List of German flags

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

National flags

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Germany.svg 1919–1933;
since 1949
National and merchant flag (Bundes- und Handelsflagge) A tricolour, made of three equal horizontal bands coloured black (top), red, and gold (bottom).
Flag of Germany (state).svg 1950– State flag and ensign (Bundesdienstflagge) and war 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.
Flag of Germany (unoff).svg National flag with coat of arms (Bundesflagge mit Bundeswappen). Unofficial version, the private use of which is not penalized.
Flag of Germany (Hanging).svg 1996– Hanging national flag (Bannerflagge)
Flag of Germany (Hanging state flag).svg 1996– Hanging state flag

Presidential standard

Flag Date Use Description
Standarte des Bundespräsidenten.svg 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 flags

Flag Date Use Description
Naval Ensign of Germany.svg 1956– War ensign and naval jack (Seekriegsflagge und Gösch) of the German Navy A swallowtail variant of the state flag
Flagge Generalinspekteur Bundeswehr.svg 1957– Standard of Inspector General of the Bundeswehr
Colour of Germany.svg 1964– Troop colour (Truppenfahne) of the Bundeswehr
Flag of German post (1950-1994).svg 1950–1994 Flag of Deutsche Bundespost
Flag of German post minister.svg 1950–1994 Flag of the Minister of Deutsche Bundespost
Flag of German post president.svg 1950–1994 Flag of the President of Deutsche Bundespost A swallowtail variant of the postal flag
Flag of German post state secretary.svg 1950–1994 Flag of the State Secretary of Deutsche Bundespost

Flags of German states

Civil flags

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Baden-Württemberg.svg Civil flag of Baden-Württemberg
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Civil flag of Bavaria (striped variant)
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg Civil flag of Bavaria (lozengy variant)
Flag of Berlin.svg Civil flag of Berlin
Flag of Brandenburg.svg Civil flag of Brandenburg
Flag of Bremen.svg Civil flag of Bremen
Flag of Bremen (middle arms).svg Civil flag of Bremen (with middle arms)
Flag de-bremen flagarms.png Civil flag of Bremen (with flag arms)
Flag of Hamburg.svg Civil flag of Hamburg
Flag of Hesse.svg Civil flag of Hesse
Flag of Lower Saxony.svg Civil flag of Lower Saxony
Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.svg Civil flag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg Civil flag of North Rhine-Westphalia
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg Civil flag of Rhineland-Palatinate
Flag of Saarland.svg Civil flag of Saarland
Flag of Saxony.svg Civil flag of Saxony
Flag of Saxony-Anhalt.svg Civil flag of Saxony-Anhalt
Flag of Schleswig-Holstein.svg Civil flag of Schleswig-Holstein
Flag of Thuringia.svg Civil flag of Thuringia

State flags

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Baden-Württemberg (state, lesser arms).svg State flag of Baden-Württemberg (lesser arms)
Flag of Baden-Württemberg (state, greater arms).svg State flag of Baden-Württemberg (greater arms)
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg State flag of Bavaria (striped variant)
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg State flag of Bavaria (lozengy variant)
Flag of Berlin (state).svg 1954–2007 State flag of Berlin
Flag of Brandenburg.svg State flag of Brandenburg
Flag of Bremen (middle arms).svg State flag of Bremen (with lesser arms)
Flag de-bremen flagarms.png State flag of Bremen (with flag arms)
Flag of Hamburg.svg State flag of Hamburg
Admiralty flag of Hamburg.svg Admiralty flag of Hamburg (used by state ships)
Flag of Hesse (state).svg State flag of Hesse
Flag of Lower Saxony.svg Flag of Lower Saxony (on land)
Flag of Lower Saxony (state ensign).svg State ensign of Lower Saxony (at sea)
Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (state).svg State flag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia (state).svg State flag of North Rhine-Westphalia
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg State flag of Rhineland-Palatinate
Flag of Saarland.svg Flag of Saarland
Flag of Saxony (state).svg State flag of Saxony
Flag of Saxony-Anhalt (state).svg State flag of Saxony-Anhalt
Flag of Schleswig-Holstein (state).svg State flag of Schleswig-Holstein
Flag of Thuringia (state).svg State flag of Thuringia

Historical flags

German Confederation (1815–1866)

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg 1848–1867 Flag of the Southern States during the Austro-Prussian War Also German Empire (1849)
Flag of the German Confederation (war).svg 1848–1852 War ensign of the Reichsflotte
100px 1848–1852 Marine jack of the Reichsflotte

North German Confederation (1866–1871)

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the German Empire.svg 1867–1871 National and merchant flag (National- und Handelsflagge) A tricolour, made of three equal horizontal bands coloured black (top), white, and red (bottom)
War Ensign of Germany 1871-1892.svg 1867–1871 War flag (Kriegsflagge)
Flag of North German Confederation (jack).svg 1867–1871 Marine jack (Kriegsschiffgösch)

German Empire (1871–1918)

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the German Empire.svg 1871–1918 National and merchant flag (National- und Handelsflagge)
Flag of German Empire (merchant+cross).svg 1896–1918 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
War Ensign of Germany 1871-1892.svg 1871–1892 Imperial Navy war ensign (Kriegsflagge)
100px 1892–1903 Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge)
War Ensign of Germany 1903-1918.svg 1903–1918 (1921) Reich war flag
Flag of North German Confederation (jack).svg 1871–1903 Marine jack (Kriegsschiffsgösch)
Flag of German Empire (jack 1903).svg 1903–1918 (1921) Marine jack

Imperial family standards

Flag Date Use Description
100px 1871 Emperor William I's Standard
100px 1871–1888 German Emperor's Standard
100px 1888–1918 German Emperor's Standard
100px 1871–1901 Empress Augusta and
Empress Frederick's Standard
100px 1888–1918 Empress Augusta Viktoria's Standard
100px 1871–1888 Standard of the Crown Prince
100px 1888–1918 Standard of the Crown Prince

Weimar Republic (1919–1933)

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg 1919–1933 National flag (Nationalflagge)
100px 1921–1933 State flag (Dienstflagge zu Land)
Flag of Weimar Republic (merchant).svg 1919–1933 Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
100px 1921–1933 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
100px 1921–1926 State ensign (Dienstflagge zur See)
100px 1926–1933 State ensign (Dienstflagge zur See)
100px 1919–1921 (de jure) Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge)
Flag of Weimar Republic (war).svg 1921–1933 Reich war flag
Flag of Weimar Republic (jack).svg 1921–1933 Marine jack (Kriegsgösch)
Standarte des Bundespräsidenten.svg 1921–1926 Standard of the President
100px 1926–1933 Standard of the President
100px 1919–1921 Flag of the President
100px 1919–1921 Flag of Defence Minister
100px 1921–1933 Flag of Defence Minister
Flagge Reichsbanner 2013.jpg 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)

The flag with the swastika and white disc centered was used throughout (1920–45) as the NSDAP party flag (Parteiflagge).[1] 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 swastika 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
Flag of the NSDAP (1920–1945).svg
  • 1933–1935
  • 1933–1935
  • 1920–1945
  • National flag (Nationalflagge)
  • Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
  • NSDAP Party flag (Parteiflagge)[1]
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.
100px 1933–1935
  • National flag (Nationalflagge)
  • Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
Black, white, and red horizontal tricolour. Used in conjunction with the Parteiflagge.
Handelsflagge mit dem EK 1933-1935.svg 1933–1935 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
War Ensign of Germany 1933-1935.svg 1933–1935 Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge) and marine jack
Dienstflagge Wehrmachtbehörden zur See 1933.svg 1933 Reich service flag (Reichsdienstflagge) of the Wehrmacht
Reichsdienstflagge 1933-1935.svg 1933–1935 Reich service flag
100px 1933–1935 (de facto up to 1934) Standard of the President
RKM 1933 - 1935.svg 1933–1935 Flag of the Minister of Defence
Flags used 1935 – 1945
Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg
  • 1935–1945
  • 1935–1945
  • National flag[1]
  • 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.
Flag of the NSDAP (1920–1945).svg 1920-1945 NSDAP Party flag (Parteiflagge)[1] 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.
Banner of Germany 1933.svg 1933–1945 Banner (Bannerflagge) of Germany Banners were of various lengths, which were hung vertically on public buildings.
Handelsflagge mit dem Eisernen Kreuz 1935.svg 1935–1945 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross
War Ensign of Germany 1935-1938.svg 1935–1938 Kriegsmarine, Heer, Luftwaffe
War Ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg 1938–1945 Kriegsmarine, Heer, Luftwaffe
Reichsdienstflagge 1935.svg 1935–1945 Reich service flag
Standarte Adolf Hitlers.svg 1935–1945 Standard of Adolf Hitler
Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief flag.svg 1935–1938 Flag of the Wehrmacht Commander in Chief (replaced the Minister of Defence)
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg 1935–1945 Flag of the Schutzstaffel (SS)
Ordnungspolizei flag.svg 1936–1945 Flag of the Ordnungspolizei (OrPo) ("Order Police", the national regular police organization of Nazi Germany)

Allied Control Council (1945–1949)

Flag Date Use Description
Merchant Flag of Germany (1946-1949).svg 1946–1950 "C-Pennant" (C-Doppelstander) (provisional civil ensign) Used during the Occupation Period to identify German ships according to international law.

East Germany (1949–1990)

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Germany.svg 1949–1959 State flag (Staatsflagge)
Flag of East Germany.svg 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
100px 1959–1973 Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
50px 1963–1990 Hanging state flag (Bannerflagge)
100px 1955–1973 Flag of East German Post
100px 1975–1990 Flag of East German Post
100px 1955–1990 Standard of the President
100px 1960–1990 Standard of President of State Council
100px 1960–1990 Flag of the National People's Army (Nationale Volksarmee or NVA)
100px 1960–1990 Regimental colours (Truppenfahne) of Nationale Volksarmee
100px 1960–1990 Naval ensign (Seekriegsflagge)
100px 1962–1990 Flag of boats of border troops
100px 1989–1990 Defaced state flag Used by supporters of German reunification in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 (German) Herzfeld, Andreas (June 2001). "Einige unbekannte Flaggenänderungen 1933–1945". Der Flaggenkurier (in German). Hennigsdorf: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde (13): 17–23. 

References