Flag of Germany

The national flag of Germany (German: Flagge Deutschlands) is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black, red, and gold (German: Schwarz-Rot-Gold).[1] 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.

Federal Republic of Germany
UseCivil and state flag, civil ensign
Proportion3:5
Adopted1919 (original 2:3 ratio)
23 May 1949; 73 years ago (1949-05-23)
DesignA horizontal tricolour of black, red, and gold
Variant flag of Federal Republic of Germany
UseState flag and ensign, war flag
Proportion3:5
Adopted7 June 1950
DesignThe civil flag with the coat of arms at the centre.
Variant flag of Federal Republic of Germany
NameDienstflagge der Seestreitkräfte der Bundeswehr
UseNaval ensign
Proportion3:5
Adopted25 May 1956
DesignA swallowtail of the civil flag with the coat of arms at the centre.
Common unofficial flag variant with the coat of arms of Germany

Since the mid-19th century, Germany has two competing traditions of national colours, black-red-gold and black-white-red. Black-red-gold were the colours of the 1848 Revolutions, the Weimar Republic of 1919–1933 and the Federal Republic (since 1949). They were also adopted by the German Democratic Republic (1949–1990).

The colours black-white-red appeared for the first time in 1867, in the constitution of the North German Confederation. This nation state for Prussia and other north and central German states was expanded to the south German states in 1870–71, under the name German Empire. It kept these colours until the revolution of 1918–19. Thereafter, black-white-red became a symbol of the political right. The Nazis (National Socialist German Worker's Party) re-established these colours along with the party's own swastika flag in 1933. After World War II, black-white-red was still used by some conservative groups or by groups of the far right, as it is not forbidden, unlike proper Nazi symbols.

Black-red-gold is the official flag of the Federal Republic of Germany. As an official symbol of the constitutional order, it is protected against defamation. According to §90 of the German penal code, the consequences are a fine or imprisonment up to five years.


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