Flag of the German Democratic Republic


The East German flag was the official national flag of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) during its existence from 1949 to 1990. The design and symbol of the flag are from the flag of the Weimar Republic and communist symbolism.

The flag was considered illegal in West Germany and West Berlin as an unconstitutional and criminal symbol, where it was referred to as the Spalterflagge until the late 1960s.


On the 100th anniversary of the March Days in Berlin in March 1948, the Second People’s Congress was convened in Berlin.

In addition to drafting a national flag for the state of the German Democratic Republic, it should be seen as the German People’s Council for the reorganization of the entire state.

There was a choice between three flags, one red, the other black-white-red, and the last option black-red-gold.

The offer to introduce the red flag was quickly rejected. This flag was rejected by the bourgeoisie as a sign of the communist and international workers’ movement even during the November Revolution of 1918 (and beyond).

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Like Germany, this decision must be in favor of the black, red and gold flag of the Weimar Republic. The Soviet Union was initially opposed to the flag.

 As a symbol of the Weimar Republic, they recall a time of weakness, crisis and unemployment.

Thus, the black-and-red flag remained. This goes back to the Free German National Committee. The committee established the old Reich flag on June 12 and 13, 1943, under the leadership of the Soviet Union.

This flag should be considered as a sign of the struggle against the Nazi fascist regime under Adolf Hitler and the Swastika flag.

The Third People’s Congress of 1949, established by the Soviet occupation in 1948, re-introduced East Berlin Mayor Friedrich Ebert and proposed a black-and-red gold flag. His request was approved on May 30, 1949, and on September 7, 1949, the Government Logo and Flag Act were implemented on October 7, 1949.

Thus, the West (FRG) and East Germany (GDR) had the same national flag. East, but only in the first ten years of its existence. During this time, the FRG competed with the same GDR design in terms of color.

On October 1, 1959, the GDR added its national emblem, “a hammer and compass surrounded by a circular ring of flowers,” to distinguish it from the Federal Republic flag. The logo was a symbol of unity between workers, farmers, and intellectuals.

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Publicly presenting this as the “Soviet flag” designated by the FRG flag, however, was seen in the late 1960s as a violation of the constitution and a disturbance of public order in the FRG and West Berlin, essentially by police action. .

Even when the GDR flag was raised abroad, the West German protests were stereotypical. It was not until July 22, 1969, that the Federal Government (Grand Coalition) was instructed that the police should take further action everywhere against the use of the flags and emblems of the Eastern Democratic Republic.

Since the GDR was not yet recognized under international law, in 1968 teams with athletes from both parts of Germany began competing in sports such as the Olympics.

The GDR Olympic Committee refused to compete with the Federal Republic flag and the German Olympic Committee continued until the last moment and there was no change in the black and red gold flag. In the end, he still managed to reach an agreement.

They were sitting on the red ribbons of the black, red, and gold flags of the Olympic rings in white. As part of the international recognition of GDR by the United Nations and the recognition of GDR sovereignty by the FRG, since the 1972 Winter Olympics, two separate teams have competed with two separate flags.

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With the introduction of the new national flag in 1959, a new trade flag was introduced. Before GDR led the unmarked black-red gold flag as the flag of the merchant.

The new merchant flag has a smaller badge in the upper corner. 1973 This flag of the merchant was abolished again and replaced by the national flag, which was the order of the national and merchant flag.

After the political turning point in 1989 in the GDR, the working group formed the “new GDR constitution”, proposing a new constitution and a new national flag.

They should be black-red-gold stripes, but instead of a government emblem, they should show the slogan of the sword to the plow. Other political events with the end of the reunification and the formation of the German People’s Republic did not allow the constitution and therefore the new flag to be implemented.

Meaning and colors

During the preparation of the new constitution for West Germany, the discussion of its national symbols took place in August 1948 during a meeting in Hernheimse.

Although there was opposition to the creation of a national flag before joining the East, it was decided to continue.

The reason for this decision was basically the constitution proposed by the Eastern SED in November 1946. Where black-red-gold was proposed as the colors of the future German Republic.

While there were other proposals for a new flag for West Germany, the final choice was between two designs, both using black and red gold.

The Social Democrats proposed re-introducing the old Weimar flag, while conservative parties such as the CDU / CSU and the German Party put forward a proposal by Ernst Wermer, a Member of Parliament for the Rat (Parliamentary Council) and the Chancellor’s future adviser.

Weimer proposed an example of the 1944 “Resistance” flag (using the black-and-red gold design in the Nordic cross pattern) designed by his brother and his accomplice, Joseph, on July 20.

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Eventually, three colors were chosen, largely to show the continuity between the Weimar Republic and this new German state. With the adoption of the German (West) Constitution on May 23, 1949, the three colors of black and red gold were adopted as the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1955, residents of the French-administered Saarland region voted to join West Germany.

Since its founding as a separate French protectorate in 1947, the star has had a white Nordic cross on a blue and red background as a flag.

To demonstrate Sar’s commitment as part of West Germany, a new flag was chosen on July 9, 1956: the three colors of black-red-gold were adorned with the new emblem, which was also proposed on this day.

The flag was flown on January 1, 1957, with the establishment of Saarland as a state of West Germany.

While the use of black and red gold in the Soviet Union was proposed in 1946, the Second People’s Congress in 1948 decided to adopt the three old red-black colors as a national flag for East Germany.

The choice was based on the use of these colors by the National Committee of Free Germany.

In 1949 the three colors red-red gold were instead chosen as the flag of the German Democratic Republic.

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From 1949 to 1959, the flags of West and East Germany were the same. On October 1, 1959, the East German government changed its flag by adding a badge.

In West Germany, these changes were seen as a deliberate attempt to divide the two Germanys.

The display of this flag in West Germany and West Berlin was considered a violation of the Constitution. Also, it was subsequently banned until the late 1960s.

East German Flag Color Codes

000000 - Black color image previewName: Black
Hex: #000000
RGB: (0, 0, 0)
ffce00 - Tangerine Yellow color image previewName: Tangerine Yellow
Hex: #FFCE00
RGB: (255, 206, 0)
CMYK: 0, 0.192, 1, 0
dd0000 - Electric Red color image previewName: Electric Red
Hex: #DD0000
RGB: (221, 0, 0)
CMYK: 0, 1, 1, 0.133
East German Flag Color Codes

Pictures of East German flag

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The German Democratic Republic

East Germany, officially known as the German Democratic Republic was a communist state in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

That ruled from 1949 to 1990 in the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) was formed by joining West Germany.


The German Democratic Republic was established on October 7, 1949 in East Berlin. This happened five weeks after the announcement of the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany in West Germany.

The country declared full independence in 1954 but was still stationed by the four world powers at a post-Soviet summit.

This was due in large part to the large US military presence in West Germany and the Cold War. East Germany was a member of the Warsaw Pact.

On March 18, 1990, free elections were held for the first time in the country. As a result, the ruling Socialist Union Party lost its majority in Volkswagen (East German parliament). (Previously, the party’s majority was guaranteed in the elections).

On August 23, Volkswagen Kamer voted for East Germany to join the Federal Republic of Germany. As a result of the reunification of the two Germanys, the German Democratic Republic was abolished.


The East German economy began to weaken due to the devastation caused by World War II.

The loss of many young soldiers, the disruption of trade and transportation, the Allied bombing activities. It destroyed cities, and the reparations owed to the USSR.

The Red Army dismantled the infrastructure and industrial plants of the Soviet-occupied region and transferred them to Russia. In the early 1950s, compensation was paid for agricultural and industrial products.

The government used money and prices as a political tool. Also, they provide very subsidized prices for a wide range of basic goods and services.

At the production level, artificial prices created a system of half-trading and resource hoarding. For the consumer, it led to the replacement of GDR money with time, exchange, and hard currencies.

The socialist economy became increasingly dependent on the financial injection of foreign currency loans from West Germany. Meanwhile, East Germans devalued their soft currency against the Deutsche Mark (DM).

 Economic problems will also continue after the reunification of West and East in East Germany.

According to the Federal Office for Political Education (June 23, 2009) “In 1991 alone, 153 billion Deutschmarks were transferred to East Germany for revenue, job support and infrastructure improvement, bringing the total to 1.634 trillion marks. It was so high that public debt in Germany more than doubled.

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