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German West African Company (Germany)

Deutsch-Westafrikanische Gesellschaft / Compagnie

Last modified: 2003-08-09 by santiago dotor
Keywords: german empire | german west african company | deutsch-westafrikanische compagnie | deutsch-westafrikanische gesellschaft | dwac | dwag | cross: fimbriated (red) | disc (yellow) | eagle (black) | circle (red) |
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[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5
As shown in Flaggenbuch 1905
by Ralf Stelter

See also:


The first image is the flag shown in Ruhl c.1900 (the next edition, Ruhl c.1902, does not show any company flags). Ruhl showed the letters DWAC for Deutsch-Westafrikanische Compagnie (although in the text he writes '...Gesellschaft').

The second version is redrawn after Flaggenbuch 1905. That book was also made (compiled and printed) by Moritz Ruhl. This time he shows DWAG but writes '...Compagnie'. The letters have slightly changed, but I am quite sure that the main thing was that it is a Serif with heavy serifs (Egyptienne, as we call it).

The third image is drawn after a picture in a collectors' card album (around 1935). The cards album flag has the letters DWAG for Deutsch-Westafrikanische Gesellschaft.

I haven't yet found another source to confirm the correctness of either flag, nor do I have information at hand about the company. Possibly the cross had changed over the time, similar to the cross in the German naval flag, possibly variants were used — or not. I don't know. I'll try to find some information on the company, which had its seat at Berlin. Possibly the flag was used in Togo and Cameroon similarly to the East African Company flag in the East, as a kind of state flag.

Ralf Stelter, 25 January 2001

Flag as shown in Ruhl c.1900

[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5
by Ralf Stelter

Flag of German West Africa Company in 1916 German book Die Flaggen aller Staaten der Erde [a 1916 edition of Ruhl c.1900] shows the flag as Flagge der Deutsch-Westafrikan[ische] Gesellschaft with black initials at corners: D in upper hoist, A in lower hoist, W in upper fly and C in lower fly. The letter 'C' should be 'G'. Here is a scanned image.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 31 January 2001

Flag as shown in Flaggenbuch 1905

[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5
by Ralf Stelter

Flag as shown in a collectors album c.1935

[German West Africa Company (Germany)] 3:5
by Ralf Stelter

Flag as shown in a 1882 source, probably mistaken

Here is a scanned image of the flag of German Colonies West Africa in a 1882 source. Black fimbriated white extended cross in white background. Red extended cross inside white cross and a black German eagle drawn in red bordered yellow disc in the center. [No letters.]

Nozomi Kariyasu, January 2001

I understand the three flags above (whichever was correct, maybe all were) belong to the c.1900-1918 period. Was there really a different 1882-c.1900 flag without the D-W-A-G letters as Nozomi Kariyasu mentions?

Santiago Dotor, 25 January 2001

I doubt a company flag without letters. Companies were always proud of their flags, very proud of their letters on the flag. Maybe Nozomi Kariyasu has not noticed an additional text or whatever might have given further detail.

Ralf Stelter, 25 January 2001

I said the first flag shown in 1882 source is 'German Colonies West Africa' not 'German West Africa Company'. So I suppose the flag need not have company letters. Anyway when was the Company established?

Nozomi Kariyasu, 27 January 2001

Sorry but I cannot locate the name of the 1882 source but if we got information on when was the German West Africa Company established and dissolved and what was their main activity we may be able to learn the status of this flag without company letters.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 31 January 2001

The scanned image I consider as wrong. Not only the letters are missing, but there were no German West African Colonies as an administrative unit, only Togo and Cameroon. These were German protectorates since 1884, and so it is interesting that Nozomi Kariyasu found a flag for the company in an 1882 book, when Germany still had no possessions in West Africa. Maybe the flag without letters was a draft for the company flag when the name was not yet decided...

Ralf Stelter, 1 and 5 February 2001

The German West African Company was founded in 1882.

Ole Andersen, 5 February 2001