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Flag Hoisting Formats and Terminology (Germany, Austria and adjacent countries)

Hißflagge, Knatterflagge,

Last modified: 2011-06-13 by
Keywords: hissflagge | querflagge | querfahne | hanging flag | vertical | flapping flag | haengeflagge | banner | knatterflagge | triangelfahne | haengefahne | knatterfahne |
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See also:


Introduction

Sources:

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001 and 19 August 2003


Hißflagge (Hissflagge)

Also Flagge, Hißfahne, Querflagge, Querfahne, horizontale Hißflagge, horizontale Hißfahne

[Hissflagge (Germany)] The Hißflagge (often simply called Flagge) is the "normal" form known from most countries. It is a horizontal flag hoisted on a vertical flagpole. The Hißflagge is wider than high in Germany and Austria usually in proportions 2:3 or 3:5. Stripes of German flags are usually arranged from top to bottom (e.g. black-red-gold). A coat-of-arms is usually displayed in the centre (often slightly shifted to the hoist).
In many parts of Germany (especially in the inland states) and in Austria this type of flag would not be considered as the "normal" or "default" type of flag by most people. In Bavaria, for instance, most of the municipal flags are used in the form of Banner or Hängeflagge or Knatterflagge. Also the federal flag or the Bavarian flag are more frequently used in a vertical format, even by the Bavarian ministries.

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001


Knatterflagge

Also Knatterfahne, Hißflagge im Hochformat, Hißfahne im Hochformat, Hochformatflagge, Hochformatfahne

[Knatterflagge (Germany)] The Knatterflagge (more frequently called Knatterfahne) is a flag that is hoisted on a flagpole like a "normal" flag. However, it is higher than wide (usually around 3:1). On Knatterflaggen the stripes that are arranged from top to bottom in a Hißflagge, are either arranged from top to bottom as well, or from hoist to fly. There seems to be no standardized way to rearrange a Hißflagge into a Knatterflagge, as pointed out in Tenora 1996 and also observed by me on several occasions.

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001


Auslegerflagge

Also Auslegerfahne, Galgenflagge, Galgenfahne, Hochformatflagge mit Ausleger, Hochformatfahne mit Ausleger

[Auslegerflagge (Germany)] This is a variant of the Knatterflagge; it is not only hoisted on the flagpole, but the top of the flag is also fixed to an outrigger, to show the flag fully displayed all the time. This variant is rarely used for official flags, but quite frequently for decorative and commercial flags.

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001


Hängeflagge

Also Hängefahne, Hausfahne, Schrägfahne

[Hängeflagge (Germany)] The Hängeflagge is directly hoisted from a horizontal flagpole (usually on a building). The Hängeflagge is higher than wide (from, say, 3:2 up to 6:1 or even more). Stripes that are arranged from top to bottom in a Hißflagge are arranged from left to right in a Hängeflagge. A coat-of-arms is displayed in upright form, usually in the center or shifted to the top.

A variant is the Schrägfahne hoisted from an oblique pole (usually on a building), but hanging down like the Hängeflagge.

The terms Hängefahne or Hängeflagge are frequently mixed up with the term Banner.

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001


Banner

Also Bannerfahne, Triangelfahne

[Banner (Germany)] The Banner is basically a variant of the Hängeflagge. The Banner is first fixed to a crossbar; then this crossbar is hoisted on a normal vertical or horizontal flagpole. The Banner is higher than wide (usually about 5:2 up to 4:1). Stripes that are arranged from top to bottom in a Hißflagge are arranged from left to right in a Banner. A coat-of-arms is displayed in upright form, usually in the center or shifted to the top.

The terms Hängefahne or Hängeflagge are frequently mixed up with the term Banner.

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001


Terminology use in legal texts of German States

Some of the legal texts regulating the flags in Germany also use terms like Banner or Hängefahne. A short analysis of this use:

Hißfahne/Hißflagge
Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate use the term Hißfahne in their legal texts, and also show them in the sketches in the appendix of the texts. Mecklenburg-West Pomerania does not mention the term Hißflagge in the legal text, but in the patterns for the "corporate design".
Hängefahne/Hängeflagge
Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate use the term Hängefahne in their legal texts, and also show them in the sketches in the appendix of the texts, whereas Brandenburg uses the term Hängeflagge in the appendix of the text (and shows a sketch). Mecklenburg-West Pomerania mentions the term Hängefahne in the legal text, but calls it Hängeflagge in the patterns for the "corporate design".
Banner
Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Brandenburg use the term Banner in their legal texts, and also show them in the sketches in the appendix of the texts. Also Berlin, Lower Saxony and Saar use the term, however without defining it or showing a sketch illustrating it.
Also the patterns for the "corporate design" in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania mentions the term without clearly differentiating it from Hängeflagge. The worst case, however, is the respective text on the federal flags, "Die Bundesflagge kann auch in Form eines Banners geführt werden." (The federal flag can also be used in the form of a Banner.) The sketches in the appendix clearly show a Hängeflagge, not a Banner!
Knatterflagge/Knatterfahne
In no legal text there is a mention of the term Knatterfahne or Knatterflagge. However, Brandenburg shows a sketch of a Knatterflagge, without any designation, though.
Furthermore Thuringia mentions and shows a waagerechte Form (horizontal variant) and a senkrechte Form (vertical variant) without further defining if this means Knatterflagge, Hängeflagge or Banner. Legal texts on flags from Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein do not mentions these terms.

Sources:

Marcus Schmöger, 26 October 2001

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