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Protocol Office Article 2012.04.01 Reg­u­lar­ly re­cur­ring gen­er­al flag dis­play days

Unlike other countries, Germany does not provide for displaying the flag every day at all federal buildings, installations and facilities nation-wide. Exceptions are made for the highest federal authorities in Berlin and Bonn, for the central office of the German Bundesbank in Frankfurt (Main) and for the Bundeswehr. And flags are displayed daily at both official residences of the Federal President in Berlin and Bonn, the official buildings of the Office of the Federal President, the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat in Berlin as well as the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. For many decades, all other federal buildings nation-wide have displayed flags only on special days listed in the Federal Government Decree concerning flag displays at official buildings as an additional way to express and remind the public of the special significance of the occasion. Thus the Federal Republic of Germany is traditionally somewhat more reticent about displaying the flag than other countries. The Federal Government believes that displaying the flag every day would mean that the special occasions listed below would no longer receive extra attention. 

Section II of the Federal Government Decree concerning flag displays at official buildings, in force since 2 April 2005, states: 

“Flags shall be displayed on the following days without any special directive:

a) on the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism (27 January)

b) on Labour Day (1 May)

c) on Europe Day (9 May)

d) on the anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law (23 May)

e) on the anniversary of 17 June 1953

f) on the anniversary of 20 July 1944

g) on the Day of German Unity (3 October)

h) on the Day of National Mourning (second Sunday before the first Sunday in Advent)

i) on the day of the elections to the German Bundestag and

j) on the day of the elections to the European Parliament.

Flags are to be flown at half-mast on the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism and on the Day of National Mourning.

Flags are to be displayed daily at the official buildings of the highest federal authorities in Berlin and Bonn. 

From 1955 until 1983, flags were also to be displayed on New Year’s Day. 

The Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism (27 January) was included in the amended Federal Government Decree in 2000. 

Europe Day has been a regularly recurring general flag display day since 1983; originally observed on 5 May, it has been observed on 9 May since 2005. 

Flags have been displayed in the Federal Republic for 17 June, the anniversary of the 1953 uprising in the German Democratic Republic, since 1955. 

The anniversary of the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944 has been a regularly recurring general flag display day since 1964. 

From 1955 until 1958, the anniversary of the constitutive sessions of the German Bundestag and Bundesrat on 7 September 1949 was a regularly recurring general flag display day for the National Day of Remembrance for the German People. By proclamation of the Federal President of 11 June 1963 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 397), 17 June, the Day of German Unity, was then declared National Day of Remembrance for the German People. 

In 1991, 3 October was declared the Day of German Unity and has been a regularly recurring general flag display day ever since.

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