The arms and flags of the Landkreis Erding (Upper Bavaria)

Marcus E.V. Schmöger

Overview about the flags of the Landkreis Erding

In contrast to municipal coats-of-arms municipal flags have no long tradition in the German inland. Therefore they had long been neglected by vexillologists as well as heraldists. Comprehensive books on municipal coats-of-arms such as the "Stadler" just mention them incidentally, but do not show illustrations. Beside some general overviews on municipal flags and county flags only in more recent times there had been publications of municipal flags to a larger extent; however, to my knowledge, there had been no detailed and illustrated overview of all the flags of one county in Germany.

Municipal flags had been used almost exclusively by larger cities (e.g. Augsburg, Munich, Ingolstadt, Nuremberg) in Bavaria well into the mid 20th century, frequently derived from the colours of own military units as in the case of Augsburg. In the county Erding, however, there is no evidence for the use of municipal flags before the 50ies of the 20th century. The first flags officially adopted were the one of the County Erding (1957) and of the town Erding (1963). However, the market-towns Isen and Wartenberg and the town Dorfen, all three using historical coats-of-arms, had derived "municipal colours" (also used as flags) from these arms, in part based on erroneous tincture. In spite of contrary claims there is no evidence known to the author, that these flags actually had been used before the 50ies of the 20th century. Only after the municipal reform of 1970-1978 a surge of flag adoptions commenced. Therefore none of the municipalities absorbed during the municipal reform had an own flag. Today 25 out of 26 municipalities have an own flag (the only one not having a flag is Bockhorn). Of these flags two (Dorfen, Wartenberg) derive from supposed historical colours; one has been adopted in the 60ies (Erding), 19 between 1973 and 1999 (Sankt Wolfgang, Inning a. Holz, Moosinning, Walpertskirchen, Lengdorf, Finsing, Kirchberg, Ottenhofen, Hohenpolding, Steinkirchen, Buch am Buchrain, Neuching, Pastetten, Wörth, Isen, Eitting, Oberding, Berglern, Langenpreising); three flags are used without official adoption (Forstern, Fraunberg, Taufkirchen/ Vils). Besides also the County had adopted an own flag in 1957, readopted after the county reform.

As it is usual in Bavaria, the flags are essentially simple striped flags in colours derived from the arms, in most cases also containing the arms. Eleven of the flags consist of two stripes, fifteen of three stripes (eight of these contain three colours, the other seven only two colours). Eighteen of the flags contain the colour white, twelve red, eleven yellow, eleven blue, six green and two black. The most frequently used form of the flag (see illustration) is the "Banner" (hanging flag), in most cases containing the arms in the upper third of the flag. Furthermore there are also other variants of vertical flags (flapping flags and hanging flags), but no horizontal flags. A very special form is used by the town Erding: beside the usual hanging flags there are flags with a streamer ("Schwenkel"). I want to point to two other specialties: Pastetten uses a hanging flag, that is swallowtailed at the bottom; Sankt Wolfgang uses flapping flags striped horizontally and not vertically, furthermore recently so-called "deko-flags" with the municipal logo.


(This is an abridged version of the general part of an article under the title "Bayerische Kommunalflaggen: Landkreis Erding" (Bavarian Municipal Flags: County Erding), published in Flaggenkurier).

This webpage was last modified 2001-07-14 by Marcus Schmöger