By Cezary Piwowarski – Wikimedia
Like most European countries, the flag of Germany is tricolour with horizontal stripes. The flag has three colours Black, Red, and Gold.
This combination of colours was first used in Germany in the late 18th century. The flag was first hoisted in the 19th century and adopted by the Weimer Republic in 1919.
This flag was not used all the time, especially during World War II. After the fall of the Berlin wall, Germany became a more united country. This meant that they all used to the same flag.
Just like most flags, the German flag has gone through many changes in colour and design.
Here are more facts on the German flag.
1. The colours on the flag
The German flag was adopted as it is in 1919. Later in 1949, they re-adopted its colours with the new constitution. The tricolour flag is made up of three equal horizontal stripes of; from the top Black, Red and Gold.
There is not one theory on the origin of the flag, its colours and the meaning behind it.
The most popular one is that the Black and Gold combination relates to the semi-official coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire colours.
When the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist, the two colours were subsequently linked to Austria’s Habsburg Dynasty. This Dynasty was known as the black and gold Monarchy.
2. The meaning of the German flag
The German flag is a symbolizes of unity, freedom and democracy. The design of the flag was first done in the 19th century. These colours Black, Red and Gold were only known in the Weimar Republic.
The colours were agreed upon when Germany was the German Confederation. There was no meaning associated with the colours then.
Today, the colours of the German flag mean; Black as a symbol of determination. Red as a symbolized of bravery and strength. Gold stands for generosity.
The German flag back in the 19th century was a symbol of a Conservative movement that was against the European Order. This Order was formed after Napoleon was defeated.
3. The first German flag was of a different colour (German Empire)
By StAnselm – Wikimedia
After Germany got unified at the end of the 19th century, the national flag ad the Black, White and Red stripes. The flag was then replaced with the Black, Red and Yellow after World War II.
The Germans pushed for a new flag that would completely and truly represent the German spirit. During that period, there were about three flags.
There was the red banner of the communists, the Black, White and Red of the Second Reich and then there was the swastika flag of the Nazis. The most dominant flag then was the Nazi one.
In 1949, West Germany got back the Black, White and Red flag with the government one with an Eagle shield. In the meantime, East Germany used a plain tri-colour flag and later added the coat of arms in 1959.
East Germany’s flag ceased to exist after the two sides reunited and became a single state. When Germany was an empire, the flag’s coloured stripes were to the ratio of 2:3.
4. South, West and East Germany had their flags
After the Austro-Prussian War in the 19th century, the South-German States aligned with Austria, including Bavaria.
They flew the black-red-gold flag that created a clear distinction between the present-day colour scheme and the northern, Prussian tradition.
The alliance then adopted a flag that blended the colours of the three regions. Its largest territory and the smallest territory whose colours were Black and white. The Hanseatic League’s colours were red and white.
These colours were combined into a new black-white-red horizontal tricolour. The flag was then used during the reign of the German Empire between 1871 and 1918.
The Imperial flag was done away with after Germany suffered defeat during World War I.
West Germany used the black-red-gold on May 9, 1949. East Germany used the same flag, but on introduced a communist emblem to the centre of the flag on October 1, 1959.
The Symbols were a hammer that symbolized the workers, and a pair of compasses symbolizing the intellectuals inside ears of grain symbolizing the farmers.
5. The Nazi did not like the Tri-colour flag
The German flag was temporarily replaced with a red flag featuring a black swastika during the Nazi reign. This was After the fall of the Third Reich.
In 1933 after the Nazi took over power, they replaced the striped tricolour flag with a Nazi party flag. The flag had a black swastika in the white circle on a red background.
When Adolf Hitler became the chancellor in 1933, he warranted that the Nazi flag is adopted and be the second national flag.
After President Hindenburg’s death a year later, Hitler saw that the swastika flag become the national flag of Germany in 1935.
The two warring sides (East Germany and West Germany) opted to use the traditional tricolour flag of black, Red and Gold. East Germany added a coat of arms to their flag just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
6. The German Civil flag
By Cezary Piwowarski – Wikimedia
Like many countries, there are different variations of the national flag. Germany’s national flag has three colours, the black-red-gold tricolour. The flag was officially passed in the constitution in 1949.
The plain tri-colour flag is used as the civil flag and the civil ensign. It is also used by non-federal authorities to show their connection to the federal government, e.g. the authorities of the German states use the German national flag together with their flag.
7. The German Government Flag
By StAnselm – Wikimedia
Another German flag is the government flag that was introduced in 1950. This flag is the defaced civil flag featuring a federal shield with an overlay up to one-fifth of the black and gold bands.
The Federal Shield is a variant of the coat of arms of Germany. The difference is the illustration of the eagle and the shape of the shield. It features a rounded base while the standard coat of arms is pointed.
The government flag may only be used by federal government authorities and its use by others is an offence, punishable with a fine.
However, public use of flags similar to the Bundesdienstflagge is tolerated, and such flags are sometimes seen at international sporting events.
8. Vertical flags and Military flags
Germany has horizontal flags that they use on public buildings. This flag can be found in most town halls together with the town’s flag. It is common to see two flags raised together.
Most of the flags found in the town halls are in the vertical design. One thing about the proportion of these flags is that they are not specified. Layout design of the vertical version was established in 1996.
The ‘new’ design matched the pattern of the conventional black-red-gold flag of the Principality of Reuss-Gera between 1806 -1918.
The Bundesdienstflagge of German armed forces, which is a federal authority, is also used as the German war flag on land.
9. Flying the German flag
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash
In Germany, there is a very diffident public use of the flag and national symbols. The flag in Germany is mainly used only by official authorities on special occasions or by the public in sports events.
Flag days are during election days for the Bundestag and the European Parliament in some states, in addition to other state-specific flag days.
The other occasion that may require a flag day is to mark the death of a prominent politician. In such instances, the flag is flown on some mast outside. A black mourning ribbon is then attached on top of the pole or the beams.
One rule about flying flags in Germany, on flag days, they are flown at half-mast and vertical flags are not lowered.
10. C-Pennant for the German Ships
There is one other flag that was once flown in Germany, the C-Pennant flag. This flag was flown on German ships as is required by the international law to have a national ensign. The C-Pennant flag ended with a swallowtail.
The Pennant flag was used after World War II, at this time, Germany had no government nor a flag. This was when Germany was under the allied administration.
What is an interesting fact about Germany's flag? ›
The flag was first sighted in 1848 in the German Confederation. It was officially adopted as the national flag of the Weimar Republic from 1919 to 1933, and has been in use since its reintroduction in West Germany in 1949.What are some facts about the German flag for kids? ›
The present German flag is a horizontal triband of three equal horizontal bands. The colors are the national colors of Germany: red, gold, and black. The red, gold, and black colors are from the uniforms of a squad of German soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars. The colors are a symbol of freedom and the nation.What does Germany's flag symbolize? ›
The colors symbolized national unity and civic freedom. In 1848, in Frankfurt, the Bundestag (parliament), like the German National Assembly, declared black-red-gold to be the colors of the German Confederation or the German Reich that was to be founded.What does the 3 colors of the German flag mean? ›
The tricolour horizontal bands consist of the official colours of Germany which are black, red, and gold. The colours used in the national flag of Germany date back to the republican democracy proposed in the 1800s to represent unity and freedom considered to be prevalent in Germany.Why do Germany have 2 stars on their top? ›
Each star represents a World Cup victory for that nation.
Each contest will have a unique jersey and for the World Cup the stars signify winning the Jules Rimet trophy, whereas teams in the European Cup, for example, will have stars representing how many times they have won that tournament.
The German Flag
Each color is represented on one of three equal horizontal strips across the flag. This design was officially recognized as the national flag of Germany in 1919. Although German flags have seen several transformations over hundreds of years, it is this design from 1919 that represents Germany today.
It should not be allowed to touch the ground when being hoisted or lowered, and it should certainly never rest permanently on the ground. In Germany, the flag is usually not folded until after the ceremony of lowering the flag.What bird is on German flag? ›
The Federal Republic of Germany adopted the Weimar eagle as its symbol in 1950. Since then, it has been known as the Bundesadler ("federal eagle").What does black stand for in German flag? ›
The German flag shows the national colors of black, red and gold in equal horizontal bands. Formerly the colors were said to represent: the darkness of servitude (black), the blood of conflict (red) and the light of freedom (gold). Now they stand for the freedom of Germany as a whole and its people.What is German national color? ›
The national colours of the Federal Republic of Germany are officially black, red, and gold, defined with the adoption of the West German flag as a tricolour with these colours in 1949.
What does the flag with 3 stars mean? ›
The state of Andrew Jackson, or “Old Hickory,” Tennessee was the sixteenth state admitted to the Union—the original thirteen colonies plus three states—and, consequently, the flag bears three white stars.What flag is similar to Germany? ›
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Germany is well known for many things. It has a strong economy, it is the birthplace of classical music and philosophy, it has a rich culture, and it is known for its scenic beauty. Additionally, Germany is known for its engineering and automotive industry, as well as its precision manufacturing.What is the German star called? ›
A Froebel star (German: Fröbelstern) is a Christmas decoration made of paper, common in Germany. In English it does not have a commonly recognised name; it can be referred to as Advent star, Danish star, German star, Nordic star, Pennsylvanian star, Polish star, Swedish star, Christmas star, or Froebel star.Why do Germany have 4 stars? ›
Germany's four stars represent their World Cup victories in 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014. The German national jersey is a work of beautiful simplicity.Why do Germany play in white? ›
Germany: According to the book entitled “All the Colors of Football” by Sergio Salvi and Alessandro Savorelli, the Mannschaft wear white because the German Football Federation was founded in 1900 when white was the national color of the country between 1867 and 1918 as in the former flag of the German Empire Prussia.Who has the oldest flag in Europe? ›
The oldest, continuously used national flag is that of Denmark. The current design of a white Scandinavian cross on a red back ground was adopted in 1625 and its square shape in 1748. In Denmark it is known as the 'Dannebrog' or 'Danish cloth'.Why did Germany Change flag colors? ›
The golden colour, which was widely used for flags, was replaced by yellow, which together with black and red, created a distinction between Nationalists and Democrats. Over the years, the flag became a symbol of the 1848 Revolution, the aim of which was to obtain democracy.How long is Germany's flag? ›
|Dimensions||240 × 250 × 10 mm|
The original law from 1932 was expanded in 1935 to include the Flag of Nazi Germany. Since 2020, it is also punishable by up to three years of imprisonment to damage or revile any flag of a foreign country (§104 StGB).
What are 3 things one should never do out of respect to the flag? ›
Other Things Not to Do with the Flag
let the flag touch anything beneath it: ground, floor, water, merchandise. carry it horizontally, but always aloft. fasten or display it in a way that will permit it to be damaged or soiled. place anything on the flag, including letters, insignia, or designs of any kind.
No. The Court has recognized that the First Amendment protects certain forms of symbolic speech. Flag burning is such a form of symbolic speech.What flag did Germany use in ww2? ›
The flag of Nazi Germany, officially the flag of the German Reich, featured a red background with a black swastika on a white disc. This flag came into use initially as the banner of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) after its foundation.How do German say Merry Christmas? ›
“frohe Weihnachten!”What flag is red and gold? ›
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The Federal Republic of Germany is located in the heart of Europe. The nation-state now known as Germany was first unified in 1871 as a modern federal state, the German Empire.What animal represents Germany? ›
The symbol of German statehood with the richest traditions is the eagle. Its origins can be traced back to the early years of the Holy Roman Empire.What are the 5 colour name in German? ›
|die Farbe||the colour|
When used as a noun, German colors always take the neuter gender, i.e. they use “das”.What is the flag with 3 legs? ›
The flag of the Isle of Man or flag of Mann (Manx: brattagh Vannin) is a triskelion, composed of three armoured legs with golden spurs, upon a red background. It has been the official flag of the Isle of Mann since 1 December 1932 and is based on the Manx coat of arms, which dates back to the 13th century.
What is a gold star flag? ›
These flags/banners were first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star.What flag has three diamonds? ›
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- 65% of the highways in Germany have no speed limit and are called the Autobahn.
- Germany sells around 6 million cars a year, making it one of the largest car producers in the world.
- The first book ever printed was in German, and the first magazine was launched in Germany in 1663.
The root of the name is from the Gauls, who called the tribe across the river the Germani, which might have meant “men of the forest” or possibly “neighbor.” The name was anglicized by the English when they made a small adjustment to the ending of Germany to get Germany.What was invented in Germany? ›
- Airbag. 1971 | Rocket application for safety Thirty milliseconds are often decisive. ...
- Aspirin, Bayer AG. Bayer AG started in 1863. ...
- Automobile. 1886 | Karl Benz & Gottlieb Daimler Finally, freedom of movement! ...
- Bacteriology. ...
- Beer. ...
- Chipcard. ...
- Computer. ...
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What was the Titanic flag? ›
The ship bears a dark blue jack at the bow, a US flag at the foremast, a swallow-tail blue flag with a yellow patch in the centre on the rear mast and a saltire white cross on a red field as an ensign at the stern (which should, for a British ship, be a red ensign).Why are there 7 red stripes on the flag? ›
The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union.What is Germany's national animal? ›
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