Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thuringia & Hesse: German Flag Symmetry - Part II

Flag of Thuringia
formerly a part of East Germany

has 16 federal subjects and as in previous posts about the sub-federal bodies of Japan and Russia, the flags of Germany also align by coincidental flag aspects. The modern flag of Thuringia and Hesse are what I call "fraternal banners." Thuringia and Hesse feature a horizontally divided red and white background, with red and white striped lion on a shield of arms. Both the shields have golden crowns, but in different positions. The lion of Thuringia is wearing it, while the top of Hesse's shield is decorated with a crown.

Flag of Hesse
formerly a part of West Germany

The coincidence of stars with a red and white striped lion seems to reflect an essence of American Patriotism. Coincidentally during the American Revolution many German Units serving the British Empire came from Hesse. Much, much earlier, Hesse was united with Thuringia but broke away during the War of Thuringian Succession in the mid 1200s. In any case, military units from all over Western Germany assisted Parliament and King during the English American Colonial Rebellion in 1775. The majority came from Hesse, and consequently German soldiers were miscategorized as 'Hessians.'

A Battle Flag of the Hessian Troops
from the American Revolution
(note the similarity to the lions of Hesse and Thuringia)

In the middle ages, Hesse and Thuringia were divided by the Royal Powers. A few hundred years later, Hesse played a critical and well remembered role in the American Revolution - at the Battle of Trenton of 1776. This Patriot Victory restored Congresses' faith in General Washington and rallied the Patriots. A few hundred years later, the Americans were destined to return the favor. By dividing Modern Germany in the wake of WWII. Subsequently, Hesse was fated to be an ally of Western Europe, while Thuringia was chosen to be a servant of Eastern Europe.

Close up of modern shields

In 1936 Hesse and Thuringia were drafted to fight as brothers against the World in 1941. After 1945, the World saw that these German Brothers were impressed to fight against each other, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.


1 comment:

  1. Hello - you say that "The lion of Thuringia is wearing it, while the top of Hesse's shield is decorated with a crown" but the flags are labeled the opposite. Can you please clarify?