Original Imperial German WWI 55x100cm Naval Battle Flag marked Helgoland - dated 1914

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a totally original authentic Imperial German WWI Naval Battle Flag, with a large Balkenkreuz (Beam Cross) in the field, with a circle around the Imperial German Eagle at the intersection of the cross. The canton of the flag contains the imperial state colors and the Prussian Eisernes Kreuz (Iron Cross). The flag is made of cotton or linen, the standard material for flags of the period.

The flag header is thick canvas, and is marked 1914 Helgoland 55x100, indicating the size of the flag. There are also maker or inspection marks stamped onto the header, which are unfortunately illegible.  Based on the small size of the flag, it was most likely intended for a launch or a lifeboat.

The marking "Helgoland" could either indicate the location of manufacture, or the ship it was issued to. The name itself refers to a small group of German Islands, known as Heligoland in non-Germanic languages. However, the islands really did not have much textile industry, so we assume this refers to the ship:

SMS Helgoland, the lead ship of her class, was a dreadnought battleship of the German Imperial Navy. Helgoland's design represented an incremental improvement over the preceding Nassau class, including an increase in the bore diameter of the main guns, from 28 cm (11 in) to 30.5 cm (12 in). Her keel was laid down on 11 November 1908 at the Howaldtswerke shipyards in Kiel. Helgoland was launched on 25 September 1909 and was commissioned on 23 August 1911.

Like most battleships of the High Seas Fleet, Helgoland saw limited action against Britain's Royal Navy during World War I. The ship participated in several fruitless sweeps into the North Sea as the covering force for the battlecruisers of the I Scouting Group. She saw some limited duty in the Baltic Sea against the Russian Navy, including serving as part of a support force during the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in August 1915. Helgoland was present at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916, though she was located in the center of the German line of battle and not as heavily engaged as the König- and Kaiser-class ships in the lead. Helgoland was ceded to Great Britain at the end of the war and broken up for scrap in the early 1920s. Her coat of arms is preserved in the Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr in Dresden.

This flag is in really superior condition, no rips or moth whatsoever, only slight age discoloration here and there. It is one of the most attractive issued during WWI, and would make a very nice display piece.

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