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Third Reich 1933-1945 (Germany)

Drittes Reich, German Empire, Deutsches Reich

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: germany | german empire | deutsches reich | third reich | nationalsocialist | nazi | disc (white) | swastika | cross: swastika (black) | hakenkreuz |
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[Third Reich 1933-1945 (Germany)] 3:5
by Mark Sensen and António Martins
Flag adopted on 14th March 1933 as co-national flag, 15th September 1935 as national flag

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On 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor with a cabinet in coalition with the German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP, a reactionary, largely monarchist party). Not long after, a fire broke out and largely destroyed the Reichstag building. The Nazis claimed this fire was part of a Communist coup attempt. Taking advantage of this, the government quickly called an election which gave the Nazi - German National government a majority in the parliament. The government quickly banned the Communist party (which gave the Nazis a majority without the German Nationals) and in July abolished all parties other than the Nazis.

Norman Martin, 15 December 1997

Immediately after the March 1933 elections, new flags were created, including the Swastika Flag (Hakenkreuzfahne) which was used until 1945. However, its use and its incorporation into other flags and ensigns were modified after the elections of late 1935. Notice that all of the "national flags" were replaced or modified. The rank flags of the Navy, which the Weimar Republic had taken over from the Empire, were however left unchanged. Interestingly enough, the Arms were not changed until 1935.

The second period of Nazi era flags starts late in the year 1935, (...) when the Nazis again changed almost all of the German flags.

Norman Martin, January 1998

Actually the new flags were not introduced officially until 14 March 1933, although this usage may have formally started earlier.

Norman Martin, 17 November 2001


My best suggestions for Third Reich vexillological bibliography would be Davis 1975, England 1997 and Davis 2000.

Santiago Dotor, 24 January 2000

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