Original Imperial German Franco-Prussian War Kingdom of Saxony Embroidered Veterans Fringed Flag - 56" x 54"
Original Item: Only one available. This flag came was purchased at a recent estate sale, and is a spectacular item! It measures a very displayable 54-inches wide by 56-inches tall, with a bullion fringe going around three of four sides. It is double sided, with lots of embroidery, including lots using bullion thread. An immense amount of time must have gone into this lovely flag.
We have had several of these flags before, and all were from the late 19th century, made in celebration of what was at that time the largest and most successful military action for the Kindgom of Prussia, which lead to the formation of the German Empire: The Franco - Prussian War. Also called the "War of 1870", this conflict lasted from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, and involved the North German Confederation and the 2nd French Empire.
There is some debate as to the exact cause, but in general it is felt that France wanted to regain their pre-eminent position in Continental Europe, which was put into question after Prussia's crushing defeat of Austria in 1866. At possible prodding from Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, France declared war, and the North German Federation responded in kind, most likely hoping to draw the rest of the un-affiliated German States into an Alliance, with Prussia at the forefront. After the war ended, this came into being, with the 1871 creation of the German Empire.
The North German Confederation had many constituent states, with two that qualified as Königreichen (Kindgoms), Preussen (Prussia) and Sachsen (Saxony). This flag appears to be from Saxony, though the reverse is definitely Prussian. It could be a flag to remember the two pre-eminent powers before the formation of the empire. Definitely worthy of further research!
This flag is constructed from a muslin center layer, with embroidered silk on each side, which may have once been white, but has now faced to a lovely cream color. The silk unfortunately has degraded over time, and there is now a lot of tearing. Overall the silk layers are quite delicate.
The front, or Saxon side of the flag has the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Saxony under a crown, surrounded by some foliate designs. There are embroidered words in German "Blackletter" gothic style, above and below the emblem:
This roughly translates to "Military Warriors Association for Saxony", and was most likely one of the many veteran's associations in the kingdom.
The rear of the flag has the Imperial Coat of Arms of the Imperial House of German Empire, and eagle with a Black/White Prussian Shield on its breast. This is perched on an oak and laurel leaf wreath, and is surrounded by the phrases: In Treue Fest (Steadfast in Loyalty) and Im Sturme Treu (Faithful in the Storm).
There is of course some damage from age and wear, and it looks like the flag was at some point cut off of its mountings, probably when it as brought back after WWI or WWII by a soldier.
A truly amazing flag, already over 100 years old. A magnificent display piece that would brighten up any wall, regardless of which side you display! This flag could certainly benefit from being mounted in a double-sided frame mounting. The flag is currently mounted with tacks to a 56" long wooden stave, which has two attached hanger hooks.
Ready to display!
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