FAQ – East Frisian flag

1 Which East Frisian flag is the ‘correct’ flag?

The East Frisian tricolor is black, red and blue. Why? See 2.

2 Is the East Frisian flag an official flag?

At the Landschaft assembly (of the Ostfriesische Landschaft) in December 1956, a flag passage for the constitution of the Ostfriesische Landschaft was passed, which established the East Frisian colors as the official flag for the Ostfriesische Landschaft. This provision was confirmed by the state government in Hanover in 1957 (NLA AU Dep. 1 N No. 3476), so that since then authorities have also been able to fly the East Frisian flag on official occasions. Since then, the flag has belonged to all East Frisian administrative units (districts, municipalities, etc.).

3 Are municipalities allowed to fly the flag with the coat of arms (with the chief families)?

The coat of arms is older than the East Frisian flag and the East Frisian flags with the coat of arms are also sold more than the flags without the coat of arms, but unfortunately this flag has no official status. There are also communities that hoist the East Frisian tricolor with a community coat of arms. These flags can have official status provided that communities have adopted them as their colors.

4 Does the Lower Saxony coat of arms law only require the state, federal and European flags?

No it does not. The Lower Saxony Coat of Arms Act prescribes how the state flag and state coat of arms are designed. In the implementing regulations for the Lower Saxony Coat of Arms Act you can find under 1.4: “The public bodies subject to state supervision […] are recommended to also flag their offices on the specified days.” Municipalities are therefore allowed to decide for themselves within the law about their flag display; they are only recommended to stick to the flag display days.

5 Does the Federal Flag Regulation only prescribe the state, federal and European flags?

The Federal Flag Regulations only apply to town halls owned by the federal government; town halls owned by the municipality remain unaffected.

6 Who decides on the flag?

The municipality > see question 4.

7 Why do (East) Frisians have the right to display flags?

The Frisians are one of the four state and European recognized national minorities in Germany. The other minorities are the Danes, Sorbs and Sinti & Roma. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities came into force in the Federal Republic of Germany on February 1, 1998. Already in the ‘Foreword’ you can read that a democratic society should create suitable conditions that “… express [the minorities’] own identity …” (or preserve/develop).

8 Is the East Frisian flag already hoisted?

In the municipality of Ihlow, an East Frisian flag already hangs in front of the town hall. In some other communities, the local council is still discussing the East Frisian flag.