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Flag Legislation (Bavaria, Germany)

Bayrische Flaggenvorschriften

Last modified: 2014-03-27 by klaus-michael schneider
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[Striped Civil and State Flag (Bavaria, Germany)] 2:3 image by Marcus Schmöger
Bavarian Bicolour
See also:

General Flag Regulations

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 (bannerhead).
Stefan Schwoon, 9 February 2001

Counties are entitled to use flags, but they must consult the Bavarian State Archives (Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv). The guidelines of the Archives are as follows:
- In order to get a flag, a county has got to have arms (also to be designed in accordance with the Archives), and the colours of the flag have to be taken from the arms. The colours of the charges take precedence over the colours of the fields.
- Only three types of flags are allowed: Unicoloured, with two stripes or with three stripes. The arms must be put onto the flag if it is unicoloured, if it can otherwise be mistaken for a foreign national flag, or if two neighbouring entities [counties] use the same combination of colours (for distinction).
- Stripes must be of equal width. The combinations white-blue and black-red-yellow are reserved for the state and for the national flag, respectively, and may not be used by counties. If the flag is used in vertical form, the arms can be placed either directly on the stripes or in a white [usually square] field at the top (bannerhead).
- The flag grant specifies only the colours of the stripes. The counties are free to choose certain aspects of the design when producing the flags. These include:
-- The form: horizontal or vertical flag; most flags are of the vertical (Banner) kind, however.
-- Unless the inclusion of the arms is made mandatory by the circumstances, they can choose to use them or not. (In practice, it is likely that all counties use their arms on their flags.)
-- The exact colour shades.
-- The size of the flag, and the size and position of the arms.
Because of these choices, the flag grant is ambiguous; even more than one variant might be in use for any given county. Only in a few cases we know which variants are in use. In those cases where we know only the colours and nothing else, I drew the flags with 'default options': in banner form (5:2), with arms in the upper half of the flag, and with FOTW standard colour shades.

One can argue that this leads to flags that may not actually exist in the form in which I drew them. A survey of the actual flag specimens would make a useful addition to this work indeed. On the other hand one can argue that each flag which is in accordance with the grant is a valid flag for the county in question, and that the variants which are in use may change without notice anyway. Moreover, the 'default options' ought to be correct or nearly correct for the majority of flags.

A similar proviso applies to some counties where the grant specifies that the arms be 'in the head' of the flag. When drawing the flags, I took this to mean the 'arms-in-white-square' variant; however, this is not assured, even if I do not know why the grant should make special mention of this otherwise. Fürstenfeldbruck is an exception; here I know that the 'head variant' is used, but the grant does not say anything about it.
Stefan Schwoon, 10 Jul 2001


Constitution of Bavaria 1946

Verfassung des Freistaates Bayern vom 2. Dezember 1946; Bayerisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt 1946, S. 333 ff.
Artikel 1
(2) Die Landesfarben sind Weiß und Blau.

[Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria of 2nd December 1946; Bavarian Law and Official Gazette 1946, p. 333 ff.
Article 1
(2) The colours of the state are white and blue.]

Contribution and translation by M. Schmöger, 28 January 2001


Announcement on Flags of 1953

Bekanntmachung der Bayerischen Staatsregierung über die bayerische Staatsflagge und die Dienstflaggen für Kraftfahrzeuge, vom 16. November 1953; Bayerisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt 1953, S. 193.
1
(1) Bayerische Staatsflagge ist die Streifenflagge oder die Rautenflagge.
(2) Die Streifenflagge besteht aus zwei gleich breiten Querstreifen in den Landesfarben, oben weiß, unten blau.
(3) Die Grundform der Rautenflagge enthält 21 weiße und blaue Rauten (Wecken), wobei die von den Rändern angeschnittenen Rauten mitgezählt werden. Bei langen und schmalen Flaggen kann sich die Anzahl der Rauten erhöhen. In jedem Fall ist aber die rechte obere Ecke des Flaggentuchs für eine angeschnittene weiße Raute bestimmt.

[Announcement of the Bavarian State Government on the Bavarian State Flag and the Service Flags for Motor Vehicles, of 16th November 1953; Bavarian Law and Official Gazette 1953, p. 193.
1
(1) The Bavarian state flag is the striped flag or the lozengy flag.
(2) The striped flag consists of two equally wide horizontal stripes in the state colours, white over blue.
(3) The basic form of the lozengy flag contains 21 white and blue lozenges (rolls) [i.e. little breads], including lozenges cut by the edges of the flag. In long and slender flags the number of lozenges can be increased. In any case, the upper right corner of the flag cloth is reserved for a cut white lozenge.]

Contribution and translation by M. Schmöger, 28 January 2001


Executive Order on Flags of 1954

Vollzugsvorschriften der Bayerischen Staatsregierung über die bayerische Staatsflagge und die Dienstflaggen für Kraftfahrzeuge, vom 15. Januar 1954; Bayerisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt 1954, S. 131-132
Zu 1
(1) Die Streifenflagge und die Rautenflagge werden als gleichberechtigte Staatsflaggen verwandt. Die Wahl der einen oder anderen Art der Staatsflagge bleibt den Behörden überlassen.

[Executive Order of the Bavarian State Government on the Bavarian State Flags and Service Flags for Motor Vehicles, of 15th January 1954; Bavarian Law and Official Gazette 1954, p. 131-132.
Ad 1
(1) The striped flag and the lozengy flag are used as equal state flags. The choice of the one or the other type of the state flag is left to the authorities.]

Contribution and translation by M. Schmöger, 28 January 2001


Regulation on Flags of 1971

Verwaltungsanordnung über die bayerischen Staatsflaggen und die Dienstflaggen an Kraftfahrzeugen, vom 16. Februar 1971; Bayerisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt 1971, S. 169-171.
1
(1) Bayerische Staatsflaggen sind die Streifenflagge und die Rautenflagge; Streifenflagge und Rautenflagge stehen einander gleich.
(2) Die Streifenflagge besteht aus zwei gleich breiten Querstreifen in den Landesfarben, oben weiß, unten blau.
(3) Die Rautenflagge enthält mindestens einundzwanzig weiße und blaue Rauten (Wecken); die von den Rändern der Flagge angeschnittenen Rauten werden mitgezählt. Je nach Größe und Form der Flaggen kann sich die Anzahl der Rauten erhöhen. In jedem Fall ist aber die die rechte obere Ecke des Flaggentuchs für eine angeschnittene weiße Raute bestimmt.

[Regulation on the Bavarian State Flag and the Service Flags for Motor Vehicles, of 16th February 1971; Bavarian Law and Official Gazette 1971, p. 169-171.
1
(1) The Bavarian state flags are the striped flag and the lozengy flag. The striped flag and the lozengy flag have equal rights.
(2) The striped flag consists of two equally wide horizontal stripes in the state colours, white over blue.
(3) The lozengy flag contains at least twenty-one white and blue lozenges (rolls) [i.e. little breads], including lozenges cut by the edges of the flag. According to the size and form of the flags the number of lozenges can be increased. In any case, the upper right corner of the flag cloth is reserved for a cut white lozenge.]

Contribution and translation by M. Schmöger, 28 January 2001