• Brunswick
  • to 1946 federal country of the German Empire
  • 1946 divided between Lower Saxony and Province of Saxony-Anhalt



Flagge Braunschweig flag Brunswick

flag of the country (colors of the country),
Source by: World Statesmen

Flagge Braunschweig flag Brunswick

flag of the country (colors of the country),
Source by: World Statesmen

Flagge Braunschweig flag Brunswick

flag of the country (colors of the country),
Source by: Flags of the World

Flagge Braunschweig flag Brunswick

state flag (official flag),
Source by:
Verordnung Dienstflaggen Braunschweig

Flagge Braunschweig flag Brunswick

state flag (official flag ashore),
Source by:
Verordnung Dienstflaggen Braunschweig

Flagge Herzog Braunschweig flag Duke Brunswick

flag of the Duke,
Source by: Flags of the World



Meaning/Origin of the Flag:
The colours of Brunswick have been blue and yellow, except the time between 1814 and 1831. The origin is presumably the reduced Danish coat of arms, which became a part of the coats of arms of the Dukes, in the beginning of the 13th century: blue lion on golded, with red hearts covered background. Between 1814 and 1831 the colors have been blue and white. The reason for this is not known.
The flag of the Duke showed the heraldry of the House of Brunswick-Lueneburg in square and was from 1914, when the throne was re-ascended by a Guelph, in the middle added with his arms. It makes to recognize the descent from the line Kurbraunschweig (House Hanover).
The white horse in the cartridge in the middle of the state flag, used from 1912, is the "Saxons Ross". It goes back to the Dukedom of Saxony, and in 1361 it was taken over by the Guelfs, the ruling dynasty since 1142. The "Saxons Ross" became in 1814 the scutcheon-animal of the Kingdom of Hanover (from 1866 'Prussian Province of Hanover'), the Prussian Province of Westphalia, and in 1922 of the Free State of Brunswick. In the FRG this tradition is continued: every federal state to which belong former territories of the Guelph Dynasty, still have the white horse in their coats of arms of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Brunswick belongs nowadays for the most part to the Federal Country of Lower Saxony, some areas belong to Saxony-Anhalt.
Source: Volker Preuß


Coats of Arms:

Wappen coat of arms Herzogtum Braunschweig Lüneburg Duchy Brunswick Lueneburg

coat of arms Duchy of Brunswick-Lueneburg
Source by: Wikipedia (D)

Wappen coat of arms Fürstentum Braunschweig Principality Brunswick

coat of arms Principality of Brunswick
Source by: Wikipedia (D)

Wappen coat of arms Fürstentum Lüneburg Principality Lueneburg

coat of arms Principality of Lueneburg
Source by: Heraldique Europeenne

Wappen coat of arms Fürstentum Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Principality Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel

18th cent.,
middle coat of arms,
Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel
Source: hier klicken/click here

Wappen coat of arms Fürstentum Braunschweig-Bevern Principality Brunswick-Bevern

middle coat of arms
Principality of Brunswick-Bevern
Source: hier klicken/click here

Wappen coat of arms Kurfürstentum Braunschweig-Lüneburg Electorate of Brunswick-Lueneburg Kurbraunschweig Kurhannover Königreich Hannover Kingdom of Hanover

middle coat of arms
Electorate of Brunswick-Lueneburg
from 1814:
Kingdom of Hanover
Source by: Wikipedia (D)

Wappen coat of arms Herzogtum Braunschweig Duchy Brunswick

lesser coat of arms Duchy of Brunswick
Source by:
Wikipedia (D), Volker Preuß

Wappen coat of arms Herzogtum Braunschweig Duchy Brunswick

middle coat of arms
Duchy of Brunswick
Source by: Wikipedia (D)

Kokarde cockade Braunschweig Brunswick

to 1919,

Wappen coat of arms Freistaat Braunschweig Free State Brunswick

coat of arms Free State of Brunswick
Source by: Wikipedia (D)


Meaning/Origin of Coats of Arms:
The heraldry of Brunswick was determined by the ruling dynasty of the Guelphs (Welfs). The Guelfs were initially Counts in Bavaria (Count Welf, in the early 9th century), later Kings of Upper Burgundy (10th century), Duke of Carinthia and Margraves of Verona (11th century), and in 1070 they became the Dukes of Bavaria. In 1120 Henry the Proud became Duke of Saxony by heritage. Henry the Lion received in 1142 Brunswick and the Duchy of Saxony as a fiefdom, and in 1154 he also became Duke of Bavaria. In conflict with the Staufen Emperor in 1180 is imposed the imperial ban on Henry. In the following battles Henry subjects and loses large parts of his possessions.
The Duchy of Saxony became divided. The west came as Duchy of Westphalia to the Archbishopric of Cologne, the east as Duchy of Saxony to the House of Askanians. Henry the Lion keeps the central part as the Duchy of Brunswick-Lueneburg.
After inheritances arised in 1296 from the Duchy of Saxony of the Ascanians the Duchies of Saxony-Lauenburg and Saxony-Wittenberg. In the year 1356 (Golden Bull) Saxony-Wittenberg was levied to the Electorate of Saxony. After the Saxon Ascanians had extincted in 1422, the Duchy and the Electorate became in 1423 handed over to the House Wettin, the Margraves of Meissen, and it emerged the today's Saxony (Upper Saxony).
An important symbol of the (Lower-) Saxons and the Guelph Dynasty is the "Saxons Ross", a white horse on a red background. It was from time immemorial known as the crest of Duke Widukind, who defended the Saxons against the Franks in the 8th century. In the fight against the Franks the "Saxons Ross" quickly became the legendary symbol of all Saxons. This symbol became adoped by the Guelphs in their heraldry in the year 1361.
In this way became it the heraldic animal of the Kingdom of Hannover (since 1866 Prussian Province of Hannover), of the Prussian Province of Westfalia and since 1922 of the Country of Brunswick. This tradition is continued in the FRG at those federal countries to which formerly Welfian territories belong. In this way they have until today the white horse in their coats of arms: Lower Saxony and North-Rhine Westfalia.
In old reproductions of coats of arms (at least until 1945) the Saxons Ross held its tail always upward. With the new-creation of the State of Hannover was that tradition broken after the Second World War, because the Saxons Ross held on its flag its tail downwards. That was continued in the Country of Lower Saxony – the successor of the State of Hannover. Because of that the Saxons Ross is called in Westfalia (wehre it holds the tail still upward) "Westfalia Horse", in contrast to the "Lower Saxony Horse".
The Guelph Henry the Lion, actually Heinrich XII., married in 1168 Matilda, daughter of the King of England, from the House of Anjou-Plantagenet. In 1184 was born, as the fifth child of this marriage, William "Long Sword", the Duke of Lueneburg. He used the maternal, English coats of arms in reduced form. It showed only two golden lions (instead of three) on a red background. That symbol will take over as a sign of Guelph heraldry through all times.
William "Long Sword" married in 1202 Helen, daughter of the King of Denmark. In 1204 was born, Otto I. "the Child", Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He used the maternal, Danish coat of arms in reduced form: two blue lions (instead of three) in a golden field, sprinkled with red hearts.
The son of Otto I., Albert I. "the Great", born in 1279, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, used reduced English coat of arms with two golden lions on a red background. The grandson of Albert I., Magnus I. "the Pious", born 1369, Duke of Brunswick-Lueneburg, combined in his coat of arms the two English lions with one of the Danish lions. Thus, the coat of arms of the Dukes of Brunswick had received its final form:
Blazon, small (lesser) coat of arms, Duchy of Brunswick: "splited, on the right in red, zwo walking, blue-armored, leoparded golden lions with sticked out blue tongues, over each other, to the left in a with red hearts sprinkled field, one red-armored, blue lion with sticked out red tongue."
The shields of the large coats of arms are very abundant divided and show a lot of fields, that reflects herald pieces of family lines or territorial acquisitions.
Sometimes within the coat of arms was shown a red central shield with the "Saxons Ross".
Source Ronald Preuß, Volker Preuß, Deutsche Staatenkunde - Band 2,


The dynastic lines of the Guelphs, 1235-1810:
The splitting of the Guelphs into different lines from 1269 divides the country into several principalities, however, the duchy remained as one until 1810. Each of the princes, e.g. the Prince of Grubenhagen, was also Duke of Brunswick-Lueneburg. In the years 1814/1815 meets the Vienna Congress, to do the reorganization of Europe after the Napoleonic era. The Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel became re-installed under Duke Friedrich Wilhelm as Duchy of Brunswick, and existed until 1918. The line of the Guelphs of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel extincted in 1884.
Other lines of the Duchy reached also territorial sovereignty from 1291: the Principalities of Calenberg, Goettingen, Grubenhagen and Lueneburg (since 1261). The Principality of Grubenhagen became inherited to Lueneburg in 1617, Calenberg and Goettingen united in 1495 to the Principality of Calenberg-Goettingen, and that principality became levied to the Electorate of Brunswick-Lueneburg in 1692. The Principality of Lueneburg in 1705 became part of the electorate. The electorate, and thus the Duchy of Brunswick-Lueneburg ended in 1810 when it was temporarily attached to the Kingdom of Westphalia. At the Vienna Congress, the electorate was restored and levied to the Kingdom of Hanover, but it ends in 1866 when it bevame incorporated as a province of the Kingdom of Prussia. The Guelph line of Brunswick-Lueneburg ascends the throne of the Duchy of Brunswick in 1913, and will reign until 1918.
Source: by Wikipedia (D), Volker Preuß


Federal Countries of the German Empire 1871 till 1920 (all designations in German)
interaktive Landkarte
Source: Volker Preuß


Numbers and Facts:
  • Area:
    1 418 square miles
  • Inhabitants:
    495 000 (1910)
  • Density of Population:
    349 inh./sq.mi.
  • Capital:
    Braunschweig (Brunswick)
  • Currency:
    • till 1868:
      1 Taler = 24 Groschen = 288 Pfennige
    • 1868–1871:
      1 Taler = 30 Silbergroschen = 300 Pfg.
    • 1875–1924:
      1 Mark = 100 Pfennig
    • 1924–1946:
      1 Reichsmark (RM)
      = 100 Reichspfennig (Rpf.)
Source: Wikipedia (D), Der Michel, Volker Preuß


1142 · Henry the Lion of the House of Guelph (Welf) receives Brunswick and the Duchy of Saxony as a fiefdom
1154 · Henry the Lion becomes Duke of Bavaria
1180 · in the conflict with the Staufen Emperor, Henry gets outlawed, in the following struggles Henry subjects and loses all possessions (even Bavaria), except Brunswick and Lueneburg, and some very small areas, Duke of Saxony becomes the Bernhard I. of Anhalt (Ascanian Dynasty)
1235 · Otto the Child transfersall his possessions back to the Emperor, these become summarized as Duchy of Brunswick and e-transmited to Henry, as the Duke of Brunswick
1269 · The Duchy of Brunswick becomes divided into the Principality of Brunswick and the Principality of Lueneburg, however, it remains formally as Duchy of Brunswick-Lueneburg
1291 · in consequence of further divisions arise, inter alia, the Principality of Calenberg-Goettingen and the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel, the Brunswick principalities (except Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel) become united in the following years, and form from 1692 the Electorate of Brunswick-Lueneburg (also called: Electorate of Hanover)
1792, 1796, 1800 and 1805 · invasions of French revolutionary troops under Napoléon into the German Empire, the German Empire subjects and becomes territorially transformed by Napoléon: church possessions become confiscated, old princely territories become repealed and transferred to other old or new principalities
1st of August in 1806 · the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation ends
1807 · Napoleon forms the Kingdom of Westphalia under his brother Jérôme, it were merged  not only territories of Brunswick, Prussia and Hesse, from 1810 even the whole Electorate of Hanover, the Duchy of Brunswick ends
1813 · Napoléon defeats at Leipzig in October
1814–1815 · Vienna Congress, reorganization of Europe after the Napoleonic era, the Duchy of Brunswick becomes re-installed under Duke Friedrich Wilhelm of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel, Brunswick joins the German Confederation
1830 · uprising, Duke Charles II. flees to Switzerland, the new Duke is his brother William
1834 · Customs Union with Hanover
1841 · accession to the German Customs Union
1866 · Fratricidal War of Prussia against Austria, Brunswick is on the side of Prussia that wins the war
1871 · accession to the German Empire
1884 · Death of Duke William, extinction of the line of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel, the succession has to go to Ernst August from Hanover (actually Brunswick-Lueneburg), Duke of Cumberland, he should ascend the throne, but Hanover and his Guelph (Welf) dynasty was one of the most powerful enemies of Prussia in the Fratricidal War of 1866, while Prussia was victorious in this war – the Kingdom of Hanover became terminated by Prussia and was incorporated to Prussia as a province, but Prussia did not want see any new Hanoverian dynasty on a German throne
2nd of November 1885 · decision of the Federal Council: the throne goes to Prince Albert of Prussia, as regent
1906 · death of Prince Albert
5th of June in 1907 · decision of the Federal Council: the throne goes to Johann Albrecht, Duke of Mecklenburg, as regent
24th of May in 1913 · Ernst August of Hanover, son of Ernst August Duke of Cumberland, marries Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, reconciliation between Hanover and Prussia
27th of November in 1913 · The Duke of Cumberland waived his claim to the throne of Brunswick
28th of November in 1913 · decision of the Federal Council: the throne goes to Ernst August of Hanover from the line of Brunswick-Lueneburg (Duke of Brunswick, Duke of Brunswick and Lueneburg, Prince of Hanover)
1st of November in 1913 · move of the dukal couple to Brunswick
8th of November in 1918 · overthrow of the monarchy
10th of November in 1918 · proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Brunswick
6th of January in 1922 · proclamation of the Free State of Brunswick
1934 · the territorial structure of the states of the German Empire becomes replaced by the districts of the NSDAP, the countries become meaningless
1945 · Brunswick is part of the British and part of the Soviet occupation zone
July 1945 · the Soviet-occupied areas of Brunswick become annexed to the new created Country Province of Saxony-Anhalt
23rd of November in 1946 · the British military government initiates the unification of Brunswick (only the parts of the British occupation zone) with Hanover, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe to the Country of Lower Saxony
Source: Atlas zur Geschichte, Wikipedia (D)


Origin of the Country's Name:
The name "Brunswick" (German: Braunschweig) consists of two parts. The first syllable of "Braun" goes back to the name "Bruno", the second syllable of "schweig" refers to the Latin word "vicus", what translated means "place". Brunswick is "Bruno's Town"
Source: Handbuch der geographischen Namen




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