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Berlin (Germany)

Berlin State, Land Berlin

Last modified: 2003-08-09 by santiago dotor
Keywords: germany | berlin | land berlin | bear (black) | crown: mural (red) |
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[Berlin State (Germany)] 3:5 | stripes 1+3+1
by Jan Oskar Engene
Flag adopted 26th May 1954

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Civil, State and Senators' Flags

White flag with red stripe with 1/4 of height top and bottom [Editor's note: actually 1/5th, read below]. Slightly left of center a black bear rampant.

Norman Martin, 20 January 1998

[The basic flag is] white with a red stripe at the top and bottom of the flag (1:3:1 and not 1:2:1 as it is written sometimes):

  • Civil flag: on the white stripe not far from the hoist appears the Berlin bear from the Arms. The civil flag can also have the shape of a [vertical?] banner, the bear still upright.
  • State flag: the same but with the arms of the city-Land in place of the bear. Proportions 3:5. Adopted 13th May 1954.
  • Senate members use a square white flag with a red border. In the middle appears the Arms. Proportions 1:1.
  • Districts [Bezirke] have coats of arms and flags which are the same as the Berlin flag but with their coats of arms instead the bear.

Pascal Vagnat, 19 December 1995 and 14 December 1997

(West) Berlin adopted its flag on 26th May 1954, based on a design by Ottfried Neubecker (second place in the contest of 1952, but the Senate rejected the winning design).

Jaume Ollé (?), 17 May 1998

According to a high-school German lesson, the bear on the flag and coat of arms of Berlin represents the first half of the city's name, German Bär meaning bear. In English we call this sort of pun canting arms.

John Ayer, 13 October 1999

I have heard a version that adds to the pun by making it a bärlein, i.e. little bear.

Joseph McMillan, 13 October 1999

Authorities' Car Flags

Berlin Präsident: Square white flag with a red border, within the white the Arms of Berlin.

Jaume Ollé (?), 17 May 1998

Land high authorities' flag: service flag adopted as car flag but scarce[ly] used. Source: Roger Harmignies, article in Vexilla Belgica, issue 11, 1987.

Jaume Ollé, 29 July 1999

The members of the senate, as well as the city mayor, have their own flag which is white with a red border and the coat of arms in the middle, dimensions 25 × 25 cm. The service flag (15 × 25 cm) is used by the president of the revenue court, the presidents of the supreme courts, the directors of the Senate, the mayors of the city's districts and the president of the police. Source: personal and legal archives, with legislation and official documents from the German Länder, as well as the informations of Jürgen Rimann, the best German specialist for all the car flags in the world and a very reliable source.

Pascal Vagnat, 1 August 1999