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German Flag

by Aakash Singha

The official flag of the Federal Republic of Germany was adopted on May 23, 1949. The national flag of Germany is a tricolor with horizontal stripes of black (top), red (middle), and gold (bottom).

German Flag


Blank German Flag

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German Flag Description

The German flag features three equal horizontal stripes of black, red, and gold from top to bottom. The German flag has an aspect ratio of 3:5.

Black and gold were the colors of the Holy Roman Emperor’s flag in around the tenth century, which featured an eagle that later included red accents. The Austrian Empire, drawing from the Holy Roman Empire, incorporated black and gold into their flag.

These colors were used for the uniforms of German soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars, who wore black coats with red braids and golden buttons. The colors had specific symbolic meanings: “Out of the blackness of servitude [black], through bloody battles [red] to the golden light of freedom [gold].”

History of the German Flag

Designed in 1832, the flag of Germany (German: Deutsch) was first used during the revolutions of 1848, which resulted in the union of Germany’s feudal states. This flag, which represented liberalism and democracy, was suppressed in the 1850s, and in the next decade, new flags were used that reflected Prussia and the Hanseatic league.

After World War I, when Germany became the Weimar Republic in 1919, the horizontal tricolor was re-introduced. The flag was again banned when the Nazi regime took over the reins of Germany in 1933, and the flag of the Third Reich was adopted as the national flag. The Nazi flag had a red base with a black swastika on a white circle.

After World War II, on May 23, 1949, the tricolor flag became the official flag of the Federal Republic of Germany (in West Germany). On October 1, 1959, East Germany adopted a version of the flag that included a coat of arms. When the two sides of Germany reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, former East Germans cut the coat of arms out of their flag, and the unified nation shared the tricolor flag once again.

Flag Days

Public buildings are required to fly the German flag on certain days to commemorate historical events.

January 27 – Commemoration Day for Victims of National Socialism
May 1 – International Workers’ Day
May 9 – Europe Day
May 23 – Constitution Day
June 17 – Anniversary of the Uprising of 1953
July 20 – Anniversary of the July 20 plot
October 3 – German Unity Day
Two Sundays before the first Advent – National Day of Mourning
National symbol(s): golden eagle
National colors: black, red, yellow
National anthem:
Name: “Das Lied der Deutschen” (Song of the Germans)
Lyrics/Music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDN

Fact about the German flag

Country Germany
Designed by NA
Adopted May 23, 1949
Revision 7 June 1950, 9 May 1956
Design and Colors A horizontal tricolor of black, red, and yellow.
Size Ratio 3:5

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