mobile View, to the German Version tap the flag
- 1866–1945 Prussian Province
• Meaning/Origin of the Flag
• Coat of Arms
• Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms
• Numbers and Facts
• Origin of the Country's Name
Colours of the country,
The flag of Hesse-Nassau combines the colours of the City of Frankfurt and of the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel, red and white, with one of the colors of the Duchy of Nassau, the blue. The flag was introduced in 1866, as these territories got united with parts of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt into the Prussian Province of Hessen-Nassau. From 1875, the provinces of Prussia could largely operate in self-governing. There was a provincial parliament and a provincial government (Provincial Committee). Each province had its own colors (Landesfarben), which were also used as flag, and they had also their own coat of arms. If the provincial governments put for official purposes (official flag) their coats of arms on a flag with the provincial colors is not handed down beyond doubt and not for all provinces. For Hesse-Nassau ist that not given, what is weird, because without coat of arms there is a possibility for confusion with the flag of the Netherlands. (Just like here, could one unmistakeable official flag have looked like.) Some sources suggest that the similarity with the flag of the Netherlands was intended to refer to the Dutch Royal House of Orange-Nassau. This can be excluded, because such relationships were in the Prussian provinces, which were former monarchies, absolutely impossible. A reference may be only made to Hanover, where the use of the flag of the former Guelph dynasty was even banned from 1866.
Another incident for the flag was the seizure of power by the National Socialists in the German Empire in 1933. All official non-swastika flags, that refered to federalism, regional references or the old German Empire were abolished between 1933 and 1935. For the National Socialists, the federal structure of the German Empire, its historically grown countries, was considered as outdated, as relics of a past to be overcome. In this sense, several laws were enacted, on 31st of March in 1933 the 'Provisional Law for the phasing of the countries with the Empire', on 7th of April 1933 the 'Second Law for the phasing of the countries with the Empire' and finally, on 30th January in 1934 the 'Law on the rebuilding of the empire'. Thus, the federal structure of the German Empire was replaced by the gau-structure of the NSDAP, the countries became meaningless. From now on, offices and authorities had to use the swastika flag as official flag, until September 15th in 1935, when by the flag-law was legislated a new created official flag for all the offices and authorities of the empire. The prime ministers of the countries, which latest in 1933 all came from the NSDAP – now mostly called Reichsstatthalter (maybe translated as 'governor') – however remained in office until 1945. This was then also applied on the provinces of the state of Prussia. Their sovereign duties were taken over by the Gau structure of the NSDAP, which sometimes coincided with the borders of the provinces and sometimes they were new created. The respective provincial flags disappeared. The corresponding country colours continued, with restrictions, but definitly not in the form of flags. They were used, for example, occasionally on uniforms of the SA or in some ranks of the Hitler Youth in the breast cord.
After the war, the administration within the German Empire was rebuilt, but locally, following the structure of the countries. These have been partly old countries, and some new countries were created. Sometimes they bethought the old country colours and reactivated them – or they created new ones – for limited sovereign duties, which were under the control of the Allies. With the founding of the FRG and the GDR, an internal country-structure was finalised for both entities and corresponding official flags were introduced for these countries.
Source: Volker Preuß, Jürgen Kaltschmitt, Uniform-Fibel
Coat of arms of the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau,
Source, by: Wikipedia (D)
The blazon is divided into three parts by an inverted fork-cut and shows left up on blue ground the white-red lion of the Electorate of Hessen (Hesse-Kassel). Rigt up on blue ground the golden lion of the Duchy of Nassau. In the underneath part, on red ground, the white eagle of the town Frankfurt, which was in 1866 as well incorporated into Hesse-Nassau.
Source: Volker Preuß
The Prussian provinces from 1871 to 1920, clickable map:
Source: Volker Preuß
Source: F. W. Putzgers Historischer Schul-Atlas, 1914, modyfied by: Volker Preuß
The map shows the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau within the borders between the years 1866 and 1928, within a brown outline, on an historical map.
Area: 6.063 square miles
Inhabitants: 2.400.000 (1920)
Density of Population: 396 inh./sq.mi. (1920)
Religions (1920): 68% Protestant, 28% Roman Catholic, 2% Jewish
Capital: Kassel, 171.000 inh. (1920)
Currency: Prussian Currency
Currency from 1875: German Currency
1866 · the in the German War on the hand of Austria fightig states Electorate of Hesse-Kassel and Duchy of Nassau were occupied by Prussian troops, became liquidated and merged on 7th of December in 1868 with the City of Frankfurt, parts of Bavaria (Orb District) and parts od the Grand Duchy of Hesse (Districts of Homburg and Biedenkopf) to the Province of Hessen-Nassau
1st of May in 1929 · the Free State of Waldeck becomes a part of Prussia and is incorporated into the Province of Hesse-Nassau
1st of October in 1932 · the District of Wetzlar becomes separated from the Rhine Province and incorporated into the Province of Hesse-Nassau, and the District of Schaumburg County becomes separated from the Province of Hesse-Nassau and incorporated into the Province of Hanover
1st of July in 1944 · momentarily division into the provinces of 'Kurhessen' and 'Nassau'
19th of September in 1945 · with parts of Hesse-Darmstadt (except Rhine-Hessen) united into Great Hesse
1st of December in 1946 · renamed in Land of Hesse
Source: Atlas zur Geschichte,
Die Bezeichnung "Hessen-Nassau" ist eine Zusammensetzung zweier geographischer Begriffe, der geschaffen wurde, um eine neue Provinz zu bezeichnen, die durch die Zusammenlegung der Territorien der Stadt Frankfurt, des Kurfüstentums Hessen-Kassel, und des Herzogtums Nassau in Folge des Deutschen Krieges von 1866 entstanden. Der Name "Hessen" geht zurück auf einen gleichnamigen Germanischen Stamm der zur Zeit der Römer hier lebte. Dieser Stamm wurde von den Römern "Chatti" genannt. Der Name "Nassau" verweist auf eine "feuchte Aue" des Flusses Lahn, an dem die Siedlung Nassau gegründet wurde.
Source: Handbuch der geographischen Namen