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Nordfriesland County (Germany)

Kreis Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein

Last modified: 2019-10-22 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: nordfriesland | eiderstedt | utholm | everschop | ships(3) | fish | leopard | plough | bull's head | demi lion |
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[Nordfriesland County (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 3:5
image by Stefan Schwoon, 1 Feb 2001 See also:

Introduction of Nordfriesland County

"Nordfriesland: The most northern county of Germany was created in 1970 by the union of the former counties Eiderstedt, Husum and Südtondern. It is on the oast of the North Sea and includes the Peninsula Eiderstedt and the north Frisian Islands (incl. Sylt) and the Halligen. Area: 2043; inhabitants: 162.000; capital: Husum".
Source: "Diercke Lexikon Deutschland", 1988.
The CoA of the county shows three yellow sailing ships (Koggen?), each with another red symbol at its main sail. A plough, a fish and a oxen's head. Background is light blue.
J. Patrick Fischer, 11 Sep 2002

There is an official coat of arms for the Landkreis of Nordfriesland, created in 1970. This is blue, three golden, three-masted ships in 16th-century style [arranged] 2:1 with golden sails and red pennants. The flag has a broad central stripe with the arms as described, and with narrower stripes at the top and bottom, the inner ones golden, the outer ones red.
Source: Thomas Steensen: "The Frisians in Schleswig-Holstein", Braeist/Bredstedt: Nordfriisk Instituut, 1994.
Jan Oskar Engene, 7 December 1995

The Hauptsatzung (statutes) of the district at the Nordfriesland official website states that the red and gold stripes should be thin, so the choice of 1:1:12:1:1 is mine. The ships should be shifted slightly to the hoist. The ships are taken from the arms; more on their meaning at Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website, where I copied them from Reißmann 1997.
Adopted 10 July 1972, according to Dirk Schönberger's Administrative Divisions of the World website.

Note that this flag does not collide with the historical North Frisian flags. The latter have no official status and are popularly used to show adherence to (the historical region of) North Friesland whereas this is the official flag of the county authorities.
Stefan Schwoon, 1 Feb 2001

From Ralf Hartemink's webpage:
"The arms were granted on 10 July 1972. The arms are based on the arms of the former county Eiderstedt. The symbols of the ships differ from the old arms, in that the plough is the symbol of the former county Husum, the fish is slightly changed and represents the typical herring of the island of Sylt in the former county Südtondern. The ox-head is still the symbol for Eiderstedt. The arms [of Eiderstedt] were based on a seal dating from 1613, after the area was reclaimed from the sea. The ships represented the three areas (Harden) in the new territory: Eiderstedt, Everschop and Utholm. (...) On the original seal the ships were placed 1:2 instead of 2:1 and the symbols were placed on the hulk of the ship, not the sails."
Source: Stadler 1964,p.30 and Reißmann 1997, p.28.
Santiago Dotor, 23 Oct 2001

Nordfriesland County Flag

It is a blue flag. At the top- and bottom-edge are two horizontal stripes, the outer stripes are red, the inner stripes are yellow. In the blue field are the figures of the coat of arms without shield. They are shifted to the hoist.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Nov 2012

Nordfriesland County Arms

In a blue shield are three golden (= yellow) sailing ships having three masts each. The sails are golden (= yellow). The masts are topped by red pennants. The ships are ordered 2:1. Upon the main sails are charges as follows: 1st ship: a red plough; 2nd ship: a red fish; 3rd ship: a red bull's head.
The county of Nordfriesland was established on 1 January 1970, when the former counties of Eiderstedt (capital: Tönning), Husum and Südtondern (capital Niebüll) merged. The couties of Eiderstedt and Husum existed since the beginning of the Prussian rule in 1867. Südtondern , was the southern part of the county of Tondern, which had been divided by a plebiscite in 1920 after WW1. The northern part with capital Tondern/Tønder was ceded to Denmark while Germany saved the southern part around Niebüll.
The coat of arms is a modification of the arms of the former county of Eiderstedt. Just the colour of the sails turned from silver (= white) to golden (= yellow) and the symbols upon the main sails were modified. They are symbolizing the former counties as follows: The plough is symbolizing Husum, which bore a plough share in the county arms. The fish is symbolizing Südtondern. A fish is also part of the arms of Westerland as so called "herring of Sylt". The bull's head is symbolizing Eiderstedt, where herding had a great importance in the past.
Blue, yellow and red are the colours of the northern Frisians.
Source: Reißmann 1997, p.28

Flag and coat of arms were approved on 10 July 1972. The artist is Wilhelm Horst Lippert from Brunsbüttel.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Nov 2012

Eiderstedt County (1867 - 1969)

Eiderstedt County Flag (1959 - 1967)

[Eiderstedt County bicolour (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 3:5 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Nov 2012

It is a blue over yellow horizontal bicolour. The coat of arms is in the centre of the flag.

Eiderstedt County Flag (1967 - 1972)

[Eiderstedt County quartered (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 2:3 image by Falko Schmidt and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 Oct 2019

The flag was quartered of blue and yellow. In upper hoist quarter is an ancient ship with yellow hulk, in upper fly quarter on with blue hulk, in lower centre one with a hulk divided oer pale into yellow and blue. For further details see coat of arms below.
Source: letter from Stiftung Nordfriesland to Falko Schmidt, written 6 August 1999

Eiderstedt County Coat of arms

In a blue shield are three golden (= yellow) ancient ships having three masts each. The sails are silver (= white). The masts are topped by red pennants. The ships are ordered 2:1. Upon the main sails are charges as follows: 1st ship: a blue demi-lion issuant, leopardized and tongued red; 2nd ship: a blue crucian carp; 3rd ship: a red bull's head.
Eiderstedt County became part of the newly established Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein in 1867. It consisted of the nowadays Eiderstedt Subcounty (Amt Eiderstedt) and the city of Tönning being the capital. The county was incorporated to newly formed Nordfriesland County in 1970.
The charges of the main sails are symbolizing the three maritime districts (Danish: Harde ; pl.: Harden). The blue demi lion resp. leopard is symbolizing the well-fortified district of Utholm, the fish is symbolizing the district of Everschop. Finally the bull's head is symbolizing the rural district of proper Eiderstedt.
(editorial note: a harde is the Scandinavian equivalent of the English hundred, a former subdivision of a county, organizing local jurisdiction and yeomanry militia)
Utholm in the West around nowadays St.Peter-Ording and Everschop in the Northwest around Garding had been made islands by the great 2nd Marcellus flood in 1362. By dyking both had been connected again with the Eiderstedt peninsula. The maritime district of Eiderstedt was located in the Southeast incl. Tönning.
The coat of arms is based upon the common seal of the maritime districts, the so called "Three Lands".
The colours of the flag's sheet are those of the Duchy of Schleswig. The coat of arms was approved on 22 June 1959 by Minister of Interior of Schleswig-Holstein
Source: Stadler 1964, p.30
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Nov 2012 / 22 Oct 2019

Eiderstedt County Flag spotted 2012

[Eiderstedt County 4-stripes (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Nov 2012

Description of flag:
It is a horizontal four stripes flag. The stripes are ordered blue over yellow over white over red. A different coat of arms is in the centre of the flag.

Corresponding Coat of Arms

The coat of arms has the original pattern of the common seal mentioned above. The ships are placed 1:2 for formal reasons, which however are unknown to me, see Reißmann 1997], p.28. Furthermore the full coats of arms of the districts are superimposing the hulks, not the sails. They are displaying: 1st ship: a golden demi-lion issuant in a blue shield; 2nd ship: two black crucian carps ordered paly in a shield divided per pale into silver and blue; 3rd ship: a black bull's head armed silver in a red field. The colours gold and silver in the flag are realized as yellow and white.

Coats of Arms on Hulks

[Utholm Harde CoA]
[Evershop Harde CoA]
[Eiderstedt Harde CoA]

images by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 Jan 2013

The coat of arms of Everschop may be wrong. In the same location there is an image of that coat of arms showing just one black carp. Blue yellow, and red are the colours of the Northern Frisians. All four colours together are those of Schleswig and Holstein. But none of it is really a perfect match. It is probably a pre 1959 flag.
Source: I spotted this flag on 14 August in the "Packhaus", i.e. warehouse, a local museum of the city of Tönning.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Nov 2012

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