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Provisional Flags for the New States used in 1990 (Germany)

Reunification Festivities 3rd October 1990

Last modified: 2013-12-13 by pete loeser
Keywords: reunification | wiedervereinigung | proposal |
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For the reunification celebrations on 3rd October 1990 the organisation committee decided to use a quite astonishing flag for Saxony-Anhalt, a vertically divided bicolor of black-yellow...to distinguish the flag from the horizontal black-yellow Baden-Württemberg flag (fig. 8 in Kuhn 1991)... In Anhalt, especially in the former capital Dessau...the old Anhalt colours were displayed... In Fläming, a region of Saxony-Anhalt, the regional flag of green-yellow was also used in 1990-1991.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 March 2001

When the [reunification] festivities in Berlin took place on 3 October 1990 not only the flag of Saxony-Anhalt was quite strange, but also those of Mecklenburg and Thuringia were far away from what came in use later. On the same day the flags were also hoisted at the Deutsche Eck, near Koblenz, where hanging flags were shown and the flag of Thuringia was different from that hoisted in Berlin.
Ralf Stelter, 8-9 March 2001

The best picture I have of these flags is the photo in Kuhn 1991, p. 18. But even there you cannot see much — flags are flying, and the more interesting ones are not clearly visible. However it is clear from that picture that:

  • Saxony used a flag at least very similar to the one used now as state flag: white-green horizontal bicolour with arms.
  • Saxony-Anhalt used a provisional flag: black-yellow vertically divided bicolour with the old arms (1946-1952).
  • Thuringia: it is only clear that it is a white-red bicolour with the arms, but it is not clear which arms.
  • Brandenburg: the flag is very similar to the one used today, red-white horizontal bicolour with arms. However, the eagle in the arms seems to be a bit different, even though such differences cannot be seen clearly.
  • Mecklenburg-West Pomerania can be seen quite clearly: the old Mecklenburg flag (blue-yellow-red horizontal tricolour) with the old Mecklenburg arms (black ox-head on yellow).
Marcus Schmöger, 13 May 2001

It seems like they are all the same, or at least based upon, the flags and arms used by the states (Länder) in the German Democratic Republic before these states were replaced by districts (Bezirke).
Elias Granqvist, 16 May 2001

Image from Horizont Magazine 1990

The source for my images is this photo in Horizont (a weekly magazine for politics and economy), no. 40/1990, VEB Verlag für die Wirtschaft, Berlin (East), 1990. The flags of Thuringia, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, and Schleswig-Holstein are in the foreground. These flags were hoisted before the Reichstag on 3rd October 1990, as provisional flags for the celebration of the first German Unity Day. As far as I know these flags were only used on that day.
Jens Pattke, 17 May 2001


Unofficial Flags used 1989-1990

After the peaceful revolution of 1989, people in the new states of the German Democratic Republic used several unofficial flags:

The source for my images is Heinz Machatschek, Visitenkarte der neuen Länder der DDR (Visiting cards of the new GDR states), a series of articles in Junge Welt (Young World, the organ of the central committee of the Free German Youth), September 1990.
Jens Pattke, 17 May 2001


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