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This is a list of flags used by and in Germany between 1848 and now. For more information about the current national flag, see flag of Germany.

Contents

National flagsEdit

Flag Date Use Description
1949–present National and merchant flag (Bundes- und Handelsflagge) A tricolour, made of three equal horizontal bands coloured black (top), red, and gold (bottom).
1950–present State flag and ensign (Bundesdienstflagge) and military flag (Kriegsflagge). This flag may only be used by federal government authorities. The national flag with the Bundesschild (a variant of the coat of arms of Germany) in the centre. The flag was originally used 1921–1933 in the Weimar Republic. While identical in heraldic terms to the original Weimar era flag, the modern exact design is slightly simplified.
National flag with coat of arms (Bundesflagge mit Bundeswappen). Unofficial version, the private use of which is not penalized.
  1996–present Hanging national flag (Bannerflagge)
  1996–present Hanging state flag

Presidential standardEdit

Flag Date Use Description
1921–1926;
since 1950
Standard of the President of Germany The standard depicts the elements of the coat of arms. A version of the standard that is identical in heraldic terms, but with a slightly different exact design, was used 1926–1933.

Military and state flagsEdit

Flag Date Use Description
1956– War ensign and naval jack (Seekriegsflagge und Gösch) of the German Navy A swallowtail variant of the state flag
1957– Standard of Inspector General of the Bundeswehr
1964– Troop colour (Truppenfahne) of the Bundeswehr
1950–1994 Flag of Deutsche Bundespost
1950–1994 Flag of the Minister of Deutsche Bundespost
1950–1994 Flag of the President of Deutsche Bundespost A swallowtail variant of the postal flag
1950–1994 Flag of the State Secretary of Deutsche Bundespost

Flags of German statesEdit

Civil flagsEdit

Flag Date Use Description
Civil flag of Baden-Württemberg
Civil flag of Bayern (striped variant)
Civil flag of Bayern (lozengy variant)
Civil flag of Berlin
Civil flag of Brandenburg
Civil flag of Bremen
Civil flag of Bremen (with middle arms)
Civil flag of Bremen (with flag arms)
Civil flag of Hamburg
Civil flag of Hessen
Civil flag of Niedersachsen
Civil flag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Civil flag of Nordrhein-Westfalen
Civil flag of Rhineland-Pfalz
Civil flag of Saarland
Civil flag of Sachsen
Civil flag of Sachsen-Anhalt
Civil flag of Schleswig-Holstein
Civil flag of Thüringen

State flagsEdit

Flag Date Use Description
State flag of Baden-Württemberg (lesser arms)
State flag of Baden-Württemberg (greater arms)
State flag of Bayern (striped variant)
State flag of Bayern (lozengy variant)
1954–2007 State flag of Berlin
State flag of Brandenburg
State flag of Bremen (with lesser arms)
State flag of Bremen (with flag arms)
State flag of Hamburg
Admiralty flag of Hamburg (used by state ships)[1]
State flag of Hessen
Flag of Niedersachsen (on land)
State ensign of Niedersachsen (at sea)
State flag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
State flag of Nordrhein-Westfalen
State flag of Rheinland-Pfalz
Flag of Saarland
State flag of Sachsen
State flag of Sachsen-Anhalt
State flag of Schleswig-Holstein
State flag of Thüringen

Historical flagsEdit

German Confederation (1815–1866)Edit

Flag Date Use Description
1848–1866 Flag of the German Confederation, used in 1848/1849 and again in 1863-1866
First appeared within the Fürstentum Reuß-Greiz after 12 May 1778 (4:5 aspect ratio)
Also German Empire (1848/1849)
1848–1852 War ensign of the Reichsflotte
1848–1852 Marine jack of the Reichsflotte

North German Confederation (1866–1871)Edit

Flag Date Use Description
1867–1871 National and merchant flag (National- und Handelsflagge) A tricolour, made of three equal horizontal bands coloured black (top), white, and red (bottom)
1867–1871 War flag (Kriegsflagge)
1867–1871 Marine jack (Kriegsschiffgösch)

German Empire (1871–1918)Edit

Flag Date Use Description
1871–1918 National and merchant flag (National- und Handelsflagge)
1896–1918 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
1884-1918 Colonial flag
1871–1892 Imperial Navy war ensign (Kriegsflagge)
1892–1903 Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge)
1903–1918 (1921) Reich war flag
1871–1903 Marine jack (Kriegsschiffgösch)
1903–1918 (1921) Marine jack

Imperial family standardsEdit

Flag Date Use Description
1871 The King of Prussia's Standard
1871–1888 German Emperor's Standard
1888–1918 German Emperor's Standard
1871–1901 Empress Augusta and
Empress Frederick's Standard
1888–1918 Empress Augusta Viktoria's Standard
1871–1888 Standard of the Crown Prince
1888–1918 Standard of the Crown Prince

Weimar Republic (1919–1933)Edit

Flag Date Use Description
1919–1933 National flag (Nationalflagge)
1921–1933 State flag (Dienstflagge zu Land)
1919–1933 Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
1921–1933 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
1921–1926 State ensign (Dienstflagge zur See)
1926–1933 State ensign (Dienstflagge zur See)
1919–1921 (de jure) Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge)
1921–1933 Reich war flag
1921–1933 Marine jack (Kriegsgösch)
1921–1926 Standard of the President
1926–1933 Standard of the President
1919–1921 Flag of the President
1919–1921 Flag of Defence Minister
1921–1933 Flag of Defence Minister
1924–1933;
since 1953
Flag of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold The Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold was an unofficial republican paramilitary organization dominated by social democrats, liberals, and members of the Catholic Centre Party, to defend the Weimar Republic against National Socialists, communists, and monarchists. Refounded in 1953 as an association for political education.

Nazi Germany (1933–1945)Edit

The flag with the Hakenkreuz and white disc centered was used throughout (1920–45) as the NSDAP party flag (Parteiflagge).[2] Between 1933 and 1935, it was used as the national flag (Nationalflagge) and merchant flag (Handelsflagge) - interchangeably with the black-white-red horizontal tricolour last used (up to 1918) by the German Empire. In 1935, the black-white-red horizontal tricolour was scrapped again, and the flag with the off-center Hakenkreuz and disc was instituted as the only national flag (and was to remain as such until 1945). The flag with the centered disc only continued to be used as the Parteiflagge after 1935.

Flag Date Use Description
Flags used 1933–1935
  • 1933–1935
  • 1933–1935
  • 1920–1945
  • National flag (Nationalflagge)
  • Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
  • Nazi Party flag (Parteiflagge)[2]
A red field, with a white disc with a black swastika, or hakenkreuz, at a 45 degree angle. Disc and swastika are exactly in the centre.
1933–1935
  • National flag (Nationalflagge)
  • Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
Black, white, and red horizontal tricolour. Used in conjunction with the Parteiflagge.
1933–1935 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
1933–1935 Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge) and marine jack
1933 Reich service flag (Reichsdienstflagge) of the Wehrmacht
1933–1935 Reich service flag
1933–1935 (de facto up to 1934) Standard of the President
1933–1935 Flag of the Minister of Defence
Flags used 1935–1945
  • 1935–1945
  • 1935–1945
  • National flag[2]
  • Marine jack (Gösch)
A red field, with a white disc with a black swastika, or hakenkreuz, at a 45 degree angle. Disk and swastika are slightly off-centre.
1920–1945 Nazi Party flag (Parteiflagge)[2] A red field, with a white disc with a black swastika, or hakenkreuz, at a 45 degree angle. Disk and swastika are exactly in the centre.
  1933–1945 Banner (Bannerflagge) of Germany Banners were of various lengths, which were hung vertically on public buildings.
1935–1945 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross
1935–1938 Kriegsmarine, Heer, Luftwaffe
1938–1945 Kriegsmarine, Heer, Luftwaffe
1935–1945 Reich service flag
1935–1945 Standard of Adolf Hitler
1935–1938 Flag of the Wehrmacht Commander in Chief (replaced the Minister of Defence)
1935–1945 Flag of the Schutzstaffel (SS)
1936–1945 Flag of the Ordnungspolizei (OrPo) ("Order Police", the national regular police organization of Nazi Germany)
1933–1945 Flag of the Hitler Youth, a youth organization in the Nazi Party

World War II aftermath in GermanyEdit

Allied Control Council (1945–1949) and Saar Protectorate

Flag Date Use Description
1946–1950 "C-Pennant" (C-Doppelstander) (provisional civil ensign) Used during the Occupation Period to identify German ships according to international law.
1947–1957 Flag of Saar Protectorate Flag of Saarland which was given by French Government. at this time period Saar was satellite state of France.

East Germany (1949–1990)Edit

Flag Date Use Description
1949–1959 State flag (Staatsflagge)
1959–1990 State flag (Staatsflagge) 1959–1990
Merchant flag (Handelsflagge) 1973–1990
Tricolour of black, red, and yellow (same as West German colours), but bears the coat of arms of East Germany, consisting of a compass and a hammer encircled with rye
1959–1973 Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
  1963–1990 Hanging state flag (Bannerflagge)
1955–1973 Flag of East German Post
1975–1990 Flag of East German Post
1955–1990 Standard of the President
1960–1990 Standard of President of State Council
1960–1990 Flag of the National People's Army (Nationale Volksarmee or NVA)
1960–1990 Regimental colours (Truppenfahne) of Nationale Volksarmee
1960–1990 Naval ensign (Seekriegsflagge)
1962–1990 Flag of boats of border troops
1989–1990 Defaced state flag Used by supporters of German reunification in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Historic flag proposalsEdit

Note: Ottfried Neubecker's proposal of 1919 and those of Josef Wirmer in 1944 and of his brother Ernst in 1948 are clearly modeled on the Nordic Cross flags used in all Nordic countries - the flags of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland all having the same horizontal cross, though differing in color.

Flag Date Description
1817 German unification flag at Wartburg Festival
1832 German unification flag at Hambach Festival
1919 Proposal for the flag for Germany by Ottfried Neubecker
1944 Proposal for the flag of Germany after 1944 military coup d'état by Josef Wirmer
1948 Proposal for the flag for West Germany, based on Josef Wirmer's 1944 design, created by his brother, Ernst
1948 Proposal for the flag for West Germany by Paul Wentzcke, based on 1848 republican designs

German colonial empire (1884–1918)Edit

The flags of the German overseas colonies were first proposed in 1914, but were never implemented due to the breakout of World War I.

Flag Date Description
1914 Proposal for German East Africa
1914 Proposal for German Kamerun
1914 Proposal for German New Guinea
1914 Proposal for German Samoa
1914 Proposal for German South-West Africa
1914 Proposal for German Togoland

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "The flags of Hamburg". Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  2. ^ a b c d (in German) Herzfeld, Andreas (June 2001). "Einige unbekannte Flaggenänderungen 1933–1945". Der Flaggenkurier (in German). Hennigsdorf: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde (13): 17–23. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17.

ReferencesEdit