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Northrhine-Westphalia (Germany)


Last modified: 2020-06-15 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: nordrhein-westfalen | northrhine-westphalia | saxon horse | bend wavy sinister | rose |
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[State Flag (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5  image by M. Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 10 Mar 1953, in use since 1948
Other NRW-pages: See also:

Civil Flag

[Civil Flag (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5  image by M. Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 10 Mar 1953

The Land flag is green on white on red. The state flag is the same with the arms in the middle. Proportions 3:5. (...) The flag of this new Land (green-white-red) was officialised only in 1953.
Source: Veddeler 1987.
Pascal Vagnat, 19 Dec 1995

The Landesflagge (civil flag) is a tricolour of green-white-red in the proportions 3:5. It was officialized in the law of 1953, however already used since 1948. It is simply the combination of the green-white colours of Rhineland and white-red of Westphalia.

  • Schurdel 1995, Laitenberger and Bassier 2000, Kuhn 1991, p. 90
  • Anselm Faust, Nordrhein-Westfalen: Landesgeschichte im Lexikon Düsseldorf (Patmos-Verlag), 1993, p. 256.
  • Gesetz über die Landesfarben, das Landeswappen und die Landesflagge vom 10. März 1953. Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen 1953, S. 140 (Law on the Colours, the Coat-of-Arms and the Flag of the Federal State of 10 March 1953. Law and Official Gazette of the Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia 1953, p. 140)
  • - Verordnung über die Führung des Landeswappens vom 16. Mai 1956. Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen 1956, S.163-166 (Regulation on the Use of the Federal State's Coat-of-Arms of 16 May 1956. Law and Official Gazette for the Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia 1956, pp. 163-166).

M. Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001

State Flag

[State Flag (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5  Image by Marcus Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001
Flag adopted 10 March 1953, in use since 1948

A horizontal tricolour green-white-red with the arms shifted slightly left of centre (the shield also is not symmetrical). Illustrated in Smith 1975 p.227
Norman Martin, 1 Apr 1998

Landesdienstflagge has the coat of arms slightly moved toward the hoist.
Mario Fabretto, 28 Aug 1998

The design of the coat of arms shown on the official state government website is not the official coat of arms. It is a state coat of arms for private use [termed Nordrhein-Westfalen Wappenzeichen] as the coat of arms is only for official use. The official coat of arms is the one found on Marcus Schmöger's image above and on the World Flag Database.
Kai A. Hamm, 23 June 2000

The Landesdienstflagge (state flag) is the civil flag with the coat-of-arms. This is somewhat shifted to the hoist. The state flag was first prescribed in the above mentioned law of 1953 [see sources under civil flag], but was already used since 1948. A photo (from 1948) in Kuhn 1991, p.90, shows (beside other flags of German Länder) a vertical variant (Banner) of the North Rhine-Westphalia state flag. The coat-of-arms had been preliminarily described in a Bekanntmachung über das Wappen des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (Announcement on the Coat-of-Arms of the Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia, 21st January 1948) and finally prescribed in the above mentioned regulation of 1956.
Marcus Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001

An interesting detail from a heraldic point of view in the arms of North Rhine-Westphalia is the German practice of letting the dexter field be turned in courtoisie within the shield, something which is not always made in other countries. The arms of the Rhineland is Vert a bend wavy Argent, not a bend sinister.
See for instance this arms at Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website.
Elias Granqvist, 19 Sep 2001


[Banner] 5:2 Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 March 2007

Description of banner: Its ratio is 5:2; it is a green-white-red vertical tricolour. The logo (German: Wappenzeichen) is superimposed and shifted to the top.
Description of logo: It has the shape of a shield; the bendy line(North Rhine) and the rearing horse (Westphalia) are only painted as silhouettes; the rose (Lippe) is coloured. The background of logo repeats the colours of flag; i.e. green over white over red.
According to Stefan.Schwoon the logo may be used free by everybody. I know that it is used by many authorities like the revenue; the ministry of education and the district-governments for example.
I spotted this flag in front of the congress centre in Bielefeld on 25 May 2006.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 March 2007

Car Flags for Authorities

The Ministerpräsident (prime minister) and the president of the regional parliament use the service flag with a golden border, dimensions 30 x 30 cm. Ministers use the service flag 25 x 27 cm, secretaries of state a swallow-tailed service flag 18 x 25 cm, the president of the Regierungsbezirke the same but 15 x 25 cm. These flags are not much in use today.
Source: personal and legal archives, with legislation and official documents from the German Länder, as well as the informations of Jürgen Rimann, the German specialist for all the car flags in the world.
Pascal Vagnat, 1 Aug 1999

Unfortunately, I have no information on these car flags, neither the legal texts I have - probably I do not have all of them - nor the books mention them (see sources under civil flag).
M. Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001

Jack for State Vessels
Gösch für staatliche Wasserfahrzeuge

[Jack for State Vessels (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)] 3:5  image by M. Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001

The state vessels (e.g. police boats) use a triangular pennant as a jack.
Source: Kroker 2000.
M. Schmöger, 18 Sep 2001

Unofficial variants

In February (around the time of the Munich Security Conference) much police from other parts of the country had been to Munich, including several cars from Northrhine-Westphalia. Too of them had a variant of the NRW state flag in their rear window. This showed a simplified coa, and the inscription "Nordrhein-Westfalen". This is obviously an unofficial variant for those who need the inscription to recognize the flag.
M. Schmöger, 28 Mar 2003

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