House flag of Giani & Muller
Quoting the Fold Shipping Group website:
Giani & Muller was founded by two of the greatest pioneers of the Antwerp shipping industry in 1868, Emile Giani and Johan Friederich Muller. The books shows the German M/V Doris, carrying a cargo of 386 pieces of railway sleepers from Gdansk to Antwerp, as the first vessel fixed by Giani & Muller. Entering the port of Antwerp on the 6th of December 1868, this date is considered as the official founding date, as no earlier reference could be traced.
From this date the company rapidly developed from a chartering agency into an all round shipping agency with its own fleet. The ships have not survived the two wars. The company however was back into business each time shortly after cease fire and made its important contribution to the reconstruction of Europe by using their world wide contacts for the transportation of the so badly needed food aid and building materials.
Giani & Muller is now considered to be the oldest maritime company in private hands in Antwerp and continues - stronger then ever - to share their experience and knowledge with the Trade, not only as confidential house brokers to many reputable European producers and trading houses, but also as shipping and port agents.
Giani & Muller are now part of Fold Shipping Group, in its turn owned by Fold Invest CFA, a family holding.
From a letterhead partially shown by G. Devos & S. Vanfraechem (Volle kracht vooruit! Een eeuw Antwerpse Scheepvaartvereniging. Full steam ahead! A century Antwerp Shipping Federation. Pandora, Ghent, 2001), dating from about 1940, we learn that the firm was active as a shipping and insurance agent but also operated the S.A. Baltique line. The name Baltique seems to indicate much traffic to and from the Baltic, at least in the beginning.
The house flag of Giani & Muller is shown as #1307 (Société Anonyme Baltique [Giani & Muller]) in Lloyd's book of house flags and funnels of the principal steamship lines of the world and the house flags of various lines of sailing vessels, published at Lloyd's Royal Exchange. London. E.C. (1911), also available online thanks to the Mystic Seaport Foundation. The flag is white with a red cross throughout, transfixing a blue letter B. On the aforementioned letterhead the B is somewhat larger and placed closer to the flag's horizontal edges.