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Kingdom of Westphalia 1807 - 1813 (Germany)

Königreich Westphalen / French: Royaume de Westphalie

Last modified: 2020-07-04 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: westphalen | horse(forcene) | lion | gyronny | eagle(golden) |
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[Königreich Westphalen plain bicolour] 2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 27 June 2020 See also:

Königreich Westphalen / Royaume de Westphalie

The Kingdom of Westphalia was established by the French Emperor Napoleon I after the Treaty of Tilsit on 15 November 1807. Before in 1806 Prussia had been defeated in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt by French Imperial troops. Planned as an exemplary state according to French patterns, Napoleon I imposed the 1st written constitution in Germany and granted e.g. equal rights for every subject, separation of powers incl. independent justice and emancipation of Jews. And first the new state was welcomed and supported by city dwellers. Nevertheless it was also sensed as a puppet state under French occupation, especially by the rural people. And the atmosphere turned evil by two incidents. The French stole numerous works of art and brought it to Paris, in pretence of displaying the artwork to the people. The worst was that 26,000 men had to join the Westphalian Army. Since 1809 they had to strike down insurrections in Germany and Spain. In 1812 the whole army was mobilised for the disastrous campaign in Russia. 25,000 men died in French service. After the Battle of Leipzig and the French defeat in 1813 the whole kingdom broke down very quickly.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

Territories of Westphalen

The kingdom had only the name in common with nowadays and historical Westfalen, but with a different spelling, the "f" was replaced by a "ph". It had mainly consisted of historical Ostfalen (Eastphalia). Kassel became the capital of the kingdom and the territory consisted mainly of Hessen-Kassel (Kurhessen), the Duchy of Braunschweig (-Grubenhagen) and parts of the defeated Prussia on the western bank of the Elbe River, among those a few former bishoprics, which had been acquired by Prussia shortly before in 1803. In 1806 Prussia had to annex the Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, inofficially also called Electorate of Hannover, under French pressure. The electorate had to join the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1810. But already in 1811 the Northwest of the kingdom, including the mouths of all German rivers and all major seaports, was incorporated into France, in order to secure the Continental Blockade against Great Britain.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

Westphalen plain Bicolour

The flag was a white blue horizontal bicolour.
Sources: this online catalogue
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

Westphalen Bicolour with Royal Arms

[Königreich Westphalen bicolour w/ CoA] 2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020 based on image of Jörg Majewski

The flag was a white blue horizontal bicolour with centred greater arms, including mantle and a royal crown.
Sources: this online catalogue and Georg Hassel: "Statistischer Repertorium über das Königreich Westphalen", Braunschweig 1813, title.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

Westphalen Flag of the Halloren Brotherhood

[Westphalen Flag of the Halloren Brotherhood] 1:1 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

The flag is white with centred middle arms.
This flag might be the only one still existing. The brotherhood had the privilege to receive a flag from any of its sovereigns and thus received one by King Jerome of Westphalen on 20 December 1807.
Source: Leipziger Volkszeitung, edition 11 February 2013, discovered by Andreas Herzfeld
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

Westphalen Coat of Arms

[Westphalen Coat of Arms] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider and Ivan Sache, 15 June 2020

Shield quartered, 1st quarter Gules a horse forcene Argent; 2nd quarter quartered, above right Gules two lions passant Or in pale, above left and beneath right Or a chief Azure charged with two 6-point stars Argent, beneath left Or a lion rampant guardant Gules crowned Azure, over all quarters an inescutcheon Azure charged with a lion rampant barry of ten of Argent and Gules crowned Or; 3rd quarter gyronny of 16 of Gules and Argent with a central inescutcheon Or charged with a lion rampant Gules; 4th quarter quartered, above right Gules two lions passant Or in pale, above left Or a lion rampant Gules crowned Azure, beneath right Or semy of heartlets Gules a lion rampant Azure, beneath left Gules a lion rampant Or; over all an inescutcheon Azure charged with an eagle Or standing on a bundle of thunderbolts of the same.
Meaning:
The arms are reflecting the incorporated territories. The 1st quarter displays the silver horse of Westfalen and was later on also representing the Electorate of Hannover. The 2nd quarter displays the arms of Hessen-Kassel in the inescutcheon over other territories incorporated before by Hessen-Kassel, the County of Diez (above right), the County of Nidda (above left), the County of Ziegenhain (beneath right) and the County of Katzenelnbogen (beneath left). Diez became a dominion of Hessen in 1479, the three other counties already in 1450. Not represented is the County of Schaumburg, which also belonged to Hessen since 1648. The 3rd quarter was newly designed for non-specified territories around Magdeburg, its inescutcheon displayed the old arms of the Duchy of Braunschweig. The 4th quarter combined the arms of the Duchy of Braunschweig (-Grubenhagen) (above right), the County of Diepholz (above left), the Duchy of (Braunschweig-)Lüneburg (beneath right) and Lauterburg. The central inecutcheon displays a Napoleonic Eagle. Around the shield are the chains of the Order of the Crown of Westphalia at dexter and the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour at sinister. The shield is superimposing a pair of sceptres in saltire, being typical of Napoleonic heraldry. The sceptre in bend has a finial like a hand swearing an oath, the one in bend sinister a flower with eight petals.
[Westphalen Coat of Arms details] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020
The Order of the Crown of Westphalia is golden, over a coronet are the royal arms supported by a lion at dexter and a horse at sinister, topped by a Napoleonic Eagle. The Grand Cross of the legion of Honour is the highest class of this order, in times of Napoleon I a white Maltese Cross with a golden medal with the portrait of the Emperor in centre, surrounded by a green wreath and topped by a royal crown and further above an initial "N" in a golden oval.
Sources: English WIKIPEDIA and Georg Hassel: "Statistischer Repertorium über das Königreich Westphalen", Braunschweig 1813, title.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020

Some remarks are necessary, because there are some contradictions between different sources:
Parts of the arms don't fit the arms of their territories. For unknown reasons, I guess the flag makers didn't know the exact pattern, there are differences. I followed the image as given by Jörg Majewski and especially by Georg Hassel, as he is the only contemporary. The artist in WIKIPEDIA obviously made amendations due to the arms, as they should be. You can notice on the flag of the brotherhood, that on its flag are different patterns [described in brackets]:
1) County of Nidda: Shield enhanced parted per fess of Sable, charged with two facetted 8-point stars Argent in fess, and Or [parted per fess of Azure, charged with two facetted 8-point stars Argent in fess, and Sable]
2) County of Ziegenhain: Shield enhanced parted per fess of Sable, charged with a 6-point star Argent, and Or [parted per fess of Azure, charged with two 6-point stars Argent in fess, and Sable].
Please also note that the black colour on the brotherhood's flag might be darkened through the centuries. On the other hand Georg Hassel displays the two arms with 8-point mullets and the lower field is obviously darker. But he only gives a black and white image.
3) The image in WIKIPEDIA displays the arms erroneously with just one order (Crown of Westphalia), Georg Hassel displays the arms with both orders. Furthermore he has no Napolenic star on top of the shield but a rocaille ornament. And finally the crown isn't topped by an orb but by some leaves in fan.
4) Furthermore the lions of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen and Diez as well should be passant guardant, what doesn't really matter for the former, as the heads are covered by the central inescutcheon.
5) I couldn't find any information about Lauterburg, probably it is located near Coburg.
6) Not represented in the arms were the annexed parts of Prussia and a few minor entities like the Counties of Mansfeld, Rietberg and Stolberg and free imperial cities like Goslar and Nordhausen.
7) What I call the Greater Arms, is the shield with additional sceptres and orders with chains, a crown and a mantle Gules semy of golden bees and inside stuffed with ermine. What I call Middle Arms is nearly the same but without mantle.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 June 2020


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