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Attributed Flags for East and Central German Territories 1950s-1960s (Germany)

Last modified: 2012-09-05 by pete loeser
Keywords: irredentism |
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I took today an old encyclopedia (Duden Lexikon) from 1966. At that time West Germany had not accepted the loss of the territories East of the rivers Oder and Neisse. In one chapter the flags and coats-of-arms of Germany are posted including the (nonexistent) Länder of the German Democratic Republic and the territories in Poland. I think the editor used the historical flags and coats-of-arms of the Weimar Republic. Some of them look different from the Prussian Landesfarben with arms flags shown in FOTW:

  • The coat-of-arms of Brandenburg has a blue shield in the middle. The eagle has a sword [and a sceptre] and is crowned [like the unofficial flag used 1989-1990]
  • Two possibilities are shown in FOTW for East Prussia.
J. Patrick Fischer, 20 October 2001

These flags and coats-of-arms can be found in other publications of that time as well, e.g. Unsere Symbole 1963 and Schroeder 1953.
Marcus Schmöger, 20 October 2001

The flags and arms of the Länder in East Germany were official in the late 1940s and early 1950s, before the East German government abolished the Länder. They did not look exactly the same as the symbols for these states do now, but they did exist.
Elias Granqvist, 21 October 2001

Yes, of course they did exist. However, these arms shown in the West German encyclopedia of 1963 (and in other publications of that time) do not show the symbols used after World War Two, but before 1935. And any symbols of Pomerania, Silesia, Posen-West Prussia and East Prussia were definitely not in use there after 1945, as these territories became part of Poland and the Soviet Union. The coats-of-arms and flags shown in these West German publications were basically supporting "irredentist claims."
Marcus Schmöger, 21 October 2001

West German flag charts of the 1950s and 1960s often showed flags and coats-of-arms for the East and Central German territories not belonging to the Federal Republic at that time. The coats-of-arms were not necessarily the ones used during Weimar Republic times, but rather a mixture of symbols from 1871-1918 or Weimar times with newly-made variants of more ancient coats-of-arms. The "service" flags, i.e. the striped flags with the respective coats-of-arms, were all more or less made up after the pattern used in the Federal Republic of Germany at that time. These were probably never used in Weimar times (even with the correct coats-of-arms of that time).

Marcus Schmöger, 11 February 2004

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