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House Flags of German Shipping Companies (g)

Last modified: 2008-08-30 by jarig bakker
Keywords: gluesing transport | globus |
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Other "G" companies: See also:

C.G. Gabel

[C.G.Gabel] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 31 Mar 2007

C.G.Gabel - Christian Gustav Gabel was partner of the shipping company Knöhr & Burchard which still exists. Sometimes he supplied ships on his own risk in the 80ies and 90ies of the 19th century. He acquired his 1st ship in 1882. The last ship was sold in 1909 and the company disappeared.
The company used nearly the same flag as Japan. Its a white flag with a red roundel in its centre. The flag should probably mark the connections with Knöhr und Burchard who used a blue roundel.
Source: Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945"; ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; p.89ff.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 31 Mar 2007

G. L. Gaiser

[G. L. Gaiser] image by Jorge Candeias, 1 Jan 2005

The flag is white with a red border all around and black initials along the center, reading "GLG". And the caption seems to be "G. L. Gaiser".
Jorge Candeias, 1 Jan 2005

It must have been a firm engaged in trading with Nigeria, founded around 1850 and still active in the 1960'ies... according to a few faint traces on the internet...
Jan Mertens, 2 Jan 2005

Geestemunder Herings & Hochseefischerei

[Geestemunder Herings & Hochseefischerei] image by Ivan Sache, 12 Apr 2008

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Geestemunder Herings & Hochseefischerei A.G." (#281, p. 50), a  company based in Geestemünde, as blue  with a white "H" in the middle.

The port and town of Geestemünde was founded by the Kingdom of  Hannover in 1845, next to Bremerhaven. In 1927, Geestemünde was merged with Lehe and Wulsdorf to form the new municipality of Wesermünde. In 1939, Bremerhaven was separated from Bremen and incorporated to Wesermünde. Incorporated to the Federal State of Bremen in 1947, Wesermünde was eventually renamed Bremerhaven.
Ivan Sache, 12 Apr 2008


[GEFO houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 9 Nov 2005

GEFO Gesellschaft für Oeltransporte m.b.H. & Co., Hamburg - blue - yellow - blue horizontal triband; in center black "GEFO".
Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 9 Nov 2005

GEFO is  ‘Company for Oil Transportation Ltd’. Firm’s website: The various departments are neatly summed up: deep-sea transportation of chemicals, gas tankers (based at Sas van Gent, NL), chemicals (based at Merksem/Antwerp, BE), oil (“80 Rhinetankers for mineral oil”) and bunkering. Of the branches or firms mentioned under ‘The Company’ I still have to get to know Unitas at Antwerp or Oceanflag Cyprus; Hansa Hamburg is a shipping investor.

It is clear that GEFO is active on the high seas as well as on inland waterways.  This is a picture of the barge ‘Rubens’, flying the house flag: horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue with GEFO in black letters on the yellow stripe.
Jan Mertens, 13 Mar 2006


[H.M.Gehrckens] image by Jorge Candeias, 4 May 2004

Well, H. M. G. are, for certain, the initials of this company - not only do they appear in the flag (a blue cloth with these initials in it), but they are also the only recognizable portion of the caption. There's something written beyond the "G", but what it is I have no idea whatsoever.
Jorge Candeias, 4 May 2004

That is H.M.Gehrckens, Hamburg. Source: Wolter, "See und Seefahrt", 1968.
Jarig Bakker, 4 May 2004

Heinrich Martin Gehrckens - H.M. Gehrckens became ship broker in 1830 and ship owner in 1860. In 1901 HMG opens a direct line to Southern Finland. In winter the ships are trading with Western Africa. In WWI the company managed to keep all its ships. On the company's website is no information after 1932 available. But the company does still exist in Hamburg. For further information click here.
Source: „Unter blauer Flagge, 150 Jahre H.M.Gehrckens“, Hamburg 1980
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Aug 2008


[GEMCO houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Apr 2006

GEMCO Schiffahrts- und Handelsges. mbH (Gemco Shipping and Trading Co. Ltd) is a German inland navigation company established in Duisburg, where the Ruhr River meets the Rhine.
Last year, a Gemco flag was offered on eBay under no. 6535951662 between 29 May and 8 June: a green flag with a white ascending diagonal stripe on which is placed the (short) company name in green letters without serifs. Oddly, the firm’s website shows the letters in black:

Some facts gleaned from above site: during the ‘fifties of the previous century, Mr G. Möller established a towage firm bearing his name.   As ‘Gerd Möller & Co.’ the company expanded its inland shipping activities to the Benelux countries.   Mr Günter Ohm joined the firm in 1987 which he would acquire eight years later.  France was added to the area of operations.
It seems that now more than three hundred private shippers from four countries are working for Gemco who arrange single transport runs as well as long-term deals.  The company lists a number of various kinds of freight but summarizes them, simply, as all goods which may be carried by a vessel.
Jan Mertens, 5 Apr 2006

Gerhard U. Brzoska

[Gerhard U. Brzoska] image by Jarig Bakker, 23 Nov 2005

Gerhard U. Brzoska, Stade - horizontal RWR; on white blue diamond, white "GUB".
Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995 [lgr95]
Jarig Bakker, 23 Nov 2005

Gerhard & Hey

[Gerhard & Hey] image by Jarig Bakker, 28 Jan 2005

This one is a red flag with the initials "G&M", in white, along the centre. The caption is more or less readable: "Gerhart" is pretty clear and the rest seems to be "& Mry.", probably an abbreviation of some sort..
Jorge Candeias, 28 Nov 2004

Also in the 1912 Lloyds as No. 729: i.e. Gerhard & Hey, Hamburg.
Jan Mertens, 29 Nov 2004

Gerhard & Hey, Hamburg - red flag, white "G&H".
Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Jarig Bakker, 28 Jan 2005

German Tanker Shipping

[German Tanker Shipping] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 Mar 2008

German Tanker Shipping was established in Bremen in 1998. The company operates 12 tankers, all of them sailing under the German flag, named after sea fishes (MT "Seaturbot" to MT "Seamarlin").

The house flag of German Tanker Shipping, shown as a graphic on the company website, is quartered per saltire blue-white with the letters "G" and "T" in the left and right white quarters, respectively.
Ivan Sache, 7 Mar 2008

See the full size item on this clickable photo: (not a very common font for a house flag).  The flag on the right represents the Lindenau wharf at Kiel.
Jan Mertens, 7 Mar 2008

Karl Geuther

[Karl Geuther] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 Nov 2003

Here is the website of Karl Geuther & Co., - houseflag: white with red flydiagonal strip of c. 1/3 flagheight; in center blue capitals KG outlined white.
Dov Gutterman, 2 Nov 2003

Gläfcke & Hennings

[Gläfcke & Hennings] image by Eugene Ipavec, 5 Aug 2008

Jorge Candeias wrote: This one is red with a big white star in the center, charged with a white castle outlined in black.
This is a long shot but... could it be Gläfke & Hennings, Hamburg?  This firm is mentioned a few times on this page, selling the occasional ship to the Deutsche Levante Line.
A picture has been found, but the name is really Gläfcke & Hennings – see item from Massary cigarette album, 1930. Name of source: “Flaggen ,die über Meere
Völker verbinden“ (i.e. flags connecting peoples across the seas).

The Hamburg connection was right on the dot, in fact the company seems to have had no second thoughts about appropriating the castle.
Here we see the ‘Polynesia’ who once was owned by Gläfcke & Hennings from 1904 till 1921:
Jan Mertens, 26 Dec 2006

H. Glahr & Co

[H. Glahr & Co] image by Santiago Dotor, 11 Nov 2003

Dov Gutterman spotted the link of H. Glahr & Co. GmbH (Bremen) - white swallotail with two 5 points blue stars situated diagonaly.
Santiago Dotor, 11 Nov 2003

Globus Reederei

Globus Reederei A.G., Bremen: apparently red with blue globe, white lines of latitude and longitude added; the globe in the center of a blue double-barred cross encircling it (space between double bars is white)
Jan Mertens, 16 Nov 2003

Gluesing Transport

[Gluesing Transport] image by Santiago Dotor, 11 Nov 2003

Dov Gutterman spotted the link of Gluesing Transport Gmbh (Cuxhaven) - Orange over Blue charged with white "GT", fimbriated blue.
Santiago Dotor, 11 Nov 2003

Johann Cesar Godefroy und Sohn

[Johann Cesar Godefroy und Sohn] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Apr 2007

Johann Cesar Godefroy und Sohn - J.C. Godeffroy VI. was born on 1 July 1813 in Kiel and died on 9 February 1885 in Dockenhusen. He was merchant and owner of a dockyard and ships. His family immigrated in the 18th century from La Rochelle. He overtook his fathers company, which dealed with South America trade, in 1842. He managed to establish a branch on the Samoa island of Upolu in 1857 using ships, which were built on his own dockyard "Reiherstieg". The company traded with copra and nacre shells. Though he had to give up some parts of business after a crisis in 1857, he rised up to be the "Südsee-König" (=King of the South Seas). He founded plantations at 50 different stations all over the South Pacific. He supported scientists and established a museum.
The company fell into bankruptcy in 1879 but was caught up by a new company supported by banks and trading companies. J.C. Godeffroy VII. became director of this "Deutsche Handels- und Plantagengesellschaft". The "Godeffroy-Empire" finally marked the begin of the German colony of (West-) Samoa.
Source: Franklin Kopitsch; David Tilgner (ed.): Hamburg Lexikon, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-9805687-9-2; p.179.

The company used a white flag with a golden dove on blue horizontal bar with golden stripes. The dove shows ist back, spreads its wings and wears a ribbon around its neck. Below the bar is a blue inscription: "J.C.G. & S.".
Source: Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945"; ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; inside cover.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Apr 2007

The Godeffroys were French Huguenots of La Rochelle where the leader of their successful family was mayor of the city. However, in 1737 they were forced to flee France to avoid religious persecution brought about by King Louis XIV’s anti-Protestantism. The family sought asylum in Germany and, after a few moves, finally settled in the trading port of Hamburg, which, although predominantly Lutheran, was tolerant of persons of all religions.
Source: this webpage.
More historical details on the company in the South Pacific here (not the correct spelling, Godeffroy) here.
Ivan Sache, 12 Apr 2007

C. Goedelt

[C.Goedelt] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 Mar 2007

C.Goedelt - The company had a white flag with red stripes on either edge. In the centre are black serifed capital letters "CG".
Source: Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945"; ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; cover inside.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 Mar 2007

Ludwig & Jakob Götz

[Ludwig & Jakob Götz] image by Eugene Ipavec, 21 Jul 2006

Situated at Neckarsteinach on the Neckar, East of Heidelberg, Ludwig & Jackob Götz GmbH & Co. KG is a firm active in inland shipping and freighting.  Its sand and gravel exploitation activities, at least, have been taken over by Heidelberger Sand & Kies (part of the famous Heidelberg Cement group).

Here is an article (in German) describing the tough life on board the river dredger (sand and gravel scooping) ‘Götz X’ now property of Heidelberg Cement; and here a page of the Binnenvaart site (in Dutch) presenting the ‘Jakob Götz’ along with a drawing of the house flag:

The image, however, is after the brochure “Ausbau des Rheins” (October 1977) describing extensive engineering works on the German part of the Rhine, specifically naming L&J Götz as responsible for strengthening the river banks.

The house flag is red, horizontally edged by two white stripes and having a white diamond, bearing a black initial ‘G’, in the middle.
Jan Mertens, 13 Jul 2006

Karl Gross

[Karl Gross] image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 Mar 2008

International freight forwarder ‘Karl Gross Internationale Spedition GmbH’, a German firm, is established at Bremen (main office).  The company website (in German) is being renewed. The Dutch branch’s site resembles the old version: In both cases we see a drawing of the house flag in a traditional form (Dutch site; also on building) and a modern, more dynamic one (German site – a few stripes were dropped in the process).

This image shows the real thing which very much resembles one of the many rowing club flags Klaus-Michael has sent us.
Basically a ten-stripe horizontal flag (BWB, etc.) with a large canton, the two upper stripes are replaced by the name ‘KARL GROSS’ in large blue letters without serifs – thus leaving four blue and four white stripes visible.  The white canton seems to take up 2/5 of flag width, its height being equal to six stripes.  Said canton contains a thin St Andrew’s cross in blue and consequently defines four triangles: the upper one contains the letter ‘B’ (for ‘Befrachtung’ i.e. freighting?), the left one ‘K’, the right one ‘G’ and the lower one the year ‘1876’ (all in blue and no serifs).

1876 is indeed the year of foundation of this freight forwarder and logistics enterprise which now has offices in Germany, the Netherlands, and China. According to the company site, Karl Gross – still in private hands, by the way – offers a complete palette of services in its chosen field.

Back to the flag – source of reduced attachment is yet another German eBay offer, no. 330038261367 put up by “lz530” who likes to hang out his (her?) goods on the garden clothesline.  End of offer 21 Oct 2006, dimensions given as 0.90 m x 1.40 m.  (A similar offer ending 29 Apr 2007 shows a flag – in a lying position - with dimensions given as 1.12 m x 1.97 m.).
Jan Mertens, 27 Mar 2008

Richard Grothmann

[Richard Grothmann] image by Ivan Sache, 12 Apr 2008

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Richard Grothmann" (#276, p. 50), a company based in Hamburg, as horizontally divided blue-white-blue  with the red letters "RG" in the middle of the white stripe.
Ivan Sache, 12 Apr 2008

Grundmann & Groschel

[Grundmann & Groschel] image by Jarig Bakker, 23 Dec 2004

Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Grundmann & Groschel, Geestemünde - white flag with Spanish fess; "G" in black in center. Geestemünde is part of Bremerhaven.
Jarig Bakker, 13 Dec 2004

Paul Günther

[Paul Günther] image by Jorge Candeias, 30 Dec 2004

The flag is white with a wide blue border all around. In the center of the white part, a blue 5-pointed star is sided by two initials, also blue: P to the left and G to the right. The caption seems to be composed of two words and the first is almost certainly "Paul". The second, though, is not legible. I guess"Gantter".
Jorge Candeias, 30 Dec 2004

It's Paul Günther Schiffsmakler GmbH & Co. KG, see company homepage: a shipping agent/broker, over a century old!
Jan Mertens, 31 Dec 2004