Fahnen Kössinger, Apr. 11, 2017
They belong to a flag as the flag bearer himself: the flag banners that are attached to the top of the flagpole. Donated by the flag mother or the partner club, devoted to the deceased or a greeting for the jubilee - many clubs collect a considerable number of banners in the course of time. But where does this tradition come from?
Like the flags themselves, the flag banners have their origin in the military. They were basically honorable badges that were donated to an army confederation for "special merits against the foe". This tradition of the Prussian army was taken over by the other armies of the German Reich (1871 to 1918) as well as Austria-Hungary. Up till today, flag bannersa re donated as a special honorary gift. The government or the German states donate them to single parts of the troop of the German army or also to foreign armies such as the US forces or the British troops. The German soldiers on the other hand are honored with banners by foreign governments. The banners make the flag unique and are attached at official events.
The design of the flag banners is clearly regulated: They are made in the colors of the arms of the troop department that gets the banner. These honorable decorations make the troop flags unique, they are otherwise designed simply in common black-red-yellow fabric in Germany.
diverent flag banners
Clubs, and especially firebrigades and shooting clubs, have taken over this tradition of the honorable banners. But here, the banners have another function. They are not a symbol for special bravery or maybe extraordinarily dangerous missions, but a sign for the friendly connection between the clubs. It is a special honor for a club if a flag banner is donated. Frequent events are foundation festivities, the flag consecration itself or pilgrimages. This tradition is above all common in southern German and in the Alpine regions.
There are no strict rules as to who hands over a flag banner. It is, however, usual that the jubilee club and their patron club express their solidarity by an elaborately made flag banner. In addition, one usually donates banners of the flag mother and the flag virgins, as well as a banner of the political municipality for commemorating the deceased.
The patron, the chairpeople, the club manager or the flag ensign say thank you for the honor by donating a banner. Sometimes, also the active members have an own banner made.
In the course of time, numerous banners are collected - that can definitely amount to a considerable weight. They are attached to the bannerring by hooks that are fastened below the finial of the flagpole. Most of these bannerrings carry up to 12 flag banners - some clubs, however, own considerably more than these honorable banners. This means that for festivities, somebody has to choose which banners to put on and which to leave at home. It is the task of the flag ensign to make this decision. There are hardly and fix rules. Only the mourning banner should always be attached to the flag, mostly the banner of the flag mother as well. Otherwise, the cause of the event is important: If you participate in the parade of the patron club, the patron club's banner is added. During church masses very often memorial ribbons are put on, during more worldly events, banners of the manager or the active members are hung up. Mourning ribbons, i.e. a black ribbon and a black cover for the finial are put onto the flag during funerals, memorials of the deceased and Remembrance Day.