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Military Colours of the Schleswig-Holstein Army 1848 - 1851 (Germany)

Flaggen der Schleswig-Holsteinischen Armee 1848 - 1851

Last modified: 2020-05-13 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: schleswig-holstein | lions(blue;2) | nettle leaf | tricolour |
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[Civil Flag (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 3:5 image by Santiago Dotor, 22 Jan 1998
current civil flag of Schleswig-Holstein

See also:

Original Military Colour (1848)

[Schleswig-Holstein Army original colour 1848] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017

The original military colour of the Schleswig-Holstein Army (1848 - 1851) is dark red (approx. Danish orlogs rød), the coat of arms is shifted to the fly, displaying two sinister facing lions passant guardant Azure in a yellow shield representing Schleswig, surrounded by the white nettle leaf representing Holstein. The ratio is approx. 7:13. The heraldry is based upon the merchant ensign of the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf from 1696.
The flag today is kept within the Museum in Gottorf Castle.
Source: this webpage
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017

According to Jan Schllürmann this flag had however never been an army flag. The army in the campaign between 1848 and 1851 used only blue-white-red and black-red-yellow tricolours, both with stripes of equal width, for Schleswig-Holstein and the German Federation. It was instead a merchant ensign. The man-of-war had been the German tricolour black-red-yellow, acknowledged only by France and the United States of America, for the flotilla of Schleswig-Holstein had formally been part of the fleet of the German Confederation.
The flag displayed in this webpage is a slightly modified Gottorf naval flag from 1696, which was also in use for a short range in 1848 as merchant ensign of Schleswig-Holstein. The army never used it.
Sources: Jan Schlürmann: "Die Gottorfer Seeflagge von 1696", published in "Der Flaggenkurier" no.47, pp.3-5 and Jan Schlürmann by email on 22 September 2017

Erroneous Tricolour (1850)

[Schleswig-Holstein Army battle flag 1850] 3:5 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017

The 1850 battle flag is a plain Schleswig-Holstein tricolour with the blue stripe having double width.
Source: this webpage
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 Apr 2017

The tricolour with bigger blue stripe for me is an unexplicable error, as the Schleswig-Holstein tricolour otherwise always is depicted with stripes of equal width, (as it is in use since today). The Schleswig-Holstein Army had no proper colours in classical meaning, which means no colours for units incl. their numbers. Between March 1848 and February 1851 each battalion used two flags, a simple Schleswig-Holstein tricolour and a simple German tricolour [both with stripes of equal width].
Source: Jan Schlürmann by email on 22 September 2017

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