German Flag

German Flag



The Flag of Germany - Description of the German Flag
  • As the above picture of the German Flag indicates the overall background is Red, black and gold
  • The description of the German Flag is as follows:
    • Three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold
  • According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the German flag represent the following:
    • Yellow - a symbol of generosity
    • Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour
    • Black - Determination
    • They are derived from the similar colours of the Imperial coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire

  • All Flag pictures depict flags flying, from the viewer's point of view, from left to right
  • The shape and flag ratio of the German flag is described as 3:5
  • The Meaning & History of the German Flag
    • German National flags were banned by the Allies in Germany after the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II
    • On May 9, 1949 the black-red-gold flag was adopted as the federal flag for the Federal Republic of West Germany flag
    • 1990 - East Germany was reunited with the Federal Republic

Canton - Flag Terminology

Flag Terminology - Did you Know ?
  • The design and description uses specific flag terminology based on Heraldic principles
  • Animal blazons should always appear with the heads facing the flag - staff side
  • The Study of the Flags is called Vexillology
  • Your interest in flags makes you a Vexillologist!
  • Increase your knowledge - Play the Flag Quiz
Terminology & Etiquette in German Flag display
  • Hoist - the act or function of raising the German flag, as on a rope
  • Half Staff or Half Mast - the German flag is hoisted to half of the potential height of the flag pole to denote grief and mourning
    • Performed by first raising the German flag to the top, then lowering the German Flag halfway
  • Distress - denoted by flying the German flag upside-down
  • Manner of hoisting - The German flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously
  • No disrespect should be shown to the German flag
  • The German flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit the Flag to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way
  • The German flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing on the flag of any nature
  • The German flag should be hoisted first and lowered last
  • International Flag relating to German Flag usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace
  • We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding German Flag Etiquette has provided a useful resource
Flag History & Evolution:
  • The idea of flying a flag grew from the requirements of ancient warfare and the battlefield
  • Shields were painted with emblems to identify Friend or Foe
  • Warriors needed to know where their leaders were - the custom of carrying a pole was adopted
  • An emblem such as a shield, animal or religious device was attached to the pole for identification
  • The emblems were also used for identity and to cover suits of armour - Coats of Arms  were born
  • These emblems were the forerunners of modern flags
  • The Romans were the first to use a cloth flag - they were square and fastened to cross bars at the end of spears - the idea of fastening a flag to the side of a pole soon followed
  • The strict rules of Heraldry are still used when designing an emblem and creating a new flag
German Flag Etiquette
  • German Flag etiquette is very strict and is is essential that Flag protocols and rules are followed correctly
  • Basic Flag Etiquette applies to all nations, including German as follows:
  • Etiquette relating to the order of precedence for the flag
    • National Flag of German
    • State Flag of German
    • Military Flag of German (in order of creation date)
    • Other Flag of German
  • The United Nations uses alphabetical order when presenting a national flag including the German Flag. Their flag etiquette ensures that no one country's flag has precedence over another country's flag
  • The National flag of German should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff as this would suggest superiority, or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or Nation, over another
  • The German flag should never be allowed to drag along the ground
  • A tattered or faded flag of German should be removed and replaced with a new flag
  • Due care and consideration must be taken to ensure that the German flag is always flown the correct way up
  • A Flag of German, when in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with all due care and respect

National Flags of the World Map


Location: Central Europe, bordering
the Baltic Sea and the North Sea,
between the Netherlands and
Poland, south of Denmark

  • German Land Size : 349,223 sq km
  • German Climate / Weather : temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
  • German Population : 82,424,609 (July 2004 est.)
  • Former Name(s) : German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
  • German Capital City: Berlin
  • German GDP: $2.271 trillion (2003 est.)
  • German Main Industries : iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages; shipbuilding; textiles
  • German Agricultural products : potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry
  • German Currency : euro (EUR)
  • Main Colors of the German Flag : Red, black and gold
The Celts and Ancient German History
  • Bronze and Iron Age - The emergence of the Celts across Europe
  • 400BC - By this time the ancient culture of the Celts had settled in many European countries including Austria, Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Western Germany, Northern Spain, Turkey and Hungary
  • The Celts were people from various tribes and were called Galli by the Romans and Galatai or Keltoi by the Greeks. These terms all had one meaning in common - barbarian
  • It is from the Greek, Keltoi, that Celt is derived
  • Despite the name of Barbarian the Celtic society was based almost entirely on pastoralism and the raising of cattle or sheep
  • 15 BC The Romans had begun to extend their empire. Gallia (in English Gaul) is the Roman name for the region of Europe occupied by the Celts. The word Gaul commonly refers to a Celt inhabitant of that region in ancient times
  • 224 - 220 BC - Rome conquered the Celts
  • 390 BC - The Celts sacked Rome
  • 280 BC - The Celts sacked many Greek cities
  • 390 BC - The Celts sacked Rome
  • 9AD - The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Arminius of the Cherusci led German tribes who ambushed and wiped out three Roman Legions (The Roman legion was the basic military unit of ancient Rome. It consisted of up to 8,000 infantry soldiers and several hundred cavalry)
  • 50-100AD - The spread of Christianity
  • 476 AD The Roman Empire collapsed
  • Middle Ages - Various different cultures, including Vandals, Burgundians, Alans and Suevi, emerged in the lands of the German Celts during the history of the Middle Ages and the kingdom of the Franks
  • The above information provides a concise background to the Ancient civilisations of Germany
Concise German History & its Flag

As a Nation State, the united country of Germany did not exist until 1871 and prior to this was made up of individual territories

  • 800 - 900's - The reign of Charlemagne and his descendents
  • 870 - Formation of the duchies of Franconia, Saxony, Bavaria and Lorraine
  • 919 - 1024 The Saxon dynasty rule Germany
  • 1024-1255 - The Salian dynasty
  • 1096 - The first Crusade
  • 1138 -1254 - The Hohenstaufen dynasty
  • 1273 - Rudolf of Hapsburg crowned king of Germany
  • 1348-1352 - The Plague ("black death")
  • 1499 - Switzerland broke away from the empire
  • 1517 - Luther initiated the Reformation
  • 1546-1547 - Emperor Charles V defeats the Protestant princes and allies
  • 1555 - The Peace of Augsburg (the princes henceforth determine the religion of their territories)
  • 1618 - 1648 The Thirty Years War ending with the Peace of Westphalia
  • 1701 - Frederick crowned the first king of Prussia
  • 1740 - 1748 The War of Austrian Succession
  • 1806 - The Confederation of the Rhine was established by Napoleon
  • 1806 - Prussia declared war on France and was defeated by Napoleon
  • 1813 - The Prussians helped defeat Napoleon at Leipzig
  • 1814-1815 - The Congress of Vienna established the German Confederation of 39 independent German states
  • 1815 - Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo
  • 1862 - Otto von Bismarck was appointed the prime minister of Prussia
  • 1870 - Franco-Prussian War
  • 1871 January - Germany captures Paris
  • 1871 18 January - Wilhelm I was crowned the first Kaiser of the German Empire uniting the German states into one country
  • 1914 28 June - Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina provoking WW1
  • August 1914 - Germany declared war on Russia and France. The United Kingdom declared war on Germany
  • 9 November 1918 Germany was declared a republic
  • 11 November 1918 - The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I and the Rhineland was placed under Allied occupation for 15 years
  • 19 January 1919 - A national assembly meets in Weimar to write a new German constitution - called the Weimar Republic
  • 1923 - The National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis) attempt an unsuccessful armed rebellion led by Adolf Hitler
  • 1933 - Hindenburg appointed Hitler as the chancellor and Nazi Germany begin persecuting Jews
  • 1934 - Hitler declares himself der Fuhrer his Nazi German government is called the Third Reich
  • 10 April 1938 - Germany annexes Austria
  • 16 March 1939 - Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
  • 1 September 1939 - Germany invades Poland which starts World War II
  • 1940 - Germany captures Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The Allies including Russia, UK and USA retaliate
  • 30 April 1945 Hitler commits suicide
  • August 1945 The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • 7 May 1945 - Germany surrenders
  • June 1945 - Germany divided into four zones of military occupation (United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union)
  • May 1949 - The Allies approve a constitution for western Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) and East Germany adopts a Communist-prepared constitution
  • October 1949 - The German Democratic Republic was formed (East Germany)
  • 5 May 1955 - West Germany obtains independence
  • August 1961 - The Berlin Wall was built
  • 9 November 1989 - The Berlin Wall was demolished and Communist East Germans were able to travel to the West
  • 3 October 1990 - East and West Germany was reunited

German Flag

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