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Jack 1871-1918 (Germany)

Naval Jack, Kriegsschiffgösch, Kriegsgösch

Last modified: 2012-09-05 by pete loeser
Keywords: german empire | jack | goesch | kriegsgösch | iron cross | cross: formy (black) |
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Introduction

The jack (Kriegsschiffgösch) was the black-white-red flag with an Iron Cross in the middle. The size of the Iron Cross is slightly larger than 2/3 of the height. The size of the jack 3/7 that of the ensign on the same ship. This design was used for the jack 1933-1935 and for the ensign (with adjustments as to size) for the same period. In that form, it was used for ceremonial purposes 1935-1945. Illustrated in Crampton 1990 p. 42, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1912 vol. 4, facing p. 799, National Geographic 1917 p. 350, no. 602 and Flaggenbuch 1939 p. 8. Note that the dimensions in Flaggenbuch 1939 are for the ceremonial use of a flag of this design as an ensign and are almost certainly large for its use as a jack.
Norman Martin, 1998


Jack 1871-1903
In use by the North German Confederation/Norddeutscher Bund since 1867

[Jack 1867-1903 (Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé and António Martins
Flag adopted 1867, abolished 26th September 1903

The cross in the image is slightly small. Relative height should be 2/3rds.
Norman Martin, 7 June 2001

Editor's note: see also Proportions of the War Ensign and Jack 1871-1918.

When the Empire was established in 1871, use of (...) the Kriegsgösch (jack) of the North German League was maintained (...). By a Decree of 2 March 1886, its use was authorized for the rulers and princes of ruling houses of German states and for mayors of the Hansa cities. (...) All of this was apparently confirmed by an Ordinance of 20 January 1893.
Source: my series [of contributions to FOTW] on the flags of the German Empire of 1998, much material from the article I wrote with Rüdiger Dreyhaupt (Martin and Dreyhaupt 1999) and some other material.
Norman Martin, 26 January 2001


Jack 1903-1919

[Jack 1903-1919 (Germany)] 3:5 Image by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 26th September 1903, abolished 27th September 1919

The relative height of the cross should be 16/21 (0.76).
Norman Martin, 7 June 2001

Editor's note: see also Proportions of the War Ensign and Jack 1871-1918.

Allegedly as a result of an incident in which a Russian warship mistakenly raised the British white ensign to salute a German squadron, on 26 September 1903 both the ensign and the jack were changed. In the case of the jack there was an increase in the size of the Iron Cross to slightly greater than 2/3 of the height of the flag.
Source: my series [of contributions to FOTW] on the flags of the German Empire of 1998, much material from the article I wrote with Rüdiger Dreyhaupt (Martin and Dreyhaupt 1999) and some other material.
Illustration: Martin and Dreyhaupt 1999, no. 16.
Norman Martin, 26 January 2001


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