Last modified: 2010-11-06 by jarig bakker
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Other subnational flags:
Many civic flags in Germany are either striped flags bearing the arms, or banners of the arms. The specifications leave room for interpretation, a likely description would be "the flag has stripes of colors x and y and bears the arms". Usually nothing is said about the format of the flag, or the size and positioning of the arms.
Stefan Schwoon, 29 January 2001
I know of no common size [for the arms on German civic flags]. Gunnar Staack's article German City Flags also says that size and position of arms are not standardised. Not even in Bavaria, which has the strictest regulations of all German states concerning flags, as evidenced by the variations at Marcus Schmöger's Erding website.
Stefan Schwoon, 1 February 2001
I have some problems with Stadler 1964-1971's flag descriptions:
Stefan Schwoon, 23 February 2001
While cities traditionally had the right to bear arms, municipalities in Prussia were not entitled to them until 1933. In the years thereafter, many municipalities in Prussia (...) adopted arms. A number of the newly adopted or changed arms of this time owed their symbolism to Nazi ideology. Therefore, after 1945, all civic arms in Germany were taken under scrutiny, and swastikas and other deprecated symbols had to be removed.
Stefan Schwoon, 29 June 2001
An Amt is a level of administration between counties and municipalities which can comprise a varying number of municipalities. Ämter were eliminated in North Rhine-Westphalia by the municipal reform, but they still exist in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg (see the discussion about the flags of Biesenthal and the Amt Biesenthal-Barnim).
Stefan Schwoon, 29 June 2001
In some states there is an additional level of administration between the municipalities and the counties; these bodies have varying names and competences. Some have their own parliament (e.g. the Samtgemeinden in Lower Saxony), others execute the decisions of the municipalities they are composed of (e.g. the Ämter in Schleswig-Holstein). As with the Kreisfreie Städte there are amtsfreie Gemeinden (or their equivalents) which do not belong to such an intermediate body.
Stefan Schwoon, 16 October 2001
These Samtgemeinden / Ämter / Verwaltungsgemeinschaften are usually included in the level of the municipality, though. In some of the Länder they can have their own symbols, in others (e.g. Bavaria) they usually do not have symbols of their own.
Marcus Schmöger, 17 October 2001
Ämter are usually very rural entities, not metropolitan. It is difficult to provide a good translation (perhaps "municipal association"), as there are several designations (with somewhat differing functions) even in German, differing from Land to Land (Amt, Gemeindeverwaltungsverband, Samtgemeinde, Verbandsgemeinde, Verwaltungsgemeinschaft, Verwaltungsverband).
Marcus Schmöger, 18 February 2004