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Latvia - Flags from "Flaggenbuch"

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
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Neubecker showes a whole lot of flags to but some seem to be obsolete today. I have already commented on most of the flags that apear in Album 2000, therefore I'll concentrate on other flags, shown in Flaggenbuch (that's [neu92]) but not in Album (that's [pay00]).
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Commander of Trawler Division

image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

10. Trawlerdivision Commander (39:136) - Swallow-tailed pennant, hoist as the naval ensign, fly blue, the indentation nearly reaching the fly end of the ensign. As far as I could found, there is no explanation what the Trawler Division was, obviously some kind of (prominent?) naval unit. I presume that the passage of time made this flag obsolete and hardly to be used nowdays (ie. after Latvia regained independence).
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Commander of Submarine Division

image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

11. Submarine Division Commander (39:136) - As previous, but the fly part is (Latvian) red. I somehow doubt that Latvia today has any U-Boot Division, but if they had, the flag might be reintroduced?
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Deputy Prime-Minister, other Minister, Deputy Minister, State

[Latvian Other Minister] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

15. Deputy Prime-Minister, other Minister, Deputy Minister, State Controller (2:3) - White flag with horizontal red-white-red stripe in the middle, divided with a rectangular white pannel containing the CoA. The width of the stripe is 1/3 of hoist, the stripe is RWR 2:1:2 as usual for Latvian national colours, and length of the pannel is 205/330 (i.e. 41/66) of the hoist size.
One would need to go around the ministries to find out if this is used today. Or maybe this is intended for use by navy, in which case one would need to find it in some naval regulation, and otherwise it would be quite unknown.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Envoy - Sűta karogs

[Latvian Envoy] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

16. Ambassador (1:2) - Gesandten in German, which is some diplomatic title, but maybe it's not full ambassador, Calvin Paige Herring calls it "envoy". Latvian national flag with white canton containing the coat of arms. Length of the canton here is 2/5 of the flag length (i.e. 4/5 of hoist) unlike all other similarly patterned flags. Similar remark as above could be made, but OTOH, this and next flag migh actually be used by diplomatic personnel also today?
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Ambassador would be "Botschaft" in German. I would consider Ambassador as a higher position, since there is usually only one Ambassador of country X in country Y. "Gesandten" litterally means "those who are sent", coming from the verb "senden - sandte - gesandt". The French litteral translation is "Envoyé", which probably gave the English word "Envoy".
Ivan Sache, 15 April 2002

Ivan is on the right track, but it's not a matter of how many are sent but of what rank.  The relative precedence among ambassadors, envoys, ministers, and chargés d'affaires was established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. 
Ambassador (actually Botschafter; Botschaft means embassy) is the highest rank of diplomatic representative.  The full title in English is ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary; in German ausserordentlicher bevollmachtiger Botschafter; in French ambassadeur extraordinaire et plénipotentiaire. 
The next rank down is envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, German ausserordentlicher Gesandter und bevollmachtiger Minister, French envoyé extraordinaire et ministre plénipotentiaire.  There are very few of these around any more.  EE&MP used to be the title of the head of a diplomatic mission to a country considered to be of lesser importance.  Since no one wants to say any more that any country is of secondary stature, almost all diplomatic missions are now headed by ambassadors, unless some kind of breach of relations or temporary gap in assignments dictates otherwise.  But in 1939, a country like Germany would have had many of its diplomatic missions headed by EE&MPs (Gesandten), and I would think that it is such envoys--not all diplomatic officers--who would use the flag described.
Joe McMillan, 15 April 2002

However, this leaves us with a weird thing - Latvia had special flags for two lower ranks of diplomatic heads of missions (envoy and consul, to call them shortly), but no flag for the highest ranking diplomatic official - ambassador. Or maybe, ambassadors were entitled to the same flag that was for the "other ministers"? Isn't the ambassadors rank equal to a minister, or something like that?
Željko Heimer, 15 April 2002

Without having the FB to look at, I would think these ministers are cabinet ministers, not diplomatic ministers.  I doubt that ambassadors would be lumped in with members of the cabinet.
My guess (which could presumably be verified from historic documents) is that as a small country Latvia probably did not have any ambassadors.  Diplomatic relations normally operate on the basis of reciprocity, and since most (if not all) countries before WWII would send only an envoy or a minister to Riga, Latvia may well have sent only envoys and not ambassadors to other countries.  The heads of the Latvian diplomatic missions in Washington and Berlin in 1940 were all designated envoys E∓ it would not surprise me if the same were true of the Latvian chiefs of mission in other capitals.  If you find a reference to a Latvian or other "legation," it is a signal that the chief of mission was not an ambassador.
Joe McMillan, 16 April 2002

As is described in Latvia page:
Sutna karogs = ambassadors (not envoys) flag.
Sutnis means envoy and ambassador. In modern terminology sutnis is replaced with vestnieks (but it also means both envoy and ambassador)
Gvido Pētersons, 17 April 2002

Consul - Konsula karogs

[Latvian Consul] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

17. Consul (1:2) - Latvian national flag with the wite canton containing the shield of the coat of arms. The length of the canton is 1/3 of flag length, same as in all other such flags except the previous one. The CoA shown here is not the lesser coat of arms, since that would need to have three stars above the shield.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Post - Pasta karogs

[Latvian Post] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

19. Post (1:2) - The national flag with golden posthorn in white canton. There are no report of usage of this flag in modern era, and since the postal service is much different nowdays then before WWII, it may well be that the flag is today obsolete indeed.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Hydrographic Service - Hidrografijas kuga karogs

[Latvian Hydrographic Service] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

21. Hydrographic Service (1:2) - The national flag with blue compass rose in white canton. No modern reports of the usage of this flag reached us, but if the hydrographic service ever gain some boats (I presume there are none currently) it would be very probably that they would proudly use this flag.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Yacht Ensign (?)

[Latvian Yacht Ensign] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

22. Latvian Sailing Association (2:3) - The national flag with white disk in the middle containing  the LSA emblem, the shield of the national coat of arms above two blue anchors in saltire and golden trident set vertically. If I have understood it rightly, this flag was the flag of the association, and not an ensign to be used on vessels (except maybe as a burgee).
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Yacht Club

[Latvian Yacht Club] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

23. Yacht Clubs, members of the Sailing Association, (badge of the club in the middle, example here "Jachtclub von Lettland"). This could be used when sailing abroad instead of the national ensign. (This all is more or less freely translated caption from Flaggenbuch).
I have, naturally, a number of questions here:
- were there YCs that were not members of LSA?
- was there a list (register) of this YCs, and if so were the emblems registered too?
- is this used today in any form?
- is it used in (more or less) the same manner? and if so:
- are there YCs not entitiled to it?
- is there a list of YCs entitled to it (and tehir emblems)?
- is it used also inland?
I used the emblem drawn by Calvin Paige.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

Pilot - Locu karogs

[Latvian Pilot flag] image by Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002

24. Pilot Flag (9:14) - Used instead of the international signal to call a pilot. The national flag (size 5x10) surrounded with white border (of 2 units on all sides). This is probably as obsolete as all other such flags world-wide.
Željko Heimer, 14 April 2002