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Hansa (Shipping Company, Germany)

Reederei Hansa AG

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by german editorial team
Keywords: hansa | iron cross | castle | cross patty |
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[Hansa (Shipping Company, Germany)] image by Jarig Bakker, 11 Aug 2004

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From the link provided by Barbara Tomlinson of The National Maritime Museum:
"The house flag of the Deutsche Dampfschiffahrts Gesellschaft 'Hansa', Bremen. A red, white and red triband with a wider central stripe on which is printed a black cross formy couped (Hanseatic cross). It is made of machine-sewn, synthetic fibre bunting. A rope and clip are attached.

The company was founded in 1881 to serve Bremen industries importing cotton, jute and rice from India and the Middle East. Services to the Baltic proved unprofitable and were soon abandoned. Routes to the East Indies were handled by a subsidiary, the Asiatic Line, between 1888 and 1894 when the two companies were integrated. During the period of expansion following the opening of the Suez Canal, routes from British India and Burma were extended to North European Ports and North America.
The company lost its entire fleet during both world wars but rebuilt its business in the post war period. It ceased trading in 1980."
Jarig Bakker, 11 Aug 2004

As no sources remark on the red shade it appears that an ordinary shade should apply. To more correctly define the company (there are at least 2 which were known as Hansa Linie) this was Deutsche Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft "Hansa" formed in 1881. Loughran 1979 shows the original flag, symbolizing the Hanseatic spirit and using the colours of the old German Empire as red with a very broad white horizontal band bearing a brown castle (the ships were originally named after castles) with a small white canton taking the depth of the upper red band charged with a black Iron Cross [see below]. This was used until 1883. The company ceased operating in the latter 1980s though for a short period the colours were continued by a subsidiary, Project Carriers A.G., which changed its name to Hansa-Linie A.G. but in 1989 it merged its operations into Mammoet-Hansa A.G.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 Oct 2004

Hansa castle flag

[Hansa castle flag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, based on an image located by Neale Rosanoski, 18 Oct 2004

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