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City of Herford (Germany)

Stadt Herford, Kreis Herford, Northrhine-Westphalia

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: herford city | bicolour | gate | key | gable | penannts(2) |
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[Herford flag] 3:5  image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 Mar 2007
adopted ? See also:

Herford city

Herford is located right in the middle between the former Hansa-towns of Bielefeld and Minden.
"The city of Herford belongs to the district of Detmold and is limited by the City of Enger, the Municipality of Hiddenhausen, the City of Löhne, the City of Vlotho (Herford County), the City of Bad Salzuflen(Lippe County) and the City of Bielefeld."
The flag of Herford is, as far as I know, a red and white bicolour. In the middle respectively shifted to the top (vertical version) or to the hoist (horizontal version) there is the town's the coats of arms.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Nov 2005

Current Flag

Description of current flag:
The flag's ratio is 3:5. It is a red over white horizontal bicolour.
I have claimed earlier here that the city of Herford would have a flag with the city's coat of arm on it. Checking my old fotos I didn't find any proof of my claim. So I made further enquiries. Here are the results:
The city of Herford has a flag of white and red cloth.
The description of flag (2(3)) can be easily misunderstood. It sounds as if the flag is a white over red bicolour.
Finally:The red - white pennant from the coat of arms is also the flag of the city today.
Source: Veddeler 2003, p.410
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 Mar 2007

Banner#1 in use with Coat of Arms

[Herford city decorated banner] 3:5 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 Apr 2009

Klaus-Michael Schneider concludes on this page that there is no evidence of a municipal flag charged with the coat of arms. It seems there is, indeed.
On 14 April 2009, Michael Johannsmeier reported in the "Wochenanzeiger Herford" that the Bismarck Tower has been opened again to the public, as it is the case every year in April [this year on 5 April]. The day before the opening, members of the local association "Freundeskreis Herforder Bismarckturm e.V" (Circle of the Friends of the Bismarck Tower) performed an extensive spring-cleaning, while Heinz Plümer hoisted the flag of Herford over the tower, where it should fly all along the opening season.
Source: obsolete weblink to an article with photos: "Herforder-Fahne-weht-wieder-auf-dem-Bismarckturm", published in Online-Edition of "Wochenanzeiger-Herford"
The flag pattern is confirmed by a more "generic" colour photo of the flag hoisted over the tower, shown on the top of the "Freundeskreis Herforder Bismarckturm e.V"
The image galeries contain other sightings of the flag. - Spring-cleaning, 4 April 2009 - Easter Egg's Hunt, 12 April 2009 - Spring inauguration, 23 March 2008 - 1 April 2004 -
Regular reopening of the tower, 8 September 1996

A "definitive" evidence of the flag pattern is given by a colour photo taken during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the erection of the Bismarck Tower in Herford, 2 September 2006, showing flags vertically hosting of the European Union, Herford (charged with the coat of arms) and Northrhine-Westphalia (without the coat of arms).
The official booklet released for the celebration shows on the cover a colour photo of the tower with the flag charged with the coat of arms.
Ivan Sache, 18 Apr 2009

Banner#2 in use with Coat of Arms

[Herford city decorative banner #2 banner] 3:5 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 Apr 2009

Description of banner:

Source: Veddeler 2003, p.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 Apr 2009

Coat of arms

Description of coat of arms:
An open red gothic doorgate on a golden (=yellow) field with a black key within the open door, there are three red masts with crosses on their tops, on the left a white over red bicolour is hoisted, on the right a white over black bicolour is hoisted.
The city statutes (first session 15 Feb 2000, revised 27 Apr 2004) (translated by me) state:
"In the coat of arms of the city of Herford there is an open gate flanked by wings (of building). Above the gate there is a Gothic roof topped by a cross. On the wings roofs there are flying pennants, split into three tails right up to the middle. In the open gate is key. The colours of the left pennant are red and white, the colours of the right one black and white.
The description of most details of the coat of arms is not very precise because there is nothing said about the colours of field, building and so on. The location of the pennants is wrong according to terms of heraldry.
On the city's homepage however I found another description of the coat of arms. I give only a translation from German:
In a golden(=yellow) shield there is a red Gothic gate with an open door in which is an upright black key (ed.note: grip at bottom beard at top pointing to right (heraldic) side). The gable is topped by a red cross, flanked by two pennants, the right one red-silver(=white) and the left one black-silver(=white). The hoist of both pennants are red (ed.note: and they are also topped by a red cross). The whole is crowned by a grey mural crown with and a closed door at its base.
The coat of arms was granted by the Prussian King on 1 November 1899. The picture was taken from the oldest historical city seal which is known since 1231 bearing a surrounding inscription as follows:
"SIGILLUM CIVIUM HERVORDENSIUM". It was always kept with minor alterations up to now.
Source: Westfälische Siegel Band II T.69 Nr.3 und 4, T91 Nr.1;2 und 3 und von der Neustadt T69 Nr. 5 und 6
Also used by the city was the coat of arms of the Herford abbey showing a red  bar in a silver (=white) shield.
The key in the open door is very common in various coats of arms  in the Arnsberg district (e.g. Brilon, Hallenberg, Schmallenberg, Werl, Soest). It is the attribute of St.Peter (german: Heiliger Petrus) who was the patron saint and protector of the Archbishopric and Electorate of Köln. The arcbishops of Köln became heirs of the extincted counts of Arnsberg. The black and white pennant is that one of the Archbishopric and Electorate of Köln, the red and white one is that of the abbey of Herford.
Source: Translation from Hauptsatzung (City Statutes) of Herford 1(1). (my translation).
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 20 Mar 2007

According Veddeler 2003, p.143-144 there exists no banner and the (plain) flag seems to have been never approved officially. (It might have survived from the days ot the hansa league). The coat of arms was granted by the Prussian king on 1 November 1899. Ivan Sache writes that the flag had been adopted on 15 February 2000.

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