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Chinese Eastern Railway Company (China)

1898-c.1935

Last modified: 2015-03-14 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: china | cer | chinese eastern railway company |
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Overview

Chinese Eastern Railway Company did have its own flags and flew them from its properties and its own merchant ships. I have some details but no images or photos of the former CER flags. I am not sure if there was a flag 1935-1945 when the Japanese puppet Manchukuo government incorporated the CER directly as a state railway, or if the 1945-1952 Sino-Soviet Changchun Railway Co. had its own flag. For the pre-1935 period there were at least 2 CER flags.

Here are some of the details:
Short history (yes this is the short version:) The CER was used as a tool by Russia to gain control over Manchuria since the 1896 treaty. CER statutes were approved by Russia 16 Dec. 1898. The CER not only included the railway but also a zone several miles wide on either side of the tracks including the city of Harbin and several major timber, mining and industrial plants. Collectively the territory of the CER was called the Chinese Eastern Railway Zone and it ran its own police, customs, courts and schools. The CER and the CER zone were nominally under joint Russo-Chinese control, but in fact the Russia controlled the entire administration until the 1917 revolution. the CER continued to function under allied backed "White" Russian admin 1917-1920. China took over administration during the 1920-24 period and agreed to restored Soviet Russian joint administration in 1924. Post 1920 the CER was not as powerful as before and by 1926 the Republic of China had placed all the special courts, customs and police under its control. After the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo seized control of the CER replacing the Republic of China. The Soviet Union sold its stake in the CER to Japan in 1935, who transferred it to Manchukuo, thus ending the 1897-1935 history of the CER. In August 1945 the Soviet Union took over the CER and renamed it the Changchun Railway Co. (including all the previous industrial concessions and the former South Manch. Rail. Co.) nominally it was jointly administered with China, but it was really under full Soviet control until 1950 when it agreed to joint administration with the communist People's Republic of China. on Dec. 31, 1952 the USSR transferred the entire Railway and all its rights to People's Republic of China, that ended the 1897-1952 separate history of the railway. 

I have evidence below that flag (probably a few verisons) existed for the FOTW odes have the flag of the South Manchurian Railway Co. This company was created when Russia was forced to cede the southern spur of the CER to Japan after losing the 1905 Russo-Japanese War.

U.S. State department memo of 1932 says there was a new 1932 (and a pre-1932) flag of the CER
".... and on March 23, 1932, it [Manchukuo] hoisted over railway property a new Chinese Eastern Railway flag the design of which included the Manchukuo flag instead of the Chinese one as formerly."

Following the August 26, 1896 treaty allowing Russia to build a railway thru Manchuria to Vladivostok, added agreements were made to extent the line south to Dalian/Port Arthur and to allow the Chinese Eastern Railway Company to have its own merchant fleet under its own flag.

Chinese Railway concerning the southern branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway, July 6 1898
"Art VI
The Company may at its pleasure assume the responsibility of establishing a line of sea going vessels flying the Company's flag to be operated under the Regulations for Foreign Mercantile Shipping Should these vessels or the management of the business in connection there with occasion any financial loss the Chinese Government shall not be held responsible Passenger fares and freight rates shall be established by the Company.

Note: In accordance with Treaty of Peking of 6th of Third Moon and Special Articles of Intercalary Moon extension of Chinese Eastern Railway Company to build and operate a branch line from station to  be selected on main line to sea ports Port Arthur and Dalny in Liao tung Careful compliance with provisions of Russo-Chinese Bank's contract Supplementary Articles proposed as follows:
1 This Branch line extending to Port Arthur and Dalny shall be known as the Southern Manchurian Branch of Chinese Eastern Railway
2 Original Agreement Article IV provides Chinese Government to take steps to facilitate transport by land or water of materials for construction of railway Company permitted to employ steamships or other vessels flying Company's flag which may enter Liao River and branches and proceed to Yingkou and all sea ports in Neutral Zone and there unload materials from "Manchuria: treaties and agreements" By Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Division of International Law
Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=GRc_AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=Chinese+Eastern+Railway+Company+flag&source=bl&ots=fXJXsYnevp&sig=QhvV8BDbez8-6xxX5a6Eo_ULrN8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bHibUYSHEaz64APWp4HIAw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Chinese%20Eastern%20Railway%20Company%20flag&f=false
Ben Cahoon, 21 May 2013

A Chinese site had more information and a drawing of the first flag. The Google English translation (which is a little choppy) of the site says:
"Eastern Railway restoration envisaged banner:
Author: Snow Wolf Knife wind Tony Chen, Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province, engaged in educational management for nearly two decades, research direction for the Far East in modern history, the history of Sino-Russian relations and the Middle East railway history. In recent years, study at their own expense Eastern Railway, and in newspapers and magazines and national mainstream websites, published a large number of historic buildings on the status of Eastern Railway survey text and pictures.

Eastern Railway restoration envisaged banner
Keywords: Eastern Railway Historical flags
Author: Snow Wolf Knife wind November 7, 2013 Column: Eastern Railway to comment
Terms accordance with the "secret treaty between China and Russia," and "Eastern Railway contract" provisions relating to: Eastern Province, China and Russia jointly called the railway, "the company's head office, selected by the Chinese government, its public funds should be raised to the company." Only because of the weakness of the Qing Dynasty, Russia did not fulfill the agreement, the Chinese interests in the Middle East Railway excluded. Romanov Russian historian, in "History of the Imperial Russian invasion of Manchuria," one wrote: "East Rail Council, only one Chinese participants, namely chairman, then very strict limit their rights", only "Supervision of the company to fulfill the obligations of the Chinese Government should"; "on behalf of the company and the Chinese central government or local governments to negotiate the transaction."
However, from the beginning of the construction of the railway, the Chinese central government and local government interests to fight for the right of way, has been working with Russia to fight. Although the fight with little success, for railway affairs Qing officials, extremely reluctantly, has lamented "give the more powerful neighbor's difficult"; "Rather than compete with empty words, there is no effect."
figure is a schematic diagram of Eastern Railway.
Provincial Railway Company since in China, "and the name of the Office and the Department of Eastern Province, China Railway." In the Qing government and the Chinese people to strive for revolt, the railway company to ease the contradiction between Russia, the railway names, flags, emblems and clothing, etc., are also close to China to take some measures since the Middle Tieluhulu team flags, uniforms have dragons, railway companies are bound to have the Qing Dynasty banner "dragon flag."
Eastern Railway Company finally adopted a compromise approach, flag and emblem of the road, the dragon appears on the Middle East Railway emblem, but also a way of clearing the railway authorities to fight for sovereignty.
March 10, 1897, the Board of Eastern Railway Company No. 33 bill, approved by the railroad flags and badges. August 16, 1897, the railway started in the Middle East ceremony held in the territory of China Suifenhe, officially hoisted the banner of the railway company to use. The figure is 16 August 1897 ceremony map.
Due to the lack of historical archives records, they are rarely found later in kind. Eastern Railway Company for the year using what materials banner? Why pattern style like? Has been a unsolved?
I tried to find Eastern Railway flag pattern, the multi-look has not been results.
May 17 in three years (AD 1914), Harbin Railway Administration to negotiate Jilin agent captaincy mong ngen far, check to make complex Russian flag painted new system to send patrol ship whether it was applicable, there are the following records: "All the grades enable the identification of the Russian railway company to make new flags Eastern Province with the old system of gift Longcheer inconsistent ...... the old dragon flag painted figures according to a paper in Beijing on behalf of the company to send Kazakh flag three grades of paper and make a paper intended to change the new flag was Department of nuclear translocation of the complex are implemented. " However, this important historical archives, only ten missing flag duplicate paper, it is a pity.
Just as I was confused by, a book made me suddenly. 1897 witnessed the opening ceremony of the Chinese Eastern Railway French naval officer Lim Anzai a historical picture afterwards documented in his book "Travels in Manchuria," in:
After Russia's construction of local authorities in Manchuria, Russia and adjacent flag, flags are Eastern Railway Company, for the characteristics of the Company. From the Port Arthur to Vladivostok, everywhere can be saw their flag with China and Russia have made it China's dragon and the sun painted white matter and Huang Chang, with the top left of the Russian tricolor intersect at an oblique angle type, merge made.So the Russian flag and the flag of China as a joint, the joint between the two countries was intended to represent the cloud Seoul.
According to the records, I drew a diagram Eastern Railway banner. [file attached ]: As follows:
In 1912, the Chinese Revolution broke out, the monarchy was overthrown, a symbol of the Qing imperial flag Huanglong banner, was also abolished. The Provincial Railway Company flags used in the past co-productions, and always an excuse to continue to use.
In two years early April 1999 (AD 1913), observed Jilin Xi Bei Li Ao to make railway patrol ship flags thing, please captaincy and the District of Jilin Chen quick decision was "covered railway companies to hang our flag and the flag of the company co-productions . patrol ship he needed both for protecting the overseas should be approved by the Government co-productions of the flag to the national body. " Railway company "but Longcheer can no longer hang, hang colored Cheng unrecognized."
Russia has repeatedly asked the Chinese government forced down, until August 16, 1915, all of the East Province railway flags and badges, and railways by the Chinese government approved the Board of Directors, the original flag of the railway chapter, on behalf of the Qing emperors' Ipomoea Dragon " remove and replace the Republic of colored flags. ""
This seems to indicate the first flag is from 1897, and the second change, removing the dragon flag did not take place until 1915 (this probably took so long because the Russian imperial government was not amused with China overthrowing its emperor).
Ben Cahoon, 26 June 2014

According to Japanese document,during 1932-1935 the railway company was called Northern Manchuria Railways Co. They did not use the word of Chinese.
So the Chinese characters 北満鐵路公司 might be used with Manchukou flag.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 01 July 2014


1897 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Eric Yang Soong, 27 May 2014

This photo shows the Railwas emblem and some Russian flags. What is the white flag with Russian flag in a canton and crossed an anchor and an ax in fly? Any ministrial flag? What is the relationship with the Chinese Eastern Railways?
Nozomi Kariyasu, 16 May 2014

Many thanks and great findings of an actual photo with the flag. With that clue I found some files in higher resolution. However, still I can't identify if there's a sun before the dragon.
Sources: http://www.amurarhiv.ru/upload/medialibrary/d60/Resize%20of%20bsaxyquz%20osrxb%20dkwh%201897%20ww%20t%20zgn.jpg
http://www.amurarhiv.ru/calendar/kalendar-znamenat-dat-na-2014-god.php
http://s61.radikal.ru/i172/1207/d8/8d752103d84a.jpg
http://humus.livejournal.com/2651594.html
The third flag from left, is the flag of Concordia Association of Manchukuo (滿洲國協和會).
Image: http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Concordia_Association.svg
Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concordia_Association
Eric Soong, 16 May 2014


1911 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Eric Yang Soong, 27 May 2014

With Chinese vex friends cooperation we found the first flag which is a combination of triangle dragon Qing flag and tricolor Russian flag with the railways name in black.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 16 May 2014

Victor Lomantsov, Miles Li and Nozomi Kariyasu, et. al. were very kindly responded to my inquiry about flags of the Chinese Eastern Railway 1898-1945, they were able to find images first flag which existed until 1913. They did not find the ones that existed 1913-1945, but we had some hints, including that 1913-1932 the dragon flag was replaced by the Republic of China flag, which 1932-45 was replaced by Manchukuo's flag. However no images of those CER flags were found. Please see the first CER flag and photo of it as attached.
Ben Cahoon, 27 May 2014


1913 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Rob Raeside, 27 June 2014

The Chinese document says in 1913 the dragon shoud be changed to 5 striped flag.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 16 May 2014

Replaced the imperial dragon flag with the 5 stripe republic flag in approx. the same size ratio as the dragon flag was in the first flag; Keep the Russian 3 stripe flag in the right top corner. (new Chinese republican flag was adopted in 1912).
Ben Cahoon, 27 June 2014

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Akira Oyo, 01 July 2014

Text on the flags corrected to traditional Chinese script.
Ben Cahoon, 01 July 2014


1915 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

Eric Soong, the maker of the 1897 CER flag, made a few new post-1915 CER flags based on photo evidence he found. It looks like you were right about the 1915 flags first design!
Ben Cahoon, 01 July 2014

From historical Harbin railway station photos, I think we have reached some results of the actual look of CER flags. I have made them all into SVG file and uploaded to Wikipedia. Please see attachment and links for sources.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_CER_(1915).svg
Sources:
1915 flag:
http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/eaa/id/1518/rec/7
http://tsunami311.up.n.seesaa.net/tsunami311/image/Harbin_Station_circa_1940.JPG?d=a0
http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/eaa/id/1517/rec/6
http://web1.kcn.jp/mantetu/shiryo/harbin/ha2.jpg
Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

The saga continues about the Chinese Eastern Railway flags some photos from the period have been unearthed by Eric Soong and the resultant flags are redrawn.
(A bit less speculative now, at least.)
Rob Raeside, 01 July 2014


1925 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
speculative design
image by Rob Raeside, 27 June 2014

In my opinion, after 1912/1932 the five-color flag and Manchukuo flag will replace the dragon flag, the text would also be changed. I'm not sure if the Russian flag was changed to the USSR flag after 1917.
Eric Soong, 16 May 2014

Keep the 5 stripe China flag, but replace the Russian 3 stripe flag with flag of USSR. (China recognised the USSR in 1924 and restored it to co-management of CER)
Ben Cahoon, 27 June 2014

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
speculative design
image by Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

Text on the flags corrected to traditional Chinese script.
Ben Cahoon, 01 July 2014

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

From historical Harbin railway station photos, I think we have reached some results of the actual look of CER flags. I have made them all into SVG file and uploaded to Wikipedia. Please see attachment and links for sources.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_CER_(1925).svg
Sources:
1925 flag
http://ww4.sinaimg.cn/mw600/640b33dbtw1dxpxpp7umtj.jpg
http://epaper.hljnews.cn/hljrb/res/1/20100423/82111271978375857.jpg
Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

The saga continues about the Chinese Eastern Railway flags some photos from the period have been unearthed by Eric Soong and the resultant flags are redrawn.
(A bit less speculative now, at least.)
Rob Raeside, 01 July 2014

Note: the 1925 and 1932 3rd flag images list are the correct known CER Flags from the documentary photographic evidence that Eric Song unearthed the other images shown here under 1925, 1928 & 1932 were my speculative design suggestion based on the the 1913 flag, which turned out not to be correct (even if the actual ones are a bit less interesting).
Ben Cahoon, 28 February 2015


1928 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Rob Raeside, 27 June 2014

Replace the 5 stripe China flag with the ROC red/blue flag; Keep the USSR flag. (new ROC flag was adopted in October 1928)
Ben Cahoon, 27 June 2014

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

Text on the flags corrected to traditional Chinese script.
Ben Cahoon, 01 July 2014


1932 Flag

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
speculative design
image by Rob Raeside, 27 June 2014

Replace the ROC red/blue flag with the flag of Manchukuo; keep the USSR flag. (Japan gave China's right to Manchukuo in 1932)
Ben Cahoon, 27 June 2014

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
speculative design
image by Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

Text on the flags corrected to traditional Chinese script.
Ben Cahoon, 01 July 2014

[Chinese Eastern Railway]
image by Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

From historical Harbin railway station photos, I think we have reached some results of the actual look of CER flags. I have made them all into SVG file and uploaded to Wikipedia. Please see attachment and links for sources.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_CER_(1932).svg
Sources:
1932 flag
http://img.blog.163.com/photo/n2bPyIdwStSHQanFcjkUYg==/1691664610031640083.jpg
The photo above was taken in Manchukuo era (with 大滿洲國/Great Manchukuo) on the building entrance. The flag on the left showed a Manchukuo flag above and Soviet flag below.
Eric Yang Soong, 01 July 2014

The saga continues about the Chinese Eastern Railway flags some photos from the period have been unearthed by Eric Soong and the resultant flags are redrawn.
(A bit less speculative now, at least.)
Rob Raeside, 01 July 2014

Note: the 1925 and 1932 3rd flag images list are the correct known CER Flags from the documentary photographic evidence that Eric Song unearthed the other images shown here under 1925, 1928 & 1932 were my speculative design suggestion based on the the 1913 flag, which turned out not to be correct (even if the actual ones are a bit less interesting).
Ben Cahoon, 28 February 2015