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.
1. State Flag (Staatsflagge) 1949-1956 and 1990
The following flags once flew over East Germany :
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
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
[Illustrated DDR Collectors Reference Guide, Vol.1, p.58]
31. Banner of the Free German Youth
(Banner der FDJ)
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 der GESELLSCHAFT FÜR SPORT UND TECHNIK)
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