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Thuringia County and Municipal Flags (Germany)

Landkreis- und Gemeindeflaggen Thüringens

Last modified: 2016-10-18 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: thüringen |
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[Thuringia civil flag] 3:5  image by M. Schmöger, 7 Oct 2001 See also:

How to use
Any other municipal entity not listed below, and many boroughs and villages, still having a flag, can be found either by clicking upon their proper counties listed below or, if you don't know the county by trying the search function of Stefan Schwoon's database !

County Flags (Kreisflaggen): County-Free City Flags (Flaggen kreisfreier Städte): Stefan Schwoon, 17 Feb 2001

Ulle 1999 and Ulle 2000 make up a very detailed article (in German) about the flags of the counties and the county-free cities in this state. The images of all arms are based on the excellent pictures at the Thuringia official website [unfortunately no longer available online].
Stefan Schwoon, 17 Feb 2001

Thuringia is subdivided into 17 counties and 6 county-free cities. . A clickable map of Thuringia showing these subdivisions can be found at Ralf Hartemink's WIKIMEDIA.
The composition of the coats of arms of the Thuringian counties are exemplary for German counties in general. In most of them the symbols of the (historical) states that ruled over (parts of) the county are shown and combined with local symbols. With knowledge of these symbols just seeing the arms usually gives you quite a good idea where the county is located. The most common symbols in the Thuringian county arms are as follows (very short):

  • Saxony (various duchies): ten black and yellow stripes with a green crancelin.
  • Archbishopric of Mainz: white wheel in red field.
  • Principalities of Reuss [Reuss Fürstentümer]: yellow lion crowned red in a black field.
  • Margraviate of Meissen [Markgrafschaft Meissen]: black lion in a yellow field.
  • Landgraviate of Thuringia [Landgrafschaft Thüringen]: in a blue field, a red and white striped lion with a golden crown.
  • County of Henneberg [Grafschaft Henneberg] : in a golden field, a black hen standing on a green hill (canting, because Henneberg translates to 'hen mountain')
  • County of Orlamünde [Grafschaft Orlamünde]: a black lion in a golden field covered with red hearts.

Stefan Schwoon, 12 Mar 2001

The present counties were created during the Thuringian municipal reform in 1994, which reduced their number from 35 to 17. The previous counties were created in 1952, when the states in the German Democratic Republic were abolished and replaced by districts (Bezirke). Until 1990, the counties did not have their own symbols. Between 1990 and 1994, some of the old counties might have adopted flags, but I don't know any of them.
Stefan Schwoon, 13 Mar 2001

Seven out of the 16 counties with flags use the Thuringian colours white-red while one uses red-white.
Stefan Schwoon, 16 Mar 2001

The flags, I sent are based on the articles Ulle 1999 and Ulle 2000. In the meantime, Jens Pattke has noted some differences between Ulle's articles and a publication of the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen (LZT, Central institute for political education in Thuringia) .
I compared the publication "Wappen und Flaggen des Freistaats Thüringen und seiner Landkreise sowie kreisfreien Städte", published by Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringens (LZT), 2nd edition, with two articles about Thüringen by H. Ulle in the Flaggenkurier. Inconsistent were:

  • Landkreis Gotha: white-red banner (LZT) or red-white banner (Flaggenkurier)?
  • Stadt Jena: blue-white-yellow banner (LZT) or blue-yellow-white banner (Flaggenkurier)?
  • Landkreis Nordhausen: yellow-red banner (LZT) or red-yellow banner (Flaggenkurier)?
  • Saale-Holzland-Kreis: green-white-red (1:2:1) horizontally striped banner (LZT) or green-white-red (1:2:1) vertically striped banner (Flaggenkurier)?
  • Landkreis Sömmerda: the first designed flag in the Flaggenkurier was adopted on 20 December 1999 (according to LZT).

  • I believe he wanted to send enquiries to the counties, affected by the differences, but I don't know if he got any answers.
    See also: Thüringen: Kreise at Dirk Schönberger's Administrative Divisions of the World website
    Stefan Schwoon, 21 Feb 2002


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