Imperial storm flag

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Standard bearer with the Reichssturm flag (choir window in Bern Minster )
Standard bearers next to the king in the representation of a pagan battle of Emperor Charlemagne from 1334
Coat of arms of Count Ulrich III. with the imperial storm flag acquired together with Grüningen in 1336
Duke Eberhard I of Württemberg with the imperial storm flag (1495)
Duke coat of arms with the dominions of Württemberg, Teck, Grüningen and Mömpelgard at the rectory in Markgröningen
In 1718 Grüningen had to cede the imperial storm flag to the newly founded Ludwigsburg residence , which it also took over as the city's coat of arms (albeit without the red handle)
Württemberg sovereign plaque from 1805 with an electoral heart shield, which emphasizes the imperial storm flag as a symbol of the
office of the Archbanner
Large royal coat of arms (1871) with three imperial storm flags. The one in the coat of arms stands for the county of Gröningen ; one is held by the Staufer lion, the other by the Württemberg stag

The Empire storm flag was originally in the war as ensigns of the Holy Roman Empire run riding flag . The German kings have together with county, town and castle Grüningen preferably awarded to Swabian Noble as an imperial fief, because the Swabians from everlasting pilot Right of occupied. In 1336 the imperial storm flag with castle , town and everything that belonged to today's Markgröningen was finally passed on as an inheritance to the Counts of Württemberg , who only fulfilled the associated function at the beginning, but adorned themselves with it until the 19th century and also as duke, elector or König still had the secondary title Graf von Grüningen or Graf zu Gröningen . According to information from the Markgröningen City Archives, nothing is known about the whereabouts of the Reichssturmfahne.


Imperial storm flag

Reichssturmfahne with pennant gold2.jpg As a rider standarte was originally square Reich Striker flag as Reichsbanner the black imperial eagle in a golden field and had a top fixed to the banners, long red " Schwenkel ". She was later also depicted with a double-headed eagle. Or around 1692 briefly with a black eagle in a blue field, when the Dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg claimed the office of Reichssturmfähnrichs to establish the ninth cure .

Other standards in the Holy Roman Empire

Reich racing flag heraldic.svg The Reichssturmfahne is to be distinguished from the Reichsrennfahne , a black and white divided standard with crossed red swords. In addition to the imperial sword , the imperial marshal had to wear the racing flag on the emperor's side.
War flag of the Holy Roman Empire (1200-1350) .svg During the crusades , knights of the Holy Roman Empire also carried the banner of the Teutonic Order with a black cross on a white background and the banner of the Order of St. John with a silver cross in a red field. The latter is said to have also been used in the fight against the Turks outside Vienna.
Saint George's banner 96dpi.jpg The St. George's banner (red cross on silver) carried by the Knights Templar , among others , was also used by the Swabian and Frankish knights.


Swabian privilege since Charlemagne

In the Holy Roman Empire , the counts and knights from Swabia claimed the honorable and risky right of pre-litigation and, associated with this, the privilege of being the bearer of the imperial storm flag. According to the "Imperial Chronicle" from the 12th century, Charlemagne (747–814) is said to have granted this right to his brother-in-law and military leader Gerold († 799) and his successors as leaders of the Swabian armed forces for all time. The occasion is Gerold's bravery in Karl's Italian campaign in 773/774 against the Lombards, where he was raised to signifer regis (ensign of the king). Gerold thus served as an identity-creating personality in Swabian history. In the Middle High German poem "Charlemagne" by the knitter , the Swabian count is the declared favorite of the emperor. In the folk tales, Gerold is mainly glorified as the "standard bearer of Charlemagne". In his shadow, the number of his successors remains vague for a long time.

There is just as little documentary evidence as to whether the subsequent definitive link between the Reichssturmfahne and the castle and town of Grüningen was made by Charlemagne, as is the tradition that Queen Hildegard († 783), the sister of Gerold and Karl's wife, was the predecessor church of the Grüningen family Bartholomäuskirche . We only know that Grüningen already played a certain regional key role as a Franconian border bastion before the complete capture of Alemannia or Swabia in the 8th century, and the traditional name as an "ancient" royal estate from 1139 onwards can be confirmed by documents issued locally in the royal palace . An entry in the Lorsch Codex , in which Gerold the Younger is listed in 794 as Gaugraf in Glemsgau , proves that Gerold held an office that was then awarded by the king in the surroundings of Grüningen.

Four Werner and a Staufer

From the turn of the millennium, four Count Werner, originally from Swabia and equipped with additional counties, are recorded as Imperial Storm Ensigns of the Salians . The first two, Werner I. († 1040) and Werner II. († 1053), paid the honorable and apparently inheritable office as "primicerius et signifer regis" (precursor and ensign of the king) with their lives. At least Werner III. and Werner IV. named themselves as bearers of the Reichssturmfahne and the associated royal fiefdom to Grüningen , although they had counties in Hessen and Neckargau with far more possessions. Count Werner IV. Profited from the Bempflingen contract and is said to have been a close relative of the first proven Württemberg man, Konrad von Württemberg . Presumably the Counts of Württemberg derived from this last Werner von Grüningen, who died in 1121 without descendants, the claim to the imperial storm flag and the associated county with castle and town of Grüningen, which was always pursued with great energy.

The next verifiable bearer of the Reichssturmfahne, however, is a Staufer: After Konrad III, who was raised and failed as a Salier heir to the rival king . had come to an agreement with King Lothar von Supplingenburg , he accompanied Lothar as an imperial ensign on his campaign to Italy. Also because of his services in this office, he was re-elected king in 1138 instead of Lothar's son Heinrich. In 1139 he held a court day in the Grüninger Reichsburg and recorded documents for the Denkendorf monastery. Among the witnesses are the Württemberg Counts Ludwig and Emicho , whose descendants appeared in Grüningen a hundred years later as church lords and owners of a “stone house” (medieval city palace) next to the church and finally called themselves “von Grüningen” as feudal bearers of the royal estate.

Wuerttembergians call themselves the Counts of Grüningen

In 1227 in Wimpfen and 1228 in Accon, a count of Württemberg appears for the first time, who renamed himself von Grüningen . Conrad I von Grüningen was presumably enfeoffed with the imperial fief of the same name including imperial storm flag and accompanied Emperor Friedrich II on his crusade to the Holy Land .

Konrad's successor was his brother, Count Hartmann I von Grüningen ("1246 senior"). In 1243 he was in the entourage of Emperor Friedrich II. His nephew and heir Hartmann II. Von Grüningen changed in 1246 as a presumed Reichssturmfähnrich before the battle of Frankfurt with his cousin or brother Ulrich I. von Württemberg and 2000 Swabian followers from the Hohenstaufen to the papal side and thus initiated the decline of the Staufer.

It is documented that the second anti-Staufer King Wilhelm of Holland in 1252 attributed the imperial storm flag including the castle and town of Grüningen (today Markgröningen ) to the Württemberg Count Hartmann II of Grüningen as an inheritance. As Signifer Imperii , he expanded the city into his residence and traditionally kept the flag in the local imperial castle . She stayed there after King Rudolf von Habsburg in 1280 the reversion of Hartmann II. And his son Hartmann III. von Grüningen had enforced an imperial fief that was claimed as his own property.

According to Hartmanns III. Death in the dungeon on the Hohenasperg , his brother Count Konrad II von Grüningen tried for years to get the Grüninger imperial fief back, and after a final failure called himself only Count von Landau (after a castle near Riedlingen ). Some historians such as Memminger and Römer erroneously derived the name of the counts from a Grüningen near Riedlingen on the Danube, despite this renewed name change.

King Rudolf placed the imperial storm flag and the castle in Grüningen in the hands of his brother-in-law: Count Albrecht II von Hohenberg , who, as the Lower Swabian provincial bailiff and bailiff of Grüningen, used the Grüningen castle as a second residence and accompanied the king on several campaigns. After Rudolf's death, he received his nephew Albrecht V von Habsburg here on April 28, 1292 on the way to the election of a king in Frankfurt, where Count Adolf von Nassau was elected king. His first official acts included the deposition of the Hohenberger as Reichssturmfähnrich and Swabian Reichslandvogt in order to entrust these important offices to his brother-in-law, Count Heinrich von Isenburg . After King Adolf was deposed and Albrecht von Habsburg was elected as king, he appointed Otto III. von Ochsenstein became Reichssturmfähnrich instead of his Hohenberg uncle who fell on April 17, 1298 in the battle on the Kreuzwiesen near his castle Leinstetten . In the decisive battle near Göllheim on July 2, 1298, two royal standard-bearers competed against each other and both fell.

Definitely in Württemberg hands

On October 3, 1322, King Ludwig, the Bavarian , transferred the Grüninger Sturmfahnlehen with castle and town and all rights and fiefs to his companion Konrad II von Schlüsselberg and his heirs in view of his services for the king and empire and as standard bearer in his victorious battle near Mühldorf , Patronage and jurisdiction, villages, pastures, forests, bodies of water and watercourses, people and vassals, income and accessories to right and perpetual fiefdom and orders all people and vassals belonging to the city and castle, Konrad and his heirs, the named rights in full surrender and be obedient to them.

At the request of Ludwig, who has meanwhile been crowned emperor, Konrad Fahne, Burg und Stadt Grüningen, who was married to a woman from Württemberg, went to Count Ulrich III in 1336 for compensation . from Wuerttemberg , to which Ludwig granted the imperial storm flag and all associated possessions and privileges as inheritance .

When King Maximilian I awarded Count Eberhard von Württemberg the ducal dignity at the Reichstag in Worms in 1495 , he also renewed the hereditary fief with the Reichssturmfahnlehen and announced by means of a separate document that “we have recommended our people and the Reich Sturmvanen to the highly porous Eberharten, Moved to Wirtemberg and Teck, [...] and all his fiefdoms were given to him as a right fiefdom and also lend him with this Our letter Gruningen Statt and Burg with people and good people [...], when because that is ours of the Sturmvanen Empire Fief is and also belongs to it; with the modesty that the aforesaid Hertzog and his heirs to us and our descendants in the Reich, Kunegen and Keysern, must forever do the service that one ought to do rightly and fairly. Sy sullent too and have orders that sy procure and preserve the Sturmvanen [...], as also the named Hertzog Eberhart and his forefathers from our Vorfaren am Reich had such recommendations and fiefs and brought them here. "

It is true that the Counts of Württemberg had increasingly viewed the sponsorship of the Reichssturmfahne symbolically, i.e. free from the direct military obligation of the pre-dispute , which Maximilian no longer explicitly emphasized. But they endeavored that their function as Reichssturmfähnrich should be regarded as similar to the arch offices of the Reich. For example, the Reichssturmfahne and the associated county of Grüningen were integrated into the now four-part coat of arms of Württemberg after the ducal elevation on a blue background and only disappeared from it at the end of the Kingdom of Württemberg in 1918.

When in 1692 the dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg were made electoral princes and they were given the officially created office of arch-banner-bearer, Württemberg protested and achieved that the office was no longer assigned from 1706. After the completion of his residential palace in Ludwigsburg , which was built near Grüningen from 1704 , Duke Eberhard Ludwig von Württemberg moved the storage location of the imperial storm flag from Grüninger to Ludwigsburg palace and in 1718 awarded his new royal seat Ludwigsburg the imperial storm flag in a blue field as the city's coat of arms. In the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803 Duke Friedrich von Württemberg was awarded the electoral dignity. The function of the Reichssturmfähnrichs was upgraded to the Archbanner Office . With the accession to the Rhine Confederation , which also meant the end of the empire, and the elevation to the rank of king by the grace of Napoleon, Friedrich von Württemberg renounced the imperial dignity or the status as elector and "archbanner" in 1806. In the royal heart shield, the imperial storm flag was replaced by three Staufer lions, but was retained in the large state coat of arms as a symbol for the County of Grüningen and appeared twice after re-entry into the Second German Empire in 1871: One imperial storm flag is from the Staufer lion, the other from the Württemberg Deer held. This symbolically closes a circle with the two Counts Hartmann II. Von Grüningen and Ulrich I von Württemberg , who switched to the anti-Staufer party in 1246 in order to inherit Staufer household property and the Reichssturmfahnlehen.

Bearer of the Reichssturmfahne

  • Gerold the Younger in the Baar (also Gerold II., † 799), brother-in-law, very trusted advisor and outstanding military leader of Charlemagne, who therefore gave him and his Swabian successors the right of first step and thus the office and dignity of the imperial ensign "for all time" .
  • Count Werner I. von Maden (also von Winterthur ; approx. 1000-1040) fell together with his son Liutfrid as the “pioneer and royal standard bearer” of Emperor Heinrich III. in his campaign against Duke Břetislav I of Bohemia, when he was ambushed during one of his functions.
  • Count Werner II of Maden and in Neckargau (approx. 1020-1053) fell as "primicerius et signifer regis" with his brother Adalbert II of Winterthur in the Norman Battle of Civitate , where the two brothers with 600 Swabian foot soldiers were the only non- Italian contingent of the defeated army of Pope Leo IX. to whom they were related.
  • Count Werner III. von Maden (approx. 1040-1065) initially had a cousin of his father, Count Eberhard der Selige von Nellenburg , as guardian and married the Swabian count's daughter Willibirg von Achalm ; he was Count von Maden, Count in Neckargau, in Worms and on the Lahn (Weilburg) and, as a Reichssturmfähnrich, also called himself Count von Grüningen .
  • Count Werner IV. Von Grüningen (approx. 1060–1121) was a Reichssturmfähnrich, Count von Maden, Count in Neckargau and Burgrave of Worms and in Grüningen, who, like his father before, initially had Count Eberhard the Blessed of Nellenburg as guardian closely related to the Counts of Württemberg and had no descendants.
  • Conrad III. von Staufen (approx. 1093–1152), was 1116/20 duke in Franconia, 1127–1135 anti-king of Lothar III, but as such was defeated; after a comparison he accompanied Lothar as a committed Imperial Assault Ensign on his Italian campaign and then became king in the Roman-German Empire in 1138.
  • Count Konrad I of (Württemberg-) Grüningen († before 1237) renamed himself to von Grüningen and accompanied Emperor Friedrich II on his crusade as a presumed Reichssturmfähnrich; he chartered in 1227 in the royal palace of Wimpfen and in 1228 in Akkon in favor of the Teutonic Order, which he possibly joined.
  • Count Hartmann I von Grüningen († 1246), temporarily in the entourage of Emperor Frederick II, remained without a male heir and passed the office of Reichssturmfähnrich and Grüninger fiefdom bearer on to his nephew Hartmann II.
  • Count Hartmann II of Grüningen (* around 1225, † 1274), "Comes illustrissimus", initiated the decline of the Staufer by changing sides to the Gegenkönig in 1246; Presumably received the castle, town and imperial storm flag from the papal rival king as own property in 1252, initiated the new construction of the Bartholomäuskirche and did not call himself "primericus et signifer regis" like its predecessors, but as "sacri imperii signifer", which he introduced as the imperial ensign .
  • Count Hartmann III. von Grüningen (* before 1252; † 1280), son of Hartmann II. and like the one who founded the bell of the Bartholomäuskirche, defended the castle and town of Grüningen against the revenge policy of King Rudolf von Habsburg until his capture in 1280 and died in the dungeon on Hohenasperg .
  • Count Albrecht II von Hohenberg (approx. 1235–1298), brother-in-law of King Rudolf von Habsburg , made a name for himself as the Lower Swabian provincial bailiff in the implementation of Rudolf's revindication policy (recovery of former royal property at the expense of the Württemberg counts); Albrecht used the Grüningen Castle, which he brought back into imperial hands in 1280, as a second residence, hosted the princely wedding in Grüningen in the presence of Rudolf, and accompanied him on several campaigns as a Reichssturmfähnrich.
  • During the reign of King Adolf von Nassau from 1292 to 1298, Count Heinrich von Isenburg was Reichssturmfähnrich, Reichslandvogt of Lower Swabia and Reichsvogt at Grüninger Castle.
  • Konrad II von Schlüsselberg zu Grüningen (approx. 1273-1347) decided the battle of Mühldorf for King Ludwig the Bavarian with his knights and was enfeoffed with the imperial storm flag, castle and town of Grüningen, which he received at Ludwig's request in 1336 against compensation to Ulrich III . resigned from Württemberg.
  • Count Ulrich III. von Württemberg (Count from 1325 to 1344) received the imperial storm flag, including the castle and town of Grüningen, from King Ludwig the Bavarian in 1336 - and with it the title Count von Grüningen , which his descendants up to King Friedrich (1806) had as a secondary title.
  • Count Eberhard im Bart (1445–1496) took the imperial storm flag, which was again awarded by King Maximilian, and the associated county of Grüningen after his elevation to duke in 1495 in his four-part ducal coat of arms.
  • Duke Eberhard Ludwig von Württemberg (1676–1733) defended the Reichssturmfahnlehen and the associated court office against Brunswick claims, founded the royal seat of Ludwigsburg near his new palace in 1718 and gave it the Reichssturm flag as its coat of arms, which he had previously moved from Grüninger to Ludwigsburg Palace .
  • King Friedrich von Württemberg (1754–1816) included the imperial storm flag in his two-part heart shield as elector in 1803 and had the Grüninger count title himself as king (1806) as a secondary title: “We, Friderich by God's grace, King of Württemberg, sovereign Duke in Swabia and von Teck, Duke of Hohenlohe, Landgrave of Tübingen and Nellenburg, Prince of Ellwangen, ..., Count of Gröningen ... make it known ... "



  • Burr, Wolfgang: The Reichssturmfahne and the dispute over the Hanoverian electoral dignity. In: Journal of Württemberg State History. Vol. 27, 1968, ISSN  0044-3786 , pp. 245-316.
  • Ernst, Max: War flags in the Middle Ages and the imperial storm flag of Markgröningen. In: Württembergische Vierteljahrshefte für Landesgeschichte NF, Vol. 36, 1930, pp. 102-132 Internet Archive .
  • Gaier, Arno: Symbols of rule and flags in the high and late medieval empire: The development of today's state symbolism in the Middle Ages. Hamburg 2013. Excerpts
  • Heyd, Louis : History of the former top official city Markgröningen with special reference to the general history Württemberg ... . Stuttgart 1829, 268 p., Facsimile edition for the Heyd anniversary, Markgröningen 1992.
  • Heyd, Ludwig: History of the Counts of Gröningen . 106 pp., Stuttgart 1829.
  • Kulpis, Johann Georg von : Thorough deduction that the HochFürstl. House of Würtemberg legally entitled to the Reichs-Pannerer- or Reichs-Fendrich-Ambt, Prædicat and Insigne, already from several Seculis, and therefore without offending the same traditional prærogatives, no other choir or prince could be awarded again. Lorber, Stuttgart 1693 ( digitized version ).
  • May, Karl Hermann: Reichsbanneramt and right of dispute in the Hessian perspective . Münster / Cologne 1952.
  • Miller, Douglas et al. John Richards: Landsknechte 1486-1560. Illustrated by Gerry Embleton. Siegler, Sankt Augustin 2004, ISBN 3-87748-636-3 .
  • Pfaff, Karl : The origin and the earliest history of the Wirtenberg Princely House: critically examined and presented. With seven supplements, three family tables and a historical-geographical map . 111 p., Stuttgart 1836.
  • Römer, Hermann : Markgröningen in the context of regional history I. Prehistory and the Middle Ages . 291 p., Markgröningen 1933.
  • Schmid, KarlGerold, Graf. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7 , p. 315 ( digitized version ).
  • Weinland, Johann Christoph: De Vexillo Imperii primario, vulgo Reichs-Sturm-Fahne, Commentatio academica. sn, sl 1727, ( digitized version ).
  • Weller, Karl : The Swabian Vorstreit and the Reichssturmfahne of the House of Württemberg. In: Württembergische Vierteljahrshefte für Landesgeschichte NF Vol. 15, 1906, p. 263ff.


  1. Note from the Markgröningen City Archives at Frequently asked .
  2. flag [1]. In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . Volume 6. Leipzig 1906, pp. 267-268. (
  3. banner . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 2, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 343.
  4. Sebastian Rosche: Manorial legitimacy in early medieval Bavaria based on Lex Baiuvarium, GRIN Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-640-57228-1
  5. Meinrad Schaab , Hansmartin Schwarzmaier (ed.) U. a .: Handbook of Baden-Württemberg History . Volume 1: General History. Part 1: From prehistoric times to the end of the Hohenstaufen. Edited on behalf of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-608-91465-X , p. 465 f.
  6. Carl Voretzsch (Ed.): Romanist Works, Volume 1 , Max Niemeyer Verlag, Halle an der Saale 1922, p. 150.
  7. See Karl Schmid:  Gerold, Graf. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7 , p. 315 ( digitized version ).
  8. Ludwig Friedrich Heyd: History of the former top official city Markgröningen with special reference to the general history Württemberg ... . Stuttgart 1829, 268 p., Facsimile edition for the Heyd anniversary, Markgröningen 1992, p. 2 ff.
  9. Gustav Bossert: Württembergisches from the Codex Laureshamensis , the Traditiones Fuldenses and from Weissenburg sources . In: Dietrich Schäfer (Hrsg.): Württembergische Geschichtsquellen, Vol. 2. Stuttgart 1895, p. 208, excerpt as PDF
  10. ^ To Wimpfen, 1227: Böhmer, Regesta Imperii 5, 2, p. 740 - Regesta Imperii online ; to Accon, 1228: Böhmer: Regesta Imperii 5, 1st p. 350; Heyd, 1829, Grafen , pp. 21-25; WUB online
  11. See Böhmer, J. Regesta Imperii 5, 1, p. 586 and Württ. Urkundenbuch, Volume IV., No. 1004, p. 54. WUB online
  12. ^ Böhmer: Regesta Imperii 5, 2, pp. 819, 824; Heyd, Grafen , pp. 74f.
  13. Signifer Imperii was previously translated as Reichspannerer or Reichsfendrich (= Reichs-Fähnrich), more recently as Reichssturmfähnrich or Reichssturmbannführer
  14. See Johann Daniel Georg von Memminger : The Counts of Grüningen-Landau. Their name and their relationship with the house of Württemberg . In: Württ. Yearbooks for patriotic history, geography, statistics and topography, 1826, issue 1, pp. 69–97 ( Google ) and issue 2, pp. 376–440 ( Google ).
  15. See Hermann Römer : Markgröningen in the context of Landesgeschichte I., Prehistory and Middle Ages . Markgröningen 1933
  16. ^ Hermann Römer : Markgröningen in the context of regional history I. Prehistory and the Middle Ages , Markgröningen 1933, p. 104.
  17. Source: [RI VII] H. 1 n. 28 - Regesta Imperii online
  18. Source: [RI VII] H. 1 n. 264 - Regesta Imperii online
  19. See RI XIV, 1 n.2154 - Regesta Imperii online
  20. Document of July 23, 1495; Main State Archive Stuttgart, Regesten 713, and RI XIV, 1 n. 2164 - Regesta Imperii online ; Original copy from Hermann Römer: Markgröningen in the context of regional history I. Prehistory and the Middle Ages , Markgröningen 1933, p. 187f.
  21. Württ. Royal coat of arms in the German Empire see Wikimedia
  22. ^ Johann Samuelersch , Johann Gottfried Gruber : General Encyclopedia of Sciences and Arts . First section. Sixty-first part. Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1855, p. 437
  23. In Latin primicerius et signifer regis
  24. ↑ For a quote on Graf zu Gröningen see

Web links

Commons : Reichssturmfahne  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Württembergische Wappen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files