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1145–1254 · Landgraviate of Thuringia
• Meaning/Origin of the Flag
• Coat of Arms
• Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms
• Numbers and Facts
• The states of Hesse
• Origin of the Country's Name
Flag of the country (colours),
Source, by: Flags of the World
Electorate of Hesse,
Flag of the Elector,
Source, by: Flags of the World
Meaning/Origin of the Flag
The flags of the Hessian Lanfgraviates were always red-and white or white-red striped bicolours. The colours go back to the lion in the coat of arms of the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the 12th and 13th centuries, from which the country finally emerged, which was horizontally striped in white and red. In 1803 the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel acquired the electoral dignity and was levied to an elector. The heraldic effects are not known. However, it was permitted to the elector from 1815 to call himself with the "Royal Highness" address, which immediately had the effect that the coat of arms of the Electorate of Hesse was crowned by a royal crown. The flag continued unchanged. The Elector had his own flag. It was a three striped bicolore, with three stripes in red, white and red in the rato 1:2:1, with the blue (but golden bordered) shield and the white-red striped lion in the middle. In the Fratricidal War of 1866 fought the Grand Duchy of Hesse (Hesse-Darmstadt), the Electorate of Hesse (Hesse-Kassel), the Duchy of Nassau and the City of Frankfurt on the side of Austria against Prussia. After the victory of Prussia, some of these territories (e.g. even the Electorate of Hesse) became combined to the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, and its history as a country came to an end.
Source: Reservistenverband Kreisgruppe Südhessen, Wikipedia (D), HGIS - Historisches Deutschland, Flags of the World
Coat of Arms
lesser coat of arms of the Electorate of Hesse
middle coat of arms of Electorate of Hesse,
Source, by: Wikipedia (D)
Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms
The coats of arms of the Hessian Landgraviates showed a blue shield with a white and red striped lion. This golden armed, golden crowned, lion rampante is the Lion of the Ludowingers, an originally Thuringian symbol, which goes back to the end of the 12th century, to the Landgrave Hermann I. of the dynasty of the Ludowingers.
The middle coat of arms of the Electorate of Hesse shows nine fields: 1. Grand Duchy of Fulda, 2. Principality of Hanau (above), Principality of Katzenelnbogen (below), 3. Principality of Hersfeld, 4. County of Ziegenhain, 5. the heart shield, Landgraviate of Hesse, 6. County of Nidda, 7. Principality of Fritzlar, 8. County of Diez (above), County of Schaumburg (below), 9. Principality of Isenburg. The shield is crowned with the crown of a king. The monarch was only an elector, but acquired in 1815 on the Vienna Congress the right to use the adress of "Royal Highness".
Originally, the lion was depicted with eight white and red striped bars, in the 15th Century, there arised nine stripes. There exist depictions of the lion with one or two tails. This is without heraldic significance.
Source: Historischer Verein Ingelheim
After the extinction of the male line of Landgraves – the House of Ludowinger – in 1247, there was a succession war between the Margraves of Meissen (House Wettin) and the Duchy of Brabant (Sophie, Duchess of Brabant, House of Ludowinger). The war ended in 1264 and much parts in the east of the Landgraviate of Thuringia came to the House of Wettin. Those became later the Wettin-Ernestine duchies. The West came as Landgraviate of Hesse to the son of Sophie of Brabant. The Thuringian coat of arms (white-red striped lion on blue) was adopted by both dynasties. The as a result of the Hessian division of 1567 (and even later) arising lines of the Landgraves of Hesse, all continued the blue shield with the white-red striped with lion.
Source: Reservistenverband Kreisgruppe Südhessen, Wikipedia (D), HGIS - Historisches Deutschland
National (oval cockade) of the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel
Round cockade of ribbon and national of the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel
Cockade of the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel
Hesse-Kassel had been ruthlessly dissolved by Napoleon, and its territory had largely been handed over as Kingdom of Westphalen to his brother Jerome ("King Lustick"). In 1809 there were Kur-Hessian exile troops in Austria, the "Kur-Hessische Legion". After the destruction of the army of Westphalen in Russia in 1812, there were new plans for the spring campaign in 1813. Of these, one regiment passed to the Prussians, two regiments to the Austrians. They remained in these armies, now in the fight against Napoleon. In November 1813, the Elector returned to Kassel, from December began the reorganization of the Electoral Hessian army. It practically it had to be "stamped out of the ground". There was a lack of much, they had to rely on relief supplies of the allies. According to the decree of December, 1813, the officer-shako showed a large, round, white-red-white round cockade of ribbon and above, connected by an agraffe, a smaller, red-white national. In this way in the Electorate of Hesse (-Kassel) the Hessian origin was displayed twice. In December 1813, only the officer-shakos had a large cockade and a small national, the crews had to be satisfied with the small national. From 1814 officers and men had to wear Kokarde and National, according to the new regulations. It can be assumed that until 1815 the mass of the men still had only the small national on the shako. Until the end of Hesse-Kassel as a state, it was annexed by Prussia in 1866, were no more chakos in use, it were used the usual spiked or peaked or field caps with a red-white cockade.
Source: Jürgen Kaltschmitt, nach
1) P. Bunde-Brigade-Uniformtafeln 282 und 283, Herzogenrath 2013
2) H. Knötel/Dr. M. Lezius - "Deutsche Uniformen/Album: Zeitalter der Freiheitskriege", Bilder auf sincee, Wolfenbüttel 2014 (Reprint von 1932)
3) G. F. Nafziger/ M. Gilbert - "Napoleon's German Enemies - The Armies of Hanover, Brunswick, Hesse-Cassel and the Hanseatic Cities 1792-1815", Uniformtafel Nr.6 und der Tafel-Teil in Buchmitte, Selbstverlag 1990
4) O. v. Pivka/B. Fosten "Napoleon's German Allies(5) Hesse (Band 122 der Men-at-Arms-Reihe, Osprey) Uniformtafel G und H in Buchmitte, London 1982
5) P. Schuchhardt: "Die Elberfelder Bilderhandschrift-Bilder und Dokumente aus napoleonischer Zeit", Bild 36 D
6) H.u.R.Knötel/H.Sieg, "Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde", sincee 104
Informations, history and facts about the theme "Cockades".
Source: Hand-Atlas für die Geschichte des Mittelalters und die neueren Zeit, 1880
The historical map shows the Electorate of Hesse between the years 1815 and 1866, within a blue-grey border.
Numbers and Facts
Area: 14.954 square miles (1820)
Inhabitants: 567.900 (1816)
Currency to 1866: 1 Taler = 30 Groschen = 360 Pfennige, from 1866 Prussian Currency
Source: HGIS - Historisches Deutschland, Der Michel
1254–1264 · heritage succession war, separation of Hessen from Thuringia
1264 · Landgraviate of Hesse
1567 · division of the ruling family in four different lines (1. Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, 2. Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt, 3. Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg [to 1604], 4. Landgraviate of Hesse-Rheinfels [to 1583])
1803 · Landgrave Wilhelm IX. acquires the title Elector (Wilhelm I.)
1806 · end of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation under the pressure of Napoléon, the emperor resigns, the dignity of an Elector is so unnecessary, the Elector of Hesse(-Kassel) still retains the title
1806 · invasion of French troops, Hesse-Kassel is dissolved, the Elector exiles to Holstein
1807 · Hessen-Kassel is part of Napoleon's newly established Kingdom of Westphalia under his brother Jérôme
1813 · defeat of Napoleon, the Elector comes back from exile in Holstein, de facto restoration of the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel
1814–1815 · Vienna Congress, reorganization of Europe after the Napoleonic era, the Elector of Hesse(-Kassel) seeks to acquire the dignity of "King of Chatts", what is denied him, he remains Elector but uses the address of "Royal Highness"
1866 · Fratricidal War of Prussia against Austria, Hesse-Darmstadt and Hesse-Kassel are on the side of Austria and defeat, Hesse-Kassel and the former Hesse-Homburg become occupied by Prussian troops in August 1866, abolished and annexed on 7th of December in 1868 to the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau. Hesse-Darmstadt has to cede to Prussia futher the cities of Mainz and Worms
19th of September in 1945 · the Allies establish the Country of Greater Hesse (the present State of Hesse), by unification of Hesse-Darmstadt and Hesse-Nassau under loss of Rhine-Hesse
Source: Atlas zur Geschichte, World Statesmen, HGIS - Historisches Deutschland
The states of Hesse between 1567 and 1866 in overviev
1.) from 1567 Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, since 1803 Electorate of Hesse, since 1866 to the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau
2.) from 1567 Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1803–1918 Grand Duchy of Hesse, 1918–1945 Federal Country of Hesse
3.) from 1596 Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg, since 1866 to the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau
4.) 1567–1604 Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg
5.) 1567–1583 Landgraviate of Hesse-Rheinfels
6.) 1648–1681 Landgraviate of Hesse-Bingenheim
Source, by: Wikipedia (D)
Origin of the Country's Name
The name "Hesse" is based on a Germanic tribe with the same name who lived here during the time of the Romans. This tribes was called by the Romans "Chatti". The name "Kassel" is based on the word "Castel", a word with Latin roots, which means a small castle.
Source: Handbuch der geographischen Namen
1145–1254 · Landgraviate of Thuringia