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Postal Pennants 1936-1945 (Germany)

reichspostflagge, schiffspostflagge

Last modified: 2013-05-25 by pete loeser
Keywords: reichspostflagge | schiffspostflagge | deutsche post |
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Postal Flag 1933-1935

Postal flags usually were flown on ships, which transported mail and were entering the port of a country. This was a sign for a preferred unloading of these ships.

3:5 Image by Fornax

Like the State Flag and Ensign 1933-1935 except with a gold posthorn replacing the eagle, thus very similar to the Imperial era Postal Flag, except for the crown. Adopted 31 March 1933. Abolished 19 September 1935. Source: a paper by Emil Dreyer in the Reports of the 15th International Congress of Vexillology.
Norman Martin, 10 December 1999

The similarity with the 1893-1919 flag (just leaving away the crown) is very striking, even the post horn is essentially the same. There was no postal flag in the period 1935-1936. Sources: Meyer 17 1960, Dreyer 1999 and Hecker and Hoog 1978.
Marcus Schmöger, 29 March 2001

Transition from Postal Flag to Postal Pennant 1935-1936
Reichspostflagge zu Schiffspostflagge

     On March 31, 1933, the Nazi-regime had all the former black-red-gold striped flags of the Weimar Republic replaced by the black-white-red flag of the German Empire. In principle, they seemed to be reinstating the flag of the Imperial Empire minus the crown of the Emperor. The new Postal Flag design simply had the post horn placed in the center of the flag. However, two years later, in the Reich Flag Law of 1935, almost all black-white-red striped flags were abolished, thus use of the Reich Postal Flag was also discontinued on September 19, 1935.
     At that point, instead of adopting a different design for the Postal flag, the Nazi-leaders thought it would be sufficient to just fly the Swastika flag, which was also the merchant flag. Soon, however, it became clear that ships only flying the Swastika flag and carrying mail at the same time didn't receive any preferential treatment in foreign ports. Yet, the Nazis did not want to adopt a new, special postal flag, so they found a compromise.
     On March 14, 1936, they introduced the Schiffspostflagge, a simple postal pennant consisting of a white, red bordered triangle. On this pennant there appeared the words "Deutsche Post" (German Post) in black letters.
Pete Loeser, 28 May 2011

Postal Pennant 1936-1945

[Postal Pennant 1936-1945 (Germany)]
3:5  Image by Jaume Ollé
Flag adopted 14 March 1936, abolished 1945

A white pennant with a narrow red border on the two outside edges, and with the black letters "DEUTSCHE POST." It appears in Flaggenbuch 1939, pl. VIII.
Norman Martin, Jan 1998

It was adopted 14 March 1936 and abolished at the end of World War Two. Source: Dreyer 1999.
Norman Martin, 10 Dec 1999

There was no postal flag in the period 1935-1936. With the regulation of 14th March 1936 a mail pennant was introduced. This was to signify ships (not being owned by the Reich) carrying mail. The pennant was a white triangular pennant with red border and black letters "DEUTSCHE POST." It was used until 1945. Sources: Meyer 17 1960, Dreyer 1999 and Hecker and Hoog 1978.
Marcus Schmöger, 29 Mar 2001

Unofficial Postal Flag pre-1935
(was UFE06-08)

Image provided by Tom Fothergill

I was wondering if you could help me identify a flag my grandfather sequestered when he was in the war. It seems like a ceremonial flag, rather large (around 3-4 ft x 4-5 ft?) with silver fringe around its entirety and 4 large metal rings on the hoist. It is the typical black swastika on white circle on red design, however it has a blue canton with a gold post horn on the upper hoist. I would appreciate it greatly if you could identify it for me or point me in the direction of someone who can.
Tom Fothergill, 23 June 2006

The rings and fringe makes it sound like a unit colours. With the horn and the fact that Reichpost apparently used blue as a distinctive colour for their post box and uniform, could it be the flag used by post office employees on parade?
Marc Pasquin, 23 June 2006

An interesting flag. I am almost sure that this flag was never officially in use. The swastika is set square (not on its point) on the white field. This swastika position was only used in the beginning of the Nazi era, more probable even before 1933. The post horn is a unique version, obviously not taken from an official postal flag. It could be that in the beginning of the Nazi regime about 1933 some officials of a post office who were supporters of the Nazis, took a NSDAP party flag and added a post horn. As previously stated, the flag is not known to have any official status and seems to be a unique model.
Fornax, 8 January, 2010

reverse    speculative obverse
Image by Fornax, 8 January 2010, Speculative obverse by Pete Loeser, 5 June 2011

It looks very much like somebody in the early days of the national socialist movement sewed a postal horn symbol onto the canton of an existing early version of the Hoheitsfahne der NSDAP (NSDAP House Flag), circa early 1930s. I suspect that this may have been a one of a kind flag.
Pete Loeser, 5 June 2011

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