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Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein (German sailing club)

Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein e.V.

Last modified: 2021-01-30 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: norddeutscher regatta-verein | alsterpiraten | alsterratten | elbfreibeuter | saltire | eagle | anchor | disc |
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[Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein ensign] image by Peter Edwards and Rob Raeside, 7 Apr 2019 See also:

Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein e.V.

Brief History

A band of friends within the Germania Ruder Club performed sailing regattas since 1863. In 1866 the friends tried to establish a club named "Germania Segel-Club zur Förderung des Segelns auf der Alster, Elbe und Ostsee" (Germania sailing club for promotion of sailing on Alster, Elbe and the Baltic). In order to take part on the sailing ragattas within the World Exhibition 1867 in Paris, the club was renamed to "Norddeutscher Segel-Club ".
As the local regatta club "Allgemeiner Alster Club" failed in organising local sailing regattas, members of three rowing clubs established the "Norddeutscher Regatta Verein" on 8 November 1868.
The new entity was some kind of a hybid, being a sailing club on one hand and a regatta club on the other hand, having the main purpose to perform regattas. The word "Norddeutsch" was also a political statement, as Otto von Bismarck had just created the "North German Confederation" (Norddeutscher Bund) as a "small-German" solution under the leadership of Prussia.
Because NRV was estabkished in 1868 before the German Empire (1871) came to being, the club until today is only under control of the state chancellery of the Hamburgian government and not registered like other clubs. Even recently the head of the government of Hamburg (1. Bürgermeister) had been the honorary president of the club.

Evolution of the Ensign

In 1875 the board decided the introduction of a club flag after conceptions of the club chairman C. Hermann Wentzel: a black double-headed eagle on red field. He was replaced after 1885 by a single-headed dexter facing one on a red field, parted by a black saltire (St. Andrew's cross) fimbriated white. A black-white-red inescutcheon leans on an anchor shaft, of which the eye and stock are just visible above the eagle. Until 1945 there had two oars crossed behind the inescutcheon, signifying the club's long, but by then long expired, rowing tradition.
The NRV was intentionally not christened as a "club". Indeed, the German speaks of a "Vereinsflagge". It might be, therefore, that the flag would have been considered an "association's flag" at the time, rather than a "club flag".
The inescutcheon is said to lean against the anchor. The anchor, however, doesn't obscure the eagle, thus it's clearly behind the eagle. It would have to be a very heavy breastplate to push the eagle into the anchor and so lean against the anchor with the eagle as a buffer. (And then to think that for a long time there were also two oars behind the inescutcheon.) Apart from the eye and stock mentioned, the crown and flukes of the anchor are visible as well.
Source: club's history page
Peter Edwards, 7 Apr 2019 and Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 9 Apr 2019


Norie and Hobbs 1971 shows under figure 315 the ensign of Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein, Hamburg: red, a black saltire fringed white, on its center a white disc fringed black bearing an eagle with on its breast a shield black over white over red, and behind it an anchor both black and white, except for red beak and claws.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 12 Nov 2001

First Ensign (until 1945)

[Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein 1st ensign] speculative image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 26 Jan 2021

As mentioned above the club's badge displayed two additiional oars in saltire behaind the inescutcheon and in front of the eagle. According to the club webpage this badge was used at least until 1945, and should have been thus in the centre of the ensign. My image may be wrong in details (I have painted it without inscription). Finally the image mentioned by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg was added later and had not been part of the original book of Norie and Hobbs. I couldn't find out, when it was added , but probably long after 1945. The first ensign thus should have the old badge with oars in its centre. At least I found evidence that the information about the additional oars is correct. Source: "Festschrift zum 50-jährigen Bestehens des Norddeutschen Regatta-Vereins 1868 - 1918", front cover
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 26 Jan 2021


[Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein burgee] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider and Santiago Dotor, 19 Sep 2005

The yacht club website shows an image of the burgee.
Santiago Dotor, 19 Sep 2005

Alsterpiraten Club

[NRV Alsterpiraten ensign]
ensign, image by Peter Edwards and Rob Raeside, 7 Apr 2019
[NRV Alsterpiraten burgee]
3:5 burgee, image by Ivan Sache, 5 May 2002

Alsterpiraten brief History

In 1898 five to 12 year-old boys founded the Alster Piraten Club (Alster Pirate Club, APC) at the Bellevue ( a street in Hamburg near the Alster Lake). A substantial component of the first charter was that only boys were admitted, and once 19 years of age, the Alsterpiraten automatically became "Oberpiraten". To avoid ending in the Hitler Youth, the members disbanded the club in 1938. In 1948 several Oberpiraten got together and decided to revive the APC. Until WW2 there had been an agreement with Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, which meant that the club's developing youth division to be named "Alsterpiraten".(...) After years of back and forth, it was agreed in 1979 that the Alsterpiraten would forthwith comprised of a "circle of friends within the youth division of the NRV". This meant that the applicants for the APC had to first be members of the NRV and could subsequently be accepted into or rejected from the ranks of the APC. (...) The colours of the APC dominate the life of an Alsterpirate and are proudly displayed in the sail and on the boat. The meaning of these colours was summarized in the following rhyme: translating into:
"Blau ist das Wasser, Rot ist die Lieb,
Gelb der Neid and'rer auf den Piratenbetrieb."

More or less meaning:
Red is the love and blue is the bay
Yellow the envy on pirates' way
(...)In the anniversary year 2018, the APC counts 17 active members. Thanks to the attraction of the Alsterpiraten, the name will continue to carry them within the NRV in years to come."
Source: H. Hecht, C. Rothe and Alexander Prinz zu Schleswig-Holstein, (Eds) : "150 Jahre Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Hamburg: NRV, 2018"
Peter Edwards, 7 Apr 2019

Alsterpiraten Ensign

Rectangle approx. 7:11. Red field charged with the Alsterpiraten Club's heraldic arms. (see left image above)
Source: yacht club website.
Peter Edwards, 7 Apr 2019

Alsterpiraten Burgee

Vertically divided red-blue, with a yellow disc stretching equally over the red and blue fields. The river Alster crosses Hamburg from North to South and is tributary of the Elbe. (see right image above)
Source: yacht club website.
Ivan Sache, 5 May 2002

Alsterratten Club

[NRV Alsterratten Club#1]
1:2 image by Peter Edwards and Rob Raeside, 8 Apr 2019
[NRV Alsterratten Club#2]
1:2 image by Peter Edwards and Rob Raeside, 8 Apr 2019

Germany's first girl's sailing club. Our story begins on 1 April 1929, the day that Karin Hoeck, later Wiebel, better known as "Speedy Granny" founded the Alsterratten ("Alster Rats", AR) in the Magdalenenstraße 4. (...)In 1955 the Alsterratten were "officially" integrated into the youth division of Norddeutscher Regatta Verein. (...) Currently [2018], there are around 15 active Alsterratten.
The burgee with ratio 1.2 is white fimbriated (of different width) on three sides red (outer), white, black.
Source: H. Hecht, C. Rothe and Alexander Prinz zu Schleswig-Holstein, (Eds) : "150 Jahre Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Hamburg: NRV, 2018"
Peter Edwards, 8 Apr 2019

Elbfreibeuter Club e. V.

[NRV Elbfreibeuter burgee] image by Peter Edwards and Rob Raeside, 9 Apr 2019

The year is 1983. During the NRV's autumn sailing cruise, a small group of dinghy sailors that call the Mühlenberger Loch (Elbe) their home base, founded the Elbfreibeuter Club or EFC.(...)Together with assuming responsibility for the clubhouse on the Elbe, the Elbfreibeuter also took on the organisation of the NRV autumn cruise. (...)This far the Elbfreibeuter had not been an independent club, but they had their remote location on the Elbe. Within the context of restructuring of the NRV(...) was the founding of the EFC as an independent club. On 31 October 2014 the club was established by 19 founding members.
The burgee's ratio is approx. 6:14. Field dark blue and turquoise bicolour charged with a pink disc on the vertical dividing line centred 5 units from hoist.
Source: H. Hecht, C. Rothe and Alexander Prinz zu Schleswig-Holstein, (Eds) : "150 Jahre Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Hamburg: NRV, 2018"
Peter Edwards, 9 Apr 2019

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