Last modified: 2017-11-11 by klaus-michael schneider
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image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 April 2012, based on images of Jan Mertens located on 19 Feb 2006 and 4 June 2007
The Niedersächsische Verfrachtungsgesellschaft mbH Hannover (Lower Saxon Transportation Co. Ltd) was founded in 1917 with a view to profiting from a new waterway, the Mittellandkanal, connecting that region to the Rhine.
Currently a subsidiary of Imperial Reederei (formerly Haniel), the firm transports bulk goods such as coal, wheat, fodder, etc. The company operates its own ships and has more than thirty private bargeowners under contract.
Seat: Hannover. (Incidentally, Imperial also owns the Märkische Transportgesellschaft)
Company website. The house flag is a long pennant, bearing a red diamond in the white hoist showing the white (prancing) horse of Saxony on a green base; black
initials NVGH surround the diamond; the fly has four stipes red-white-red-white which seem to converge in the point. Surely the ‘H’ stands for Hannover.
Jan Mertens, 19 Feb 2006
Niedersächsische Verfrachtungs-Gesellschaft mbH: The company
is part of Imperial Reederei Gruppe.
My first image was a reconstruction based on a file from the Company website. My reconstruction had been however doubtful, because the ships of that company don't use flags but plates on both boards instead with a different version of the horse of Lower Saxony (more uprising within a red "rectangle" with concave vertical sides). On the prow of the ships is a third version (no black base in the diamond, horse is facing the other side, letters are red instead of black). Probably no current flag version exists.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 June 2007/31 Mar 2012
With regard to the rectangular version I am not sure what the original file is or was, but suggest that trying to recreate a flag when the company link leads one straight to the pennant version is taking a track full of entrapments.
Whilst funnels are quite often a help with flags, and the current placing of panels on the superstructure practiced by German companies could not be more helpful, taking other parts of a vessel and its ornamentation can be misleading. In this case, for example, mention is made of a bow design of the horse facing the other way but having found photos showing bows for most of the fleet, only "Niedersachsen 9" shows such a version. And for this company the only funnel I have found is no help for it is line with the bow design being effectively a biband of red over white with the diamond overall edged white from the red and with the letters white on red and black on white.
As JanMertens' comments of 19.2.2006 describing the pennant predate the image things are more confused. These include for me the suggestion that the "H" stands for "Hannover" as I would have expected NVGH to have represented Niedersächsen Verfrachtungs GmbH.
Apart from the shape of the flag the other main disagreement with the rectangle version is with the lower portion of the diamond which, going by all other sources found, should be (a) green and (b) have a separating white line from the red upper portion which curves – not horizontally straight as shown.
That the flag is a pennant is supported by "Flaggen auf dem Rhein" 1952 and "Flaggen der Binnenschiffahrt" 1973 although both are short pennants i.e, are fitted into the normal rectangle space no doubt for printing purposes and neither shows the white line on the diamond but again this is probably a printing cause. The description on the German eBay offer of a "new" mast flag would seem perhaps to refer to the manufacture date.
That there may have be a short pennant version however, for other purposes, is suggested by the table flag shown on the marcollect site where it is however shown at the back of a group of Imperial Reederei Gruppe companies and the fly is thus obscured. I cannot be definite but the angle line of the top and bottom of the flag in its drape suggests to me that it is different from the others and being a pennant would explain that.
That the pennant is flown by the vessels can be verified by the company website photos of "Niedersachsen 21" and "Niedersaschen 22" on the Daten/Fakten page. They do not zoom very much but enough to gauge the format I find.
One possible unfortunate offshoot with the rectangular version, if it cannot be verified, is that one of the inland shipping websites which tries to show the house flag applicable to vessels has apparently used this image as their basis, thus perhaps giving it some undeserved legitimacy in the eyes of those who behold and for those who deem FOTW to be an authority. I know the text explains that there is some doubt about it but as this is separate from the image it is not perhaps clear.
Neale Rosanoski, 14 Aug 2010
The full name of the company is "Niedersächsische Verfrachtungs-Gesellschaft
mbh Hannover". (GmbH is some kind of Ltd.). I can just repeat that there probably exists no current flag version. The only ones I could observe in Billwerder Bucht
in deed were pennants. Furthermore the base within the diamond is green.
The relevant website is here
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Aug 2010
There does seem to have been an earlier flag showing red bearing the white horse, and in the small white quarters at either corner showing the black letters "NVGH" which according to source are dated as 1935.
Source: Walter Michels:"Unvergessene Dampfschiffahrt auf Rhein und Donau", 1967
Neale Rosanoski, 14 Aug 2010