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German Communist Party (Germany)

deutsche kommunistische partei, dkp

Last modified: 2017-09-15 by pete loeser
Keywords: deutsche kommunistische partei | dkp |
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[German Communist Party (Germany)] 3:2 Image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001
Flag used since c.1968

On this page: See also:

Introduction

     The DKP (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, German Communist Party) was founded in 1968. Although not a direct successor of the KPD (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, Communist Party of Germany) banned in 1956, the DKP took over many of the members and leading figures of the KPD. In contrast to the KPD, the DKP more or less arranged itself with the political system in Western Germany, thus avoiding being banned as the KPD. The DKP was always an orthodox communist party, i.e. it had strong ties with the SED —the ruling communist party in the German Democratic Republic — as well as with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Thus, it was constantly attacked (especially in the seventies) by other communist groups more or less aligned with China (several Maoist groups).
     The DKP never had significant success in elections. In most elections to the federal parliament (Bundestag) and the state parliaments (Landtage) it only reached around 0.5% of the votes and never gained a seat in the parliaments. The already weakened party went into crisis in the second half of the eighties due to a fierce quarrel about the reform politics implemented by Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union.
     After German reunification the DKP lost its main financial source, the East German SED. A certain consolidation of the party has however been observed in the last years. The PDS (the successor party of the SED) attracts now many left-wing people, from the DKP and other groups. On the other hand DKP members (or former members) gained seats in parliaments on a PDS ticket.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001


Description

     Although as a communist party the DKP adheres to the principle of democratic centralism, the use of flags was not devised in a centralistic way and varies locally. There is no officially designed party flag, but the most often used flags show the party logo on a red background. Although not adopted officially, it is now considered as the de facto party flag, especially as several attempts to change the flag, during recent party conventions, failed. The logo is a waving red flag with the letters 'DKP' in white over a black-red-gold flag.
     Variants of this flag are the ones used most frequently by the DKP nowadays. They are mainly used during demonstrations, party conventions and the like.
     Sources: Electronic mails from DKP party organizations (Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Munich); Information from the party headquarters at Essen (by phone); DKP website; DKP Hamburg website; My own observations and photos during a recent demonstration in Munich (Labour Day, 1st May 2001)
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

     I have only seen this first variant on a photo from a party convention, hanging there as a wall decoration. I do not know if this first variant is also used as Knatterfahne - attached to a flagstaff at the longer side.
Marcus Schmöger, 5 Jun 2002

     In 2001, the DKP used a lot of the normal DKP flags. In 2002, this kind of flag has almost disappeared. Instead they used a new vertical flag with a portrait of Che Guevara.
     Source: author's own observations at the 1st May 2002 demonstration in Munich.
Marcus Schmöger, 12 Jun 2002

     For the European Parliament elections earlier this year (2009) they used a poster showing a manifestation with many flags. The two most frequently used flags shown there are the variant with the Che Guevara portrait and the one with Rosa Luxemburg.
     Another flag is showing the logo of the European umbrella organization "European Left" on a white field. This is rather strange, as the DKP is not member of the European Left, whereas the German Left Party (Die Linke) is member.
Marcus Schmöger, 26 Sep 2009


DKP Flag Variant (with white panel)

[German Communist Party, Flag Variant with White Panel (Germany)] 3:2 Image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

A second variant shows the logo on a white rectangle on the red field. Although higher than wide, these flags are not hanging flags, but flags attached to a flagstaff at the longer side [Knatterfahnen].
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

This variant is the frequently used one during demonstrations, carried as a Knatterfahne.
Marcus Schmöger, 5 Jun 2002


Horizontal DKP Flag Variant

[German Communist Party, horizontal flag variant (Germany)] 3:5 Image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001
Flag used since c.1968

A third variant is the same as the first variant, but as a horizontal flag showing the logo in the canton.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001


DKP Flag Variant (with Che Guevara portrait)

[German Communist Party, flag variant with Che Guevara portrait (Germany)] 3:2 Image by Marcus Schmöger, 12 Jun 2002

In 2002 they used a new vertical flag, red with a red portrait of Che Guevara in a white field in the canton, beneath this the inscription "DKP" and Deutsche Kommunistische Partei (both in white).
Source: author's own observations at the 1st May 2002 demonstration in Munich.
Marcus Schmöger, 12 Jun 2002

Quite recently (last year?) the Che portrait was adopted as a symbol by the German DKP (German Communist Party), as reported by me 12 June 2002. The flags they use (at least here in Munich) now almost always show Che, which I found somewhat strange, as I regarded Che an icon of rather non-dogmatic leftists, not the glamourboy of the old DKP stalinists.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 9 Apr 2003


DKP Flag Variants (with Ernst Thälmann portrait)

[German Communist Party, flag variant with Ernst Thälmann portrait (Germany)] National   [German Communist Party, flag variant with Ernst Thälmann portrait (Germany)] Local
Images by Tomislav Todorovic, 4 August 2017

The DKP also uses a red flag with a black and white portrait of Ernst Thälmann, the legendary leader of the KPD in the Weimar Republic, executed in 1944.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

The flag of German Communist Party charged with the portrait of Ernst Thälmann has both a "national" variant and some "local" variants. On the national variant there are no subnational unit names. It has been photographed in Aachen on 2014-02-15, with additional photos available (here).
The second variant shown here is obviously a local variant from the city of Cologne.
Tomislav Todorovic, 4 August 2017


DKP Flag Variant (with hammer and sickle)

[German Communist Party, Flag variant with hammer and sickle (Germany)] 3:5 Image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

The DKP also uses a red flag with hammer, sickle and red star, with yellow inscription 'DKP' in the lower fly. The above image shows the reverse (hoist on the right-hand side), as I do not know exactly how the obverse looks like.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

This is probably a home-made, unofficial, party flag. I have seen it only once on a photo in Internet.
Marcus Schmöger, 5 June 2002

[]    []
Images by Tomislav Todorovic, 27 August 2017

The party also uses a vertical red flag with its current logo in white, placed at the top. The logo is composed of large initials DKP, with the full name of the party inscribed below and small hammer, sickle and star placed above the letter "P". (source) (image), (source) (image), (source) (image), (source), (image) and (source) (image).

A horizontal variant, with large logo in white on red field, is offered for sale (here). It is not clear whether it is officially sanctioned by the party, for its use currently seems not to be verified by any photos.
Both attached images are derived from the image (in SVG format) of party logo from the Wikimedia Commons.
Tomislav Todorovic, 27 August 2017


White DKP Variant Flag (used c1990)

[German Communist Party ca.1990 (Germany)] 3:5 Image by Jaume Ollé
Flag used c1990

The white flag with a distorted red star in the canton is not a new flag [as it was formerly called on FOTW]. The distorted red star is a symbol used by the DKP, and the flag was also used around 1990 by some groups of the party. However, it never replaced the red flag with the logo.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001


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