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City of München (Germany)

Landeshauptstadt München (Munich),District Oberbayern, Bavaria

Last modified: 2014-03-17 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: munich | muenchen | oktoberfest | monk | lozengy(white-blue) |
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[Munich, vertical flag (Bavaria, Germany)] 5:2 image by Stefan Schwoon, 8 Mar 2001 See also:

München city

The banner [hanging flag] version is probably the flag that is seen most throughout the city.
Stefan Schwoon, 8 Mar 2001

Horizontal Flag Variants

[Munich, horizontal variant 1]<>[Munich, horizontal variant 2] images both by Eugene Baldwin

The city flag of the Bavarian capital Munich has, like Bavaria, two flags tracing back to the middle ages with no known date of adoption. Variant no.1 shows two horizontal stripes of black over yellow (a real yellow, not a golden yellow like in the German national flag). Variant no.2 has black and yellow lozenges arranged like in the Bavarian flag. Once again the number of lozenges is not fixed.

The colours derive from the Greater City Arms: on a silver ground a black-dressed monk within a red city archway, crowned by two black-yellow zigzagged roofs (= origin of the city colours), a yellow lion emerging between. The rather more known Lesser City Arms show only the black monk in a silver shield. Remarkably the flag derives from the Greater City Arms, not from the Lesser ones.
Dieter Linder, 13 Jan 1998

Both flag variants are totally equal in their rights, which means a citizen or state official is free in his choice. The more popular one is the lozenge variant, since it underlines the so-called peculiar character of the Bavarian statehood (Bavaria is the German state with the longest historical roots). However the lozenge variant is also more expensive in production and acquisition.
For your additional information I add the replies received from Dr. Stahleder, director of the Munich archives - an expert in these things, I presume - in the office of the Munich City Mayor to questions asked by me. The letter of the city office is dated 24 March 1997.
The Bavarian guidelines for flags and arms provide an official grant except for historical symbols. These are symbols used before the enforcement of the respective guidelines, which took effect in the middle of our century. That is the reason why the city flags of Munich were not to be granted.
Dieter Linder, 19 Nov 1998

Vertical Flag Variants

[Vertical flag Oktoberfest 2000 no.1]<>[Vertical flag Oktoberfest 2000 no.2]
Oktoberfest 2000 no.1; 3:1<>Oktoberfest 2000 no.2; 6:1; images by Marcus Schmöger, 6 Oct 2000

Some vexillological observations during the 2000 Oktoberfest:
- In front of the Feldherrnhalle ("general's hall") there were two large flagstaffs, one displaying a large Bavarian white-blue striped bicolour, the other a Munich black-yellow striped bicolour. Both had proportion of about 3:1. At the top of the flagstaffs there were distinctive finials: a lion for Bavaria, a monk for Munich. I guess these flags are among the largest flags in Bavaria.
- At the Rathaus (town hall) there were very long vertical flags (about 6:1): Bavaria, Germany and Munich.
- All around the old town of Munich there were groups of flagstaffs installed displaying alternately the Bavarian flag and the Munich flag. The flags used had a proportion of about 3:1 (higher than wide) and consisted of white-blue lozenges or black-yellow lozenges, respectively.
- The buses and trams displayed a triangular flag white-blue and one black-yellow.
Marcus Schmöger, 6 Oct 2000

Vertical Flag Variant #2

[vertical flag with the coat-of-arms] 5:2 image by Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2007

Today is the last day of the Munich Oktoberfest (locally known as "Wiesn"), the biggest beer festival in the world. Therefore a few vexillological observations:
A lot of different variants of the Bavarian as well as the Munich flags are shown at the Oktoberfest.
One variant of the Munich flag I have not yet reported. This is the black-yellow striped flag (vertical version) with the coat-of-arms.
In contrast to most other municipal flags in Bavaria (that usually show the arms on the stripes) this is not in widespread use and never really used in official circumstances. It is frequently used at the Oktoberfest area, though, as well as the Messegelände (fairground).
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2007

Horizontal Flag Variants #2

[horizontal flag #3]<>[horizontal flag #4] 2:3 images by Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2007

In rare cases the flag is also shown in a horizontal version. Another variant which was new to me includes the black inscription "MÜNCHEN" at the bottom.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2007

Oktoberfest 2007

[Oktoberfest 2007] image by Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2007

Today is the last day of the Munich Oktoberfest (locally known as "Wiesn"), the biggest beer festival in the world. Therefore a few vexillological observations:

The flag of the Oktoberfest is white with the logo. The logo shows two stylized Masskrüge (beer tankards) in yellow, together with some dots forming a smiling face with the handles as ears. Under the tankards the green inscription "OKTOBERFEST MÜNCHEN".
Source: This website.
Own observations and photos.
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2007