“Under the Flag of Love” (1929) – Scenes of Film Shot at the Maritime School in Tczew

The walls of Universities and other centres of academic learning around the world have no doubt witnessed many tales of romance and love throughout the centuries. Gdynia Maritime University, or more precisely its predecessor -  the Maritime School in Tczew - is no exception. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Poland’s first institution of maritime education provided the backdrop for scenes in a film about love.

Not every student of Gdynia Maritime University, past or present, knows that 95 years ago at the Maritime School in Tczew students were involved in recording scenes for a romantic comedy called “Pod banderą miłości” [Under the Flag of Love]. Sadly, the black and white silent motion picture is today considered lost. However, digital photo archives contain a number of still frames as well as plot descriptions.

The film premiered on 12 October 1929 and is the debut production of Michał Waszyński - one of the most important Polish film directors during the 20-year interwar period. Waszyński (known as Mosze Waks) also directed The Dybbuk (1937) and The Great Way (1946). Under the Flag of Love was shot in Poland (Gdynia, Gdansk, Sopot, Hel, and the Maritime School in Tczew) and in Stockholm, Sweden.

The main character ‘Andrzej’ (Zbigniew Sawan) - a student of the Maritime School - is in love with the daughter of the School’s training ship’s captain. At the beginning of the film, the protagonist sails on a ship from Stockholm to Gdynia as a stowaway. When the ship is at sea, he rescues the captain’s daughter (Maria Bogda) after she falls overboard. As a token of his gratitude for saving his daughter, the captain lets Andrzej stay on board and later gives him a place as a student at the Maritime School in Tczew. The young man falls in love with the captain’s daughter, Maria. In defense of her dignity, he gets into a fight with his classmates and is expelled. In his absence and much to his anguish, Maria accepts a proposal for marriage from the diplomat Jerzy Rzęcki (Jerzy Marr). The story does, however, have a happy ending. After many trials and tribulations, the main character regains his good name and wins the heart of Maria.

Below are various still frames from this exceptional piece of cinema. Source: National Digital Archive.



1) Scene shot at the Maritime School Zbigniew Sawan in the role of Andrzej (in the blanket) among other actors (unknown).
2) Maria Bogda in the role of Maria (on the left); Paweł Owerłło as the Captain, Maria’s father (in the centre)”; and Zbigniew Sawan in one of the scenes in the film.
3) Zbigniew Sawan playing Andrzej (in the centre) alongside two other actors (unknown) in one of the scenes in the film.

Providing entity: 

GMU/Gdynia Maritime University

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