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Thuringia (Germany)

thüringen, free state of thuringia,

Last modified: 2013-12-09 by german editorial team
Keywords: thuringia | thüringen |
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[State Flag, as shown in the legal text (Thuringia, Germany)] 1:2  Image by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 11 Apr 1991


On this page: Other Thuringia pages: See also:

Introduction

Sources:
  • Laitenberger and Bassier 2000
  • Schurdel 1995
  • Günther 1999
  • Thuringia official website, with information on history of the state coat-of-arms, also including links to the arms (with image) and flags (only descriptions) of the counties
  • Gesetz über die Hoheitszeichen des Landes Thüringen vom 30. Januar 1991. Gesetzblatt für das Land Thüringen 1991, S. 1 (Law on the State Symbols of the State of Thuringia of 30 January 1991. Law Gazette for the State of Thuringia 1991, p. 1).
  • Verfassung des Freistaats Thüringen vom 25. Oktober 1993. Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Thüringen 1993, S. 625-638 (Constitution of the - Free State of Thuringia of 25 October 1993. Law and Official Gazette for the State of Thuringia 1993, p. 625-638)
  • Verordnung zur Ausführung des Gesetzes über die Hoheitszeichen des Landes Thüringen vom 11. April 1991. Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Thüringen 1991, S. 70-77 (Regulation on the implementation of the Law on the State Symbols of the State of Thuringia of 11 April 1991. Law and Official Gazette for the Land Thuringia 1991, p. 70-77)
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001


Civil Flag
Landesflagge

As it is probably used       As shown in the legal text
[Civil Flag, as it is probably used (Thuringia, Germany)] 3:5        [Civil Flag, as shown in the legal text (Thuringia, Germany)] 1:2 
Both images by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 1921, abolished 1935, readopted 1946, abolished 1952, readopted 11 Apr 1991

The Landesflagge is white on red. The state flag is the same with the arms in the middle. Proportions 1:2 — different from the other German flags. (...) The colours of the Land were adopted on the 30th January 1991, and the flags (Landesflagge and Landesdienstflagge) on the 11th April 1991.
Pascal Vagnat, 22 Apr 1998

     The civil flag is a bicolour of white over red. Already used after the First World War, this flag was widely used by the people during the demonstrations in the German Democratic Republic in 1989/90. So it was immediately accepted as Landesflagge after the reunification and the re-establishment of Thuringia as a Land on 3 October 1990. The first legal regulation was the Gesetz über die Hoheitszeichen of 30 January 1991, that introduced the Landesfarben as white-red; however, this law came into force retroactively as of 3 October 1990.
     Further on it was regulated in Art. 44 of the constitution of 25 October 1993. The most detailed prescription, however, is in the Verordnung zur Ausführung des Gesetzes über die Hoheitszeichen of 11 April 1991. From this Verordnung stems the common misconception, that the proportions of the flag are defined as 1:2, which is very unusual for German flags. The Verordnung says in § 3 (1): "Width and length of the flag must have a proportion of at least 1 to 2."
     My interpretation is, that they may have a proportion of 1.2:2 (=3:5) or 1.333:2 (2:3) as well, but not of 1:3 for example. So probably the flags (normal hoisted flags) in Thuringia have a proportion of 3:5, as most German flagmakers produce them like that. Also the books usually show the flags of Thuringia in 3:5 proportion, at least Laitenberger and Bassier 2000 and Schurdel 1995. On the other hand, the Verordnung shows sketches of the flags in 1:2 in the appendix.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001


Civil Flag, Vertical Variant
Hängeflagge

[Civil Flag, Vertical Variant (Thuringia, Germany)] 2:1  Image by Marcus Schmöger

This is the vertical variant of the civil flag as shown in the appendix of the Verordnung (2:1). Vertical variants are usually longer than that in Germany.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001


State Flag
Landesdienstflagge

As it is probably used      As shown in the legal text
[State Flag, as it is probably used (Thuringia, Germany)] 3:5        [State Flag, as shown in the legal text (Thuringia, Germany)] 1:2 
Both images by Marcus Schmöger
Flag adopted 11th April 1991

Horizontal bicolor white-red, proportions 1:2, in the center the new arms of Thuringia: the old arms of the Landgravate of Thuringia (a red-white striped lion rampant on a blue field, but facing left) and with 8 white 6-pointed stars on the blue. Illustrated in Dorling-Kindersley 1997, p. 122.
Norman Martin, March 1998

The state flag is the civil flag with the coat-of-arms in the center. It is also regulated in the Art. 44 of the constitution of 25 October 1993, and in the Verordnung zur Ausführung des Gesetzes über die Hoheitszeichen of 11 April 1991. However, as with the civil flag, the actual use of the flag differs from the sketches in the appendix of the Verordnung. The proportions are usually not 1:2, and the coat-of-arms is usually bigger (see Laitenberger and Bassier 2000 and Schurdel 1995). The state flag, as it is probably used, has proportions 3:5 and a bigger coat-of-arms (50% of the flag height). As shown in the appendix of the Verordnung, it has proportions 1:2 and a coat-of-arms of only 40% of the flag height.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001


State Flag, Vertical Variant / Hängeflagge

As it is actually used      As shown in the legal text
[State Flag, Vertical Variant as it is actually used (Thuringia, Germany)] 7:2       [State Flag, Vertical Variant as shown in the legal text (Thuringia, Germany)] 2:1 
Images both by Marcus Schmöger

The vertical variant in actual use has a proportion 7:2 and a bigger coat-of-arms: an example of the use can be seen on the Thuringia website. The vertical variant as shown in the appendix of the Verordnung has proportion 2:1 and a smaller coat-of-arms.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001


Flag Law 1991 and Constitution 1994

     The first law Gesetz über die Hoheitszeichen des Landes Thüringen was adopted on the 30th January 1991, published on the 31st January in the then Gesetzblatt für das Land Thüringen. It is said in the §2: "Regelungen über die Gestaltung und Führung des Landeswappens, der Landesflagge, des Landessiegels und des Amtschildes trifft die Landesregierung durch Rechtsverordnung" (The regulations concerning the form/description and the displaying of the coat of arms of the Land, the flag of the Land, the seal of the Land, and the administrative shields are made by the government of the Land with a legal ordinance.). That ordinance was adopted on the 11th April 1991, published in the Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Thüringen of the 26th April 1991.
     The Constitution of Thuringia, containing in its article 44.2 the colours and the coat-of-arms of this state, was adopted by the parliament on the 25th Obtober 1993, published on the 29th October 1993, adopted by referendum on the 16th October 1994 by the population, and the result was announced by a Bekanntmachung (notice) of the 26th October 1994, published on the 3rd November 1994. That Constitution entered with this referendum into force.
Pascal Vagnat, 1 May 1998


Coat-of-Arms / Landeswappen

[Coat-of-Arms (Thuringia, Germany)] Image by Marcus Schmöger

The shield is blue, with a crowned lion (rampant). The lion is divided into eight horizontal stripes, alternating red and white. The crown and claws are gold. Surrounding the lion are eight white six-pointed stars. This is very similar to the arms of Hesse.
David Lewellen

It seems that the coat of arms of the federal Land of Thuringia and the federal Land of Hesse both use the red and white lion. I thought that the red and white lion was associated with the house of Nassau and therefore with Hesse. Is it also a symbol of Thuringia?
Harold, 10 Jun 2006

There are little differences between the arms: the lion of Thuringia is red and white and the lion of Hesse is white and red. The first count of Hesse, Henry I, took over the lion of Thuringia in the 13th century. The lion of Thuringia is the older.
Jörg Majewski, 10 Jun 2006

And in answer to the question regarding Nassau, I should mention that the lion of Nassau was (and is) gold, not barry silver and red (or red and silver). There is no connection. In fact lions are an extremely common charge in Germany, as they are also in Britain, but they are to be found most of all in the Low Countries.
Mike Oettle, 11 Jun 2006

The modern coat-of-arms shows eight stars. There were seven stars on the Arms of 1921-1933, no stars on the one of 1933-1945 and eight stars on the one of 1945-1952. These stand for:

  1. Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach
  2. Sachsen-Meinigen
  3. Sachsen-Altenburg
  4. Sachsen-Gotha (1826-1918 part of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha - Coburg became Bavarian in 1920)
  5. Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  6. Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  7. Reuss
  8. former Prussian territories (Regierungsbezirk Erfurt and parts of the Regierungsbezirk Merseburg in the province of Sachsen and the Kreis Schmalkaden in Hessen-Nassau).
Pascal Vagnat, 22 April 1998

The state coat-of-arms is blasoned: Azure, a lion rampant barry of eight Gules and Argent, crowned and armed Or, surrounded by eight mullets Argent. The first legal regulation was the Gesetz über die Hoheitszeichen of 30 January 1991 (coming into force retroactively as of 3 October 1990). Further on it was regulated in Art. 44 of the constitution of 25 October 1993. The Verordnung zur Ausführung des Gesetzes über die Hoheitszeichen of 11 April 1991 only prescribes the actual use of the coat-of-arms. The history of the different coats-of-arms of Thüringen is thoroughly described in the Thuringian official website.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001


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