Last modified: 2013-12-14 by pete loeser
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Image from Pete Loeser, 2 December 2012
Source: BP YouTube Video, 2 December 2012
The BP (Bayernpartei, Bavarian Party) is now a small and insignificant party, but in the fifties it was the third largest party in Bavaria.
The BP was founded in 1946. Since then it advocated (more or less firmly) an independent State of Bavaria on its own, as it viewed the North German / Prussian militarism as one of the main sources for two disastrous world wars, and thus wanted a secession or at least a special statute for Bavaria. The party is conservative and therefore it was a major competitor of the other conservative party in Bavaria, the CSU. In the 1950 Landtag (state parliament) elections the BP gained 18% of the votes. It also had 17 seats in the first Bundestag or federal parliament (1949-1953).
Although support for the BP started to dwindle during the fifties, it helped to install a Bavarian government without the CSU during 1954-1957. This government - a coalition of SPD, BP, FDP and GB/BHE - was the only government in Bavaria since 1945 without the CSU. Shortly afterwards, however, the BP was smashed by a scandal carefully exploited by the CSU.
Since the sixties the BP has not played a significant role in Bavaria, having lost its last seats in the Bavarian Landtag in 1966. In recent years the BP could recover somewhat and could at least gain ground in municipal councils in southern Bavaria. It even gained a seat in the Bezirkstag (district parliament) of Oberbayern.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001
As a Bavarian party the BP uses, of course, the Bavarian flag. In recent years they also used unofficial variants of the Bavarian flag (such as the lozengy flag with the middle coat-of-arms).
Although the BP has no "official" common party flag, there are many flags (or better Fahnen i.e. flags attached to a mast). Every local party group (Ortsverband) has its own flag. These are made after a common scheme. The flag is lozengy of white and blue and shows on a white field in the canton the Bavarian coat-of-arms (the one used from 1923-1936). The reverse shows a local symbol in the canton. All the flags are made of heavy bunting, carefully embroidered, and are single items. Since they were manufactured in the fifties, a large number of them obviously disappeared as local party groups dissolved.
As party symbol an escutcheon with the Bavarian lozenges is used (see this image in the party website). Also quite frequently seen is an electoral poster (also used for other purposes) displaying a Bavarian lion with the Bavarian arms in front of several Bavarian lozenge flags (see this image in the party website).
Sources: BP website
- 50 Jahre Bayernpartei 1946-1996: Festschrift
- My own observations and photos in the party headquarters in Munich
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001
In Rabbow 1965 and Rabbow 1970 there is no mention of BP party flags, although they have been in use.
Marcus Schmöger, 11 Sep 2001
Images by Marcus Schmöger, 8 Mar 2009
One of the traditional parties at the Ash Wednesday conventions is the Bayernpartei (Bavaria Party), once a mighty opponent of the ruling CSU, now without any political significance. Their convention was at Vilshofen (Wolferstetter Bräu).
Beside a few of their traditional banners (rolled up, however, so I could not take photographs), the Bayernpartei displayed a few table banners for their local branches. They show the party symbol, the branch name and fringes. They obviously come in different style, the older ones being embroidered, newer ones being printed. The party symbol shows the Bavarian lion with his right forepaw on oval shield with the Bavarian greater arms; behind the lion four flying Bavarian lozenge flags with yellow finials; all on a base with the white inscription "BAYERNPARTEI".
The table banner I made a drawing of is the one of the "Kreisverband Rosenheim-Land" (i.e. county branch Rosenheim-county).
Marcus Schmöger, 8 Mar 2009