The Blutfahne

BFNazis viewed Germany as one giant army engaged in an existential war with the “alien races”. And each organization (first and foremost, Nazi Party organization) as a military unit of this gigantic army. Consequently, it is no surprise that just about every major organization in Germany was supposed to have its own flag (banner) and even its own uniform.

The objective of each flag (emotionally and spiritually powerful symbol) was to unite the members of the organization in question (and the Germans in general), instill in them loyalty and obedience to this organization (and to the whole Nazi party, Nazi state and its Führer), genuine love for “all of the above” and inspire them to make the maximum contribution to the German victory in this existential war – by doing everything possible (and even humanly impossible).

Every flag was a sacred object, but the most sacred of these objects was undoubtedly the Blutfahne – the “Blood Flag”. This flag was carried during the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, Germany on 9 November 1923, during which it became soaked in the blood of one of the SA men who died.

The flag was that of the 5th SA Sturm (company), which was carried in the march towards the Feldherrnhalle. When the police fired on the Nazis, the flagbearer Heinrich Trambauer was hit and dropped the flag. Andreas Bauriedl, an SA man marching alongside the flag, was killed and fell onto it, staining it with his blood.

Not surprisingly, it subsequently became one of the most revered objects of the Nazi Party and of the whole Third Reich. The Blutfahne was used in ceremonies in which new flags for party organizations were consecrated by touching the Blood Flag. Given the fact that Nazis sincerely believed in essentially magical properties of the Aryan blood, it was essentially a deeply occult ceremony.

In 1926, at the second Nazi Party congress at Weimar, Hitler ceremonially bestowed the flag on Joseph Berchtold, the then head of the SS. The flag was thereafter treated as a sacred object by the Nazi Party and carried by SS-Sturmbannführer Jakob Grimminger at various Nazi Party ceremonies. When not in use, the Blutfahne was kept at the headquarters of the Nazi Party in Munich (the “Brown House”) with an SS guard of honor.

The Blutfahne was last seen in public at the Volkssturm induction ceremony on 18 October 1944. This ceremony was conducted by Heinrich Himmler and attended by Wilhelm Keitel, Heinz Guderian, Hans Lammers, Martin Bormann, Karl Fiehler, Wilhelm Schepmann and Erwin Kraus.After this last public display, the Blutfahne vanished. Its current whereabouts are unknown.


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