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Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Land Baden-Württemberg

Last modified: 2017-12-05 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: baden-württemberg | lions(statant;3) | antlers(3) | lion(golden) | bend(red) | quartered(silver;black) | fess(silver) | franconian rake | bannerhead |
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[State Flag variant 1 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] image by M. Schmöger, 10 July 2000
flag adopted 29 Sep 1954

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      In 1952 the Länder of [South] Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern merged to form the Land Baden-Württemberg, with capital at City of Stuttgart.
Source: Chamber's World Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary, 1954.
The Land of Southern Baden used a yellow-red-yellow horizontal tricolour. The Land of Württemberg-Hohenzollern used a black-red horizontal bicolour. After a referendum, all three Länder were merged on 25 April 1952 as Baden-Württemberg. The flag for the new Land was adopted on 29 September 1954. Between 25 April 1952 and 29 September 1954 no official flag existed and probably the previous flags were used.
The adopted flag was a plain black-yellow horizontal bicolour. The Arms include the three lions of the House of Hohenstaufen, lords of the Duchy of Swabia (Schwaben). The lesser arms are added to the state flag. Adopted 29 September 1954.
Jarig Bakker, 18 July 2000


The three regulations concerning the flags of the Land Baden-Württemberg are:

  1. The Constitution (Verfassung des Landes Baden-Württemberg) of 11 November 1953, published in the Gesetzblatt für Baden-Württemberg (Law Gazette) p. 173. The relevant article is:
  2. Art. 24 (State Colours)
  3. The colours of the State are black-gold.
  4. The coat-of-arms of the State will be determined by law.
  5. The law on the coat-of-arms of Baden-Württemberg (Gesetz über das Wappen des Landes Baden-Württemberg) of 3rd May 1954, in force since 21st May 1954, published in Gesetzblatt für Baden-Württemberg (Law Gazette) p. 69.
  6. The regulation of the government of the Land on the use of its coat-of-arms (Verordnung der Landesregierung über die Führung des Landeswappens) of 2nd August 1954, in force since 1st August 1954, published in Gesetzblatt für Baden-Württemberg (Law Gazette) p. 139.
The last mentioned regulation defines the use of the greater and lesser arms of Baden-Württemberg. As these arms are also used on the flag (greater arms without supporters), there are several variants of the flag. The greater arms (and accordingly the state flag with the great arms) is used by the government, the prime minister, the ministries, the representative to the Federal Government, the higher courts of justice, the audit office and the district governments. The lesser arms is used by the other government agencies. As an attachment to the regulation there are also patterns of the relevant flags; I used these for making the GIFs.
There are mainly four groups of flags mentioned: Hissfahnen (horizontal, hoisted flags ? the civil flag and the state flag with lesser arms and with great arms); Hängefahnen (vertical, hanging flags); Banner (other variant of vertical flags); and Standarten an Dienstkraftwagen (car flags).
M. Schmöger, 10 July 200

State Flag

[State Flag variant 1 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] #a   [State Flag variant 2 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] #b
images by M. Schmöger, 10 July 2000

The state flag is black on gold (yellow) and has either the lesser arms or the greater arms without supporters in the middle, proportions 3:5.
Pascal Vagnat, 19 Dec 1995

Service flag for state authorities. Horizontal black-yellow bicolor with at the center the lesser arms. Adopted 29 Sep 1954. Illustrated in Smith 1975 p. 227.
Norman Martin, May 1998

Civil Flag

[Civil Flag (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] image by Željko Heimer

The Land flag is black on gold (yellow) without the arms.
Pascal Vagnat, 19 Dec 1995

Horizontal black-yellow bicolor. Colors of the arms. In use in the 19th century. Adopted as Landesflagge of Baden-Württemberg 29 September 1954. Illustrated in Pedersen 1970 no. 146.
Norman Martin, May 1998

Coat of Arms

[Baden-Württemberg, lesser arms]
Lesser Arms image by M. Schmöger, 10 Jul 2000
[Baden-Württemberg, middle arms]
Middle Arms image by M. Schmöger, 10 Jul 2000
[Baden-Württemberg, greater arms]
Greater Arms image by K.-Michael Schneider, 14 Apr 2013

Description of shield:
In a golden (= yellow) shield are three black, statant lions tongued red and ordered per pale.

Lesser Arms
Kleines Landeswappen

Description of lesser arms:
The shield is crested by a golden (= yellow) leafy crown (Blattkrone, Laubkrone), here also denoted as "people's crown" (Volkskrone).

Middle Arms
Mittleres Landeswappen

Description of "middle" arms:
Actually there are no middle arms approved officially. But on state flags and authority flags the greater arms (see below) are used without supporters and basement.

Greater Arms
Großes Landeswappen

Description of greater arms:
The shield is crested by a crown of arms (Wappenkrone) being composed by the shields of the most important territories in Baden-Württemberg. These are (from dexter to sinister):
1) Badenian Franconia (in the northeast) : Franconian rake
2) Hohenzollern (in the southern centre): quartered silver (= white) and black
3) Baden: golden divided by a red bend (bigger)
4) Württemberg: golden superimposed by three black antlers ordered per pale (bigger)
5) Palatinate (in the northwest) : black with a golden (= yellow) lion crownes, armed and tongued red
6) Hither Austria (in the south west) : red divided by a silver (= white) fess.
The shield is supported by a golden stag - representing Württemberg - and a golden griffin - representing Baden - , both armed red and standing upon a basement consisting of a horizontal bar divided horizontally into black over yellow.

The artist is F. Meinhard from Stuttgart. The arms were approved in 1954 after long and controversial discussions. The lions are taken from the arms of the Staufen kin, proven since 1215. The colours black and gold are first mentioned by Konrad of Mure (1210). These colours also appear on identical or similar arms of the Ghibelline (Staufisch) vassals. The lions also appear in the amrs of the Swabian Imperial Circle (Schwäbischer Reichskreis) until 1806 and in the State Arms (1806 - 1921). The "crown of arms" had been a novum in governmental heraldry.
The antlers were first mentioned in seals of Count Hartmann of Württemberg (1238) and his son Count Konrad (1228). They are derived from the arms of the Counts of Veringen 1190, who also iniated the pattern of the arms of the Counts of Nellenburg (blue antlers), related to the counts of Württemberg.
The arms of the Zähringer kin in the beginning displayed an eagle (perhaps red in golden shield). The eagle was overtaken by the counts of Fürstenberg. The bend of Baden was first mentioned in the seal of Count Hermann IV around 1240.
Badenian Franconia (Badisch Franken):
The rake was erroneously considered to be a symbol of whole Franconia, also in Bavaria, since 1835. In fact it is a symbol of the Bishopric of Würzburg and its existence is proven in the arms of numerous towns in the bishopric around 1350 and as a symbol of the bishopric itself since 1410.
The arms are based on those of the Burgraves (Burggrafen) of Nürnberg since 1061.
The golden, rampant lion had been the heraldic animal of the Palatine Count of Rhine, which overtook him probably in 1195 as a differentiation/reduction of the arms of the Staufen kin. The lion appears on seals of the Palatine Count Otto II (1229), who kept him since 1231 as Duke of Bavaria.
Hither Austria:
The pattern is first mentioned before 1230 as a seal of Duke Friedrich II of Austria, also in Jans Enikel's "World Chronicles" (1232) and by Konrad of Mure (1250). At the same time banners with this pattern already existed.
Sources: Stadler 1965, p. 8-9; Stadler 1971, pp. 6 ff.
A fine image of the greater arms can be seen here.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 Apr 2013

Vertical Flags
Hängefahnen or Banner

[Vertical State Flag variant 1 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] a   [Vertical State Flag variant 2 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] b   [Vertical Civil Flag (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] c
all images by M. Schmöger, 10 July 2000

The vertical flags (Hängefahnen und Banner) are the civil flag (c), the state flag with lesser arms (b), and the state flag with greater arms (a). These flags can differ in height from what is depicted in the regulation, but the used proportion 5:2 is very common for German vertical flags.
M. Schmöger, 10 July 2000

Old State Flag with Bannerhead

[State Flag variant 3 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 May 2013

Description of banner:
It is a black yellow vertical bicolour. The lesser arms are in a white bannerhead. Beneath the arms is an unserifed inscription in black initials: "BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG". Bannerhead and the rest are separated by a narrow, black stripe.
The banner was made of cotton, and I guess, it is a predecessor of the current banner.
Source: I spotted this banner on 22 May 2013 in the town hall of Lauda-Königshofen.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 May 2013

Prime Minister and Other Members of the Government

[Prime Minister (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] Image by M. Schmöger, 10 Jul 2000
The flag of the Minister Präsident (prime minister) is the state flag but square.
Pascal Vagnat, 19 Dec 1995

This car flag (Standarte an Dienstkraftwagen) is size 30 x 30 cm for the Ministerpräsident and 25 x 25 cm for other members of the government.
M. Schmöger, 10 July 2000

Other Authorities

[Other Authorities (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)] Image by M. Schmöger, 10 Jul 2000

The car flags (Standarten an Dienstkraftwagen) for the Leiter der Vertretung des Landes beim Bund (state's representative to the Federal Government), the Präsident des Rechnungshofs (president of the audit office) and the Regierungsbezirkpräsidenten (district presidents) are 18 x 25 cm.
M. Schmöger, 10 July 2000

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