For all the wrong reasons the name of Tasmania 1900 Berlin is one that looms large in Bundesliga folklore. Unprepared and unwitting, Tasmania were thrust into the West German top flight in the mid-1960s for political considerations rather than for any reason based upon footballing excellence. In the circumstances it’s not surprising that the club’s 1965-66 Bundesliga campaign was as dreadful as it was and, as a result, almost every current negative record in Bundesliga history belongs to the out-of-its-depth West Berlin club that limped through that season from one torrid hammering to the next.
But thoughts of Tasmania’s on-field 60s tribulations melt away when you see pictures of them in action. Their shirt is handsome enough in that classic 60s minimalist style before sponsorship came along, but it’s that striking badge that really defines it: a striped flag motif sporting the letter T for Tasmania. It’s a bona fide classic and the first time I saw it I was struck by how stylistically different it was from any Scottish or English club badge I had encountered. So impressed was I that as a consequence today I can only think of Tasmania Berlin as the stylish epitome of German footballing design cool, not the bumbling, hapless football misfits who uglied up the Bundesliga for one horrible season half a century ago.
I was curious which other clubs around Europe and further afield followed a similar flag badge design language and after some extensive research I can report that there’s rather a lot of them. So I’ve duly assembled a sizeable collection numbering more than 120 of all the flag badges I’ve discovered – just so you don’t have to. The great majority are associated with German clubs, although there are plenty of examples from Austria, Poland, Portugal, Albania, Russia, Central Europe, Scandinavia and an assortment of other places too. Some are older versions of a club’s current badge and some clubs have multiple entries (like Hertha Berlin) where they have used different variants on the flag theme over the course of their history.
We’ve created a special page featuring all the flag badges in the BTLM collection that you can access by clicking on the image below, or here. If you have other flag badge suggestions that I’ve missed then do let me know and I’ll add them to this gallery.
And from our collection, here’s BTLM’s considered choice of our ten favourite flag badges.