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Cities and Municipalities (Germany)

Städte und Gemeinden

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by german editorial team
Keywords: germany | subnational | stadt | city | gemeinde | municipality |
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Introduction to Municipal Flags

German city flags can be:

  • 'normal' flags, proportions 3:5, horizontally striped with the coat-of-arms either in the middle of the flag, or in the canton;
  • banners with proportions ca. 3:1 with:
    • the coat-of-arms in the middle of the flag, or in 1/3 of the height of the flag, on top;
    • the coat-of-arms on top of the flag in a white or coloured square;
  • banners-of-arms, which is rare and it more used in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania than elsewhere;
  • other flags: with more stripes in the colours of the cities, diagonal stripes, plain flags with the coat-of-arms, etc.

Some examples of city flags can be found on the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde website:

  • The city of Trier has a yellow and red banner with the coat-of-arms in the middle.
  • The city of Saarbrücken has a (sky) blue over white horizontal flag 3:5 with the coat-of-arms in the middle.
  • The city of München [Munich] has a yellow over black flag and banner, and a lozenges yellow and black flag or banner.
  • The city of Mainz has a banner-of-arms.

Pascal Vagnat, 8 August 1999

I have tried to make images of those cities which are kreisfrei i.e. not belonging to any county. My main source is Staack 1997, a flag chart published by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde [a reduced image of] which is available online here. This has been my source of information unless when mentioned otherwise. Also, if there are coats of arms on the flags the source for my images is Stadler 1964-1971 unless otherwise mentioned.

Stefan Schwoon, 12 February 2001

The Gemeindeordnungen and Kreisordnungen regulating municipalities' and counties' rights (to bear flags and arms, for instance) for all the States are available at this website.

Stefan Schwoon, 25 October 2001

The Federal Republic of Germany consists of 16 Länder (states) as the top level of political subdivision. Below the Länder level there is the communal level, which is organised by the Länder themselves, so that the communal organization differs somewhat in the different Länder. The communal entities are Selbstverwaltungskörperschaften, self governing bodies. The communal level itself consists of one to three sublevels, depending on the Land, the first (lowest) level being the municipality (Gemeinde), bigger municipalities are called Markt (market-town) or Stadt (city). The municipal level can be found in all German Länder — though in two of them, namely Berlin and Hamburg, the territorial boundaries of the Land and of the city converge). (...)

Marcus Schmöger, 15 October 2001

The designation Markt is used only in Bavaria. In Lower Saxony the designation Flecken is used.

Stefan Schwoon, 16 October 2001

Cities and Municipalities / Städte und Gemeinden