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Nordfriesland County (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)

Kreis Nordfriesland, North Frisia

Last modified: 2002-12-20 by santiago dotor
Keywords: schleswig-holstein | kreis nordfriesland | nordfriesland county | north frisia | frisia | friesland | ships: 3 (yellow) | coat of arms: parted per pale (eagle) | cross: scandinavian (blue) | sagelterland | heart (red) |
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[Nordfriesland County (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 3:5 | stripes 1+1+12+1+1
by Stefan Schwoon
Flag and coat-of-arms adopted 10th July 1972

See also:


There is an official coat of arms for the Landeskreis of North Frisia, created in 1970. This is blue, three golden, three-masted ships in 16th-century style [arranged] 2:1 with golden sails and red pennants. The flag has a broad central stripe with the arms as described, and with narrower stripes at the top and bottom, the inner ones golden, the outer ones red. Source: Thomas Steensen, The Frisians in Schleswig-Holstein, Braeist/Bredstedt: Nordfriisk Instituut, 1994.

Jan Oskar Engene, 7 December 1995

The Hauptsatzung (statutes) of the district at the Nordfriesland official website:

Hauptsatzung des Kreises Nordfriesland
Wappen, Flagge, Siegel
( 12 KrO) [...]
(3) Die Kreisflagge zeigt in der Mitte eines blauen, oben und unten von je zwei schmalen Streifen, einem äußeren roten und einem inneren goldenen, eingefaßten Feldes die drei Schiffe des Wappens (2 : 1), etwas zur Stange hin verschoben.
(Erläuterung: Das Verhältnis des blauen Feldes zu den vier Streifen ist 3 : 1).
states that the red and gold stripes should be thin, so the choice of 1:1:12:1:1 is mine. The ships should be shifted slightly to the hoist. The ships are taken from the arms; more on their meaning at Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website, where I copied them from (Reissmann 1997). Adopted 10.07.1972, according to Dirk Schönberger's Administrative Divisions of the World website.

Note that this flag does not collide with the North Frisian flags below. The latter have no official status and are popularly used to show adherence to (the historical region of) North Frisia whereas this is the official flag of the district authorities.

Stefan Schwoon, 1 February 2001

From Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website:

The arms were granted on July 10, 1972. The arms are based on the arms of the former county Eiderstedt. The symbols of the ships differ from the old arms, in that the plough is the symbol of the former county Husum, the fish is slightly changed and represents the typical herring of the island of Sylt in the former county Südtondern. The ox-head is still the symbol for Eiderstedt.

The arms [of Eiderstedt] were based on a seal dating from 1613, after the area was reclaimed from the sea. The ships represented the three areas (Harden) in the new territory: Eiderstedt, Everschop and Utholm. (...) On the original seal the ships were placed 1:2 instead of 2:1 and the symbols were placed on the hulk of the ship, not the sails.

Literature: Stadler 1964-1971 and Reissmann 1997.

Santiago Dotor, 23 October 2001

Civil Flag

[Civil Flag (North Frisia, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 3:5
by Jorge Candeias

The flag shown here with the coat of arms is sometimes shown with a smaller shield above a white scroll on which is written Lever düd as Slav. Source: Walther Stephan, Das Wappen der Landschaft Nordfriesland, in Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, 16er Band, Neumünster in Holstein, 1931. According to this source, the North Frisian flag originated at the same time as the flag Schleswig-Holstein, also during feasts, and with the coat of arms and the motto in the middle.

Pascal Vagnat, 17 May 1999

Lever düd as Slav means 'Rather dead than slave'. It is another rendering of the motto Leaver dea as slaef, which can still be found on a monument on the Rode Klif (Gaasterland, Friesland, Netherlands), remembering the victory of the Frisians over the Hollanders in 1345.

Jarig Bakker, 18 May 1999

Civil Flag Variant without Coat-of-Arms

[Civil Flag Variant without Coat-of-Arms (North Frisia, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)] 2:3?
by Jan Oskar Engene

Some time ago I got a different flag from the North Frisian Institute in Braeist (Bredstedt). It is a simple yellow-red-blue flag, the gölj-rüüdj-ween as it is called in the North Frisian language (also the title of the unofficial gold, red and blue) have been the North Frisian colours since the beginning of this century. The colours are taken from the fields of the coat of arms. Source: Thomas Steensen, The Frisians in Schleswig-Holstein, Braeist/Bredstedt: Nordfriisk Instituut, 1994.

Jan Oskar Engene, 6 December 1995

Scandinavian Cross Variant

[North Frisia (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany), Scandinavian cross variant]
by Jan Oskar Engene

Kannik 1958a shows a Frisian (Germany) flag which has a blue Scandinavian cross, fimbriated red, on a yellow field. Horizontal proportions 6+1+2+1+12.

Pascal Vagnat, 6 December 1995

I noticed the same in Kannik 1956a. In the notes it is explained that the Scandinavian cross pattern was chosen to symbolise the relationship of the Frisians to the Nordic countries (whatever that may have been — except for the fact that the North Frisians once were ruled by Denmark).

Jan Oskar Engene, 6 December 1995

In the Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart appears "75. North Frisians (Helgoland & Schleswig-Holstein) - North Germany". Identical to the Scandinavian cross variant in FOTW.

Ivan Sache, 14 September 1999


[Sagelterland (North Frisia, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)]
by Jaume Ollé

Five diagonally striped flag yellow-red-white-red-yellow, with 3 heart-shaped leaves. This flag design is clearly inspired by the traditional flag of the Dutch province of Friesland. Note that Sagelterland is traditionally Frisian. In use since 1970.

Norman Martin, February-March 1998