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Subnational Flags 1919-1935 (Prussia, Germany)

Both presumed and official

Last modified: 2020-06-06 by pete loeser
Keywords: prussia |
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Flags on this page: Other Prussian subnational flags on other pages: Provinces of the Kingdom of Prussia which continued to exist 1918-1945 (flags abolished 1935): Provinces of the Kingdom of Prussia which only existed between 1918-1920: See also:

Introduction to Prussian Landesfarben

In a strict sense Landesfarben means "colours of the (federal) state" and does not imply any use on flags. Historically however, the colours of the flag are very frequently derived from the arms. Also the flags were usually, at least in the non-maritime states, simple striped flags. The concept of the Landesfarben is, in my humble opinion, a concept of the 19th century, which means, that there are many problems and mistakes. It should be noted that the term Landesfarben is used indiscriminately, even in State publications and legal texts. I have also seen flags consisting of the Landesfarben with coats of arms at the center.
Modified from An Explanation of Landesfarben by Marcus Schmöger, 24 September 2001

I have also seen flags consisting of the Landesfarben with coats-of-arms at the center. These would appear to be either flags of the provincial authorities (most likely) or unauthorized variants.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998

These are only a guess. We have no indication about administrative flags for the German kingdom's Länder.
Mario Fabretto, 17 Aug 1998

What do we really know about the flags of German states before 1935 (and of Prussian provinces)? Do we know that there were these "State" flags, i.e. service flags with the coat-of-arms? Or do we just assume that?
Marcus Schmöger, 21 Oct 2001

Dreyhaupt 2001 shows the Dienstflaggen (service flags) of East Prussia, Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia. It also says that the coat-of-arms of the Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen (Posen-West Prussia Frontier Province) as it appears on FOTW was adopted in 1929. From 1925 to 1929 the arms was the West Prussian eagle bearing an inescutcheon with the Posen (i.e. Polish) arms. It does not mention however (as far as a quick reading reveals) a Dienstflagge with either coat-of-arms on the Posen-West Prussia flag.
Santiago Dotor, 23 Oct 2001


West Prussia Province State Flag 1886-1920 (presumed)

[West Prussia with coat-of-arms (Prussia, Germany)]    [West Prussia with coat-of-arms (Prussia, Germany)]
Speculative images by António Martins and Adam Kromer

There was a variant flag of West Prussia with [the historical Royal (Polish) Prussia] coat-of-arms. I do not know when this variant was created. It was definitely in use in the 20th century, to 1920, maybe 1939-1945 too. I have made a GIF and here is also a scan.
Adam Kromer, 20 Jul 2000


Posen-West Prussia Frontier Province 1920-1935
Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen

[Posen-West Prussia 1920-1935 (Prussia, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Santiago Dotor

Divided in thirds horizontally and in half vertically. Left black-white-black, right white-black-white. Adopted 1920. Abolished 1935.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998

The Landesfarben were granted by the Prussian state ministry to the province on the 9th September 1923 and lasted until 1940, although all the flags of the Länder and provinces were already abolished in 1935. An explanation for this would have been the use of the flag for political propaganda at that time. It should be noted that the combination of the colours of Western Prussia with the one of Posen appeared before the adoption of the coat of arms of the Grenzmark where the inescutcheon on the eagle displayed this combination. Until 1929, the inescutcheon was the coat of arms of Poland.
Erwin Günther shows a flag with the proportions 3:5, but Ottfried Neubecker, who is the best reference for coat-of-arms and flags, shows a 2:3 flag.
Sources: Günther 1998 and Ottfried Neubecker, Die neuen Wappen der preussischen Provinzen, in Der Deutsche Herold. Zeitschrift für Wappen-, Siegel- und Familienkunde, 60. Jahrgang, Selbstverlag des Vereins "Herold", Berlin, 1929, pp. 5-6.
Pascal Vagnat, 26 Nov 1999


Posen-West Frontier Province State Flag (presumed)

[Posen-West Prussia State Flag (presumed)] 2:3 Speculative image by Peter A. Loeser, 4 Jul 2008

Possible administrative flag with coat of arms, consisting of a silver field with a black Prussian eagle, emerging from the neck is a silver arm with armor grasping a silver sword. In the center a escutcheon of the same field as the flag.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998

Posen-West Prussia State Flag (presumed variant)

[Posen-West Prussia State Flag, doubtful (Prussia, Germany)] 3:5 Image by Jaume Ollé

There wasn't any service flag for this province. After the [Second World] War, the association in West Germany of people coming from the former province, used the former banner of the Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen with the coat of arms of this province in the center of the first quartering of the flag (that is one-third from the top). They used also a variant of the flag of the Grenzmark where it was (here) divided in half vertically and in thirds horizontally. These two last flags are exceptions and were privately used. Sources: Günther 1998 and Ottfried Neubecker, Die neuen Wappen der preussischen Provinzen, in Der Deutsche Herold. Zeitschrift für Wappen-, Siegel- und Familienkunde, 60. Jahrgang, Selbstverlag des Vereins "Herold", Berlin, 1929, pp. 5-6.
Pascal Vagnat, 26 Nov 1999


Lower Silesia (Prussian Province) 1920-1935
Provinz Niederschlesien

[Lower Silesia 1920-1935 (Prussia, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Santiago Dotor

White-yellow horizontal bicolor. Adopted 1920. Abolished 1935.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998


Lower Silesia State Flag (presumed)

[Lower Silesia State Flag, presumed (Prussia, Germany)] 3:5 image by Jaume Ollé

Possible administrative flag. Like Lower Silesia 1920-1935, but with coat of arms, consisting of a silver field with a black Silesian eagle (with cross and crescent pattern on breast), at the center.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998


Upper Silesia (Prussian Province) 1920-1935
Provinz Oberschlesien


[Upper Silesia 1920-1935 (Prussia, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Santiago Dotor

Yellow-blue horizontal bicolor. Adopted 1920. Abolished 1935.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998


Upper Silesia State Flag (presumed variant)

[Upper Silesia State Flag, presumed (Prussia, Germany)] 3:5 image by Jaume Ollé

Possible administrative flag. Like Upper Silesia 1920-1935, but with coat of arms, consisting of a blue field with a yellow eagle above a scythe and crossed hammers, at the center.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998


Upper Silesia State Flag c1920

[Upper Silesia State Flag, presumed (Prussia, Germany)] 3:5 image by Jaume Ollé

Administrative flag. Similar to Lower Silesia 1920-1935, but with coat of arms at the center. Presumably a transitional form used around 1920.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998

image from Rob Raeside, 14 October 2019

This flag [no longer presumed] with the coat of arms is indeed from Silesia, but I don't know yet whether it's Upper or Lower.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 October 2019

It is a strange hybrid flag: It has the colours of Lower Silesia while bearing the arms of Upper Silesia.
Tomislav Todorovic, 14 October 2019

Toma certainly is right (I never have found out a time he wasn't) but I add this little comment.
I think the flags of both Upper and lower Silesia before 1945 were plain bicolours and the flags (and arms) both of Lower Silesia and Silesia were the same.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 October 2019


Brandenburg State Flag c1882-1935 (presumed)

[Brandenburg State Flag, presumed (Prussia, Germany)] 3:5 Image by Jaume Ollé

Possible administrative flag. Like Brandenburg 1882-1935, but with coat of arms, consisting of a silver field with a red Brandenburg eagle with, in escutcheon the shield of the Reichserbkämmerers, at the center.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998

Editor's note: see also modern Brandenburg.


East Prussia Flag 1882-1935

[East Prussia (Prussia, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Black-white horizontal bicolor. Officially adopted 22 October 1882. Abolished 1935.
Norman Martin, 20 January 1998


East Prussia State Flag (presumed)

[East Prussia State Flag (alternative, presumed)] 2:3 Speculative image by Peter A. Loeser, 22 Jun 2008

A possible administrative flag would be like that of East Prussia 1882-1935, but with coat of arms, consisting of a silver field with a black Prussian eagle, at the center.
Norman Martin, 20 Jan 1998

The arms would be without the crown around the neck and the arm and sword, but with the crowned head and the FR monogram on the breast; thus, the arms of Posen with the monogram replacing the escutcheon. (Source for arms: Erlass des preussischen Staatsministeriums vom 28.2.1881). Please note that the qualifications on the all the Prussian administrative flags apply, that is: I am not aware of an State source for any of the flags (as opposed to the Landesfarben, but I have seen (all? most?) of them for sale and in flag shops etc.
Norman Martin, 16 Jun 2008

[East Prussia State Flag (presumed)] 2:3 Speculative image by Peter A. Loeser, 22 Jun 2008

This variant of a possiable "East Prussia State Flag" (with no crown or "R") is based on a design being widely reproduced and sold today as the East Prussian flag. The coat-of-arms seems a bit large on these modern replica flags, but it is what is being sold.
Peter A. Loeser, 22 Jun 2008


Hanover State Flag (presumed)

[Hanover State Flag, presumed (Prussia, Germany)] 2:3 Image by Jaume Ollé

Possible administrative flag. Yellow-white bicolor with Hanover arms (white horse on red field).
Norman Martin, 1998


Pomerania State Flag (presumed)

[Pomerania State Flag, presumed (Prussia, Germany)] 3:5 Image by Jaume Ollé

Possible administrative flag. Like Pomerania 1882-1935, but with Pomeranian arms (red griffin in silver field) in center.
Norman Martin, 3 Mar 1998


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