List of German flags

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.

National flags

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Germany.svg
1949–present 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–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.
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–present Hanging national flag (Bannerflagge)
Flag of Germany (Hanging state flag).svg 1996–present Hanging state flag

Presidential standard

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the President of Germany.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 Bayern (striped variant)
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg
Civil flag of Bayern (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 Hessen
Flag of Lower Saxony.svg
Civil flag of Niedersachsen
Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.svg
Civil flag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg
Civil flag of Nordrhein-Westfalen
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg
Civil flag of Rhineland-Pfalz
Flag of Saarland.svg
Civil flag of Saarland
Flag of Saxony.svg
Civil flag of Sachsen
Flag of Saxony-Anhalt.svg
Civil flag of Sachsen-Anhalt
Flag of Schleswig-Holstein.svg
Civil flag of Schleswig-Holstein
Flag of Thuringia.svg
Civil flag of Thüringen

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 Bayern (striped variant)
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg
State flag of Bayern (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)[1]
Flag of Hesse (state).svg
State flag of Hessen
Flag of Lower Saxony.svg
Flag of Niedersachsen (on land)
Flag of Lower Saxony (state ensign).svg
State ensign of Niedersachsen (at sea)
Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (state).svg
State flag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia (state).svg
State flag of Nordrhein-Westfalen
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg
State flag of Rheinland-Pfalz
Flag of Saarland.svg
Flag of Saarland
Flag of Saxony (state).svg
State flag of Sachsen
Flag of Saxony-Anhalt (state).svg
State flag of Sachsen-Anhalt
Flag of Schleswig-Holstein (state).svg
State flag of Schleswig-Holstein
Flag of Thuringia (state).svg
State flag of Thüringen

Historical flags

German Confederation (1815–1866)

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg
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)
Flag of the German Confederation (war).svg
1848–1852 War ensign of the Reichsflotte
Naval Jack of the German Confederation.svg
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 (1867-1892).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)
Reichskolonialflagge.svg
1884-1918 Colonial flag
War Ensign of Germany (1867-1892).svg
1871–1892 Imperial Navy war ensign (Kriegsflagge)
War Ensign of Germany (1892-1903).svg
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 (Kriegsschiffgösch)
Flag of German Empire (jack 1903).svg
1903–1918 (1921) Marine jack
Flag Date Use Description
Kaiserstandarte Version1.svg
1871 The King of Prussia's Standard
Kaiserstandarte Version2.svg
1871–1888 German Emperor's Standard
Kaiserstandarte.svg
1888–1918 German Emperor's Standard
Kaiserinnenstandarte 1871.svg
1871–1901 Empress Augusta and
Empress Frederick's Standard
Kaiserinstandarte 1888.svg
1888–1918 Empress Augusta Viktoria's Standard
Kronprinzenstandarte Version1.svg
1871–1888 Standard of the Crown Prince
Kronprinzenstandarte Version2.svg
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)
Flagge Deutsches Reich - Dienstflagge zu Land (1921-1933).svg
1921–1933 State flag (Dienstflagge zu Land)
Merchant flag of Germany (1919–1933).svg
1919–1933 Merchant flag (Handelsflagge)
Flag of Weimar Republic (merchant+cross).svg
1921–1933 Merchant flag variant with the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz)
Flagge Deutsches Reich - Dienstflagge zur See (1921-1926).svg
1921–1926 State ensign (Dienstflagge zur See)
Seedienstflagge 1926-1933.svg
1926–1933 State ensign (Dienstflagge zur See)
War Ensign of Germany (Proposed 1919).svg
1919–1921 (de jure) Reich war flag (Reichskriegsflagge)
War Ensign of Germany (1921-1933).svg
1921–1933 Reich war flag
Flag of Weimar Republic (jack).svg
1921–1933 Marine jack (Kriegsgösch)
Flag of the President of Germany.svg
1921–1926 Standard of the President
Flag of the President of Germany (1926–1933).svg
1926–1933 Standard of the President
Flag of the President of Germany (1919–1921).svg
1919–1921 Flag of the President
Flag of Weimar Republic (defence minister 1919).svg
1919–1921 Flag of Defence Minister
Flag of Weimar Republic (defence minister 1921).svg
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 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
Flag of the NSDAP (1920–1945).svg
  • 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.
Flag of Germany (1933–1935).svg
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
Standarte Reichspräsident 1933-1935.svg
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 Germany (1935–1945).svg
  • 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.
Flag of the NSDAP (1920–1945).svg
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.
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)
Hitlerjugend Allgemeine Flagge.svg
1933–1945 Flag of the Hitler Youth, a youth organization in the Nazi Party

World War II aftermath in Germany

Allied Control Council (1945–1949) and Saar Protectorate

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.
Flag of Saar (1947–1956).svg
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)

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

Historic flag proposals

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

German colonial empire (1884–1918)

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
Flag of Deutsch-Ostafrika.svg
1914 Proposal for German East Africa
Flag of Deutsch-Kamerun.svg
1914 Proposal for German Kamerun
Flag of Deutsch-Neuguinea.svg
1914 Proposal for German New Guinea
Flag of Deutsch-Samoa.svg
1914 Proposal for German Samoa
Flag of Deutsch-Südwest.svg
1914 Proposal for German South-West Africa
Flag of Deutsch-Togo.svg
1914 Proposal for German Togoland