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Unidentified Flags 1933-1945 (Third Reich, Germany)

Last modified: 2005-10-22 by santiago dotor
Keywords: unidentified flag |
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Red flag with white disc, black eagle with white swastika

I have an authentic German Nazi eagle flag that I am trying to identify. The middle of the flag is a white circle with the eagle (looking right) in black on it. There is a swastika covering the middle of the eagle (back in the color white). The flag is red on both sides of the circle with a large thick sown black patch in the upper right. The stitched writing on the patch is in German and I cannot translate it. It goes like something as follows: Gau XI / Schutzenges. / St. Hubertus / e.D.Frechen gegr.1913.

James Bohanek, 3 June 2002

I can only attempt a reconstitution and translation, as follows:

Gau XI = district XI
Schützenges[ellschaft] = shooting society
St. Hubertus = St. Hubert
e.D. Frechen = a city called Frechen south-west of Cologne?
gegr[ündet] 1913 = founded 1913
Therefore, I guess the flag was used by a shooting or hunting society. St. Hubert is the saint patron of hunters.

Ivan Sache, 8 June 2002

This flag must be a composite; the Nazi party did not exist in 1913. The description is garbled, but it sounds as if the flag of a St. Hubert shooting club was sewn onto a Nazi flag (...) and "Gau XI" was then embroidered onto it.

John Ayer, 8 June 2002

The inscription would suggest a rifle club formed in 1913 and nazified probably around 1933. The flag seems a little like that of the German National League for Physical Education, but the fit is only approximate and besides I do not think rifle clubs were in that outfit.

Norman Martin, 9 June 2002

Firstly it must be pointed out —as John Ayer did— that this flag certainly does not date from 1913. It seems to be a flag of the St. Hubertus shooting club at Frechen, as already suggested. There still exists a shooting club of this name at Frechen (near Cologne). See their website. It is common practice for many different kinds of associations and clubs (Vereine) here in Germany to have a flag, usually embroidered. Originally something like the "regimental colours" of especially shooting clubs, later other clubs (voluntary fire brigade; traditional custom club; veterans' club; sports club etc.) also adopted this practice. Nowadays there are probably tens of thousands of these (different) flags in clubs in Germany. A whole terra incognita for vexillology!

Every now and then either the old, traditional flag has to be restored, or a new flag has to be bought. This seems to be the case for this particular flag, as the swastika implies that either they made a new flag (after 1933) instead of the old one, or this was their first flag anyway. I think it is quite improbable that they just charged their old flag with a swastika.

The Gau XI in the inscription is probably not a Nazi Gau, but the Schützengau, the district of a higher level shooting association).

Marcus Schmöger, 14 June 2002

I guess the "e.D." is actually "e.V." —Fraktur letters V and D are rather similar—, such as their website suggests. The German abbreviation "e.V." stands for "eingetragener Verein", which means "registered association".

Ole Andersen, 14 June 2002

Red flag with black swastika outlined in white and eagle in canton

My grandfather brought back a Nazi flag from WWII. It is the typical red flag with a black swastika outlined in white and a eagle holding a smaller swastika in the upper left hand corner. There is a stamp "R.D.F 80 X 130 and then a name "Curt Brautigam" - "Plauen, Vogtland" on the flag as well.

Todd E. Crowell, 3 June 2002

Though the white disc is not explicitly mentioned in the description, this is probably a Reichsdienstflagge.

Santiago Dotor, 7 October 2005