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Unidentified 'Rhine Republic' Flag 1806 (Germany)

Last modified: 2012-10-19 by pete loeser
Keywords: rhineland | rhine republic |
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[Unidentified 'Rhine Republic' Flag 1806 (Germany)] Image by Rob Raeside

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I remember seeing the Rhine Republic flag as being a horizontal tricolor of green-white-black.
V. Ward, 7 September 1996

I have seen an image of the flag of the short-lived Rhenanian Republic in an old book, but I am not sure of the first colour (blue or green — it was difficult to distinguish). The details of this flag were published in The Flag Bulletin, but the issue is now out of print. This may be the flag of the Rhine Confederation (not Republic) of 1806.
Jaume Ollé, 11 September 1996

It should be noted that most of the records of territories of the Confederation of the Rhine were destroyed, probably because the various princes were embarrassed by their collaboration with the French. As a result much of the flag data of the Napoleonic period is difficult to come by. It should be noted that similar difficulties in getting a clear picture also happened in later times, for example in 1918-21, in that case primarily because of the fluidity of the situation.
Norman Martin, April 1998

The first republic was created around 1797 by the French and was named Republique Cisrenane (Cisrhenian Republic). The flag was horizontal blue-red-green (red-blue-green horizontal and blue-red-green vertical variants are also known). In 1801 the Rhine Confederation was created, under Napoleon, without a flag of its own. In 1921 the Rhenish republic was proclaimed.
Jaume Ollé, 23 March 1998

The entry of a Rhine Republic in 1806 is more than puzzling to me. First, the period of French satellite republics ended in 1804-1806, as Napoleon —having crowned himself emperor in 1804— gradually transformed the existing satellite republics into monarchies for his relatives. The Cisrhenian Republic of 1797 existed only for about 2 to 3 months. For more details see my website. If the date 1806 is correct, it cannot be a republic, but is probably the flag of the Confederation of the Rhine — in contrast to the Cisrhenian Republic, which was located on the river's left bank, the confederation was located on the right bank. I suggest to check the source and to change the title line — in 1806 no Rhine Republic existed.
Alexander Ganse, 12 November 2001

I also find the Rhine republics contributions confusing. Not only because I doubt a 1806 republic, but because of the mess about the post-World War One republics and flags. I wonder whether this green-white-black flag was actually used by the short-lived 1919 (or longer lived 1921-1924) Rhine Republic and became mistakenly associated with the 1797 republic or the 1806 confederation? Or perhaps it was the flag of the 1806 confederation, later used by the 20th century republic?
Santiago Dotor, 12 November 2001

The Confederation of the Rhine had no flag but the French [flag] and the Imperial Standard of its protector (Napoleon). Under the first Rhenish Republic proclaimed on 1 June 1919 (...) the use of the traditional flag (green, white and red) or of a green, white and black vertical one (maybe a labor union or political flag) might have been possible [sic].
Jaume Ollé, translated by Blas Delgado, 13 November 2001


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