German Flag Remarkable Journey from Division to Unity

German Flag

The Federal Republic of Germany, also known as Deutschland or Bundesrepublik Deutschland, is a vast country. Its capital is Berlin—the most famous city in the world. Berlin came into being after World War 2 and is still the heart of reunified Germany. Prussian Prime Minister Otto Von Bismarck created the German Empire in 1871. Hence, the German flag was then everyone’s priority to make it happen!

So, Germany faced many partitions and several defeats and suffered a lot of wars like World War 1, World War 2, and the Cold War. But ultimately, it got united. During the journey, several authorities presented different designs of the German flag. After so many approvals and disapprovals and a lot of alterations, a final flag of Germany was established. It contains three colors: black-red-gold. It looks like the horizontal tricolor flag.

History of the German Flag

History of the German Flag

The German flag comprises three colors, which shows that these three colors were used back in the 1840s to show the movement against the European hold over Germany. Europe led Germany after Napoleon’s downfall. The fun fact is that the first ever flag of Germany was flown during the Holy Roman Empire. This flag contained an eagle with a gold background.

After wars of liberation—against the French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1813, the color combination of the German flag was only a political symbol. During the war, Prussian Propaganda made only a single fighting unit known as the volunteer corps. These corpses were highly recognized by their appearance. They used to wear black uniforms with red badges and gold buttons. To look similar, volunteers wear black. At that time, other colors (red and gold) were hard to find.

Making Fun of France’s Tricolor

In 1815, when the Liberation Wars ended, a group of students started a movement for the “Brotherhood”. They used a vertical tricolor flag with a golden branch based on those volunteers’ uniforms. Moreover, in the nineteenth century, when the German forces were formed, these forces used these colors for national unity.

In 1848, the German National Assembly announced these black, red, and gold colors to represent the German confederation. Moreover, during the revolution of 1828-1949, these tricolor flags were flowing over Berlin’s blocks and at the German National Assembly. But once the revolution ended, no one did anything with these colors. Even these tricolor flags were banned in many states of Germany.

The Era of 1871 and the German Flag Dispute


In the win against France in 1870 & 1871, Otto Von Bismarck decided to establish the German Empire on 18th January 1871. At that time, the white and black colors of Prussia were used as the colors of the national flag along with the red color of Hanseatic cities. After this, the German Empire faced a downfall, and it collapsed. Hence, in 1919, the National Assembly declared black-red-gold to be the colors of the Weimar Republic.

After this announcement, a “Flag Dispute” started between republicans and communists. The Republicans wanted the combination of black, red, and gold in the national flag, but the communists wanted all red in the banner.

The Role of Swastika in the Designation of the German Flag

The black-red-gold flag of Germany was the national flag until 1935. At the same time, Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally started, and the Nazi Swastika flag was announced as the national flag. Moreover, the authorities didn’t allow Jews to carry this flag. After the Second World War, Germany was divided into East and West Germany. Each had its flag—East German Flag and West German Flag.

This partition ultimately led to a unified Germany. Germans used their national flag to represent division, hope for unity, and then the symbol of reunification. After the Second World War, the Federal Republic of Germany was established in 1949. At this time, people used and exploited national symbols that made the use of the German flag to the least.

But in the same year, the Parliamentary Council gave a favor vote to the black-red-gold flag of the country. The state thought the flag to be simple without any symbol. So, in 1950, it added a national coat of arms to the flag of Germany. This coat of arms was a modified shape of a black eagle with red claws looking to the right and a gold background.

Usage of the Old Flag of Germany

Old Flag of Germany

The Federal Ministry declared this state flag for official government agencies only. So, it set a fine and offense over the public use of the flag of Germany. Moreover, there was usually a dispute over the use of an eagle symbol on the uniforms of the German soccer and handball teams. In 1989, a peaceful revolution started in East Germany. People hoisted the national flag of Germany containing plain colors without a state symbol.

Remember that the flag of Germany went through so many transitions after the Second World War. This flag was then used to show the division of Germany into two different states in their ideologies (East and West Germany). In 1990, the East and West Germany reunited. At this time, Germans used this iconic flag for “Reunited Germany”. People were happy with fluttering flags over their houses.

Flag Variants of Germany

The fun fact about the German flag is that it has different designs for several designations in Germany. Its design comes in several forms, as follows:

  • Civil flag
  • Government flag
  • Vertical flag
  • Military flag

Civil Flag—Plain Colors

The national flag of Germany, containing only three colors (red-black-gold), was announced as part of the West German Constitution in 1949. Now, the two states have their military flags, and this plain-colored flag shows the symbol of the civil flag. This flag is a connection between the federal government and non-federal authorities. Hence, the German state authorities use the national flag of Germany together with their flag.

Government Flag—Federal Shield

A federal shield marked on the plain tricolor flag is used as the government flag. This national shield covers almost 1/5th of the black and gold bands. Such flags fly at international sporting events. Moreover, federal government authorities don’t use this flag. The public can use it, and can also be used to show offense or punishable fine.

Vertical Flag—Banner Hanging Downward

Town flags are vertical flags. People fly vertical flags along with the national flag on the top of their buildings. The interesting point about the vertical flag is that the black band should be on the left when the public has to fly it on their buildings. Otherwise, it is banned.

Military Flag—German War Flag

In 1956, the flag of the German Navy was established. Germans used it as the German war flag in Germany.

The Colors and their Symbols

The following is the true identification of the used cooler in the flag of Germany:

German Flag


Black color, along with gold, symbolizes Austria. This color also has some sort of connection with Prussia. Because Prussia was a dominant state in bringing Germany together. It represents bravery, strength, and firm determination.


Red symbolizes the Hanseatic League. Moreover, it shows the shedding of blood and sacrificing of many Germans’ lives for their country’s sake. The red indicates bravery and eagerness to sacrifice their lives for their homeland.


Gelb vor Neid is the slogan Germans used to show hope for their united homeland. It means “We are yellow with envy”. This Gold color is sunny yellow, and hence, Germans consider this gold color to be a positive vibe for them—a light of freedom.

Significance of the Flag of Germany

Significance of the Flag of Germany

After crossing many hardships and hurdles, the German flag emerged as one of the most significant flags in the world. The flag is always higher, whether sports, Independence Day, or any other event. It plays a prominent role in various national holidays and events:

Republic Day or German Unity Day

In October, Germans celebrate German Unity Day. To show love for their country, Germans hoist their National flag over buildings and carry the banner along with their vehicles and in offices. Hence, the flag of Germany plays an important role to this day.

Sports—FIFA World Cup, Soccer, and More

Every country in the world arranges sports at local or international level. No doubt, the International level demands hype for one’s country. So, like other countries, Germans carry their iconic flag at stadiums to show their connection with Germany. Whether it’s Soccer, the FIFA World Cup, or any other sport, athletes must get motivated to play the best for their country after watching their national flag.

Cultural Festive

Karnival, Oktoberfest, Wurstmarkt, Rhein, and what not! Germans celebrate all their festivals with great dedication as they got their homeland after many difficulties and hurdles. Hence, showing love for their motherland can’t be expressed better than hoisting their national flag during the celebration of their festivals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *