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German Communist Party (Germany)

Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, DKP

Last modified: 2003-07-12 by santiago dotor
Keywords: german communist party | deutsche kommunistische partei | dkp | communist | flags: 2 | flag (germany) | flag (dkp) | thämann: ernst | letters: 3 (yellow) | hammer and sickle (yellow) | star (yellow) | star (red) | star: |
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[German Communist Party (Germany)] 3:2
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag used since c.1968

See also:


From the DKP website (only in German, Spanish and Portuguese):

"El DKP se reconstruyó nuevamente en el año 1968 en la RFA porque el Partido Comunista de Alemania -KPD- se ilegalizó en el aņo 1956 hasta el día de hoy. (...) El DKP se [a]sienta en la tradición del KPD, fundado por Rosa Luxemburg y Karl Liebknecht. (...)"
Abridged translation: "The DKP was founded in 1968 in West Germany because the KPD, founded by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht [in the late 1910s / early 1920s?], had been banned in 1956."

Santiago Dotor, 2 March 2000

The DKP (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, German Communist Party) was founded in 1968. Although not a direct successor of the KPD (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, Communist Party of Germany) banned in 1956, the DKP took over many of the members and leading figures of the KPD. In contrast to the KPD, the DKP more or less arranged itself with the political system in Western Germany, thus avoiding being banned as the KPD. The DKP was always an orthodox communist party, i.e. it had strong ties with the SED —the ruling communist party in the German Democratic Republic— as well as with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Thus, it was constantly attacked (especially in the seventies) by other communist groups more or less aligned with China (several Maoist groups).

The DKP never had significant success in elections. In most elections to the federal parliament (Bundestag) and the state parliaments (Landtage) it only reached around 0.5% of the votes and never gained a seat in the parliaments. The already weakened party went into crisis in the second half of the eighties due to a fierce quarrel about the reform politics implemented by Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union.

After German reunification the DKP lost its main financial source, the East German SED. A certain consolidation of the party has however been observed in the last years. The PDS (the successor party of the SED) attracts now many left-wing people, from the DKP and other groups. On the other hand DKP members (or former members) gained seats in parliaments on a PDS ticket.

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001


Although as a communist party the DKP adheres to the principle of democratic centralism, the use of flags was not devised in a centralistic way and varies locally. There is no officially designed party flag, but the most often used flags show the party logo on a red background. Although not adopted officially, it is now considered as the de facto party flag, especially as several attempts to change the flag, during recent party conventions, failed. The logo is a waving red flag with the letters 'DKP' in white over a black-red-gold flag.

On FOTW there was formerly an image of this flag designated as old flag. This is wrong, as variants of this flag are the ones used most frequently by the DKP nowadays. They are mainly used during demonstrations, party conventions and the like.


  • Electronic mails from DKP party organizations (Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Munich)
  • Information from the party headquarters at Essen (by phone)
  • DKP website
  • DKP Hamburg website
  • My own observations and photos during a recent demonstration in Munich (Labour Day, 1st May 2001)

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

I have only seen this first variant on a photo from a party convention, hanging there as a wall decoration. I do not know if this first variant is also used as Knatterfahne (attached to a flagstaff at the longer side).

Marcus Schmöger, 5 June 2002

Flag Variant with White Panel

[German Communist Party, Flag Variant with White Panel (Germany)] 3:2
by Marcus Schmöger

A second variant shows the logo on a white rectangle on the red field. Although higher than wide, these flags are not hanging flags, but flags attached to a flagstaff at the longer side [Knatterfahnen].

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

This variant is the frequently used one during demonstrations, carried as Knatterfahne.

Marcus Schmöger, 5 June 2002

Horizontal Flag Variant

[German Communist Party, Horizontal Flag Variant (Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger
Flag used since c.1968

A third variant is the same as the first variant, but as a horizontal flag showing the logo in the canton.

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

Flag Variant with Thälmann Portrait

[German Communist Party, Flag Variant with Thälmann Portrait (Germany)] 2:1
by Marcus Schmöger and António Martins

The DKP also uses a red flag with a black and white portrait of Ernst Thälmann, the legendary leader of the KPD in the Weimar Republic, executed in 1944. This is a provisional image, as I need a better Thälmann portrait.

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

Flag Variant with Hammer and Sickle

[German Communist Party, Flag Variant with Hammer and Sickle (Germany)]
by Marcus Schmöger | 3:5

The DKP also uses a red flag with hammer, sickle and red star, with yellow inscription 'DKP' in the lower fly. The above image shows the reverse (hoist on the right-hand side), as I do not know exactly how the obverse looks like.

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001

This is probably a home-made, unofficial, party flag. I have seen it only once on a photo in Internet.

Marcus Schmöger, 5 June 2002

Flag used ca.1990

[German Communist Party ca.1990 (Germany)] 3:5
by Jaume Ollé
Flag used ca.1990

The white flag with a distorted red star in the canton is not a new flag [as it was formerly called on FOTW]. The distorted red star is a symbol used by the DKP, and the flag was also used around 1990 by some groups of the party. However, it never replaced the red flag with the logo.

Marcus Schmöger, 19 May 2001