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Historical Flags (Bremen, Germany)

Freie Hansestadt Bremen

Last modified: 2013-12-02 by german editorial team
Keywords: bremen | germany | banner of arms |
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It is probable that all of the flags except perhaps the 1350 banner-of-arms, the 17th Century flag, the 1769 flag, the 1893-1921 state ensign and the Landesflagge have been in use intermittently from around 1700 until the 1891 adoption of special limits.

Norman Martin (?), 25 February 1998

After 1693 there were mainly five red and four white stripes. The correct form was with pairs of bars (10, 14, 16 and 18 bars) with red on top. This form was adopted by the Senate on 17 November 1891. The state ensign must have at least 8 bars, and when they are 12 or more may bear the central white square with the greater arms. The state ensign of 8 bars may be charged with the white square with the lesser arms. The central white square appeared for the first time on Bremen ensigns after 1744. The yacht ensign (in use until 1810/15) had 10 bars with a central square with a sail within a laurel wreath. After 1815 the sail was changed for the greater arms. The flag with an anchor in the canton is the state ensign, in use between 1891 to 1892, but was re-established 1952.

Jaume Ollé (?), 4 October 1998

The above text is taken, with a few details added, from Schurdel 1995, pp. 128-129. Schurdel 1995 implies the 9-striped flag to be in error — probably by the Allard 1695 flag chart, and then copied in other flag charts for over a century, since he states that all documents and ship paintings always have an even number of stripes. Schurdel 1995 does not mention 1892, instead using bald i.e. soon.

Norman Martin, 14 September 2000

Schurdel 1995 says that the flag has in its practical use always had an even number of stripes (despite what was said in some 18th and 19th century flag charts), with red at the top.

Elias Granqvist, 15 September 2000

According to Schurdel 1995 and Stadler 1966 the first proven occurrence of the current civil flag dates from 1691, and it has been used continuously since then in Bremen.

Marcus Schmöger, 21 September 2001

Siegel 1912 mentions it for 1695, but since this source dates from 1912, an older documented occurrence may have been found since. The 1695 flag appears to have been a 9-stripe flag.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 22 September 2001