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Reported Lower Saxony Flags 1891 (Germany)

Flaggen der Landschaften und Städte im Königreich Hannover 1891

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: niedersachsen | hannover |
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Cityflags of the Kingdom of Hannover

I have just scanned the book: H. Ahrens "Hannoversche Landschafts-und Städtewappen", 1891.
The last page gives an overview of the flags of the Province of Hannover, its districts (Landschaften) and the cities at the time.
I put if for downloading at
Ralf Hartemink, 19 Feb 2008

Provinz (province) Hannover: yellow over white

Landschaften (districts): (all flags horizontal 2- of 3-striped)
- Bremen-Verden: red - green - black
- Calenberg-Grubenhagen: red - blue
- Hildesheim: yellow - red
- Hoya-Diepholz: yellow - black
- Lüneburg: red - yellow - blue
- Osnabrück: white - red
- Ostfriesland: blue - white - red

Städte (cities):

I haven't seen (yet) the book by H. Ahrens, but the Landschaftsfarben are also mentioned (as cited from Ahrens) in [Ströhl 1897], the Deutsche Wappenrolle.
The colours mentioned are a bit doubtful, to say the least. In particular Ostfriesland (East Frisia) seems invented, as the traditional flag is black-red-blue.
The other Landschaften are not so well known, so it is more difficult to say. However, these colours are IMHO probably just derived from the coats-of-arms, and most probably by Ahrens himself. It is possible, but not particularly probable, that they had been used in the form of colours.
I would, however, think, that striped flags in these colours were not used.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 24 Feb 2008

Here is the list of cities and municipalities ordered by districts according to Ahrens 1891:

District of Bremen-Verden:
Buxtehude, Bremervörde, Geestemünde (today part of Bremerhaven), Otterndorf, Stade, Verden
The District of Bremen-Verden contained mainly the territories gained by Sweden in 1648, the Archbishopric of Bremen (transformed into a Duchy) and the Bishopric of Verden (transformed into a Principality). The region after WW2 formed the Lower Saxonian district of Stade until its dissolution.

District of Calenberg-Grubenhagen:
Andreasberg (today Bergstadt Sankt Andreasberg), Altenau (today Bergstadt Altenau), Bodenwerder, Clausthal ( then Klausthal, today part of Clausthal-Zellerfeld), Dassel, Dransfeld, Duderstadt, Einbeck, Elbingerode, Eldagsen (today part of Springe), Göttingen, Grund (today Bergstadt Bad Grund), Hameln, Hannover, Hardegsen, Hedemünden (today part of Hann. Münden), Lautenthal (today part of Langelsheim), Linden (today part of Hannover), Moringen, Münden (today Hann. Münden), Münder (today Bad Münder am Deister), Neustadt (am Rübenberge), Northeim, Osterode, Pattensen, Rehburg (today part of Rehburg-Loccum), Springe, Uslar, Wildemann (today Bergstadt Wildemann), Wunstorf, Zellerfeld (today part of Clausthal-Zellerfeld)
The Duchy of Calenberg (complete: Braunschweig-Calenberg) was a narrow stripe stretching out from Hannover in the North down to Göttingen in the South, divided by the territory of the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (later: Duchy of Braunschweig). The Principality of Grubenhagen, the mining region, which means literally the field of pits, was more or less the eastern appendix to the southern part of the Duchyy of Calenberg. The region became a part of Lüneburg in 1617 and a part of Calenberg in 1665.

District of Hildesheim:
Alfeld, Bockenem, Elze, Goslar, Gronau, Hildesheim, Peine, Sarstedt
The district of Hildesheim was mainly the territory of the former Bishopric of Hildesheim, which became part of Prussia in 1803 and finally part of Hannover in 1815.

District of Hoya-Diepholz:
Nienburg (Weser)
According to Andre's Handatlas, version 1887, the small district of Hoya-Diepholz already had merged with Calenberg-Grubenhagen. It consisted of the former counties of Hoya and Diepholz. Hoya became part of Braunschweig-Lüneburg in 1582, Diepholz in 1585, after the lines of the local rulers had died out.

District of Lüneburg:
Burgdorf, Celle, Dannenberg, Gifhorn, Harburg (today part of Hamburg), Hitzacker, Lüchow, L?neburg, Rethem, Schnackenburg, Soltau, Uelzen, Walsrode, Winsen, Wittingen, Wustrow
The extended lands of the Principality/Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg in the Northeast of the kingdom formed the district of Lüneburg.

District of Osnabrück:
Bentheim (today Bad Bentheim), Freren, Fürstenau, Haselünne, Lingen, Melle, Meppen,Neuenhaus, Nordhorn, Osnabrück, Papenburg, Quakenbrück, Schüttorf
There had been two main parts, a) proper Osnabrück, most of the territory of the former Bishopric of Osnabrück, b) the northern parts of the former Bishopric of Münster located alongside river Ems and c) the county of Bentheim.
a)According to article XIII of the treaties of Münster and Osnabrück (1648) since 1650 there had been alternating Catholic bishops chosen by the local Domkapitel and Protestant bishops being approved by the dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. The territory was incorporated into the Electorate of Hannover in 1803. b) and c) were incorporated into the Electorate in 1815.

District of Ostfriesland:
Aurich, Emden, Esens, Leer, Norden
The Principality of Easten Frisia formed the district of Ostfriesland.
After a Prussian intermezzo in 1744, followed by Dutch and French, the principality finally became a property of Hannover in 1815.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

For districts I chose ratio of approx 5:12 according to Ahrens 1891, for kingdom approx 10:43. That doesn't mean the ratio had been so.

The information given in Stroehl 1999, p.91 is based upon Ahrens, so that we can't gain further evidence. Some of the flags of the cities and municipalities are also confirmed within Stadler 1970. But unfortunately Stadler doesn't give us any source.

Kingdom of Hannover Flag

[Hannover kingdom 1891 flag]
10:43 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 10:43. It was a yellow over white horizontal bicolour. According to Stroehl 1999, p.91 the colours of the flag probably have been derived from the colours of the supporters within the royal arms of Great Britain, a golden lion and a silver unicorn.

District of Bremen-Verden Flag

[Bremen-Verden district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a red over green over black horizontal tricolour. Red and green probably are symbolizing Bremen (can be found e.g. in the flag of Bremerv?rde), black is probably symbolizing Verden.

District of Calenberg-Grubenhagen Flag

[Calenberg-Grubenhagen district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a red over blue horizontal bicolour.

District of Hildesheim Flag

[Hildesheim district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a yellow over red horizontal bicolour. The colours yellow and red can also be found in the city flag of Hildesheim, reported in Stadler 1970, p.49

District of Hoya-Diepholz Flag

[Hoya-Diepholz district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a yellow over black horizontal bicolour. Yellow and black had been the colours of the county of Hoya and can be found e.g. in nowadays flag of the city of Syke.

District of Lüneburg Flag

[Lüneburg district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a red over yellow over blue horizontal tricolour. The colours yellow, blue and red are the colours of Welfen kin, which can be found today in numerous coats of arms (golden shield, blue rampant lion, red hearts) and upon flags, e.g. Winsen a.d.Luhe.

District of Osnabrück Flag

[Osnabrück district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a white over red horizontal bicolour.

District of Ostfriesland Flag

[Ostfriesland district 1891 flag]
5:12 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 Oct 2011

The ratio had been given as appox 5:12. It was a red over white over blue horizontal tricolour. Those colours had not been the proper colours of Eastern Frisia. They might have been mixed up with Dutch colours within source.

Other Municipal Flagcolours

Niedersachsen city flags [quoted from Flaggenmitteilung?]:
Municipality or Gemeinde: colours
  • (Bad) Bodenteich: white-red

  • Brockel: yellow-blue-yellow
  • Brome: red-white-red

  • Düdenbüttel: white-red
  • Duderstadt: yellow-blue
  • Edemissen: blue-yellow-blue

  • Emmerthal: yellow-blue
    Flottwedel: yellow-blue-yellow
    Holtriehm: yellow-green
    Ilsede: red-yellow
    Jemgum: green-yellow
    Kirchlingen: red-yellow-red
    Kreiensen: red-yellow
  • Northeim: blue-white

  • Ostrhauderfehn: red-yellow
    Rehburg-Loccum: red-white
    Rehden: red-yellow
    Sehnde: yellow-red-yellow
    Sickte: green-yellow
    Südbrookmerland: red-yellow
    Uplengen: black-white
    Wesendorf: red-blue-red
    Wittmund: red-green-red

Jaume Oll?, 28 Aug 1999

The names of the municipalities contain a number of spelling mistakes, and some have become renamed or incorporated into other municipalities. This is a list of corrections/updates:
- Flottwedel: now part of Wietzendorf
- Kirchlingen: doesn't exist, maybe Kirchlinteln is meant?
- Holtriehm: possibly Holtriem, a Samtgemeinde (an association of several small municipalities) in the county Wittmund.
- Bodenteich: was recently declared a spa and is now named Bad Bodenteich
Stefan Schwoon, 11 Feb 2002

HOLTRIEHM is indeed wrong. It should be HOLTRIEM = region with wood ('Holt' is the Lower-German variant of 'Holz' = wood). 'Riem' = Region'. The Holtriem homepage is here, with the CoA described below. It's a commune just north of Aurich.
The flag is two horizontal stripes, yellow-green with in the centre the coats of arms: "Quarterly: I en IV: Vert, four golden discs ranged bendwise or, each charged with two concentric rings sable; II: Or, a Dutch windmill gules; III: Or, three fesses wavy azure". The 4=4=8 antique discs symbolize the eight members of the Samtgemeinde Holtriem. They also remember the two in 1872 in Terheide (then comm.of Westerholt) discovered goldscales from the Bronze-age. The scales had circles (as now in these arms).
The windmill points to the many windmills ever been here. These mostly had been build in red bricks. The fesses wavy point to the 'Ewiges Meer' ('Eternal Lake), the biggest known lake in the German peat-moor.
Arms authorized by the Regierungspräsident in Aurich 18 Apr 1975.
Colours: Gold and green symbolize also the mixture of moor- and sandsoil and meadows. Green also refer to the rich forests, that have ever been here.
Source: Letter to me d.d. 23 Sep 2002.
Hans van Heijningen, 30 Apr 2003