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Roland Linie (German Shipping Company)

Roland Linie AG, Bremen

Last modified: 2019-07-13 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: roland linie | key(bendy) |
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[Roland Linie] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 July 2019 See also:

Brief History

More on the beginnings of the Roland Linie at The Ships List (where a variant flag, with open-work key, is shown - not significant, perhaps): "The Roland Linie AG was founded at the end of 1905 as a independent shipping company to open new routes to the west coast of North America, later extended to west and east coast of South America and the Caribbean.  (...) At the beginning of WW1 the Roland Linie owned fifteen ships. (...)   Four ships were lost during the conflict and after the armistice the rest of the fleet had to be delivered to the Allies.
In 1920 the Roland Linie was back on the seven seas again with several ships and at the end of that year the sailings to the west coast of South America were started. (...) The Norddeutscher Lloyd took over the Roland Linie AG at the end of 1925 and fleet and personnel were merged into the Norddeutscher Lloyd in 1925/1926, which transferred its European services to a new company the Roland Linie Aktien Gesellschaft and existed under NDL banner (later Hapag-Lloyd AG) until 1992."
Jan Mertens, 28 June 2009


Flag reported 1905

The company was based in Bremen. The flag was white, displaying a white key in bend outlined red, a red initial "R" in the lower hoist and a red initial "L" in the upper fly.
Source: Flaggenbuch 1905, part V, p.12, image no.48
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 July 2019


Flag reported 1926

[Roland Linie 1926] image by Jarig Bakker, 9 May 2004 The company was based in Bremen. White flag, a key and "RL", all red.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Jarig Bakker, 9 May 2004


Flag variant discovered 2006

[Roland Linie variant] image by Eugene Ipavec, 29 June 2009
To complicate matters a three-coloured variant showed up on German eBay a few years ago: this was offer no. 120033407056 (end 25 Sep 2006) put up by "le sas".  Dimensions given as approx. 117 cm x 201 cm, it does not have red initials but (unserifed) blue ones.
Generally speaking the use of Bremen's colours (red and white) and emblem (key) should not surprise but I cannot explain the change in colour.
Jan Mertens, 28 June 2009


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