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Weimar Republic Flags 1921-1933 (Germany)

Weimarer Republik, German State, Deutsches Reich

Last modified: 2004-12-29 by
Keywords: weimar republic | ensign: state | flag: state | minister | ensign: civil | ensign: war | jack | president | postal | canton: germany | iron cross | eagle | coat of arms | bugle | bordure (red) |
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[Weimar Republic 1919-1933 (Germany)] 2:3
by António Martins



See also:


Flag Ordinance Decree of 11th April 1921

On 11 April 1921, the decree on flags was issued. It provided for 10 flags, two of which were the two specified by the Constitution [national and merchant] and in addition:

Norman Martin

The decree (Verordnung) of 11th April 1921, which gives 10 flags. Ratios given are 2:3, except for the president's standard (no ratio given, I think it was so normal to have 1:1 that it was not mentioned), for national flags (no ratio given, as it does not matter...) and war ensign (3:5).

The decree also said that former flags could be used until 1st January 1922.

Ralf Stelter, 8 February 2001


Flag Ordinance Decree of 5th May 1926

On 5th May 1926 a change was decreed in the State Ensign. In addition, the flag ordinance of 5 May 1926 provided that at embassies and consulates outside of Europe and at European port cities, the merchant flag be flown along with the Government authorities flag on land.

Norman Martin

The flags described here were used officially until 1935 (not 1933), although after 1933 they were in practice used simultaneously with the Third Reich flag.

Željko Heimer, 8 October 1996


President's Standard 1921-1933

Standarte des Reichspräsidenten

[President's Standard 1921-1933 (Germany)] 1:1
by Marcus Schmöger

This is a slightly variant standard of the Arms (black eagle on gold field) with a red border. This was abolished in 1933, but again adopted by the Federal Republic in 1950 and is still in effect. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 vol. 4, p. 656, no. 4; Smith 1975 p. 227 and Crampton 1990 p. 43.

Norman Martin

Seems that eagle model in some flags was changed several times: 1919 (first), 1921 (shord lived second), 1921 (third) and 1927. In FOTW show the presidential standard adopted 1-7-1921. The eagle seems to be a first specific design (different from the eagles of 1919, 1921, 1921 and 1927). Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 show two patterns (probably 1921-1927 and 1927-1933) with minor differences in the eagle pattern.

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001

The following concerns a few uncertainties about the design of the German Presidential standard(s) in the 1920s. This was first established by the flag ordinance of 11 April 1921. According to Dreyhaupt 2000, p. 13, this was identical to the present standard. Again according to Dreyhaupt 2000, p. 15, the form of the eagle was altered from having five to one having six stylized feathers on each side, but reverted to the '5 feather' version by the publication of Reichsministerium des Innern 1928. The Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 article shows the '5 feather' version. However the Neubecker 1929 album shows the '6 feather' version. Also Barraclough and Crampton 1978 identifies the '6 feather' version with the presidential standard of the Weimar Republic without any reference to any change. To make matters more complex, on 22 April 1933, the standard was altered by providing a tricoloured rather than a red border. The ordinance does not mention the number of feathers. However, Davis 1975 has a 1933 foto which clearly shows the '5 feather' version. But Reichsministerium des Innern 1934 clearly shows the '6 feather' version. Neither mentions any changes.

Norman Martin, 4 May 2001


State Ensign 1921-1926

Flag of Government Authorities at Sea / Flagge der Reichsbehörden zur See

[State Ensign 1921-1926 (Germany)] 2:3
by Tom Gregg and António Martins
Flag adopted 11th April 1921, abolished 1926

The black-white-red tricolor with the Arms shifted slightly toward the hoist. This was abolished in 1926. Illustrated in Smith 1975 p. 121 [but miscaptioned as State Ensign 1926-1933, instead of State Ensign 1921-1926].

Norman Martin

A new state ensign was introduced by decree (Verordnung) of 11th April 1921, which gives 10 flags. Ratios given are 2:3 (...). As this decree also says that former flags could be used until 1st January 1922, it might be possible that the [Imperial] state ensign was in use until this date.

Ralf Stelter, 8 February 2001


State Flag 1921-1933

Flag of Government Authorities on Land / Dienstflagge der Reichsbehörden zu Lande

[State Flag 1921-1933 (Germany)] 2:3
N.B. this image reflects the modern state flag and ensign, the 1921-1933 one had 2:3 proportions
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 1921, abolished 1933

The black-red-gold tricolor with the Arms shifted slightly toward the fly. This was abolished in 1933, but readopted by the Federal Republic without the restriction to land in 1950 and is still in use. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 vol. 4, p. 656, no. 5, Smith 1975 p. 227, Crampton 1990 p. 43 and Album des Pavillons 1990 p. 17.

Norman Martin, 1998

[From Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000:] Dienstflagge z. Land, black-red-yellow with yellow shield with black-red eagle in centre, ratio 3:5. Adopted 1926, abolished 1933. Show in FOTW with the 1927 eagle pattern. [Did it] exist 1926-1927 with previous eagle pattern?

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001


War Ensign 1921-1933

Kriegsflagge

[War Ensign 1921-1933 (Germany)] 3:5
by Tom Gregg

Like the civil ensign, but with an Iron Cross in the center except for the canton and the size, like the Imperial jack. This was abolished in 1933. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928, vol. 4, p. 656, no. 3, Smith 1975 p. 121 and Crampton 1990, p. 43).

Norman Martin, 1998

Editor's note: see also Proportions of the War Ensign and Jack 1871-1935.


Defence Minister's Flag

Flagge des Reichswehrministers

[Defence Minister 1921-1933 (Germany)] 2:3
by Tom Gregg

The black-red-gold tricolor with the Iron Cross in the center. This was abolished in 1933. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 vol. 4, p. 656, no. 3, Smith 1975 p. 121 and Crampton 1990 p. 43).

Norman Martin, 1998

Reichswehrminister: Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 shows it in two similar patterns (size of the iron cross is different).

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001


Postal Flag 1921-1933

Reichspostflagge

[Postal Flag 1921-1933 (Germany)] 2:3 stripes 7+12+7
by Jaume Ollé (?)

A golden post horn on a black-red-gold tricolor. The width of the red stripe was 20% larger than the other stripes. This was adopted 11 April 1921 and abolished 31 March 1933. Its use on buildings was discontinued 9 November 1927. The postal flag of the [current] Federal Republic is very similar. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 vol.4, p.656, no.3. Source: a paper by Emil Dreyer in the Reports of the 15th International Congress of Vexillology.

Norman Martin, 1998 and 10 December 1999

Second pattern, with gold horn in different model that previous, show in FOTW (my drawing) slighty different. According Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 stripes are unequal (7:12:7).

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001

The above image is not totally correct. This flag showed in a widened red stripe of the black-red-gold triband a post horn emblem (different from the one used 1893-1919 and also different from the one used 1950-1994). This was used from 1st July 1921 onwards (the regulation of 11th April 1921 came into force that day). It was succeeded by the 1933-1935 postal flag on 31st March 1933; however, after 30th January 1933 any black-red-gold flag was certainly rarely hoisted anymore. Sources: Meyer 17 1960, Dreyer 1999, Valentin and Neubecker 1928 and Hecker and Hoog 1978.

Marcus Schmöger, 29 March 2001


Jack 1921-1933

Gösch

Like the 1919-1921 jack, except that the ratio of height to length is 2:3. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 vol. 4, p. 657, no. 1. In use from 1921 to 1933, when the canton was removed.

Norman Martin, 1998

[From Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000:] Kriegsgösch (jack), black-white-red with iron cross in centre and black-red-yellow colours in canton. In [the war ensign in] FOTW canton is smaller that black stripe. In Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 canton is high than [sic 'as high as'?] black stripe. Iron cross touches a bit the canton. Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 shows two patterns (without date) with minor differences. In first one canton is 7:11. In second one cross is slighty smaller and canton is 10:7. Ratios are 2:3 or circa.

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001

Editor's note: see also Proportions of the War Ensign and Jack 1871-1935.


Naval Reserve Officers' Civil Ensign 1921-1933

Merchant Flag with Iron Cross / Handelsflagge mit Eisernem Kreuz

Similar to the merchant flag, but with the Defence Minister flag instead of the national flag in canton. Usage basically as its Imperial equivalent. Used from 1921-1933.

Norman Martin

[Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 shows the] Handelsflagge m[it] E[isernem] K[reuz]: black-white-red with black-red-yellow canton (with iron cross) in ratio 6:8 with a narrow white line [along the canton's] fly.

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001


Pilot Flag

Lotsenflagge

Like the previous pilot flag, but with the current merchant flag instead of the plain black-white-red flag in the center.

Norman Martin

[Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000 shows the] Lotsenflagge: merchant flag, [ratio] 3:5, bordered white in all the sides (width of white border is same that each stripe of the flag). Overall ratio is ca. 26:38.

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001


State Ensign 1926-1933

Flag of Government Authorities at Sea / Flagge der Reichsbehörden zur See

[State Ensign 1926-1933 (Germany)] 2:3
by Tom Gregg and António Martins
Flag adopted 1926, abolished 1933

In 1926, the state flag and ensign were modified by the addition of the black-red-gold canton. In 1933, the state flag and ensign and the civil ensign were abolished.

Norman Martin

Same as the 1921-1926 state ensign, but with the black-red-gold in the canton as in the merchant flag. This was established in 1926, replacing the jack and abolished in 1933. Illustrated in Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928 vol. 4, p. 656, no. 6; Crampton 1990 p.43, Smith 1975 p. 121 [but miscaptioned as State Ensign 1921-1926, instead of State Ensign 1926-1933].

Norman Martin

Schiffahrtdienstflagge der Reichsbehörden: black-white-red tricolour with a black German eagle beaked and armed red on a gold shield and a black-red-yellow tricolour in the canton (Source: Große Brockhaus Enzyklopädie 1928). Ratio 2:3. In use 1926-1933. From 1921-1926, the same flag was used, without the canton.

Željko Heimer, 8 October 1996

[From Martin and Dreyhaupt 2000:] Dienstflagge z. See, black-white-red with yellow shield with black-red eagle in centre [and black-red-yellow canton?], ratio 3:5. Adopted 1926, abolished 1933. Show in FOTW with the 1927 eagle pattern. [Did it] exist 1926-1927 with previous eagle pattern?

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001


State Hanging Flag for Festivities 1927-1933

Reichsbanner für Feierlichkeiten

[State Hanging Flag for Festivities 1927-1933 (Germany)] 4:1
by Marcus Schmöger

In 1927 a special hanging flag (Reichsbanner) was introduced for festivities (first used on Constitution Day 11 August 1927). It had the proportion 4:1 and was swallowtailed; the upper part showed a black eagle on a gold square field, the bottom part was divided vertically black-red-gold. Sources: Valentin and Neubecker 1928, Dreyhaupt 2000 and Reichsministerium des Innern 1930.

Marcus Schmöger, 22 February 2002

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