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Hamburg Historical Flags (Germany)

Historische Flaggen der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: hamburg | hamburg tricolour | hamburg revolution flag |
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Since 1868 the we have to consider the flags of Hamburg more or less as naval flags. The details can be found within the main page of Hamburg Naval FlagsThere are however some exceptions, mainly for one purpose: being hoisted at the town hall.

19th Century Pennant

[Hamburg Pennant] image by Jaume Ollé, 8 Jun 1996

The ratio was approx 1:9. It was a red swallow tail pennant. The white castle was placed near the hoisted and rotated that way that the towers pointed to the hoist.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 May 2011

Ephemeral revolution flag reported 1848 with centred castle

[Hamburg tricolour#1 reported 1848] speculative image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Jun 2011

It was a black over red over yellow horizontal tricolour. In the middle of the red stripe was the white Hamburg castle (having no proper image I chose model 1841).
Source: Helga Kutz-Bauer: "Hamburg - drei Türme, die nicht fallen";
published in "Wappen und Flaggen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und ihrer Länder"; edited by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung; Bonn 1987; ISBN 3-89331-010-X
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Jun 2011

Ephemeral revolution flag reported 1848 with off-centred castle

[Hamburg tricolour#2 reported 1848] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Aug 2013

The ephemeral flag was described with the Hamburg castle in the centre (mittig) of the red stripe. The image however displays the castle slightly shifted to the hoist. Source: Reincke 1926
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Aug 2013

Horizontal Flag reported in 1897

[Hamburg reported 1897] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 Oct 2009

The ratio was 1:2. It was a red flag with a white masoned castle shifted to the hoist. The vertical axis of symmetry of the castle was placed approx. 1/3 of flag width. The flag was used on merchant vessels beside the German merchant ensign, probably besides the ensign of North German Confederation. The flag is denoted as "Landesflagge".
Source:Ströhl 1899; opp.p.86, chart XXII, fig.XXIII
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 Oct 2009

Ephemeral revolution flag reported 1918

[Hamburg red flag 1918] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Jun 2011

It was the plain red flag of communism.
Historical notes:
On 12 November 1918 /Dr. Heinrich Laufenberg, the leader of the worker's and soldier's council, declared the government of Hamburg as abolished and the red flag was hoisted upon the town hall. The elections took place on 16 March 1919. The Social Democrats gained the absolute majority. On 29 March the worker's and soldier's council gave back power to the new government.
Source: B.Studt and H.Olsen: "Hamburg - die Geschichte einer Stadt"; Hamburg 1951; p.187-188
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Jun 2011

Vertical Flag used in 1948

[Hamburg Banner 1948] image by , 1 Jan 2001

There is a (famous) photo of 1948 (from Kuhn 1991) with vertical flags of all Länder, including the Hamburg flag. The castle was depicted a bit differently then. The Bremen flag is also there: vertical flag, eight stripes, middle arms in the centre.
Marcus Schmöger, 4 October 2001

In Kuhn 1991, p. 90, there is a photo showing the Museum König at Bonn dressed up for the session of the Parlamentarische Rat (constituent assembly), 1 September 1948, with all the (hanging) flags of the Länder that took part in this assembly. One of the flags is a first unofficial flag for Lower Saxony. Close to it there is a hanging flag variant of the Hamburg flag. The castle is shown a bit different from what we usually would see today, but this is not so significant. In earlier times the castle was quite often depicted with obvious masonry, as in this case (see for instance Gaedechens 1855). A similar flag is also shown on a foto from 1950 in the Bundesrat (the parliament's house of federal states); this foto is in Rabbow 1999.

Marcus Schmöger, 5 October 2001

The same photo can be seen in Hormann and Plaschke 2006, p.194
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 May 2011

Horizontal Flag used in 1960

[Hamburg used 1960] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 Oct 2009

It is the well known red flag with a white castle. The castle here is not masoned, the basement is flat, the door broader and the dome of the central tower is white and red. The pinnacles, five plus two at each side, except the last one have additional black triangles at the fly side, in order to imitate shadow.
Source: photo, made on island of Borkum in summer 1960
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 Oct 2009

Horizontal Flag reported in 1979

[Hamburg reported 1979] image by , 5 Jun 2011

The flag is similar to the 1960 pattern, having also an open dome but higher basement and shorter towers.
Source: Pedersen 1979, p.39
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Jun 2011

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