Last modified: 2016-06-02 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: deutscher turner bund | german athletics federation | dtb | athletics' cross | turnerkreuz | swastika |
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The flags of the DTB are more or less white containing a red athletics' cross. Here are some examples:
The style of the cross was modified time after time. In the first time the cross probably was build from stylized or at least serifes "F"s based upon a cross patty. The cross upon the main banner of 1953 is a well known example (in golden shades). This version probably could be seen also on other flags.
The first athletics' crosses could be seen on club flags since the middle of the 19th century. The cross was representing steadfastness, evenness and Christianity. In the begin often serifed "F"s were in use. But more and more a cross type prevailed. This type also was in use after WW2.
Source: photo of flagoid upon wall of gymhall in Eisenberg
The cross is shifted to the hoist and the two horizontal bars of each "F" are of different length. This pattern was in use at least until 1968, to be seen on a stamp issued by Deutsche Bundespost on ocaasion of the German Atletics Festival 1968.
Source: this photo
It is a banner and the cross is shifted tot he top. The cross has the current pattern. The "F" is unserifed and the two horizontal bars are of equal length.
Source: this photo
In the centre of a white flag is an inscription in black initials: "DTB" shifted to the hoist. A red athletics' cross is placed right of the inscription. Below is the full name of the federation in smaller initials. Some examples can be seen
(editorial note: According to DTB the font type of the inscriptions always should Arial)
The flags of some subdivisions, called "Landesverbände", have the same pattern. A "Landesverband" is representing the clubs of a federal state of Germany or sometimes of a part of a federal state, usually in Northrhine-Westphalia or Baden-Württemberg.
The flag above for example is that one of Berliner Turnerbund / BTB (Berlin).
The same pattern is used by MTB (Märkischer Turnerbund, Brandenburg), PTB (Pfälzer TB, Palatinate), BTV (Bayerischer TV, Bavaria), RTB (Rheinischer TB, Northrhine-Westphalia western part) WTB (Westfälischer TB, Northrhine-Westphalia eastern part), STV (Sächsischer TV, Saxony), LTV/SA (Landes TV Sachsen-Anhalt, Saxony-Anhalt) and STB (Saarländischer TB, Saarland).
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has a similar pattern. The inscription is LTV and below the name of the state. The other subdivisions have additional elements beside the athletics' cross.
The state associations are subdivided into districts ("Gaue").
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 7 Sep 2012
There had been early attempts to arrange the "F"s like the wings of a windmill, but in the end the cross succeeded. In times of national socialism the windmill type had a renaissance, but of course modified in accordance with the context of NS symbols. According to Harald Braun the clubs one by one had been enforced by the NSDAP to replace the cross by an athletics' swastika. An example can be seen on the title of a monthly from 1934, edited by Darmstädter TSG von 1846. But it is doubtful, whether there ever was any flag showing this swastika. Even the department of athletics of NSRL, the NS umbrella organization, more likely used a NSRL flag having a black rectangle in the canton with the department's name in white Gothic letters.
Boaring uniformity, predominated by the colour of red, had been a typical feature not only in national socialism but also in any communist regime.
"Many clubs even after 1933 used their old letterheads from the times of Weimar Republic (1919-1933) with the emblems of German Athletics' Union (DT) and the cross version, which had been introduced by Felsing. Although there had been no official order from the government nor from the NSDAP, the clubs successively replaced these emblems by swastikas. The swastika became predominant after the enacting of the Reichsflaggengesetz on 15 September 1935."
Source: Harald Braun: "Der Turner - innen Gruß und Symbol", dtb Pressedienst, translated by Klaus-Michael Schneider
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 Sep 2012
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