Last modified: 2013-11-24 by german editorial team
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by Željko Heimer and Marcus Schmöger
Hanover is not a Land of the Federal Republic of Germany anymore. It is now part of the Land of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). The flag of the former kingdom and the flag of this former Land were all yellow-white horizontally. This flag can still be used in the former Hanoverian part of Lower Saxony.
Pascal Vagnat (?)
The house of Brunswick originated in Othbert, margrave of Este in Italy. This family acquired the inheritance of the Guelph [also spelt Welf] family by marriage around the year 1000 of Azzo II with Kunigunde, daughter of Welf II. In 1106 the family acquired (Lower) Saxony by marriage of Henry the Black to Wulfhild (died 1126), last of the Billungs, who had been dukes of Saxony for the last ages. A generation later they acquired also by marriage the duchy of Brunswick. They were made lords of Brunswick and Lüneburg in 1181 and dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg 12th August 1235.
The Guelph family divided in branches and was reunited more than once. In the 12th century they started using the Saxon horse to claim their rights to (Lower) Saxony. An important division took place in the house of Brauschweig-Lüneburg in 1546:
The Hanoverians reigned in Hanover until 1866 and in Brunswick after that from 1913 to 1918. The heir to the throne is currently Prince Ernst August (Ernst August V). To this day the princes of Hanover also bear the title of prince of Great Britain and Ireland, duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg.
Theo van der Zalm, 4 September 2000 and 3 July 2001
Ernst August I, who succeeded to the throne of Hanover in 1837 at the death of William IV (of Great Britain and Hanover), was the Duke of Cumberland and his successors through Ernst August II continued using the title. It seems that starting with Ernst August III, they did not. I do not know why. The family name of the Hanover kings was Welf (sometimes the Italian form Guelph is used in English).
Norman Martin, 6 October 2000