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North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany)


Last modified: 2004-12-29 by
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[State Flag (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 10th March 1953, in use since 1948

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Civil Flag


[Civil Flag (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 10th March 1953

The Land flag is green on white on red. The state flag is the same with the arms in the middle. Proportions 3:5. (...) The flag of this new Land (green-white-red) was officialised only in 1953. Source: Veddeler 1987.

Pascal Vagnat, 19 December 1995 and 20 May 1999

The Landesflagge (civil flag) is a tricolour of green-white-red in the proportions 3:5. It was officialized in the law of 1953, however already used since 1948. It is simply the combination of the green-white colours of Rhineland and white-red of Westphalia.


Marcus Schmöger, 18 September 2001

State Flag


[State Flag (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 10th March 1953, in use since 1948

A horizontal tricolor green-white-red with the arms shifted slightly left of center (the shield also is not symmetrical). Illustrated in Smith 1975 p.227.

Norman Martin, April 1998

Landesdienstflagge has the coat of arms slightly moved toward the hoist.

Mario Fabretto, 28 August 1998

The design of the coat of arms shown on the official state government website is not the official coat of arms. It is a state coat of arms for private use [termed Nordrhein-Westfalen Wappenzeichen] as the coat of arms is only for official use. The official coat of arms is the one found [on Marcus Schmöger's image above and] on the World Flag Database.

Kai A. Hamm, 23 June 2000

The Landesdienstflagge (state flag) is the civil flag with the coat-of-arms. This is somewhat shifted to the hoist. The state flag was first prescribed in the above mentioned law of 1953 [see sources under civil flag], but was already used since 1948. A photo (from 1948) in Kuhn 1991, p.90, shows (beside other flags of German Länder) a vertical variant (Banner) of the North Rhine-Westphalia state flag. The coat-of-arms had been preliminarily described in a Bekanntmachung über das Wappen des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (Announcement on the Coat-of-Arms of the Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia, 21st January 1948) and finally prescribed in the above mentioned regulation of 1956.

Marcus Schmöger, 18 September 2001

An interesting detail from a heraldic point of view in the arms of North Rhine-Westphalia is the German practice of letting the dexter field be turned in courtoisie within the shield, something which is not always made in other countries. The arms of the Rhineland is Vert a bend wavy Argent, not a bend sinister. [Editor's note: see for instance this arms at Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website.]

Elias Granqvist, 19 September 2001

Car Flags for Authorities


The Ministerpräsident [prime minister] and the president of the regional parliament use the service flag with a golden border, dimensions 30 × 30 cm. Ministers use the service flag 25 × 27 cm, secretaries of state a swallow-tailed service flag 18 × 25 cm, the president of the Regierungsbezirke the same but 15 × 25 cm. These flags are not much in use today. Source: personal and legal archives, with legislation and official documents from the German Länder, as well as the informations of Jürgen Rimann, the best German specialist for all the car flags in the world and a very reliable source.

Pascal Vagnat, 1 August 1999

Unfortunately I have no information on these car flags, neither the legal texts I have probably I do not have all of them nor the books mention them [see sources under civil flag].

Marcus Schmöger, 18 September 2001

Jack for State Vessels

Gösch für staatliche Wasserfahrzeuge

[Jack for State Vessels (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger

The state vessels (e.g. police boats) use a triangular pennant as a jack. Source: Kroker 2000.

Marcus Schmöger, 18 September 2001