This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg 1826-1918 (Germany)

Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg

Last modified: 2013-07-01 by german editorial team
Keywords: saxe-altenburg | sachsen-altenburg | banner of arms | crancelin | stripes(10) | canton | barry(black-yellow) | ballenstedt |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Civil Flag Saxe-Altenburg (Germany)]
3:4 Landesfarben
image by Santiago Dotor, 8 Feb 2001
adopted 1832, abolished 1918

See also:

Other sites:


Horizontal bicolour white-green. In use until 1918. In 1832 a green-white flag was adopted. Toward 1893 the flag became white-green with the coat of arms and was declared National flag. Shortly later it was again used green over white until 1918.

Norman Martin and Mario Fabretto, 31 August 1998

Reading Mario Fabretto's words, it appears that the three successive flags were:

  • 1832 - c.1893: green-white, no arms
  • c.1893 - shortly after: white-green with arms
  • shortly after 1893 - 1918: green-white with arms

So apparently the image for 1893 is incorrect in that it misses the arms. However, I would find more logical a co-existance of Landesfarben (with no arms) and Landesflagge (with arms), throughout 1832-1918, with varying order of stripes. In that case we would have:
Can anybody help?

Santiago Dotor, 8 Feb 2001

In 1826 the Duchies of the Ernestine Branch of the Wettin kin had been re-ordered. The livery colours since then had been still black - yellow. They were replaced by white-green in 1832. During the following decades white - green and the erroneous combination green - white had been in use side by side. Since 1890 in Saxe-Altenburg the officials bethought themselves of the correct sequence, which had been geared to the sequence used in the Kingdom of Saxony, publ. in "Bekanntmachung vom 14. Mai 1887 in N 22 des Sächsischen Wochenblattes v. J. 1887".

Pre 1832 Bicolour

[Civil Flag Saxe-Altenburg pre 1832] 3:4 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

Like any Saxonian colours they had been black over yellow.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

Bicolour since 1832

[Civil Flag Saxe-Altenburg 1832] 3:4 image by image by Santiago Dotor, 8 Feb 2001

The introduction of the new colours of Saxe-Altenburg happened step by step during a time span of ten years. In 1823 the white-green "Saxonian" cockade was introduced to the soldiers and foresters.
Sources: ThStA Gotha Secret Archive WW VII Y2 No. 58 sheet 62 as original/ThStA Altenburg House- and Private Archive No. 1164 unpaginated (rescript from 26 July 1822 in copy)

On 12 May 1902 the office of the Lord Stewart of Sachsen-Altenburg wrote:
"1) The colours are white(above) and green (below) // 2) they are also used on the civil flag // 3) the flag has horizontal stripes"
On 21 June 1915 Duke Ernst II unequivocally proclaimed a decree as follows: "The civil flag of Saxe-Altenburg is a white over green horizontal bicolour. Its ratio is 3:4.", even though this had been valid already from 1832; and it remained valid until 1918.
1) Fritz Gerich: "Die Landesfarben von Sachsen-Altenburg." (publ. In Altenburger Landeszeitung 55. Jahrgang, Nr. 143; 21 June 1932), probably based upon coat-of-arms-file of the house ministry (Wappenakte des Hausministeriums), which disappeared in 1927. 2) ThStA Altenburg House- and Private Archive No. 248d, unpaginated (9 May 1902) 3) ThStA Altenburg House- and Private Archive No.2 014 unpaginated (21 June 1915), No. 248d unpaginated (17 June 1914)

This sequence was confirmed for the Free State of Saxe-Altenburg on 27 March 1919.
Sources: Sachsen-Altenburgische Gesetzsammlung 1919 St. II p. 25 and ThStA Altenburg Gesamtministerium No. 1665 sheet 133
Jens Hild, translated and worked on by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

False Bicolour in Use

[False Civil Flag Saxe-Altenburg in use] 3:4 image by Santiago Dotor, 8 Feb 2001

The erroneous combination green - white had also been in use after 1832.
Jens Hild, translated and worked on by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

Ducal Flags (Herzogsflaggen)

1st Ducal Flag (1871 - 1890)

[Saxe-Altenburg ducal flag 1871 - 1890]
3:4 image by Jaume Ollé, modified by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

Horizontal bicolour green-white with crowned Saxon arms at centre.
Norman Martin, March 1998

From 1826 to 1871 there existed no ducal flag. In 1871 Duke Ernst I introduced a ducal flag as follows: It was a green over white horizontal bicolour. The lesser arms of Saxe-Altenburg were in the centre of the flag. The lesser arms displayed the shield topped by a ducal coronet.
Jens Hild, translated and worked on by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

2nd Ducal Flag (1890 - 1908)

[Saxe-Altenburg ducal flag 1890 - 1908] 3:4 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013 Duke Ernst I replaced the sequence of colours by white green. His successor Ernst II also used this flag, however only for a few months. Ducal Standard (1908 - 1945/1955) Duke Ernst II introduced an 8-stripes flag, horizontally divided by alternating white and green stripes. The canton, being of the sheet, was horizontally divided by ten alternating black and yellow stripes, superimposed by a green crancelin (pattern of Ballenstedt shield).
Source: ThSTA Altenburg Hofbauamt No. 689-690; p. 60
Jens Hild, translated and worked on by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

Ducal Standard (1908 - 1945/1955)

[Duke's Standard 1908-1918 (Saxe-Altenburg, Germany)] 1:1 image by Alvan Fisher, Mark Sensen, Santiago Dotor and Klaus-Michael Schneider
adopted 1908, abolished 1918

According to Norman Martin, the 1909-1918 standard had (...) eight stripes white-green, and a square canton which was a banner of the Saxon arms (10 stripes black-yellow and a green crancelin).
Santiago Dotor, 8 Feb 2001

Neubecker 1933 shows the standard in proportions 1:1.
Santiago Dotor, 21 Jun 2001

Flag of Prince Moritz (1890-1907)

[Price Moritz flag 1890-1908 (Saxe-Altenburg, Germany)] 2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013

White flag with crowned Saxon arms and supporters at center. In use until 1918.

Norman Martin, March 1998

The small pennons were white-green from 1893, previously green-white.

Mario Fabretto, 31 Aug 1998

It was a white flag. In the centre was the coat of arms. It was an oval shield, surrounded by a belt of the Saxonian-Ernestine Order "Fideliter et constanter" (faithful and steadfast). The blue belt was surmounted by an inscription in golden capitals: "FIDELITER & CONSTANTER". The shield was topped by a ducal coronet and supported by two crowned lions rampant, guardant in natural colours, each one holding a lance with white over green lance pennants. A rope at the bottom is surrounding the feet of both supporters. The flag was introduced in 1890 and was in use at least until 13 May 1907 (death of Prince Moritz), probably also by his widow Princess Auguste (reported 23 November 1916)
Source: Flaggenbuch 1905(image) and
Jens Hild: "Rautenkranz und rote Rose. Die Hoheitszeichen des Herzogtums und des Freistaates Sachsen-Altenburg.", Erfurt(?) 2010
Jens Hild, translated and worked on by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 June 2013