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Bragtank AG, Switzerland

Last modified: 2013-07-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: bragtank | crosier |
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[Bragtank AG] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 April 2006

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About the Flag

Bragtank AG (“Brag” being an abbreviation of the erstwhile Basler Rheinschiffahrt AG with ‘tank’ added) is a Swiss inland navigation firm, established at Basel or Basle. Company website:

As the name says, this firm operates river tankers active on the Rhine and its tributaries but also owns a tugboat (doubling as a party vessel!). Less common are services offered such as motor consultancy, sale of vessels, lengthening and refurbishing, plus transportation of dangerous goods in cooperation with Reederei Reichling.

The house flag is a variant of the Basel Stadt half canton white with a black bishop’s crozier, crook towards the hoist; what Bragtank does is to move the crozier towards the fly end in order to make room for a small red canton bearing the white couped cross of Switzerland; under the canton are three light blue vertical stripes. Other pictures – photo and flag – can be seen here: The oldest Bragtank vessel I have found – thanks to that very interesting site, Binnenvaart – was active in 1948.

I should add that a precursor company, the Basler Rheinschiffahrt referred to above, flew a similar flag – without the blue stripes.
Jan Mertens, 10 April 2006

I think rather the flag is "recanvased" to have an extra area at the hoist, which is filled with the federal cross canton and the vertical stripes — which stand for the Rhine and two local tributaries?
António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 April 2006

In "Flaggen auf dem Rhein" (1952 ed.) two company names, both official it seems, are mentioned:
- Basler Rheinschiffahrt Aktiengesellschaft, Basel
and more surprisingly
- Basle Rhine Navigation Comp. Lt[d]., Basel.

Besides Brag and Bragtank, which we already know, some more flags of related firms/subsidiaries are shown in France, Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. They all follow the same pattern, thus establishing an inland navigation archivexillum: white with black bishop's crozier somewhat shifted towards the right, and a square national flag in the canton.
Jan Mertens, 21 September 2007