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Berlin (Germany)

Capital of Germany, Bundeshauptstadt, Land Berlin

Last modified: 2015-03-14 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: berlin | bear(black) | bear(white) |
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[Civil Flag (Berlin, Germany)] 3:5  Image by M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 13th May 1954 for West Berlin, 1990 for all Berlin.


Flags on this page: Other Berlin pages: See also:

Introduction

(West) Berlin adopted its flag on 26th May 1954, based on a design by Ottfried Neubecker who was second place in the contest of 1952; the Senate rejected the winning design.
Jaume Ollé, 17 May 1998

The bear on the flag and coat of arms of Berlin represents the first half of the city's name, German Bär meaning bear. In English we call this sort of pun canting arms.
John Ayer, 13 Oct 1999

I have heard a version that adds to the pun by making it a bärlein, i.e. little bear.
Joseph McMillan, 13 Oct 1999

[Note: This is getting a bit "unbearable," so we'll move on...]


Civil Flag
Landesflagge

[Civil Flag (Berlin, Germany)] 3:5  image by M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 13th May 1954 for West Berlin, 1990 for all Berlin

The civil flag is a horizontal tricolour of red-white-red, the ratio of the stripes is 1:3:1; in the white stripe - somewhat shifted to the hoist - there is the black bear from the coat-of-arms, without the escutcheon. This design was introduced in 1954 for West Berlin, in 1990 - with the reunification of the city - also for East Berlin. My image is made after the drawings attached to the law.
M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001


Civil Flag/Banner
Vertical Variant

[Civil Flag, Vertical Variant (Berlin, Germany)]  Image by M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001

The law also mentions the vertical variant (Banner) of the civil flag, but does not give a drawing. However, Laitenberger and Bassier 2000 shows a drawing, after which I made the above image.
M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001


State Flag (also used as jack by state vessels)
Allgemeine Dienstflagge

[State Flag, also jack on state vessels (Berlin, Germany)] 3:5  Image by M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 13th May 1954

State flag:, proportions 3:5, adopted 13th May 1954.
Pascal Vagnat, 14 Dec 1997

The service flag, in the size of 15×25 cm, is used by the president of the revenue court, the presidents of the supreme courts, the directors of the Senate, the mayors of the city's districts and the president of the police. Source: personal and legal archives, with legislation and official documents from the German Länder, as well as the informations of Jürgen Rimann, the best German specialist for all the car flags in the world and a very reliable source.
Pascal Vagnat, 1 Aug 1999

The state flag is the same as the civil flag, but shows the whole arms instead of the bear alone. The arms are the black bear in a silver (white) escutcheon under a golden crown. This design was introduced in 1954 for West Berlin, in 1990 —with the reunification of the city— also for East Berlin. As West Berlin had a special status until 1990, the state flag was also used as a state ensign (e.g. for police boats), as the German state ensign could not be used as such. Since 1990 the German state ensign is used as such and the Berlin state flag is used as a jack on state vessels — as usual in other Länder. My image is made after the drawings attached to the law.
M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001


Car Flag for Authorities
Dienstflagge der Mitglieder des Senats

[Car Flag for Authorities (Berlin, Germany)] 1:1 Image by M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 13th May 1954

The members of the senate, as well as the city mayor, have their own flag which is white with a red border and the coat of arms in the middle, dimensions 25 × 25 cm.
Pascal Vagnat, 1 Aug 1999

The flag for the members of the Senate (government) is actually their car flag, used by the Regierender Bürgermeister (prime minister/mayor) and the Senatoren (ministers). It is a white square with a red border as wide as 2/15ths of the flag height, and in the white field the arms. The drawings attached to the law shows the arms in this case in silver [metallic shade], not in white, so I made the image accordingly. As this is a car flag, it is not improbable that actual flags would have the arms embroidered, so that the silver would actually be silver and perhaps the gold would actually be gold
. M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001


Sources:

  • Laitenberger and Bassier 2000
  • Schurdel 1995
  • Bulgaria Fahnenbilder 1931 [editor's note: probably the same as Neubecker 1931]
  • Stadler 1966
  • Vogel 1987
  • Gesetz über die Hoheitszeichen des Landes Berlin vom 13. Mai 1954. Gesetz-und Verordnungsblatt für Berlin 1954, S. 289 ff. (Law on the State Symbols of the State of Berlin of 13th May 1954. Law and Official Gazette for the State of Berlin 1954, p. 289 ff.)
  • Wolfgang Kroker, Flaggen und Flaggenführung der Wasserschutzpolizeiboote, in Günter Heeman, Günther Meyer (eds.), Historisches vom Strom: Die deutschen Wasserschutzpolizeien - Geschichte und Gegenwart, Dr. Neufang Verlag, Gelsenkirchen, 2000.
M. Schmöger, 19 Sep 2001


New flag for Berlin?

[New Flag?] Image by J. Patrick Fischer, 1 April 2007

Berlin has a new star, "Cute Knut", a baby polar bear. The little bear is so popular, it is rumored the Senat, Berlin's parliament, want to change the black bear on the CoA and flag into a polar bear and the background white to black.
J. Patrick Fischer, 1 April 2007


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