German Democratic Republic

Flags of the German Democratic Republic


After the German defeat in World War II, for a number of years there was no central German government, although state governments were fairly rapidly created. In 1949, two Republics were formed : one in the East and one in the West. East and West Germany were born. In the West, stood the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundes Republik Deutschland), part of the Western alliance NATO. In front of her, stood the German Democratic Republic (Deutche Demokratische Republik), run by the the German Communists (officially the Socialist Unity Party) and sponsored by the Soviet occupation authorities. On this "other side of the iron curtain" the militaty alliance was known as the Warsaw Pact.
The following flags once flew over East Germany :

1. State Flag (Staatsflagge) 1949-1956 and 1990

[State flag of East Germany 1949-1956]

Identical with the black-red-gold national flag of the pre-WWII Weimar Republic. Because it was also adopted by the western Federal Republic, it was only in use from 1949 to 1956.

2. State Flag (Staatsflagge) 1956-1990

[The national flag of East Germany]

This flag was adopted on 1 October 1956, and continued in use as the flag of East Germany until the reunification of both Germanies on 1990-10-03. Before 1959, both Germanies used the unadorned
black-red-yellow tricolour. Ratio 3:5
The eastern coat of arms shows a hammer and compass on a red disk surrounded by a wreath of two ears of wheat, symbolising the working class, intelligentsia, and farmers.
In use as state flag 1959-1990 and as merchant flag 1973-1990.

3. Merchant Flag (Handelsflagge) 1959-1973

[Merchant flag of East Germany]

Like the State Flag (no.2), except the arms are 1/3 the height of the flag and set near the upper hoist, overlapping the black and red stripes equally. In use 1959-1973.

4. Flag of the President
(Fahne des Praesidenten)

[President's flag of East Germany]

A square red flag with the arms in the center, with a narrow black-red gold border (from outside).
In use 1955-1960.
[Illustrated Kannik, The Flag Book,1957, p.37]

5. Postal Flag (Postflagge)

[Postal flag of East Germany]

Except for minor details of the horn, identical with the 1919-21 Postal Flag.
In use 1955-1973.
[Illustrated Kannik, The Flag Book, 1957, p.37]

6. Flag of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party
and the Chairman of the National Defence Council
(Flagge des ersten Sekretaers des ZK der SED und Vorsitzenden des Nationalen Verteidigungsrat der DDR)

[Chairman of the East German National Defence Guard]

A red flag with the coat of arms surrounded by an outer wreath. Ratio 3:5.
In use 1973-1990.
[Illustrated in DDR Collectors Reference Guide, Vol.1, p.16]

7. Standard of the Chairman of the State Council
(Standarte des Vorsitzenden des Staatsrates der DDR)

[East German Standard of the Chairman of the State Council]

Same as the President's Flag, except for having a black-red-gold fringe instead of the border.
In use 1960-1990.
[Illustrated Pedersen, International Flag Book in Color 1971, p. 33, Smith, FTAAW, p. 228,
Crampton, Flags of the World, p.46, and many other places]

30. Banner of the Young Pioneers
(Banner der Junge Pioniere)

[Banner of the Young Pioneers]

A blue flag with the young pioneers emblem in the center. The letters JP in blue bordered yellow, above a dark blue vessel bordered yellow with the letters "SEID BEREIT" (stand ready),
above which a triple stylized flame.
[Illustrated DDR Collectors Reference Guide, Vol.1, p.58]

31. Banner of the Free German Youth
(Banner der FDJ)

[Banner of Free German Youth]

Blue flag with at the center the symbol of the FDJ : a shield showing an upper yellow-bordered black field with the yellow letters "FDJ", and a lower field with a yellow sun and rays on a blue sky.
[Illustrated DDR Collectors Reference Guide, Vol.1, p. 76, 77]

32. Banner of the Society for Sport and Technology

[Banner of the Society for Sport and Industry]

Pre-military training formation for teenagers aged 14 and up. A red flag with GST symbol in center. Symbol is a vertical anchor with crossed propeller and rifle, all in yellow, surrounded by a circular figure, the top half a yellow half wreath. The bottom half shows a black half cog wheel with the yellow letters "GESELLSCHAFT FUR SPORT UND TECHNIK".
[Illustrated DDR Collectors Reference Guide, Vol.1, p. 82]

German Red Cross
Deutches rotes kreuz

[Deutsches Rotes Kreuz]