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Courland (Latvia)

Last modified: 2011-06-13 by editor unassigned
Keywords: latvia | courland | kurshi | kurzeme | vidzeme | latgale | pilten |
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Background

Courland is geographicaly 1/5 of Latvia, politicaly was 1/3 of Latvia .Curonia (latin) comes from Kurshi tribes settled in modern western Latvia and western Lithuania (see Kursiu nerija in Lithuania). Mostly all german ascent population are colonists from Brandenburg and Lower Germany. Knights (Swordbrothers - later Livonian ordem - was a warriors ordem and keep only military and church power). Theutonic state ends (IIRC) in 15 century. After them there was many independent and quasiindependent states, greatest was Duchie of Courland (16-18cc) and Pilten Bishopy.. Real power of germans (baltic germans) ends only after revolution in 1905 and landreform in 1922
Courland as name never expieres. Duchie of Courland after incorporation in Russian Empire was renamer in Courlands Gouvernorate (Kurljandskaja Gubernija).
During WWI ,Germany planed a protectorate over the Baltic between 1917 (Russia's withdrawal from the war) and 1918 (German defeat).This project was never realised (was not accepted by German kaiser). More realistic was "Ostland project" - creating of german state in base of former Courland, Livland and Estland gouvernorates.In pre-WWII Latvia (also in modern Latvia). Courland was one of constitutional parts of Latvia (Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale - three stars in Latvian Coat of Arms).
Gvido Petersons, 29 June 1999


Historical Flags

Now I get b/w copy of 1936 book from Karlis Dzirkalis "Latvijas karoga vesture". There are lot of Latvian and pre-latvian flags.
Flags of Duchie of Courland (17th - 18th centuries) includes three flags: State, Merchant and Naval flags.
Gvido Petersons, 26 March 1999

At J.W Norie - J.S. Hobbs: Flaggen aller seefahrenden Nationen, 1971 [nor71] (original print 1848):
95 Courland: Red, an Eagle White.
96 Courland: White, an Eagle Black.
97 Courland: Red over White.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 12 November 2001

State Flag


image by Gvido Petersons, 26 March 1999

The red over white flag appears at Steenbergen Book as Courland merchant.
Jaume Olle, 4 Febuary 2003

The cover of [sie63] shows what the book describes as approximately a quarter of a flagchart, one of many to roll of the, mostly Dutch, presses for the use of seafarers: "Tableau des Pavillons que la Plupart des Nations arborent a` la Mer. Faitau de'po^t des cartes et plans de la marine pour le service des vaisseaux du Roy par ordre de M. de Machault, Garde de se'aux de France. Par le Sr. Bellin Inge'nieur de la marine. 1756." [beL56]
On the 2nd row from the bottom there is "Pavil. de Curlande" - A flag of two equally wide flywise stripes, red and white.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 4 January 2001

Merchant Flag


image by Gvido Petersons, 26 March 1999

Naval Flag


image by Gvido Petersons, 26 March 1999

To my knowledge, Courland displayed a crab on the flags flown from his African colonies forts. One source is the 1848 flag book by Norrie/Hobbes, in this edition also an eagle is associated to Courland flags.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 26 March 1999

Here is the flag from the Latvian Academic Librarry representing the book ,dated 1772, "Worlds navigation flags" the copy of Bologna manuscript at <www5.acadlib.lv>.
Description of the picture here: "the sea crab on the Raspberry red background - the flag of military ships of duke Jacob"
eermaniitis, 24 February 2010

Flags with Eagle


images contributed by Jarig Bakker, 10 April 1999

Three flags from Curland were reported recently. I know about a fourth flag: It is red with white eagle. Anyone know his use (ducal standart?).
Jaume Olle, 10 April 1999

Those flags are on the Flag Chart of Laurie, 1842, in Wilson's Flags at Sea (1986), as well as a blue eagle on a white field.
Jarig Bakker, 10 April 1999

Flags According to Steenbergen Book (1862)


image by Jaume Olle,13 January 2003

No. 27 - Curland.
Source: Steenbergen book [stb62].
Jaume Olle, 13 January 2003


image by Jaume Olle, 22 January 2003

No. 96 - Courland.
Source: Steenbergen book [stb62].
Jaume Olle, 22 January 2003


image by Jaume Olle, 22 January 2003

No. 97 - Courland merchant flag.
Source: Steenbergen book [stb62].
Jaume Olle, 22 January 2003


image by Jaume Olle, 28 January 2003

No. 135 - Princely Flag.
Source: Steenbergen book [stb62].
Jaume Olle, 28 January 2003


image by Jaume Olle, 4 Febuary 2003

No. 170 - Courland merchant.
Source: Steenbergen book [stb62].
Jaume Olle, 4 Febuary 2003


image by Jaume Olle, 16 April 2003

No. 457 - Courland.
Source: Steenbergen book [stb62].
Jaume Olle, 16 April 2003


Duchy of Courland (1918)

During WWI ,Germany planed a protectorate over the Baltic between 1917 (Russia's withdrawal from the war) and 1918 (German defeat).This project was never realised (was not accepted by German kaiser).
Gvido Petersons, 29 June 1999

Answer of Kaiser Wilchelm to Courlands Land Council to decision about creation of Duchy of Courland in March 8. 1918(in German):
Wir Wilchelm, von Gottes Gnaden Deutscher Kaiser, König von Preusen u. beauftragen hiermit Unseren Reichskanzler, der Grafen von Hertling, dem Kurländischen Landesrat zu erklären, daß Wir auf den Uns durch seine Vertreter übermittelten Wunsch und auf den Bericht Unseres Reichskanzler im Namen des Deutschen Reiches das Herzogtum Kurland als freies und selbständiges Staatswesen anerkennen und bereit sind, im Namen des Deutschen Reiches diejenige Staatsverträge mit Kurland abzuschließen, die eine enge wirtschaftliche und militärische Verbindung beider Länder gewährletsten. Gleichzeitig beauftragen Wir Unseren Reichskanzler, den Abschluß dieser Verträge vorzubereiten. Urkundlich haben Wir diesen Auftrag Allerhöchst Selbat vollzogen und mit Unserem Kaiserlichen Insiegel versehen lassen.
Gegeben ................ , den 15.März 1918
Wilchelm
Graf von Hertling.
Gvido Petersons, 25 April 2001

In short it says: We recognize the Duchy of Courland as a free and independent state and will conclude treaties for economic and military co-operation, signed: Wilhelm, Count of Hertling, Imperial Chancellor.
Jarig Bakker, 25 April 2001

It is rather signed and sealed by the Emperor. The count of Hertling seems to have countersigned it.
Elias Granqvist, 25 April 2001