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Ahrenkiel (German Shipping Company)

Chr. F. Ahrenkiel, Hamburg

Last modified: 2008-03-22 by jarig bakker
Keywords: ahrenkiel | jebsen |
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[Chr. F. Ahrenkiel Hamburg] image by Jorge Candeias, 13 May 2004 See also:

Chr. F. Ahrenkiel, Hamburg

This flag is a blue field with a rather complex symbol consisting of a trio of fishes surrounded by a pair of branches. The source is not clear enough to get into more detail than this - there's no way we could get species information, on the plant or on the fish.

Now, this flag is very similar to the flag Joseph Nuesse's House Flags site shows for a company called "Chr. F. Ahrenkiel Hamburg". The main difference is
that the flag on my source has no canton.

The other main difference is in the caption. It is not readable, but I don't think the initials have anything in common with the initials of "Chr. F. Ahrenkiel Hamburg". The first initial, the "stand-alone" initial, so to speak, looks suspiciously as an M (or, perhaps, an H), the second one, the one in the first word is very probably a Z, and the last one just has to be an A, which is the only similarity with the above.
Jorge Candeias, 13 May 2004

In Wolter's "See und Seefahrt", 1968 the flag is shown with the canton for Christian F. Ahrenkiel - Ahrenkiel & Bena, Hamburg.
Jarig Bakker, 13 May 2004


Ahrenkiel flag with canton

[Ahrenkiel flag with canton] image sent by Reinhard Kluge, 9 May 2005

Can you please advise me what flag it is in the attachment. It seems to be a local flag from the Hamburg region, Germany.
Reinhard Kluge, 9 May 2005

That is the houseflag of Christian F. Ahrenkiel, Hamburg, and Ahrenkiel & Bene, Hamburg. Bigger image at this website (bottom).
Jarig Bakker, 9 May 2005


Michael Jebsen

[Michael Jebsen, Apenrade] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 June 2007

Michael Jebsen: I was very surprised to see a flag like that of Ahrenkiel but with another name. The version depicted in chapter 16 of source has however golden objects on a blue cloth (three fish and garland). The company was located in Apenrade (today: Aabenraa), existed from 1898 to 1901 and was running a passenger- and cargo-line to Tsingtau, in those days being the harbour of German protectorate Kiautschou. The companies history you can read  according to source in Ernst HIEKE: "Die Reederei M.Jebsen A.G. Apenrade", 1953.
On the flagchart of source the depicted flag is totally the same like that one of Ahrenkiel. There is also depicted a completely black funnel. So I think, the version, described by Jorge Candeias on 13 May 2004 might be a Jebsen flag instead of an Ahrenkiel variant.
(see attached file: de~mjebsen.gif)
Source: Arnold KLUDAS: Die Geschichte der deutschen Passagierschiffahrt (5 Bde.), Hamburg 1986; Reprint Laibach Slovenia-Buch Nr. 03617-8, p.223
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 June 2007


Michael Jebsen other flag

[Michael Jebsen other flag] image by Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2008

The house flag of "Michael Jebsen" is shown above, as blue with three yellow fishes surrounded by a golden wreath of  leaves.

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "M. Jebsen" (#32, p. 38), a company based in Hamburg, as blue with a white diamond charged with a red letter "E".

"M. Jebsen" is not necessarily "Michael Jebsen". which is said on the FOTW website to have existed only from 1898 to 1901. A website dedicated to the Danish port of Aabenraa mentions Jebsen as the main local shipowners' dynasty: "Only one of the well known ship owners,- Michael Jebsen-, saw the great potential in the steam ship, and he tried in vain to persuade the local investors and shipbuilders to hire technical people, who could rivet steel plates together, and install machines, boilers and pipe systems , but all in vain. Nobody was interested. Eventually he had to go to Germany to find a ship builder who was willing to built his steam ship, and since then Jebsen never again contracted a sailing ship for his fleet!
As a result of his foresight, his company is now the only surviving of the once so powerful ship owning community in Aabenraa.
But today Jebsen & Co. does not any longer operate their own fleet of ships!  It stopped in the seventies , but if you go to Hong Kong ,- or for that matter the whole Far East region -, the company has grown very big out there with about 4 - 5000 people employed in offices all over Asia!"

However, another page of the Aabenra website, dedicated to the "Emma Jebsen" ship, shows the funnel emblem of Jebsen  as blue with the "three mackerels" surrounded by two branches, here white.
""The Three Mackerels" is the office flag of Jebsen & Co., and this logo was painted on all ships funnels in the Jebsen fleet.
"The Three Mackerels" are inspired from the city of Aabenraa's coat of arms , which also displays three mackerels , but all swimming in the same direction, while one of them in the Jebsen logo swims in the opposite direction.
For fun we used to say, that the symbolism behind that was, that two of the mackerels were on their way out in the big world to make money, while the third one was returning with the profit!  Therefore different directions."

The"Three Mackerels emblem" is carved on the tombstone of Hans Jacob Jensen (1921-1979) in the cemetary of Aabenra.
Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2008