'History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme' - Mark Twain.
A gallimaufry of random China history and research interests
Friday, May 1, 2009
German Tsingtao Flag
Coming across the old flags of Weihaiwei yesterday I also came across the flag that used fly over Tsingtao (Qingdao). A bit of a different story here. The Kiautschou territorywas leader in 1898 to Germany for 99 years – Tsingtao being the main town (left: German troops on parade in Tsingtao). It was popular with the Germans, nice climate, popular holiday destination for foreigners in the China treaty ports and also a base for the German fleet that looked after the Kaiser’s rather disparate and cobbled together Pacific empire that they kept until World War One – people forget now German New Guinea, the German Solomon Islands, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands and German Samoa). Anyway, in 1918 Tsingtao was transferred to Japan.
The Germans never actually designed a specific flag for Tsingtao but they did use the so-called flag of the German colonies - horizontal black-white-red with the Imperial eagle without crown in the middle of the white stripe.
As someone who divides their time pretty evenly writing about China now and China back then this seemed like a place to throw all the interesting bits that fall through the cracks somehow and never get used anywhere else.
It's basically the stuff that doesn't get used in my writing about modern China or in the books I do about old China - i.e. probably of little interest to anyone but me and therefore ideally suited to an obscure blog up a dark cul-de-sac of the Internet.