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German West African Company

deutsch-westafrikanische gesellschaft compagnie, DWAG

Last modified: 2014-02-01 by pete loeser
Keywords: german west african company | deutsch-westafrikanische gesellschaft |
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[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5  Image by Ralf Stelter, 25 Jan 2001
As shown in Flaggenbuch 1905

On this page:

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Introduction: German West African Company
deutsch-westafrikanische gesellschaft compagnie (DWAG)

     The first image is the flag shown in Ruhl c.1900 (the next edition, Ruhl c.1902, does not show any company flags). Ruhl showed the letters DWAC for Deutsch-Westafrikanische Compagnie (although in the text he writes '...Gesellschaft').
     The second version is redrawn after Flaggenbuch 1905. That book was also made (compiled and printed) by Moritz Ruhl. This time he shows DWAG but writes 'Compagnie'. The letters have slightly changed, but I am quite sure that the main thing was that it is a Serif with heavy serifs (Egyptienne, as we call it).
     The third image is drawn after a picture in a collectors' card album (around 1935). The cards album flag has the letters DWAG for Deutsch-Westafrikanische Gesellschaft.
     I haven't yet found another source to confirm the correctness of either flag, nor do I have information at hand about the company. Possibly the cross had changed over the time, similar to the cross in the German naval flag, possibly variants were used - or not. I don't know. I'll try to find some information on the company, which had its seat at Berlin. Possibly the flag was used in Togo and Cameroon similarly to the East African Company flag in the East, as a kind of state flag.
Ralf Stelter, 25 Jan 2001

(as shown in Ruhl c1900)

[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5  Image by Ralf Stelter, 25 Jan 2001

Flag of German West Africa Company in 1916 German book Die Flaggen aller Staaten der Erde [a 1916 edition of Ruhl c.1900] shows the flag as Flagge der Deutsch-Westafrikan[ische] Gesellschaft with black initials at corners: "D" in upper hoist, "A" in lower hoist, "W" in upper fly and C in lower fly. The letter "C" should be "G".
Nozomi Kariyasu, Jan 2001

This is the scanned image located by Nozomi.

(as shown in Flaggenbuch 1905)

[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5  Image by Ralf Stelter, 25 Jan 2001

(as shown in a collectors album c1935)

[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5  Image by Ralf Stelter, 25 Jan 2001

German Colonies West Africa Flag (Questionable)
Deutsche Kolonien-Westafrika (as shown in a 1882 source)

Speculative image by Pete Loeser, 1 Feb 2014

[Attached is a speculative image of the questionable flag of the equally questionable "German Colonies West Africa" (Deutsche Kolonien-Westafrika) as shown in Nozomi Kariyasu's questionable 1882 source, any questions? ]

Here is a scanned image of the flag of German Colonies West Africa in a 1882 source. Black fimbriated white extended cross in white background. Red extended cross inside white cross and a black German eagle drawn in red bordered yellow disc in the center. [No letters.]
Nozomi Kariyasu, Jan 2001

Image from Nozomi Kariyasu, Jan 2001

I understand the three flags above (whichever was correct) belong to the c1900-1918 period. Was there really a different 1882-c1900 flag without the D-W-A-G letters as Nozomi Kariyasu mentions?
Santiago Dotor, 25 Jan 2001

I doubt a company flag without letters. Companies were always proud of their flags, very proud of their letters on the flag. Maybe Nozomi Kariyasu has not noticed an additional text or whatever might have given further detail.
Ralf Stelter, 25 Jan 2001

I said the first flag shown in 1882 source is "German Colonies West Africa" not "German West Africa Company". So I suppose the flag need not have company letters. Anyway when was the Company established?
Nozomi Kariyasu, 27 Jan 2001

Sorry, but I cannot locate the name of the 1882 source, but if we got information on when was the German West Africa Company established and dissolved and what was their main activity we may be able to learn the status of this flag without company letters.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 31 Jan 2001

I consider this image as wrong. Not only the letters are missing, but there were no "German West African Colonies" as an administrative unit, only Togo and Cameroon. These were German protectorates since 1884, and so it is interesting that Nozomi Kariyasu found a flag for the company in an 1882 book, when Germany still had no possessions in West Africa. Maybe the flag without letters was a draft for the company flag when the name was not yet decided...
Ralf Stelter, 5 Feb 2001

The German West African Company was founded in 1882.
Ole Andersen, 5 Feb 2001

Jörg Karaschewski's archived website states, that the company was founded 20 Nov 1896. This HP shows several flags of German colonial companies. The same date is given on other websites, but they call it Deutsch-Westafrikanische Handels-Gesellschaft. The company was founded in Hamburg as GmbH, changed 1903 to a D.K.G. (Deutsche Kolonial Gesellschaft?).
Jan-Patrick Fischer, 9 Jun 2004

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