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Political Parties (Germany)

Last modified: 2003-08-09 by santiago dotor
Keywords: germany | politics | zentrum | deutsche landvolkpartei | german empire party | deutsche reichspartei | frei-soziale union | german national people's party | deutsche partei | german rural people's party | deutsche gemein |
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Current Use of Party Flags

I would like to consider the actual use of party flags in Germany. There are three occasions for using a party flag:

  1. On party buildings or in front of buildings used during party conventions. Flags for this purpose are usually higher than wide. As an example this picture of the party building of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) taken from their website.

  2. During party conventions as an indoor decoration. It is not always easy to say if these can be considered flags. It is just some decorative cloth with the party logo (or the kind) hanging from the wall or draped around the speaker's desk.

  3. During demonstrations or manifestations. There is not much use of real flags in demonstrations in Germany; in most cases banners with inscriptions or the like are used. A major exception are demonstrations of right extremists (e.g. of the National Democratic Party of Germany), where many flags are used.
All in all one can say, that flags are not frequently used by parties in Germany, and where they are used, they are logo-on-bedsheet flags. I have written to most of the acknowledged parties to obtain first-hand information.

Marcus Schmöger, 14 August 2000

There are two problems with German party flags (more or less current ones). Firstly, what is a flag, proper? For political parties in Germany (most of them at least) the term 'flag' (German Flagge or Fahne) does not exist in a proper sense. If you ask them for the flag, they would answer you, "We have a logo, of course; we put that on our flags for demonstrations, as well." If you have a look at the 'flag', it is a demonstration poster, not a proper flag (I call a flag "a piece of cloth fastened to a pole on one side"; a demo poster "a piece of cloth fastened to poles on two opposite sides"). However, for the political flags in Germany, this distinction might be a very artificial one. Both flags and demonstration posters are just cloth pieces with an advertising message.

Secondly, there are always variants available, either homemade or made somewhere more centrally. One never knows if these are official or semi-official variants, or old variants etc. If they are old variants, they would be used until unserviceable. You wouldn't get any good information from the parties' headquarters on the flag variants.

Marcus Schmöger, 20 March 2002

Other regional and non-parliamentary parties

What are the sources for the flags of [the non-parliamentary] German political parties in FOTW? I have problems in finding out which parties are really meant and I seriously doubt that all these flags have ever been in existence!

Marcus Schmöger, 14 July 2000

Most of these flags are listed in Rabbow 1970. A major problem with this page is that the names are only mentioned in English, and often reversed. It would help identification if the official German name was added. Anyway, believe it or not, those were all for real. Some disappeared of its own, and others when the 5% clause was introduced [Editor's note: limiting access to the Bundestag under that proportion of the votes cast]; but some still exist, even if they have never been heard of — just think of the Republikaner, who had a huge following out of nearly nothing...

Jarig Bakker, 14 July 2000

However, Rabbow 1970 in most cases mentions political symbols of parties, but not their use on flags. I do not doubt the existence of those parties; currently there are around 95 of them registered at the Bundeswahlleiter (check its website), many of them were totally unknown to me as I read that list. The problem is with the flags.

  • For example the Frei-Soziale Union (FSU), still in existence today, is mentioned in Rabbow 1970 as using a cross symbol (depicted on a green flag in FOTW) — however, there is no mention of a flag in Rabbow 1970.
  • The German Rural People's Party (Deutsche Landvolkpartei) is on the pages (...) with two similar flags; flags like these have been used in demonstrations in 1963.
  • The Baden People's Party (Badische Volkspartei, BVP) was a party that wanted the recreation of the old Land Baden (which became part of Baden-Württemberg in 1952). Rabbow 1970 mentions the arms and also (no surprise) the use of the flag of the former Land Baden (yellow-red-yellow triband), but not the use of the arms on this flag.
I am currently investigating a bit the flags of German political parties; I wrote to many of them, but I get the impression that most of them do not use flags or just logo-on-bedsheet flags. This supports the impression that I already had from just watching the news of reading newspapers: flags would be mostly used by extremist parties (especially right-wing) in Germany.

Marcus Schmöger, 14 July 2000

Source [of all my GIFs] was Flag Bulletin.

Jaume Ollé, 23 July 2000

Centre Party


[Zentrum Party (Germany)]
by Jorge Candeias

Yellow over white bicolor.

Jorge Candeias, 6 October 1998

German Rural People's Party

Deutsche Landvolkpartei

[German Rural People's Party (Germany)]      [German Rural People's Party (Germany)]
both by Jaume Ollé

Deutsche Landvolkpartei, a short-lived party in 1963. The emblem and flag had been in use before and after, though.

Jarig Bakker, 14 July 2000

German Empire Party

Deutsche Reichspartei / DRP

[German Empire Party (Germany)]
by Jaume Ollé

German National People's Party

Deutsch-Nationale Volkspartei / DNVP

[German National People's Party (Germany)]
by Jorge Candeias

German Party

Deutsche Partei

[German Party (Germany)]
by Jaume Ollé

Former "Lower Saxony State Party". The flag is the same as the Landesfarben of the post-1892 Prussian province of Hannover.

Jaume Ollé, July 1998

Oldenburg State Organisation (Branch of German Party)

[Oldenburg State Organisation, German Party (Germany)]
by Jaume Ollé

German Community

Deutsche Gemeinschaft

[German Community (Germany)]
by Jaume Ollé

Emblem accepted at its foundation in December 1949. The combination of colors was meant as anti-schwarz-rot-gold (anti-black-red-gold). This party had a flag, which was distributed free of charge to get readers for its party-magazine, named as the party, Deutsche Gemeinschaft.

Jarig Bakker, 14 July 2000

Socialist Empire Party

Sozialistische Reichspartei

[Socialist Empire Party (Germany)]
by Jaume Ollé

Free Social Union

Frei-Soziale Union

[Zentrum, Social Liberal Union (Germany)] 1:2
by António Martins