The official statement of 15 June 1920 about the new borders marked the end of the International Commission’s mandate. The English troops had quietly left Flensburg in the night between 14 and 15 June, and on 16 June the French troops left for Metz.
The Hotel ‘Flensburger Hof’ had been the headquarters of the CIS for almost five months, and during this period the Allied flags had been flown from the building. When these flags were struck with a guard of honour of French Alpine Hunters and in the presence of the Secretary General, The Flensburgers clapped and shouted “Hurrah”, and the ‘Schleswig-Holstein-sang’ was sung.
The German Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prussian Minister of the Interior took part in the ceremonies when Zone 2 once more became part of the German Reich, symbolised by the return of German troops on 17 June, with banners swirling and martial music.
The troops were received at Südermarkt, which was decorated with flowers, garlands and banners. The citizens were in their finery, there was a student corps from Kiel, representatives of the town council and of the government in Berlin.
In his speech, the prominent German politician Köster stressed the plebiscite campaign, reiterated the pledge of the German Reich to the loyal Flensburgers, and the importance to the region and to the German Reich as a whole of the native soil movement now once more active in Schleswig-Holstein.
When the troops had entered the barracks, there was a gala banquet with speeches for invited guests. With great ceremony, and in the presence of a large crowd, the German Navy Ensign was hoisted at the Mürwik Naval Academy in the early afternoon.
In the evening there were festivities for everyone at Mariehölsung and Ostseebad till the early hours. In the days that followed, a corps of cleaners went around removing the last notices and ordinances of the plebiscite period from houses, fences and viaducts.
From being a player on the international stage, Flensburg now became a grey backwater; a commercially stagnant border town in a Germany which lay in economic ruin.
Here, as in the rest of the plebiscite area, the population had to face the fact that the coming period would be one of hardship. In addition, Danes and Germans were once more forced to work out how they could live together in peace.