The Blood Flag (Blutfahne) Symbol of National Socialist Sacrifice and Ritual

Originally found at http://northlandforum.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-blood-flag-blutfahne-symbol-of-ns.html?m=1

Taken from a history of the Third Reich – this colour image originally appeared in the 1930’s NSDAP publication
“Kampf ums Dritte Reich” – The Fuhrer Adolf Hitler holds the ‘ Blutfahne’ in his right hand at an NSDAP ceremony to consecrate new SA banners – the Standard bearer is Jakob Grimminger.

“What is it that touches off a cord in the instincts of the people to whom we seek to appeal?
It can often be the most simple and primitive thing. Rather than a speech or printed
article it may just be a flag; it may be a marching column; it may be the sound of a drum;
it may be a banner or it may just be the impression of a crowd.
None of these things contain in themselves one single argument, one single piece of logic….
They are recognized as being among the things that appeal to the hidden forces of the human soul.”
John H Tyndall – British racial Nationalist – 1965.

Flags and banners have been important symbols for the Aryan peoples of Europe for countless centuries and rituals and ceremonies built around treasured standards have been part of all European nations in their military lives, their religious observations and from the late medieval periods the symbols of rebellion and from the 18th Century onwards their political struggles.
One of the first and most important symbols of the original German National Socialist movement was the Blood Flag (Blutfahne).
The history of this totem of sacrifice and NS tradition began in Munich in November 1923.
When the National Socialists staged the ‘Munich Putsch’ on November 9th 1923, one of the leading units in the NSDAP column was the 6th Company of Sturm Abteilung (SA) Regiment Munchen, recently awarded its own swastika flag, the 6th Company commander had appointed SA man Heinrich Trambauer to carry the unit colours on the march.
As the column reached the Feldherrnhalle, the uniformed police blocking the route raised their rifles and opened fire on the National Socialists, marching next to flag-bearer Trambauer was an SA activist called Andreas Baureidl. Baureidl was mortally wounded by the first volley of rifle fire and collapsed on top of Trambauer who had thrown himself onto the ground as soon as the police began shooting.

The flag was trapped under the body of the dying Baureidl and its was already covered in blood, Heinrich Trambauer dragged the flag free and desperate to escape arrest or worse, scrambled to his feet and carrying the flag, ran back up the street and disappeared into the narrow side streets.,
Trambauer saw it as his duty to save the flag from being seized by the authorities and took shelter in the house of a friend, Herr Zeigler. Together they stripped the flag from its pole and Trambauer left the house with the folded flag hidden inside his coat, Ziegler hid the flag pole in his house.
The blood stained flag was taken from house to house and hidden by different NS men and women in Munich until 1926 when it was returned to Adolf Hitler personally by SA activist Karl Eggers.

Munich Putsch – November 1923 – the shooting begins – a work by the German NS artist Schmitt
The flag was now awarded a special status as a surviving relic of the November 9th putsch; in
addition, the fabric of the flag bore the damage of bullet holes from the shooting and was stained by the blood of at least one of the ‘Munich Martyrs’. The flag was named the ‘Blufahne’ the Blood Flag, the damage was never repaired and never cleaned. Adolf Hitler arranged for a special flag pole to be designed for it, with a silver sleeve around the staff carrying the names of three of the Munich dead who had belonged to the 6th Company of SA Regiment Munchen.
At an NSDAP rally in the city of Weimar on July 4th 1926, the Fuhrer presented the Blood Flag to the recently formed SS and its standard-bearer was Heinrich Trambauer, now a member of the SS marked out as a survivor of the Munich Putsch and later awarded the honour of ‘Alte Kampfer’.


NSDAP headquarters in 1927 – the Blood Flag has pride of place on the wall behind the Fuhrer.
From 1927 until the outbreak of the Second World War, the Blood Flag was always used in the rituals of consecrating new banners and standards for the NSDAP, SA and SS.
All newly awarded standards were touched by the flag cloth of the Blood Flag, thereby connecting the new colours with the sacrifice of the men of November 1923, the ceremony was always conducted by Adolf Hitler himself, the Blood Flag was held by the standard bearer and the Fuhrer took the cloth in his right hand to perform the ritual of consecration.

This image of the consecration of new SA standards is taken from the original German NSDAP publication
” Das Braune Heer” – the caption says –
“The Blood Flag of November 9 1923, blesses the new standards – a bond of faith that never loosens
– a vow that is never broken.”
By now the Blutfahne has taken almost religious significance in its use and its status.

The original standard bearer Heinrich Trambauer had by now become increasingly unwell after suffering a fractured skull and other serious injuries in a street battle with Communists.
The honour and role of standard bearer of the Blood Flag was passed to another NSDAP veteran of the Munich SS and close comrade of Trambauer, Jakob Grimminger.
From around 1929 onwards, Jakob Grimminger acted as standard bearer until the end in May 1945.


Jakob Grimminger holding the Blood Flag as SA columns march passed the Fuhrer, the unrepaired damage to the fabric of the flag can be seen here.

Another NSDAP rally – the tears in the flag fabric are obvious.

The Blood Flag always had place of honour at rallies and ceremonies across the 1930’s, and when not being carried in public was always stored on public display at the national offices of the NSDAP in Munich – ‘the Brown House’.

The Mystery
Mystery surrounds the fate of the Blood Flag after late 1944/early 1945.
All historical sources agree that in late 1944 the ‘Blutfahne’ was removed from the NSDAP headquarters, the Brown House in Munich to a safer place, then according to some sources, was moved again in the early Spring of 1945.
After the collapse of the Third Reich in May 1945 this most important symbol of German National Socialism ‘disappeared’.
Certainly the Allied Occupation forces were keen to track it down and the Standard-bearer Jakob Grimminger was interrogated several times by American military intelligence personnel about the location of the Blood Flag,
An element of post-1945 mythology grew up around the hiding place of this iconic NS banner; one American writer suggested that it was hidden away in South America, smuggled out by U-Boat with other meaningful treasures of the NSDAP and locked away in a bank vault in Santiago, Chile.
In the myths and rumours about the fate of Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, some journalists and fantasists claimed the flag was taken to South America by Bormann and hung on the wall of his ‘secret hide-out’ in the jungles of Paraguay.
(Elements of the film ‘The Boys From Brazil’ and too much imagination)
The writer of this blog was once told by a former Waffen-SS officer that the Blutfahne was certainly not in South America, but was safe in a secret place either in Germany or Austria, but he refused to say anything more about it. A former member of the Hitler Youth told the author that he had been told by an ‘Alter Kampfer’ that the Blutfahne was safe in Europe and its location was known only to a trusted few and their descendants.
In the post-war years, a number of wealthy private collectors of Third Reich ‘memorabilia’ have tried unsuccessfully to track the flag down, motivated by a combination of personal interest and financial considerations. There is no doubt that if the Blood Flag was to emerge onto the collector’s market it would fetch a huge price in the auction rooms, however, the Blood Flag has far more meaning to what some call “the True Believers”, than a sale room price tag.
Of course there are also those elements who would seek out the Blood Flag to either spirit it away for permanent display in the museum at Yad Vashem in Israel or else seize it and publicly destroy it as a symbolic ‘triumph’ over National Socialism.
One day perhaps, when sanity has been restored to European politics, the Blutfahne will be taken out of hiding and will return to Munich to be displayed with honour.
The Northland Forum would be interested to hear of any other accounts of the Blood Flag that are circulating ‘out there’.


Adolf Hitler consecrates new SA and SS standards with the ‘Blutfahne’ at a Nuremberg rally in the late 1930’s

Published by

Ellie Wolfe

International supporter of NBU

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