All entries not stated belong to a municipality (Gemeinde).
A city belongs either to a (c) being county-free or being part of a county. Here no difference is made.
A borough(Stadtteil) is part of a (c), while a village is part of a municipality not having the status of a (c). The latter literally is translated as Dorf, but due to the fact that there is no longer a distinction between urban municipalities (Stadtgemeinden) and rural municipalities(Landgemeinden), nowadays the translation Ortsteil might be the better match.
In Northrhine-Westphalia the subcounties (Ämter) had been dissolved in the 1970ies. They had partially coats of arms but no proper flags.
In most entities (cities or municipalities) the municipal flags are also used by the locals, this is denoted by
this symbol (i.e. private and public use ashore). There are however a few exceptions. Only the entity is entitled to use the municipal flag, usually the townhall flag whilst the locals are allowed to use a variant. The townhall flag will be attributeded by
this symbol (i.e. public use ashore), the variants, if displayed, by
this symbol (i.e. private use ashore). The use of flags of former cities and municipalities is exclusively private and in a few cases granted expressis verbis by the local council. Those are no longer symbols of the entity but mere traditional (Brauchtumsflaggen).
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 Feb 2012
*A "Samtgemeinde" (SG*), also called "comprehensive municipality" is an amalgamation of several cities,market towns and municipalities in one administrative community in Lower Saxony
** A "Flecken" is a town (market town) with minor rights in comparison with a city.