The German Hakenkreuz Flag 1933-1945

by “Fornax”

Image by Fornax Image by Fornax Image by Fornax
Reverse Side Type 1
(reversed image)
Reverse Side Type 2
(reversed image)
Reverse Side Type 3
(mirror image)

The most common reason given for using the mirror image design on the reverse side is cost related. A large national flag was always sewn with double-ply (two layers) of cloth and always had the circle sewn on both sides, a more expensive process. The Handelsflagge was usually printed, not sewn, and usually was single-ply. The use of the mirror image Hakenkreuz design was simply the result of using the less expensive one layer cloth material and a way of eliminating potential reverse-shadowing of the dark Hakenkreuz on the white circle, especially in bright sun light. This applies also to the special merchant ensign with the Iron Cross in the canton.

        Let us examine these three flags closer:

  • The Party Flag (Parteiflagge)
  • The National Flag (Nationalflagge)
  • The Merchant Flag (Handelsflagge)

1. The Party Flag 1920-1945

Image by Fornax Image by Fornax
The Party Flag 1920-1945
(front or obverse side)
The Party Flag
(reverse side)

The first party flags turned up in the beginning of the 1920’s. They displayed the disk and Hakenkreuz in the center of the flag. The reverse side was the same as the obverse, i.e. both sides displayed a “right-facing” Hakenkreuz. There was some confusion after the war about these party flags. Allied soldiers deemed these flags to be “National flags,” so a lot of publications later maintained that the centered disk version was used until the end of the war. In fact, the only centered disk versions of the flag used after 1935 were on the Party flags of the NSDAP.

2. The National Flag 1933-1945

Image by António Martins Image by Fornax Image by Fornax
National Flag 1933-1935 National Flag 1933-1935 National Flag 1935-1945

The Hakenkreuz flag as national flag was adopted on March 13, 1933, in conjunction with the Black-White-Red striped flag. The position of the disk and Hakenkreuz on this first version of the national flag was centered. On September 15, 1935, the national flag was changed concerning the position of the Hakenkreuz. Henceforth, the regulations demanded the disk and Hakenkreuz be “slightly” set off from the center towards the flag pole. As the position was not defined very clearly by this regulation, there resulted a lot of complications as to the correct position of the Hakenkreuz and circle. So it became necessary to make a very distinct regulation. On June 18, 1937, a final regulation gave precise details as for the position of the disk. From that date on it was demanded that the center of the disk be moved exactly 1/20 of the length of the flag (in relation to the center of the flag) towards the flag pole. As it turned out, even this exact definition wasn´t always followed and some variants still existed after 1937. The reverse side of the national flag was to be the same as the obverse, i.e. both sides display a “right-facing” Hakenkreuz.

3. The Merchant Flag 1933-1945

Image by António Martins Image by Fornax Image by Fornax
Merchant Flag 1933-1935 Merchant Flag March-December 1933 Merchant Flag 1933-1945

The first Merchant flag which was introduced on March 31, 1933, was to be the same as the National flag, i.e. centered disk with Hakenkreuz, both sides displayed a “right-facing” Hakenkreuz. It was also used jointly with the black-white-red striped flag. However, on December 20, 1933, the Merchant flag was changed. The disk was set off “slightly” towards the flag pole. The official regulations showed the disk moved 15/75 towards the pole. The reverse side was changed to a “through and through” image, although it is not absolutely clear whether this change happened in December of 1933, or a little bit later. Until September of 1935, the off-centered version was confined to the merchant flag, but on September 15, 1935, merchant flag and national flag were “united” and henceforth identical except for their reverse side.

Images by FornaxSpecial Merchant Captain´s Flag (obverse and reverse sides) 1935-1945

There also existed a special merchant flag, called the “Merchant flag with the Iron Cross,” that was shown by merchant ships whose captain were former officers of the German Navy. In this flag an Iron Cross was added to the upper left corner of the Hakenkreuz flag.

OverView Summary
Find below a picture gallery showing both the sides of the different Hakenkreuz flags discussed in this article.

Images by Fornax

Source: Historical Flags of Our Ancestors

The Hakenkreuz Flag 卐


The Hakenkreuz flag is a in 1919 flag created by Adolf Hitler for the NSDAP. It combines the imperial (German Empire) colors black-white-red with the black Hakenkreuz (in English literally Hooked Cross) on a white disc on a red bunting. In 1935, she became the state flag of the German Reich, and is still the official national flag because the “liberation” was an illegal and unofficial act of the Allies and their masters.


The Hakenkreuz flag is since 15 September 1935 the Reich and national flag of the German Reich.

Interpretation of Adolf Hitler

Hitler suggested the Hakenkreuz for the National-Socialist movement in Mein Kampf as:

“The red colour stood for the social, white for the movement’s national thinking, the black Hakenkreuz, the mission of the struggle for the victory of Aryan people and at the same time with it the victory of the idea of ​​creative work, which itself was eternally anti-Semitic and will be anti-Semitic.”

He also wrote to the emergence of the flag:

“I myself – as Führer – did not occur immediately with my own design to the public, since it was possible that another would bring an equally good or maybe even better. In fact, a dentist from Starnberg has also delivered a not bad design, by the way, mine quite came close, only had one mistake that the Hakenkreuz was in composed with curved hooks on a white disc.

I myself had meanwhile after countless tests, a final form laid down: a flag of red bunting with a white disk in the middle and a black Hakenkreuz. After long trials I also found a definite relationship between the size of the flag and the size of the white disc, as well as the shape and thickness of the Hakenkreuz. And it just stuck.”

Since 1945

The use of the Hakenkreuz flag and all other flags of the National-Socialist Party are currently “prohibited” in the Republic of Austria (Ostmark) and the Federal Republic of Germany (the still occupied Greater German Reich).

In Austria (Ostmark), the prohibition act 1947 regulates the handling of National-Socialist organizations, ideas and their symbolism and suppressed by political legislation and corresponding tracking use.

Criminal code “use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations” showing the Hakenkreuz for political purposes – in the Federal Republic of Germany of § 86a of the penal code prohibits. But merchants who offer models with historically correct emblems from this period are in the FRG not safe from political persecution.

Source and translated from: Metapedia

Heil Deutschland (Deutschland du Land der Treue)


Deutschland du Land der Treue
Oh du mein Heimatland
Dir schwören wir aufs neue
Treue mit Herz und Hand.
Strahlend erstehest du wieder
Herrlich nach banger Nacht
Jubelt ihr deutschen Brüder
Deutschland ist neu erwacht!

Schwarz, weiß und rot
Grüßen und mahnen,
Seid getreu bis zum Tod!
Deutsche, seid Brüder,
Reicht euch die Hand!
Heil uns’rem Führer,
Heil dem Vaterland!

Heil dir du deutsche Jugend,
Erben der neuen Zeit,
Fügt euch zur Männertugend,
Stellt euch zum Kampf bereit,
Folget dem Ruf der Alten,
Siegreich und kampferprobt,
Dann bleibt das Reich erhalten,
Auch wenn der Sturmwind tobt!

Heil euch ihr deutschen Frauen,
Heil euch mit Herz und Hand,
Kämpfer voll Gottvertrauen
Gabt ihr dem Vaterland,
Gläubige, stolze, freie,
Frauen sind unser Glück,
Gebt uns die Waffenweihe,
Dann gibt es kein Zurück!

Folge dem Führer,
Reiche die Hand!
Heil Adolf Hitler,
Heil dem Vaterland!


Germany you country of fidelity
Oh you my homeland
Renewed we swear to you
Fidelity with heart and hand.
Radiantly you’ll rise again,
Shining, after an anxious night
Rejoice you German brothers
Germany has awoken!

Hakenkreuz flags,
Black, white and red
Greet and remind us,
Be faithful till death!
Germans, be brothers,
Join hands!
Hail our Führer,
Hail the fatherland!

Hail you German youth,
Heirs to the new time,
Become virtuous men,
Be prepared to fight,
Follow the guidance of the ancestors,
Victorious and battle-tested,
Then, the realm is maintained,
Even if the storm rages!

Hail you German women,
Well to you with heart and hand,
Fighters with faith in God
You gave the fatherland.
Faithful, proud, free,
Women are our fortune,
Bless us as soldiers,
Then, there is no going back!

Follow the Führer,
Reach out your hand!
Hail Adolf Hitler,
Hail the fatherland!

National-Socialist Flags and Banners

National-Socialist flags and banners were the government, the armed forces, the authorities and the organizations of the Third Reich as national and identification signs.

Kfz-Kommandostander_Reichsführer-SS,_Deutsches_Reich_1935_bis_1945Command car-pennant of the Reichsführer-SS, German Reich 1935 to 1945

German Reich (1933-1943) / Greater German Reich (1943-1945)


Head of State

Deputy of the Führer


Personal standards of Hermann Göring as Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich:

High Command of the Wehrmacht

High Command of the Luftwaffe

High Command of the Navy

High command of the Armed Forces

Sea Service Flags of the Coastal Countries (1933-1935)


  Car-pennants of the Order Police (1937-1945)
Car-pennants of the Volunteer Fire Department (1941-1945)

Flags and Standards of the German Armed Forces

Flags and Standards of the Army

Flags and Standards of the Troops

Source and translated form: Metapedia