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House Flags of German Shipping Companies (u)

Deutsche Reedereiflaggen (u)

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: unter-elbe faehr betrieb | unterweser reederei | uebersee reederei | union part | union reederei | sbu | ulg | ulmann |
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Other "U" companies: See also:


[Übersee-Reederei] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 Apr 2009

Übersee-Reederei GmbH
The company was located in Bremen. It is a 8-stripes version of the flag of Bremen, superimposed by a black capital “Ü” within a white rectangle with a half disc joined to bottom and top.
Source: Deutsche Reedereien und ihre Erkennungszeichen”; 2nd ed.; Hamburg; 1956; p.41.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 Apr 2009

Flaggenbuch 1928 II, p. 1 as provided by Marcus Schmöger (p. 12/99 of pdf file) gives Übersee-Reederei's initial on the former national (then, merchant ensign) colours, black-white-red.
According to the caption (see attachment the company was (already?) established at Bremen.
"Already" as the same source also mentions Geestemünde, but the page in question (13/99 of pdf pile) has been crossed out by someone, that is to say, the page was amended (replaced).
Jan Mertens, 6 Apr 2009

[Übersee-Reederei old] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Apr 2012, based on an image located by Neale Rosanoski(?) on 14 July 2010

There was similarity between pre- and post-WWII house flags used by a company also using the same name.
About the older, black-white-red one, Dieter Engel - who maintains a site concerning maritime scripophily - has a lot to say (in German): Briefly: Übersee was founded at Geestemünde in 1921 to operate ships on the North Sea, the Baltic, and the Mediterranean.  Behind the scenes however the famous Rabien & Stadtlander shipping company was the deciding factor.
Things looked well for the new company and four ships in all were put to work but lower freight rates, competition, and the loss of a vessel which had to be replaced were detrimental.  In 1927 the firm moved to Bremen and a few years later had only two ships left.
Taking advantage of a law prescribing minimal equity capital - which Übersee did not have - the company was wound up honourably (1936) and the assets went to Rabien & Stadtlander.
Now we still have to establish a clear link with the second Übersee i.e. one going beyond the similarity between names and house flags...
Jan Mertens, 7 Apr 2009


[ULG houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 May 2006

ULG or Umschlag- und Lagerhausgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (Cargo Transfer and Warehouse Co.) at Wolfsburg - better known for its Volkswagen factory - was founded in 1994, Braunschweig (Brunswick) being the registered seat. In fact the founding firms are well-known: Rhenus (logistics) and Raiffeisen (financial), the latter taking over all the shares in 1998 but demerging from ULG in 2004.
The company is not only active at Wolfsburg but also at Fallersleben, a nearby inland harbour operated by ULG.

As the name says, ULG is active in cargo transfer and warehousing (wheat and other foodstuffs are important items; further stone, ore, fertilizer, etc.) plus related activities.  In addition, there is waterway and coastal freighting over a rather wide area coverning the North of Germany and adjoining areas (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland).

The house flag is divided per ascending diagonal with a white field uppermost and a blue one underneath, and counterchanged serifed initials ‘ULG’ over all.
Jan Mertens, 2 May 2006

Gebr. Ulmann

[Gebr. Ulmann] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 Apr 2009

Gebrüder Ulmann
The company was located in Hamburg. It is a red flag with a white lozenge, fimbriated celestial blue in the centre, containing black capitals „GU“.
Source: Deutsche Reedereien und ihre Erkennungszeichen”; 2nd ed.; Hamburg; 1956; p.41.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 Apr 2009

The firm still exists - see company website. Founded 1891, now established near Hamburg at Winsen (Luhe).  Forwarding, shipping (incl. inland; dry bulk and tankers), warehousing.
Your flag is better drawn than theirs 8-)  Also, 'Flaggen auf dem Rhein' (1952 ed.) confirms the black letters.
Jan Mertens, 6 Apr 2009

Union Partreederei (Scipio & Co.)

[Union Partreederei (Scipio & Co.)] image by Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2005

Union Partreederei (Scipio & Co.), Bremen - red flag, white diamond, black serifed "U".
Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2005

Union Reederei

[Union Reederei] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 Apr 2009

Union Reederei GmbH
The company was located in Hamburg. Corresponding ship owner was Walter Martens. It is a red flag divided by a white saltire with lines converging in the centre of flag. The centre is superimposed by a white disc with a black capizal “U”.
Source: Deutsche Reedereien und ihre Erkennungszeichen”; 2nd ed.; Hamburg; 1956; p.41.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 Apr 2009

Unter-Elbe Fähr Betrieb

[Unter-Elbe Fähr Betrieb#1(Shipping Company, Germany)] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Mar 2011

I saw a ferry on river Elbe belonging to the shipping company Unter-Elbe Fähr Betrieb. The house flag was: divided per saltire, white over blue, U over E before F over B in black. I reported this one last year, but this time I spoke with the captain of one of the ferries, who confirmed that they do indeed have this flag in cloth.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 Aug 2001

This booklet (url will become obsolete, surely) concerns the history 1919-1994 of this company: (not yet; editorial note: 28 Mar 2012). For further information click
Clickable image, relevant detail attached as : I suppose the "E" and "F" are white.

[Unter-Elbe Fähr Betrieb#2] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Mar 2011
See the real article flying - not much visible detail I'm afraid - on 'Wischhafen' and 'Wilhelm Krooss' in these pages:
shipspotting and
Jan Mertens, 21 Aug 2011

[Unter-Elbe Fähr Betrieb#3] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 Mar 2011

There are presented two (clickable) variants of this houseflag- all initials of which are black near the end under the heading Fährdienste Fluss (i.e.River Ferries). In the first case, the initials on blue groud are fimbriated white: The other variant, less readable I suppose, (see above).
The photos can be seen on Josef Nüsse's webpage
Jan Mertens, 21 Aug 2011 (editorial note: according to Josef Nüsse the company runs ferry-service from Glückstadt to Wischhafen)

SBU (Schleppbetrieb Unterweser)

[Schleppbetrieb Unterweser houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Aug 2008

SBU or Schleppbetrieb Unterweser mbH & Co. KG (i.e. Towage Co. Unterweser) at Bremen:
Flag: horizontally divided RWR (1:2:1) bearing black company intials – no serifs or dots – in the centre.  Incidentally these were the former national colours.
I have found no photo showing this flag in use.  Therefore this whopping view of the funnel (rather 1:3:1).
‘Unterweser’ is defined as the River Weser’s range between Bremen and the North Sea.  On SBU I have found out almost nothing: Seatowage lists four tugs (no idea if they are still operated; the firm is led by Ms Erika Schulz; and that is all.
Jan Mertens, 12 Aug 2008