The Duchy of Mecklenburg became for the first time divided in 1352, between two lines of the dynastic family, that happened again and again, so also in 1621 and at least in 1701. The Dukes – from 1814 Grand Dukes – of the two principalities shared not only their title, they also used the same coat of arms, and the same colours and flags. From 1755 there was even a common "Convening of Ranks" (a sort of parliament) for both principalities.
The flag of Mecklenburg was blue, white and red, which was used to ca. 1870 also with the bull's head, but also played the color combination of blue, yellow and red, a great role, initially only as a military colours. In 1863, blue, yellow and red were then introduced as colours of the country (Landesfarben), they could be used by anyone, even on flags, but there were also official flags introduced in these colours. But some flags remained in blue, white and red, even until 1935. The colours of Mecklenburg, blue, white, yellow and red, have their roots probably in the colours of the coat of arms of the rulers of Mecklenburg, because from the 14th century a quartered shield was used, which showed the various acquisitions made by the Lord of Mecklenburg. Therein occur these colours.
Remarkable is the naval official flag, the flag for state ships and vessels and state maritime buildings of the shipping authorities. It was introduced ca. 1860, in the colours blue, white and red, and showed in the upper canton a golden field with the bulls' head, and in the middle a white disk with a by a king's crown crowned anchor. In the year 1896 was introduced the naval official flag in the design of the official flags for all the coastal states of the German Empire, to ensure a uniform appearance of the authorities at sea. It corresponded to the imperial black-white-red naval official flag of the German Empire, and differed by country only by a coat of arms, shown in the upper corner of the flag. This principle has been retained for the naval official flags of the coastal states of the empire, even after the overthrow of the monarchies, however, anchor and imperial crown were replaced by the golden federal shield, but not in Mecklenburg. There was placed into the upper canton the from 1919 black-red-golden flag of the German Empire, and into the white disc in the center was placed the bull's head.
The Grand Duke had its own flag, and probably used the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin to 1897 the same blue, white and red model as the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. However, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin introduced a new flag for itself in 1897. It appears as a scutcheon-flag and showed the image of the coat of arms with its six fields and the central shield. Even the throne's successor (with the title of a Duke) had its own flag from 1900.
Flags of the World,
Coat of arms of von Mecklenburg,
Source, by: Heraldique Europeenne
19th cent. to 1918,
Coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
Source, by: HGISG Geoinform
Coat of arms of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
Source, by: Wikipedia (EN) By Otto Hupp, PNG durch David Liuzzo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The coat of arms of the Lords of Mecklenburg showed originally a griffin, but from 1219 a black head of a bull, with neck fur, on a golden background. From the 14th Century, a quartered shield was used, which showed the possessions and acquisitions of the House of Mecklenburg. These heraldic pictograms appeared over the times again and again or became supplemented. Initially these were the bull head – with neck fur – on gold for Mecklenburg, a golden griffin on blue (Rostock), a between blue and white splited field, in the upper blue, a golden griffin, the lower a green field (Principality of Schwerin), an oblique bull's head – without neck fur – on gold (Werle), a between red and gold splited field, also used as central shield (County of Schwerin). From the 16th century there appeared an arm, holding a gold ring, on red (Stargard), and from the 17th century even a crowned silvery cross on red (Ratzeburg).
Between the lines of Mecklenburg-Guestrow and Mecklenburg-Schwerin there was no difference in the coat of arms, because the dukes of the two principalities shared not only the title, they also used the same coat of arms, and the same colours. This was handled in the same way between Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but nevertheless there are some small differences in the coats of arms: 1.) In the red field of the Principality of Ratzeburg, the crown does not sit directly on the cross, at the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but with a little distance above it. 2.) In the red field of the Lordship of Stargard, the arm does not directly come from the edge of the field, at the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but first out of a cloud. 3.) In the large coat of arms are placed three crowned helmets above the shield, the middle helmet bears at the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Strelitz no ordinary crown but a so-called Wendish crown (more like a hoop) and the piles there looking out have the color sequence of black, red, gold, blue, silver instead of black, gold, red, silver, blue (at Mecklenburg-Schwerin) and the bull's head behind them is not placed on a golden shield, as at Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 4.) In the large coat of arms, the shield-holding bull shows no tongue and the griffin has not raised the tail but down between the legs at the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 5.) The order-chain and the banner appear only in the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 6.) In the large coat of arms, the canopy of the tent of the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Strelitz shows no ornaments. Often it is noticeable in historical representations of the large and middle coats of arms that the two shield holders (supporters), Bull and Griffin, either look inward or both looking outwards. This difference is not important (according to Ströhl), but followed – changing over the times – a particular taste, however, when the shield holders last looking inward (ca. 1895). The golden coat of arms with the bull's head was retained over all times as the lesser coat of arms.
After the monarchy was abolished, Mecklenburg-Schwerin became a Free State, and adopted in 1918 a new coat of arms. But, it remained mostly intact. Only the Grand Ducal crown on the coat of arms was replaced by a "people's crown". Even the known heraldic pictograms have retained their crowns. In 1934 Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz were merged to the Country of Mecklenburg.
Deutsche Wappen Rolle,
Cockade of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Cockade of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
In the Napoleonic period, the cockades of the country showed from 1807 the color-combination of red-blue-yellow, but in the year 1919 red-yellow-blue. The authors know nothing more about the coloration and design of the blanket between the end of the Napoleonic era and the end of the monarchy in the year 1918.
Source, by: Jürgen Kaltschmitt, nach
1) P. Bunde, Brigadeuniformtafel Nr.174, Herzogenrath 2006
2) P. Schuchhardt, Compagnie d'Elite, Uniformtafel Nr 15, Gütersloh 2000
Informations, history and facts about the theme "Cockades".
Stielers Hand-Atlas, Justus Perthes, 1891
The map shows the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin und Mecklenburg-Strelitz about the year 1890. The border of the German Empire is hatched in red, the Prussian border in blue, the border of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in yellow, the border of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in brown.
Area: 5.068 square miles
Inhabitants: 640.000 (1910)
Density of Population: 126 inh./sq.mi. (1910)
Currency to 1867: 1 Taler = 48 Schillinge = 576 Pfennige
Currency 1868–1871: 1 Taler = 30 Groschen = ....
Currency 1871–1924: 1 Mark = 100 Pfennig
Currency 1924–1934: 1 Reichsmark (RM) = 100 Reichspfennig (Rpf.)
earlyer History of Mecklenburg – click here
1701 · Hamburg Comparison, re-division of the country of Mecklenburg into the Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz
1755 · introduction of a constitution (state's constitutional hereditary comparison) for both parts of the country, which thus form (de jure) a single state until 1918 and with it a common parliament
1792, 1796, 1800 and 1805 · invasions of French revolutionary troops under Napoleon in the German Empire, the German Empire subjectes and becomes territorially transformed
1803 · German Mediatisation (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss), transformation of the territorial partition of the German Empire, ecclesiastical possessions become confiscated, old princely territories and free cities become confiscated or dissolved or annexed to old or new principalities, the number of sovereign authorities and territorial entities of the empire is thus reduced from 300 to 60
12th of July in 1806 · Napoleon forces the creation of the Rhine Confederation, an alliance of sixteen southern and southwestern German states under French protectorate
1st of August 1806 · the states of the Rhine Confederation declare themselves sovereign and resign from the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation
6th of August in 1806 · Emperor Franz II. lays down the crown of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, the empire ends
22nd of March in 1808 · Mecklenburg-Schwerin joins the Rhine Confederation, the Duke is charged by Napoléon to a Grand Duke
October 1813 · Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig, the Rhine Confederation begins to fall apart, Napoleon and his troops withdraw behind the Rhine River
1814–1815 · Congress of Vienna, reconstruction of Europe after the era of Napoleon, the ownership and the administrative partitions in the former German Empire become restored, but not the sovereignty of the ecclesiastical countries, their possessions become transferred to old or new principalities, the Dukes of Mecklenburg become levied to the rank of a Grand Duke, the 39 remaining German states – in this way Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz too – become organized in a loose association, the German Confederation
1866 · German war (civil war), Prussia and its allies against Austria and its allies, Prussia wins, the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz are on the side of Prussia, both join of the North German Confederation
1871 · Mecklenburg-Schwerin joins the German Empire
1918 · fall of the monarchy
1920 · Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1st of January in 1934 · unification of Mecklenburg-Schwerin with Mecklenburg-Strelitz to the Country of Mecklenburg
1933–1934 · Mecklenburg cedes (like all German states) its exclusive pilitical rights to the government of the empire, the territorial structure of the German Empire countries become replaced by the Gau structure of the NSDAP, the countries become meaningless, finally on 30th January in 1934 by the 'Law on the rebuilding of the empire'
Atlas zur Geschichte,
The name Mecklenburg was first mentioned in a document from the year 995 as 'Mikelenburg'. With this name was meant a Slavic castle with the name 'Wiligrad'. Its name was translated into Low German language. Because 'Wiligrad' means in the language of the Obodrites and in Low German language "big castle" ("miekel" = big). The Lords of the Mikelenburg had been princes out of the tribe of the Obodrites and later they became the chiefs of the whole country and even imperial princes. The ruled until 1918. The epithet 'Schwerin' refers to the residence of the country ruling line, the town Schwerin.
Source: Wikipedia (D),