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House Flags of German Shipping Companies (m) - part1

Deutsche Reedereiflaggen (m) - Teil 1

Last modified: 2019-07-22 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: maahs | mackprang | maerkische bs | maerkische tg | main sg | mannesmann | marbs | maerker | macs | masa | mathies | matzen | medorient | meerpahl meyer | mentz | marship |
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Carl Maahs

[Carl Maahs] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 June 2012

The company was located in Hamburg. It was a green over white over red horizontal tricolour.
Source: Flaggenkarte, Hrsg.: H. Carly, Hamburg, c.1898
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 June 2012

C. Mackprang jr.

[C. Mackprang jr.]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 Apr 2009
[C. Mackprang variant]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 Apr 2009

C. Mackprang jr. GmbH & Co. KG/"Nordstern" Reederei GmbH
The company is located in Hamburg, according to the local yellow pages its business is grain trading. The company was established in 1878 in Flensburg, named E.A.Mackprang. She had branches in all important spots around Flensburg.
In 1915 the shipping branch was started with one ship, and in 1918 the company had three ships. In 1921 the ships were sold, the shipping branch was stopped and the HQ was transferred to Hamburg. 1954 the shipping branch was started again, this time named "NORDSTERN"-Reederei. Four ships were bought, the names all beginning with NORD.. The last ship, the MS NORDWIND was captured and arrested by Arabs in 1967 in the Gr. Bitter Lake. It was freed in 1975 and sold shortly afterwards. The shipping branch was stopped again.
Companies of nowadays holding are e.g. CM Eurologistik GmbH (Duisburg-Rheinhausen, Unisped Logistik GmbH  and Süderelbe Logistik GmbH (both Hamburg).
Klaus-Peter Bühne, translated and trimmed by Klaus-Michael Schneider

It is a celestial blue (see left image above) or royal blue (see right image above) flag with a white diamond, containing a red capital "M".
Sources: I spotted this flag at the company building in Hamburg on 15 October 2008, see also "Deutsche Reedereien und ihre Erkennungszeichen", 2nd ed.; Hamburg; 1956; p.27 and based on a photo of a table flag of Klaus-Peter Bühne.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 Apr 2009


[Schiffahrts und Befrachtungs Kontor Marker GmbH (Shipping Company, Germany)] image by Jorge Candeias, 10 Mar 1999

Schiffahrts und Befrachtungs Kontor Märker GmbH - White with two narrow, yellow, horizontal stripes running near the top and the bottom of the flag and a blue "M" shifted to the hoist. The base of the "M" extends to the hoist and to the fly, thus forming another horizontal stripe.
Jorge Candeias, 10 Mar 1999

As the longer name says, this is a shipping and freighting office. Obsolete company page ( (English version) with waving flag: Quote from the introduction: "We are a private company with a background of about 30 years experience in inland shipping. We take over, carry out and arrange inland navigation transports (dry goods) on European inland waterways, all usual services included.""
Fed up with looking for acceptable inland navigation software, the company developed its own!
The site's German version presents interesting press information.  We learn that the firm was founded on 22 Aug 1972 (owned and led by Erika Märker after the death of husband Heiko Märker, 1987) and offers yearly contracts to about five or six private bargemen who are mostly active in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium; about a dozen additional ships are under freight contract.
A note in the Dutch `Schuttevaer' weekly (Sat. 1 Sep 2007) announced Märker's takeover by Neukirch, another Bremen transportation and logistics firm. 
Jan Mertens, 15 Sep 2007

Märkische Bunker und Service

[Märkische Bunker und Service]
image by Jarig Bakker, 15 Sep 2005
[Märkische Bunker und Service#2]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 Jan 2009

Another German MBS house flag: that of "Märkische Bunker und Service GmbH & Co. KG", at Berlin, "Märkische" meaning of, belonging to, Brandenburg.
I first encountered this firm in a book dedicated to East German inland shipping: Armin Gewiese & Rudolf Schönknecht: "Binnenschiffahrt zwischen Elbe und Oder. Das andere deutsche Fahrtgebiet 1945-1995? (i.e. Inland Navigation between Elbe and Oder. The other German shipping area 1945-1995), Busse Seewald/DSV-Verlag, Hamburg, 1996, 264 p., ill., ISBN 3-88412-218-5.
MBS is briefly presented on p. 179; the book also carries their advertisement in colour, p. 181.
When after the reunification of Germany the inland fleet of (state owned) VEB Binnenreederei was privatised, the technical department was bought up by two employees (1992).  According to Gewiese and Schönknecht, the brand-new MBS fleet comprised 23 "vessels and others" offering bunkering, waste disposal, small repairs, and cleaning services.  MBS had the first bilge and oil waste disposal vessel on the former GDR territory.
The advertisement mentioned above shows a drawing of the house flag: sky blue, a yellow oval containing sky blue initials "MBS" in script above thin sky blue wave.  On tiny ship photos in said advertisement this flag, as well as that of Aral (German mineral oil brand), Esso Bunkering, and Bilgenentölung can be seen, the last one we already know, yellow with a large black circle (here in a square version).
Company site (look up "Standorte" i.e. places of operation and see above flag on the maps): Important places are Berlin and Brandenburg; the site also reveals the existence of an aluminium products workshop, a dry dock, and the possibility of chartering some specialized vessels.  On various photos we find yellow and a light blue dominating the colour spectrum.
Jan Mertens, 27 June 2007

Märkische Transportgesellschaft

[Märkische Transportgesellschaft]
image by Jarig Bakker, 29 Jan 2006
[Märkische TG Wimpel]
image by Jarig Bakker, 28 Aug 2006

[] image by

Here is the house flag of the Märkische Transportgesellschaft (seat: Berlin). The name essentially means "Brandenburg Transport Company". The firm's website shows the flag: a horizontal tricolour of white-red-white, a large black initial "M" over all. The site has a number of tiny photos of barges flying the flag and the M seems to be upright whereas in the picture it should be leaning to the left.
I have seen an advertisement showing this very flag in a "calm" (non-waving) position with  the "M" really upright, only its left diagonal segment and right leg drawn much thicker (about half the width of a horizontal stripe).  Lower serifs as on the attached picture, but the higher ones only pointing outwards; height of letter about 2/3 of flag height, making it larger than in the attachment.
According to the site, the Märkische Transportgesellschaft mbH was the first (inland) shipping company established in the former GDR, the foundation date being 1 August 1990. Starting out with 38 former private shippers, the firm now employs 50 of them and operates 10 push barges and other craft.
At first a local concern, the Märkische Transportgesellschaft is now active in the area between the Oder and the Atlantic, transporting bulk, liquids, containers, special cargo, and so forth. Lastly, the firm is one of the many subsidiaries of the Imperial Reederei-Gruppe, Duisburg, active in several countries.
Jan Mertens, 29 Jan 2006

Jarig has quite recently spotted this flag in pennant form. (see right image above) Come to think of it, this is merely the latest of a series of comparable pennants sent to the List this year.  As evidenced by photos wherever possible, they seem a legitimate means of identification even if a "normal" i.e. rectangular flag already exists. I think these pennants deserve recognition, if only because they illustrate one of the differences in flag usage between inland and maritime shipping.
Jan Mertens, 28 Aug 2006


image by Klaus-Michael Schneiderbased upon an image sent by Jan Mertens, 15 Apr 2006
[Mainschiffahrts-Genossenschaft current flag]
image by by Klaus-Michael Schneiderbased upon an image sent by Jan Mertens, 15 Apr 2006

MSG or Mainschiffahrts-Genossenschaft (Main Shipping Cooperative) at Würzburg on the River Main, Germany, is an important body operating owned inland navigation vessels and representing private shippers, totalling about 80 barges or130 000 metric tonnes.  It was founded in 1916.  More information on the website.
As explained there, the cooperative is active in dry bulk transportation on rivers and canals in the West of Germany and neighbouring countries but especially on the Rivers Main and Danube, and of course on the important canal linking these two.  There are warehouses and a lorry fleet, a motor and ship repair yard, and moreover MSG also sells the necessary mineral oils using specialized craft.
To get an idea of the various barges and shipments, simply look at the photos on this page.

The house flag can be seen on the above webpage (first link; meant, of course, is the big one) and is horizontally divided into six white and sky blue stripes, white on top, the black "MSG" initials logo interrupting the second blue stripe.  Examples of photos showing the flag: here, on the second page: first, second, and fifth photos of EL NINO II. For the current flag see right image above.
Jan Mertens, 15 Apr 2006

Mannesmann Reederei

[Mannesmann] image sent by Jan Mertens, 2 Sep 2009

Mentioned in "Duwvaart"? by Jansen & Van Heck (1988), "Mannesmann Reederei GmbH" at Duisburg was a German firm but earned its place in this book thanks to its Dutch subsidiary. Pages 53-57 tell us that this firm was active since 1952 to serve as shipping department to the famous Mannesmann steelworks. According to "Duwvaart" which concentrates on push navigation this kind of shipping was taken up in 1962.  The house flag is shown in b/w and rectangular ("square" according to the text). Before proceeding to the flag let me say that 1991 saw the end of the shipping company as it was taken over, 21 vessels strong, by its counterpart at Krupp which in its turn was sold to Haniel in 1999.
Divided per saltire green (top and bottom), and red (hoist and fly), a large white disk in the centre bearing black serifed initials "M" above "W" (for "Werke", factories) with a horizontal stripe between them. In fact this is the Mannesmann brand or logo. See the similar funnel here. In photo of table flag shown above.  Source: German eBay offer no. 200041012573 (end 2 Nov 2006) put up by "freschkall" who gives approx. dimensions as 19 [cm] x 29cm. But "Flaggen auf dem Rhein" (1952 ed.) shows it as well, mentioning Duisburg Ruhrort as the company seat.
PS: see also FOTW-ws for a US subsidiary or related firm.
Jan Mertens, 2 Sep 2009

Joh. Marbs

[Joh.Marbs] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Mar 2007

Joh.Marbs - The company used a quarterly divided flag white (with a red serifed "M"), red, blue and yellow.
Source: Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945", ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; inside cover.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Mar 2007

MarConsult Schiffahrt

[MarConsult Schiffahrt] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 Nov 2003

Houseflag: blue with white diamond with red letters "MC".
Dov Gutterman, 2 Nov 2003

MarConsult Schiffahrt GmbH & Co. KG is a German maritime consultancy and ship management company founded in 1986.  According the company website (see "Company"): 19 container vessels are managed and controlled or chartered.  Base of operations is Hamburg; all ships are registered in Antigua and Barbuda with one exception, sailing under the German flag.
Jan Mertens, 5 Mar 2006

Maritime Carrier (MACS)

[Maritime Carrier (MACS)]
image by Jarig Bakker, 27 Nov 2005
[[MACS variant]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, based upon image located by Neale Rosanoski,7 Oct 2010

MACS Maritime Carrier A.G., Altendorf - blue flag, white "MaCS".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 27 Nov 2005

MACs Maritime Carrier. MACS Maritime Carrier A.G. based Altendorf , Switzerland and formed 1987 [according to Lloyds] would appear to be the holding company. MACS Maritime Carrier GmbH & Co. is the original company formed Hamburg in 1970 and operates the shipping activities.
The flag as shown by Brown is incorrect in that the letters are angled and the blue as shown should also be a lighter sky blue shade. I enclose a copy of the "Josef Nüsse table flag" in support. Ship photos confirm the angling of the letters on the funnel but flag photos whilst confirming the shade of blue are not large enough to be definite about the letters but they are also angled in the company logo at this webpage, so the evidence all points the one way.
Neale Rosanoski,7 Oct 2010

Marship Bereederungs GmbH

[Marship Bereederungs GmbH] image by Jarig Bakker, 23 Oct 2005

Marship Bereederungs GmbH (was: Maritime Services Aleuropa, G.m.b.h.), Hamburg - white over green flag; on white red disk; on green the firm's name in full and black.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 23 Oct 2005

Reederei O. Marten

[Reederei O. Marten] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 Jul 2012

It is a dark blue flag. Between two white wavy lines is a white initial "M".
Source: Verband Deutscher Reeder homepage
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 Jul 2012

Mathies Reederei

[Matthies Reederei] image by Jarig Bakker, 15 Sep 2005

Mathies Reederei, Hamburg - red flag, white diamond, black "M".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 15 Sep 2005

L.F.Mathies & Co.

[L.F.Mathies & Co.] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 Mar 2007

This company used a green flag with a white diamond touching the edges with a red serifed capital "M".
Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945", ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; inside cover.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 Mar 2007


[C.M-Matzen] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 Mar 2007

Christian Michael Matzen was seaman and captain and led his first own ship as captain in 1867. He finally owned 18 ships but when he died in 1904 the company was dissolved and three of the five remained ships were sold to August Bolten, one to Knöhr und Burchard Nachfolger and one to Norway. The company used a red flag with a white diamond with a blue serifed capital "M".
Source: Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945"; ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; p.113ff.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 Mar 2007

Medorient Shipping Lines

[Medorient Shipping Lines] image by Jarig Bakker, 23 Nov 2005

Medorient Shipping Lines GmbH., Hamburg - blue flag, white disk, black "M".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 23 Nov 2005

Meerpahl & Meyer

[Meerpahl & Meyer] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 Nov 2003

Here is the website of Meerpahl & Meyer GmbH - houseflag: red with white diamond with the company-logo.
Dov Gutterman, 2 Nov 2003

Helmuth Mentz, Rostock

[Helmuth Mentz, Rostock, black letters]
image by Ivan Sache, 14 Jan 2004
[Helmuth Mentz, Rostock, white letters]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 July 2019

Helmuth Mentz, Rostock. The flag is blue with a white border and "HM" and "R" on two rows, either black with a white shadow (see left image above) or simply white (see right image above).
Sources: "Lloyd's book of house flags and funnels of the principal steamship lines of the world and the house flags of various lines of sailing vessels"', published at Lloyd's Royal Exchange. London. E.C., 1911; p. 133, #2039 and Flaggenbuch 1905, part V, p.15, image no.224
Ivan Sache, 14 Jan 2004 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 July 2019

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