Last modified: 2001-09-08 by santiago dotor
Keywords: brandenburg | colonial | eagle (red) | crown: royal | coat of arms | eagle (black) | colonial | brandenburg african company | brandenburg west indies company | gross-friedrichsburg |
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by Mario Fabretto, source CISV archives
The Brandenburg African Company was created around 1680 and its flag was white, with the red eagle of Brandenburg topped with the electoral cap and the shield of Electoral Brandenburg [blue shield with the Reichserbkämmerer's golden scepter] on her breast. The sword and the sceptre were gold and crossed behind the eagle. On 8 January 1701, Frederick III issued a decree following which the ships of the Company had to fly the white flag with the black eagle of Prussia with a royal crown over her head, the letters "FR" [Fredericus Rex] on her breast and a ducal crown around her neck. Later (1707) the ducal crown was substituted by a royal one. An exact design of this flag is not known. This [latter] flag was the very first flag with the black eagle of Prussia.
Mario Fabretto, 5 August 1998
The Brandenburg African Company ran in the late 17th and early 18th century a strongpoint on the Gold Coast called Gross Friedrichsburg. It sold its colony to the Dutch West Indies Company (GWC) in 1717.
Norman Martin, 3 August 1998
From this European Forts in Ghana webpage:
Fort Gross-Friedrichsburg (Princestown)
Under the reign of the Grand Elector Friedrich-Wilhelm von Brandenburg, was created an African Company, this company for about forty years ruled on several African forts at: Arguin, Takrama, Takoradi, Akwida (Ft. Dorothea), Whydah and Princestown or Poquefoe (Gross-Friedrichsburg).
On 1 January 1683, a Brandenburger expedition of two ships, arrived in the Gold Coast, and started to build a strong fort between Axim and Cape of Three Points, which was named Gross-Friedrichsburg. The fort was to be the headquarters of Brandenburg in Africa, it was garrisoned at the beginning by 91 European men and 130 Africans. The fort was a square shaped with four bastions. In the first 15 years the Brandenburgers developed well the trade with the Africans, but from 1700 trade began to decline. The Company was allied to an African chief called John Couny that was in war against the Dutch and the English.
In 1720 a treaty was concluded between the King of Prussia and the Dutch, and all the African forts of Brandenburg were sold to the Hollanders, but the African ally of Prussia/Brandenburg, John Couny, refused to surrender Gross-Friedrichsburg. In 1725 the Dutch captured Fort Gross-Friedrichsburg and renamed it Fort Hollandia. The fort was abandoned by the Dutch in 1815.
Santiago Dotor, 11 June 2001
by Jaume Ollé
A white flag with a black two-headed eagle with a gold crown and gold sword and scepter.
Norman Martin, 20 January 1998
The flag shown here is from two Dutch flag charts, one of which dates from 1737 and one c. 1750 (the latter is copied in Smith 1975, pp. 204-5). In both it is listed as Brandenburg West Indies Company. It is not at all improbable that the 1750 chart copied the 1737 one (or an earlier one) so that this may not be a separate observation. There are however several problems:
Norman Martin, 3 August 1998
[The above image is wrong in that it should have] no [in]escutcheon, should have a sword in eagle's right claw (left as viewed by observor) rather than a scepter (as in no.26). I think it ought to have some indication of its dubious status, considering:
Norman Martin, 5 January 1999
[My] image [above] is according [to] Flagmaster.
Jaume Ollé, 9 August 1999