Last modified: 2011-06-13 by german editorial team
Keywords: mülhausen | muelhausen | mulhouse | reichsstadt | imperial city | rhineland | gyronny: wavy |
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image by Jaume Ollé
Some information from Mattern 1972:
Since 1267 Mulhouse (Mühlhausen) has borne canting arms argent a mill wheel of eight paddles gules. [Mühlhausen is German for "mill houses"]. We do not know anything about medieval city flags. The only available sources are weather vanes with the mill wheel and occasional hints about banners in Swiss chronicles, as well as the red and white rank flags in the clothing of municipal employees and soldiers. On the other hand the Julius banner of Mulhouse, granted by Cardinal Schiner to the city (which served as an ally of the Swiss Confederation 1506-1798) for her services to the Roman Catholic Church, is well known (see The Flag Bulletin, Volume X, N° 2-3, pp. 107-115).
The investiture decree of Pope Julius II, dated 20 December 1512, grants the city a banner charged with St. Stephen, patron of the city. On white damask, about 2 meters (6'6'') square, there is applied in the center a golden mill wheel. St. Stephen is shown in the canton, richly embroidered on a green background. The saint, standing and dressed in a long white garment, holds a green palm frond in his right hand and a golden Bible in his left. The banner, including the canton, is bordered by brown hewn branches. As an augmentation, the city received permission to change the red tincture of the mill wheel into a "knightly" gold. (...)
Exact information about Mulhouse city flags is available only from the 18th century. One flag used about 1770 by the Free Company and still preserved, contains 10 red and 10 white flames conjoined in the center. It is kept with the Julius banner in the Historical Museum of Mulhouse. The city flag, which is similar, resembles in its design the gyronny wavy of the famous Swiss military flags. This banner was officially used for the last time as a symbol of the independent Republic of Mulhouse, on the occasion of the city's surrender to the French commissars on 15 March 1798. (...)
Pascal Vagnat, 14 June 1998
by Jaume Ollé
Used for some time until 1789 when it was annexed to France.
Jaume Ollé, 23 August 1998