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District, County and Municipal Flags (Bavaria, Germany)

Bezirks-, Landkreis- und Gemeindeflaggen

Last modified: 2003-07-18 by santiago dotor
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District Flags


Bezirke (districts) are the third communal layer in Bavaria; the others are the Landkreise (counties) and the Gemeinden (municipalities) or Städte (towns and cities). In the larger Länder of Germany (including Bavaria) there are Regierungsbezirke which are only administrative divisions and not self-governing entities as the Bezirke in Bavaria. The Bezirke in Bavaria are territorially identical with the Regierungsbezirke (e.g. Regierung von Oberbayern), but are a different form of administration (having their own parliaments etc.). The Bezirke have their own arms and flags (just as the Landkreise and Gemeinden). The Regierungsbezirke as offices under the [Bavarian] Ministry of the Interior use the Bavarian arms and flags.

The arms and flags of the Bezirke of Bavaria have been thoroughly described in Linder 1997 which is available online [but without images] at the Der Flaggenkurier website. My GIFs and my explanations are based on this article.

Marcus Schmöger, 27 January 2001

The flags of the Bavarian Bezirke are based on Linder 1997. He shows six of them as 'normal' horizontal flags, only the one of Oberbayern as a vertical flag. (...) Regarding the other Bezirke [apart from Oberbayern], I don't know [whether they use vertical or horizontal flags or both]. I asked Dieter Linder and he told me, that he reconstructed the flags according to the descriptions (usually nothing more than "divided red-white, bearing the arms" or the like). He does not have photos of these flags, as they are rarely seen. They only show up occasionally on the buildings of the Bezirk (e.g. on the occasion of an election of a new district president); they are also used, when the Bezirke gather once in a year.

There are not many examples of these flags available, so that they have to bring their own flag for this assembly. Dieter Linder tried for several years to get photos of this assembly showing the flags, without success up to now. The Bezirke themselves were not able or willing to provide photos of their flags. I personally assume that most or even all of the Bezirke use vertical flags with the arms slightly shifted to the top of the flag. This is the normal form of city or municipal flag here in Bavaria. Most official authorities (e.g. the Bavarian ministries) use vertical flags (German and Bavarian) as their official flag on the building. So one could call that 'regular' here in Bavaria.

Marcus Schmöger, 2 February 2001

County Flags


Bavarian flags are regulated almost as strictly as those in Baden-Württemberg. Flags may consist of two or three stripes of equal width, with or without the arms. If neighbouring counties use the same colours, the arms must be used. The only exception from the stripe rule is that banner [hanging] flags may have the arms placed in a white square on the top.

Stefan Schwoon, 9 February 2001

The approximately 120 drawings of flags of Bavarian counties are based on data gathered by Erich Dieter Linder and Falko Schmidt who got the information from the Bavarian State Archives and from enquiries to the counties. Both have written Linder and Schmidt 2000, an article about Bavarian county flags in Der Flaggenkurier no. 12, and Dieter Linder has given a presentation about them at the meeting of German vexillologists — a PowerPoint file containing his presentation is available online.

Prior to the municipal reorganisation in the early seventies, Bavaria had 143 counties and 51 independent cities. Of these counties, all but three (Illertissen, Laufen, Rothenburg) had arms, and 75 had flags. The reform reduced their number to 71 counties and 25 cities. Of the new counties, all have arms and all but one (Lindau) use flags, six of them unofficially.

The coats of arms in the flags are all taken from Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website and come from Stadler 1964-1972 and Linder and Olzog 1996.

Stefan Schwoon, 9 July 2001

The following former counties, which disappeared with the 1970s reform, had no flag:

  • Bad Aibling
  • Bad Tölz

Stefan Schwoon, 9 July 2001

Municipal Flags


As of 1st January 1994 Bavaria comprised 2,056 municipalities. Nearly all of them show arms of their own, and I estimate freely that no more than 20 municipalities are without arms. The number of municipal flags is certainly not so high, since they often have been adopted later, but presumably more than 50% of the municipalities are using flags of their own. Unfortunately till now there is no comprehensive publication of all of the incumbent municipal arms or flags of Bavaria. There are only books in regard to certain regions.

But one can say, that nearly all municipal flags show two or three stripes, always of equal width, and the municipal Arms may appear on them. The colours of the stripes always must derive from the main colours of the Arms [livery colours]. The heraldic rules are transferred to the flags, i.e. the rule of no metal beside a colour. The only accepted colours are white, yellow, red, green, blue and black. Some examples:

  • Bamberg: red over white, deliberately with or without the arms
  • Bayreuth: black over white, always with arms superimposed
  • Garching bei München: green over white over red
  • Garching an der Alz: arms granted on 16 January 1957 and showing a silver bridge with a silver cross on it, thus dividing horizontally a red over blue field. The base shows blue waves. A flag is not known to me, but may be presumed. Dieter Linder, 11 January 1999
  • Landshut: white over red, the arms on a white square in the head of the flag
  • Nürnberg: red over white, presently without the arms
  • Passau: red over white
  • Regensburg: red over white, with the superimposed arms
No rule without exceptions:
  • Augsburg: red over green over white, always without the arms (a break of the heraldic colour rules)
  • Schweinfurt has a traditional flag: white eagle on blue background (a break of the stripe rule)
These guidelines had been provided by the state archives which have to advise the municipalities before and during the adoption of the symbols. Unfortunately the rule to use only striped flags causes a monotony of Bavarian city flags. In other German states these strict rules do not apply at any rate.

Dieter Linder, 18 November 1998

Descriptions of Other County Flags

Bavaria county flags [from Flaggenmitteilung?]:

    County or Landkreis     colours (* with coat-of-arms)    adoption date

Jaume Ollé, 24 September 1999

These are flags of Landkreise (counties). Incorrect [colours] are:

  • Eichstätt white-red-yellow;
  • Kulmbach white-black-yellow 21-2-1989;
  • Lichtenfels 15-7-1977;
  • Kelheim 31-10-1975.

Marcus Schmöger, 9 March 2001

Descriptions of Other Municipal Flags

German city flags [quoted from Flaggenmitteilungen?]:

    Municipality or Gemeinde     colours (* with coat-of-arms)
    Rieden a.d. Kotzwhite-red*

Jaume Ollé, 24 September 1999

The names of the municipalities (not so much cities, but a mix of small towns and villages) contain a number of spelling mistakes, and some have become renamed or incorporated into other municipalities. This is a list of corrections/updates:

  • Oberalting-Seefeld: now Seefeld
  • Holzkirchen: ambiguous; there are two municipalities of this name (in Oberbayern and Unterfranken, respectively), and some villages that are part of larger municipalities, but seeing as this list contains older, non-existent municipalities, they might have been independent at the time when the list was written.
  • Oberstimm: now part of Manching
  • Oberpfaffenhofen: now part of Weßling
  • Schonau: does not exist. The correct name could be Schönau, or Schongau, or maybe something else, I don't know.
  • Kemnat: ambiguous, since there are many locations called Kemnat or Kemnath in Bavaria. Only one of them is presently an independent municipality, Kemnath in Tirschenreuth county.
  • Kammental: doesn't exist, maybe Kammeltal is meant?

Stefan Schwoon, 11 February 2002