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Roland Linie (German Shipping Company)

Roland Linie, Bremen

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by german editorial team
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[Roland Linie] image by Jarig Bakker, 9 May 2004 See also:

Roland Linie

Roland Linie, Bremen. White flag, a key and "RL, all red.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Jarig Bakker, 9 May 2004

Roland Linie variant

[Roland Linie variant] image by Eugene Ipavec, 29 Jun 2009

More on the beginnings of the Roland Linie at The Ships List (where a variant flag, with open-work key, is shown – not significant, perhaps): “The Roland Linie AG was founded at the end of 1905 as a independent shipping company to open new routes to the west coast of North America, later extended to west and east coast of South America and the Caribbean.  (...) At the beginning of WWI the Roland Linie owned fifteen ships. (...)   Four ships were lost during the conflict and after the armistice the rest of the fleet had to be delivered to the Allies.
In 1920 the Roland Linie was back on the seven seas again with several ships and at the end of that year the sailings to the west coast of South America were started. (...) The Norddeutscher Lloyd took over the Roland Linie AG at the end of 1925 and fleet and personnel were merged into the Norddeutscher Lloyd in 1925/1926 which transferred its European services to a new company the Roland Linie Aktien Gesellschaft and existed under NDL banner (later Hapag-Lloyd AG) until 1992.”
To complicate matters a three-coloured variant showed up on German eBay a few years ago: this was offer no. 120033407056 (end 25 Sep 2006) put up by “le sas”.  Dimensions given as approx. 117 cm x 201 cm, it does not have red initials but (unserifed) blue ones.
Generally speaking the use of Bremen’s colours (red and white) and emblem (key) should not surprise but I cannot explain the change in colour.
Jan Mertens, 28 Jun 2009