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Rostock until 1867 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)

Last modified: 2013-12-14 by pete loeser
Keywords: rostock | mecklenburg | griffin (red) | griffin (white) | griffin (black) |
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Introduction

Rostock was not independent of Mecklenburg, but their merchant ships had flags since Hansa days (at least as early as 1418). Indeed, the Mecklenburg blue-white-red tricolor [civil ensign] started as a Rostock flag - the blue-yellow-red dates from early in the 19th century. Flags for Rostock and Wismar were authorized or at least tolerated by the Dukes [of Mecklenburg-Schwerin] until 1867.
Norman Martin, 15 February 2001

The city was never independent in the sense of being a free imperial city. But some cities still managed to build up a strong position by gaining certain privileges from their lords. According to the Rostock website, these included "the right to control free access to the sea". Whatever this means exactly, it was probably reason enough for ships of Rostock to fly their own flag.
Stefan Schwoon, 15 February 2001

If I remember well, the right to control free access to the sea settled centuries of dispute between Rostock and Warnemünde. The little village Warnemünde (meaning [river] Warnow Mouth), was part of Rostock, but claimed to have individual fishing rights and the right to control traffic on river Warnow and therefore Rostock harbor. As far as the flag is concerned, I think before the founding of the German Reich in 1871, it was quite common for German coastal towns to fly their own flag on board their ships. I remember having seen pictures of sailing ships flying the flags of Zingst (a little village on the Darss Peninsula).
Volker Moerbitz Keith, 15 February 2001

Ships of Rostock could probably have used a town flag, even if the town were not a free imperial town. In older times, it was not uncommon for Swedish ships to fly the flag of their home town rather than the Swedish flag, and I would suppose this practice could have been common all around the Baltic Sea. Rostock was also a member of the Hansa.
Elias Granqvist, 16 February 2001


Hanging Flag - 14th Century

[Rostock 14th Century (Germany)] Image by Phil Nelson

Znamierowski 1999 shows several interesting flags of the Port Cities of northern Europe. These are derived from gonfanons, originally red in color. The flags, in a banner form [i.e. hanging flags], were flown from the stern of the vessels, the mast carrying the gonfanon of the colors. The oldest of the series, from the mid-13th century, that of Hamburg, was followed among others by Rostock in the 14th century.
Phil Nelson, 20 February 2000


Rostock - 15th-18th Centuries
Reported in use 1418, 1695, 1700, 1716 and 1750

[Rostock 15th-18th Centuries (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jorge Candeias

Horizontal tricolor blue-white-red. Mecklenburg Landesflagge at sea (both duchies) from 1855 until 1918.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998

The German editors of Norie and Hobbs 1971 added two charts (which were not originally in Norie and Hobbs 1848) with German flags that were important over time. One of them is no. 19, Rostock 1418, same as the above flag.
Peter Hans van der Muijzenberg, 12 November 2001


Rostock - 18th Century
Reported in use 1737 and 1750

[Rostock 18th Century (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] ~2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Red griffin facing towards fly on yellow field.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998


Rostock - 19th Century
Reported in use 1805

[Rostock 1805 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] ~2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

White griffin facing towards fly on red field.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998


Rostock - 19th Century variant

[Rostock 1805, variant (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] ~2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Colour variant.
Jaume Ollé, 15 June 1998


Rostock - 19th Century
Reported in use 1819

[Rostock 1819 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 1:2 Image by Jaume Ollé


Mecklenburg Rostock Ensign - 19th Century
Reported in use c1834

[Mecklenburg Rostock Ensign c.1834 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 1:2 Image by Jaume Ollé

Mecklenburg flag on the ships of Rostock c1834.
Jaume Ollé, 29 September 1998


Rostock - 19th Century
Reported in use 1826

[Rostock 1826 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 1:2 Image by Jaume Ollé


Rostock - 19th Century
Reported in use 1842 and 1862

[Rostock 1842 and 1862 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Black griffin facing towards hoist on yellow field.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998


Rostock - 19th Century
Reported in use 1848

[Rostock 1848, red griffin (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Same as Rostock reported 1737 and 1750, but griffin faces hoist.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998


Rostock - 19th Century
Reported 1848

[Rostock 1848, black griffin (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Same as Rostock reported 1842 and 1862, but griffin faces fly.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998


Rostock Pennant pre-1870 to 1918
Wimpel

[Rostock Pennant pre-1870 to 1918 (Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Germany)]
~7:13? Image by Jaume Ollé

Banner of arms of Rostock: on light blue a gold griffin. In use from before 1870 until 1918.
Norman Martin, 3 March 1998


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