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Truce Flags 1849-1852 (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)

Schleswig 1849-1852, Holstein 1851-1852, Waffenstillstandflaggen

Last modified: 2022-01-29 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: schleswig-holstein | cross(scandinavian;white) | dannebrog | schleswig | holstein | canton | lions(blue;2) | inescutcheon(bicolour) | nettle leaf | coronet |
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During the war 1848-1851, vessels from Schleswig and Holstein were allowed to put their respective arms in the canton of the Dannebrog. I do not know what these flags looked like. Sources: Jessen-Klingenberg 1994 and Henningsen 1969.

Jan Oskar Engene, 12 Nov 1996

These two flags [Schleswig and Holstein truce flags] are shown in Mattern and Neubecker 198x.

Jaume Ollé, 27 September 1998

I checked the standard source on Danish flags, Henningsen 1969, and found a brief mention of these flags. They were introduced in the armistice period during the war between Denmark and the duchies 1848-1851. The proclamation giving ships from Schleswig the right to put the arms of the duchy, two blue lions on gold, in the upper hoist field of the Dannebrog was issued on 8 September 1849. The proclamation giving ships from Holstein the right to put the white nettle leaf on red in the upper hoist field of the Dannebrog was issued in March 1851. Both privileges were abolished 22 July 1852 (the plain Dannebrog was reintroduced). There were no illustrations of the flags, so I cannot say in what way the shields of the duchies were added to the red field of the Dannebrog, that is whether the arms occupied the entire field or just a part of it.

Jan Oskar Engene, 28 Sep 1998

The designs as well the dates are correct. The two flags were interim merchant flags. The flag for Schleswig was decided by the Prussian and Danish commissaries and should have been used during the armistice between the two States. Ships were however free to use, instead of the flag with the canton with the lions, the plain Danish flag. In the 10 July 1849 armistice it was stated that Schleswig would have had a different constitution than Holstein. The parliament of the two duchies didn't recognize this agreement. When Prussia and Denmark went to a peace treaty on 2 July 1850, Schleswig was administratively separated from Holstein (to which the Duchy of Lauenburg was in the meanwhile united). On 5 March 1851 the interim merchant ensign for Holstein was adopted, which lasted until 22 July 1852 when the Danish flag was the only flag allowed both in Schleswig as well as in Holstein. Source: Mattern and Neubecker 198x.

Mario Fabretto, 1 Oct 1998

I discovered in Mattern and Neubecker 198x two ordinance of the Schleswig-Holstein Provisional Government. The first dated Rendsburg 2 May 1848 specifies that Schleswig-Holstein merchant ships are to fly the German colors black-red-gold. The second, dated Gotorff 21 October 1848 specifies that Schleswig-Holstein merchant ships shall for the time being fly the previous Schleswig-Holstein flag, red with the Schleswig lions in the crowned Holstein nettle leaves — clearly the 1696 ensign.

Norman Martin, 21 Feb 2001

The images below are quite correct or [at least] correspond to the illustrations in Mattern and Neubecker 198x. But the flags should have the same proportions [the Holstein one is mistakenly shown as 2:3], the [red border around the] Schleswig coat-of-arms [canton] should have the same width below as on the fly side. And the [Holstein] shield is white above red not blue and yellow. By the way, the captions for these flags were swapped in Mattern and Neubecker 198x.

Ralf Stelter, 23 Feb 2001

Schleswig 1849-1852

Waffenstillstandflagge für schleswigsche Schiffe / truce flag for Schleswig ships

[Schleswig 1849-1852 (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 28:37?  image by Jaume Ollé
Flag adopted 8 September 1849, abolished 22 July 1852

Dannebrog with yellow canton within two blue lions.

Jaume Ollé, 21 July 1998

Holstein 1851-1852

Waffenstillstandflagge für holsteinische Schiffe / truce flag for Holstein ships

[Holstein 1851-1852 (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)]
2:3 image by Jaume Ollé, 21 July 1998
[Holstein 1851-1852 #b]
2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017
[Holstein 1851-1852 #c]
2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017

Flag adopted 5th March 1851, abolished 22nd July 1852

Dannebrog with canton showing the white nettle leaf around a bicoloured inescutcheon parted per fess and crested by a coronet. The colours of the inescutcheon are blue over yellow - usually the colours of Schleswig - (see left image above) or white over red (see central and right above). The coronet is either white (see left and right image above) or yellow (see central image above).
Sources: Mattern and Neubecker 198x (left), Ben Cahoun's webpage (central), "Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der als deutsche Nationalflaggen auf See gefahrenen und von den seefahrenden Nationen anerkannten deutschen Kriegs- und Handelsflaggen", painted by E. Paschke (right)
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017

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