Flag of the Teutonic Empire

Flag of the Teutonic Empire and later the Kingdom of Preuben.

A decentralized and incredible confusing jumble of principalities, kingdoms, duchies, grand duchies, and bishoprics, the Holy Teutonic Empire was famously denigrated as “neither holy, nor Teutonic, nor an empire” by the Duc d’Arouet in Valois. In this case, it was a literal truth: the Reformation had destroyed the stranglehold the Church had once had on the religious sphere, less than half of the subjects spoke Teutonic at home, and the decentralized and elective nature of the Imperial crown meant that few Emperors were able to act as anything but a first among equals.

This was, perhaps, one of the reasons why the Valois Revolution resulted in the Empire’s total downfall and dissolution. Other than a common currency, a common flag, and a common army, there was little to bind the various states together, so after the armies were shattered and the last Emperor captured, there was little to prevent a catastrophic breakup of the Teutonic lands. Only the core of the Emperor’s personal lands in the Electorate of Preuben remained loyal, leading Emperor Frederick Wilhelm VIII to declare himself King of Preuben in an attempt to maintain his royal power and prerogatives. This led to the old Teutonic Empire flag continuing to be used as the flag of Preuben for over a century afterwards.

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