Last modified: 2007-10-06 by jarig bakker
Keywords: c-ensign | ccg | control commission germany |
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~2:3 image by António Martins
All Nazi flags and regalia were immediately abolished upon Germany's unconditional surrender, 8th May 1945. Thereafter, it was a crime punishable under occupation regulations for Nazi flags to be displayed. German soldiers still serving under arms after the surrender, e.g. the military police, removed the Nazi eagle badge from their uniforms. Denazification was a key element in the Allies' occupation strategy, and the immediate banning of all Nazi regalia was one consequence.
The only "German" flag permitted to be displayed between VE Day [8 May 1945] and 1949 was a provisional civil ensign. In 1949, both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic adopted the black-red-gold flag, last used by the Weimar Republic, as their national flag (actually, the flag adopted by the German Democratic Republic was the state flag; legally there was no civil flag). Since both claimed to constitute Germany's legitimate government, this made a certain amount of sense. However, in 1959 the German Democratic Republic added its Arms to the state flag in order to distinguish it from the flag of the capitalist Federal Republic of Germany.
Though I do not have the exact information at my fingertips, I believe
that some German provinces did adopt flags
during the occupation period. However, except for the provisional
civil ensign, there was no German national flag.
Tom Gregg, 10 Jan 1997
At the close of World War Two, Allied troops generally found white flags of surrender flying from towns as they advanced. An exception to this was in Bavaria, where the old national bicolor flew from many houses. After the war, it was usually used as the Bavarian flag, even before its official adoption.
Norman Martin, Aug 1998
After World War Two the allied victors decided upon a symbolic humiliation
of the defeated Germany by the introduction of the so-called C-Pennant
(C-Doppelstander). After the swastika flag
since the capitulation of 8th May 1945 de facto and by law
of the Controlling Council of 20th September 1945 (abolition of the
Reichsflaggengesetz of 15th September 1935)
formally too, Germany was denied the use of its own national and merchant
flag, not even the black-red-gold flag of the Weimar
Republic. Instead of a real flag all German ships had to use a letter
from the international signal alphabet, the
letter 'C', a blue-white-red-white-blue (which happened to be in the national
colors of three of the four victorious powers: United
States, United Kingdom and France)
as a horizontal standard with a triangle cut out at the fly. In Article
I, #3 of the Law of the Controlling Council no. 39 it
was explicitly stated:
"This flag shall not be honored, and shall not be dipped as a salute to war and merchant ships of whichever nation."
Not carrying the C-Pennant by German ships was punishable with imprisonment or fees (Art. IV). Only in 1950 were German ships permitted to have their own merchant flag like all seafaring nations, to wit the black-red-gold flag of the Weimar Republic. For Japan too the United States occupational power ordered the use of two surrogate merchant flags: the modified standard 'E' and 'O', which had to be used by Japanese ships until April 1952.
Source: Rabbow 1970.
Jarig Bakker, 5 Aug 1999
Allied High Commission Law No. 42 removed certain restrictions for the
area to which the basic law applied so that after 14
December 1950 it applied in only Soviet controlled
Source: Public Record Office FO 371/98027.
David Prothero, 7 Jul 2000
The Control Council enacts as follows:The Appendix shows the black and white picture of a flag, with proportions ca. 2:3, with a 90° cut in the fly, divided in five horizontal strips B-W-R-W-B.
- In all cases, except as provided in Article III, every German or ex-German vessel operating under the Allied Control Authority shall at all times wear the Allied Control Authority distinguishing flag which shall consist of International Flag 'C' with a triangle cut from the fly, as shown in the Schedule hereto. (Appendix "A")
- This flag shall be worn at the masthead, or in cases of vessels that have no masthead, at the place prescribed by usage or custom; it shall be worn continuously day and night and shall he treated as a distinguishing flag.
- No ceremonial shall be accorded this flag which shall not be dipped in salute to warships or merchant ships of any nationality.
- No other distinguishing flag shall be worn by any vessel covered by paragraph 1 of this Article.
The provisions of this Law shall not apply to requisitioned craft which are operated by or under the direct control of one of the Occupying Powers.
Craft operating on inland waterways may, as an alternative to wearing the Allied Control Authority flag as prescribed in paragraph 2 of Article I, have the colors of this flag painted on both sides of the craft as a distinguishing mark.
Zone Commanders may however, provide that inland waterway vessels operating exclusively within their respective Zones shall not be required to wear or display any distinguishing flag or mark.
- The Master or any other person actually in command of any German or ex-German vessel operating under the Allied Control Authority who violates any of the provisions of Article I of this Law shall without prejudice to any criminal liability which he may have incurred under the provisions of any other Law or Laws, be liable to prosecution before a Military Government or German Court and be punishable with a fine of not less than RM 300 [Reichsmark]and not more than RM 10,000.
- In grave cases the Court may impose imprisonment (Gefängnis) for a term not exceeding five years, with or without the fine provided by paragraph 1 of this Article.
This Law shall come into force two months after the date of publication.
Done at Berlin the 12th day of November 
Marshal of the Soviet Union
JOSEPH, T. McNARNEY,
Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Général de Division pour P. KOENIG Général d'Armée
Appendix "A": Distinguishing Flag to be worn by German and ex-German Vessels operating under Allied Control Authority.
A blue flag, on the canton a shield, a light blue cross on red with
the golden, interlaced letters "CCG".
Santiago Dotor, 14 Jun 2000
The insignia is that of British troops assigned to the Control Commission
for Germany (CCG).
Norman Martin, 14 Jun 2000
The book on the Zurich International Congress
of Vexillology includes a paper on the subject of flags in postwar Germany,
showing a black and white picture of the CCG flag. The flag is 3:5 or maybe
even 1:2, with a large shield only slightly offset to the canton (rather
than in the canton).
Santiago Dotor, 30 Jun 2000
I have the book and Santiago Dotor's image is quite correct. The vertical
part of the cross is double narrow size that the horizontal one. Shade
of the blue in cross and background must be the same. Shield must be a
bit wider (or less high) and bordered white. This image is from photo and
I assume that is exact. My [original] image was made according to Flagmaster
(if I don't remember wrong) and I assume was inexact.
Jaume Ollé, 13 Jul 2000
This badge is shown in colour in Guido Rosignoli's Army Badges and Insignia, and in black and white in Howard Cole's Heraldry in War. The cross is dark blue and the letters a deeper yellow. The letters are larger than in the GIF, but contained within the vertical arm, which is wider than the horizontal arm. As far as I know the construction of formation badges and the relatively few flags in which they featured was not particularly consistent. The "shield and cross" part of the Control Commission Germany badge can be traced back to the code-name of an operation planed in Egypt in 1941:
I was puzzled why you refer to the CCG as Control Council for Germany
when the CCG were for the Control Commission Germany!
Denis A. Darmanin, 5 Oct 2007