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Duchy of Brunswick until 1918 (Germany)

Herzogtum Braunschweig

Last modified: 2013-11-20 by german editorial team
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[Duchy of Brunswick 1830-1918 (Germany)] 2:3
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 1830, abolished 1935, readopted 1952

See also:

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Flag until 1814

[Brunswick until 1814 (Germany)] 2:3
by Santiago Dotor

H. Grote, Geschichte der Welfischen Stammwappen, Leipzig 1863, quotes the Braunschweiger Anzeigen 1748 that the colours of Brunswick(-Wolfenbüttel) have always been yellow and blue. Only from 1814 until 1830 were the colours blue and white, he says. Thereafter Duke Wilhelm made them blue and yellow.

Theo van der Zalm, 2 July 2001

Flag 1814-1830

[Brunswick 1814-1830 (Germany)] 2:3
by Santiago Dotor

Znamierowski 1999 shows a Brunswick 1748-1814 flag as horizontally blue-white.

Santiago Dotor, 26 September 2000

Flag 1830-1918

[Brunswick (Germany)] 2:3
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 1830, abolished 1935, readopted 1952

Landesfarben: Blue-yellow bicolor. Also in use for local and regional authorities since 1952.

Norman Martin, March 1998

The flag was blue over yellow, according to Siebmachers Wappenbuch 1878.

Theo van der Zalm, 4 September 2000


The ducal coat of arms was: Quarterly of twelve,

  1. or, semy of hearts gules, a lion rampant azure (Lüneburg)
  2. gules, two lions passant guardant or (Brunswick / Braunschweig)
  3. azure, a lion rampant argent crowned or (Eberstein)
  4. gules, a lion rampant or within a bordure compony argent and gules (Homburg)
  5. or, a lion rampant gules crowned azure (Diepholz)
  6. gules, a lion rampant or (Diepholz)
  7. quarterly:
    • 1 and 4 or, two lion's paws palewise sable (Hoja)
    • 2 and 3 parted per fess, in chief barry of four gules and argent, and in base gyronny of eight argent and azure (Bruckhausen)
  8. azure, an eagle displayed argent (Diepholz)
  9. parted per fess checky of three lines gules and argent in chief, argent, two bars gules in base (Hohenstein)
  10. argent, a stag's antler in bend gules (Regentstein)
  11. argent, a stag trippant sable (Klettenburg)
  12. argent, a stag's antler in bend sinister sable (Blankenstein)
Pengel describes and illustrates the arms, but the description is not the same as the illustration (!), so I have gone with the illustration.

Ian Sumner, 7 July 2000

The house of Brunswick or Guelph [Welf] family (...) was divided in 1546 into two branches, the senior line of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel that ruled over the duchy of Brunswick and the younger line of Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Calenberg which ruled over Hanover. (...) Both branches used in their arms the two lions of Brunswick (said to be granted by the English king to his son in law, the duke of Brunswick in the thirteenth century), the blue lion of Lüneburg and the white horse [on red] of (Lower) Saxony.

Theo van der Zalm, 4 September 2000

Editor's note: see also the discussion about the Westphalian Coat-of-Arms (white horse on red).

Regimental Colours 18th Century

I am looking for flags of Brunswick regiments in 1750. Brunswick is the English name for the county Braunschweig which is located near Hannover (in the East). There were Brunswick regiments in the Prussian army, but I already have these. These regiments wore the blue-style uniform of the Prussian army. I am looking for the regular Brunswick regiments. The infantry seems to have worn a red uniform. At the War Flags website there flags of the Napoleonic era, but maybe they had changed since 1750.

Michael Kaufmann, 6 July 2000

The earliest Braunschweig regimental flags I have are those of 4 regiments which fought on the British side of the American Revolution (1776-1777). Good representations of 3 of them (Specht, Prinz Friedrich and Rhetz) can be found on p. 41 of Liliane and Fred Funcken, L'uniforme et les Armes des Soldats des Etats-unis, Tournai (Belgium), Casterman, 1979. A good representation of the fourth (Regiment von Riedesel) is on p. 238 of Richardson, Standards and Colors of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. The latter has the following text:

Davis described the colors of the Brunswick regiments, as follows "By a letter from Director Walter (April 15, 1907) of the Vaterländisches Museum in Brunswick. I am informed that, while the Brunswick flags which were saved by Mde. von Riedesel and brought back to Brunswick, were deposited in the arsenal there, they are no longer in existence. Only four of the Brunswick regiments had flags. All were of the same pattern, but of different colors, namely: The Prince Frederick regiment had a black flag with a yellow cross; the von Riedesel regiment's flag was yellow with a blue cross; the Rhetz regiment's flag was green with a white cross; and the Specht regiment's flag was red with a white cross. The centres of all the flags were red with a white horse (the Horse of Brunswick) and the decorations, monograms, crowns, mottoes, etc. were painted in gold and color. The print I have made of such a flag is from a large water-color sent me by the Ducal Museum in Brunswick. The motto NUMQUAM RETRORSUM is still on one of the colors of the 92nd regiment (Brunswick). The cypher in the corners, a double C is for Carl, the reigning Duke.

The Brunswick Dragoons brought with them to Canada four small swallow-tail standards, but did not carry them in the field, as the regiment fought on foot. These standards were blue with decorations painted in gold and colors. The two sides were not the same: on one side was the Brunswick horse, in white, standing on green grass; on the other were the large Brunswick arms emblazoned in their proper colors."

Please note that these flags differ from those carried by Brunswick troops after 1813 (including Waterloo).

Norman Martin, 7 July 2000

Information on the Brunswick army of the period is thin on the ground. The information below comes from: R.D. Rengel, Seven Years' War: Hanover, Brunswick, Hessen-Cassel, Schaumberg-Lippe Supplement 1740-62, Birmingham (U.K.), the author, 1984. He quotes only one source: Friedrich Schirmer, Die Heere der kriegsführenden Staaten 1756-63 (publication details not given). There are no pictures, so I will have to try and describe the flags. Each infantry regiment carried one white colour and four coloured. The white colour had in the centre the Ducal arms. The coloured colours were in the regimental facing colour — Leibregiment red, von Zastrow yellow, von Imhoff white and von Behr red. The central device of the Leibregiment's colour was the Ducal cipher (the letter C doubled and reversed) in gold on a red disc with a gold border, below a crown. That of the other regiments was two red discs framed in gold, and side by side, the one towards the hoist with the Ducal cipher, the one towards the hoist red with a running white horse on green base. Above and in between the two discs was a crown.

This pattern of colour must have been abandoned not long afterwards, since Brunswick regiments fighting in the War of Independence bore completely different patterns. The regiments did wear a Prussian-style uniform in dark blue. Facings were red for Leib[regiment] and von Behr, white for Imhoff and yellow for Zastrow; buttons were white metal for Behr and Zastrow, yellow for the other two.

Ian Sumner, 7 July 2000

During 1776-83 —American War of Independence— the various Brunswick regiments in America bore colours thus:

  • Prinz Friedrich: black sheet with yellow wavy cross
  • von Riedesel: yellow with a blue wavy cross
  • von Rhetz: green with a white wavy cross
  • von Specht: red with a white cross
All the flags had a central badge of a white running horse on a red disc bearing a gold scroll with the motto 'Nunquam Retrorsum' within a gold laurel wreath and below a crown; the crowned ducal cipher in each corner, and a fired grenade on each arm of the cross.

They are thus slightly different from the pattern of 1757-63. The matter is complicated by the fact that the colonel of the regiment which had yellow colours in 1757, von Zastrow, resigned his colonelcy in favour of Prinz Friedrich in 1761. I am unable to prove that the earlier Prinz Friedrich regiment is the same as the later one. I would normally go to the main source for this kind of thing, Historische Rang-und-Stammliste der Deutschen Heere by Bredow and Wedel, but it does not have good coverage of Brunswick regiments. If anyone has any ideas where to find this information, then we can seal this page down good and proper.

Ian Sumner, 22 March 2002