Last modified: 2012-08-01 by german editorial team
Keywords: rheda-wiedenbrück | lion(black) | wheel | crowned | seal | osnabrueck bishopric |
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The City of Wiedenbrück was an exclave of the Bishopric of Osnabrück until 1803. It was the capital of the subdistrict (germ.:Amt) of Reckenberg. All church territories in the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation were abolished by the French emperor Napoleon I in 1803 (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss) as well as the Empire itself a few years later. Within a 2nd phase smaller sovereign states merged with others to less smaller states. In 1803 Wiedenbrück was incorporated to the Electorate of Hannover. After the treaty of Tilsit(1807) Wiedenbrück became part of the newly built "Kingdom of Westphalia". The King was Jerome I , which was no surprise, for Jerome was a brother of Napoleon I. He got the nickname "King Funny" by the Westphalians though times were not funny at all by then. After the Congress of Vienna(1815) Wiedenbrück was incorporated to the new Prussian province of Westphalia. Since 1870 it became part of the (2nd) Empire of Germany and became capital of a county-district with the same name. Rheda belonged to that county-district until 1973.
Rheda however was capital of an independent Seigneurie, which included also the much bigger town of Gütersloh. Because Rheda had a railway-station, it grew and flourished and became bigger than its rival Wiedenbrück. Wiedenbrück however remained as centre of administration. Since 1807 Rheda belonged to the same territories Wiedenbrück did.
The county-district of Wiedenbrück consisted of the former territories of the subcounty (Amt) Reckenberg, the Seigneurie of Rheda and the County of Rietberg.
In the coat of arms of the county-district there are a red wheel on a white field (Osnabrück/Reckenberg) , a black lion on a white field (Rheda) and a white eagle on a red field (Rietberg).
Source: "Neuer Westfälischer Bilderbogen Nr.10/81", an appendix of the "Neue Westfälische Zeitung", edition Gütersloh, a newspaper
On 1 January 1974 the county-district of Wiedenbrück was abolished and Gütersloh became capital of a new county.
Wiedenbrück and Rheda were forced to merge as a new city Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Rheda had more inhabitants but Wiedenbrück claimed having more importance for having been the former district capital. So many people in Wiedenbrück refused the union with Rheda and they also claimed the name of the new city had to be simply Wiedenbrück. Their efforts finally failed, when a court reconfirmed the decisions of the government of Northrhine-Westphalia of 1974 a few years later.
Description of the flag:
As the ratio of most nowadays German city-flags is 5:2, I suppose, it is the same here. The flag is a symmetric vertical divided bicolor from left to right : yellow (FIAV-Code Y) - black (FIAV-Code N) (4 times) - yellow (FIAV-Code Y). In the middle there is the coat of arms of the new city of Rheda-Wiedenbrück, consisting of
1) the black sinister-facing lion in a silver(=white) field which turned his face from left to right and got a yellow crown in the dexter half (Rheda)
2) and the wheel of Osnabrück with inverted colours, i.e. a white field on a red field in the sinister half (Wiedenbrück).
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 31 Oct 2005
According to Veddeler 2003 the flag and coat-of-arms were adopted (granted by the Regierungspräsident in Detmold) 25 Aug 1971.
The flag is described in the form of the (normal) hoisted flag and in form of the hanging flag. The proportion of the stripes is 1:3:1, not 1:4:1. The arms is shown on the hoisted flag shifted to the hoist, in the hanging flag shifted to the top.
The arms is not described entirely correct either. It is: "Von Silber und Rot gespalten; vorn ein nach links gewendeter golden gekrönter und rot bezungter schwarzer Löwe, hinten ein goldenes sechsspeichiges Rad." (Per pale: dexter Argent, a lion facing sinister Sable, crowned Or and langued Gules; sinister Gules, a six-spoked wheel Or.).
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 1 Nov 2005
This version is hoisted on holidays and local festival days each year. It might be the former flag of the city of Wiedenbrück, now being part of Rheda-Wiedenbrück.
Description of flag:
The ratio is approx 3:2. The flag is vertically divided into red-white-red with ratio 1:4:1. Shifted to the top is a black disc exceeding the white stripe. Its diameter is estimated 12/27, that is approx 44% of total height. Upon the black disc are golden(=yellow) figures of the great seal of the former City of Wiedenbrück.
Description of seal:
A wall is uprising to both sides, having a path with a roof(displayed by rhombs). Upon the walls are two narrow towers. The gate is has a round bow. In the gate is an 8-spokes wheel (upon the flag only the wheel is left). Above the wheel is an upright sinister bearded key.
Literature: described in Veddeler 2003, p.204
Source: I spotted this flag in October 1979 in Wiedenbrück
Klaus-Michael Schneider,29 May 2010
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