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Jaume Ollé

Reported 1842, 1848, 1858, 1900 and 1928
Flag of State Vessels. Like the 18th-19th centuries flag, but with a blue anchor behind gate and gate is offset towards hoist.
Source: Illustrated in Wilson 1986, p. 71, Smith 1975, p. 117 and Crampton 1990, p. 44.
Norman Martin, Jan 1998

Variant #1

[State Ensign, 1905 variant (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

reported 1905
Used by Senate members and high functionaries at sea.
Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

Variant #2

[State Ensign, 1905 2nd variant (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

also reported 1905

Admiralty Flag masoned

[Admiralty Flag 1897 (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 Oct 2009
The ratio was 1:2, the flag was reported 1897. It was a red flag with a white masoned castle shifted to the hoist superimposing a blue anchor with a yellow horizontal bar. The vertical axis of symmetry of the castle was placed approx. 2/7 of flag width. The flag was used by Hamburg's governmental vessels operating in local services. The flag is denoted as Staatsflagge. Though the image shows a completely blue anchor, Ströhl claims the existence of the anchor's yellow bar.
Source:Ströhl 1899; opp.p.86, chart XXII, fig.XXI
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 Oct 2009

Ensign and Admiralty Flag 1905-nowadays

['Admiralty' Flag since 1905 (Hamburg, Germany)] 3:5
image by Marcus Schmöger

Admiralty and sea flag. In use ca. 1905 to present.
Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

White 19th Century State Ensign

[White 19th Century Ensign (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

Used in the 19th century, (editor: probably related to admiralty).
Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

Admiralty Pennant unmasoned [Admiralty Pennant (Hamburg, Germany)] image by Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

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