Last modified: 2020-03-09 by klaus-michael schneider
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The present German federal state of Saarland did not exist before World War One. The area had been part of Bavaria and Prussia. The Saargebiet was firstly created by the Treaty of Versailles from 28 Jun 1919, in force 20 Jan 1920. It stayed formally a German territory, but under the auspices of the League of Nations and administered by France.
On 28 July 1920 the Governmental Commission gave ordinance for a quartered coat-of-arms, showing emblems of Saar cities. A flag was also created: three equal stripes, horizontally divided blue, white and black. The colours were derived from the Arms' colours, but they could also be interpreted as a combination of the Prussian black and white and the Bavarian white and blue flag.
Both the Arms and the flag were in use until 1 Mar 1935, when the Saar was reintegrated into the German Reich. Since the German Empire at that time was governed by the Nazis, who centralised power in Berlin, no new arms or flags for the Saar were created.
Dieter Linder, 18 Jan 1998
This flag was only used by the authorities of the territory. It was never popular. The people used the German black-white-red and more and more the Swastika flag by about 1935.
Pascal Vagnat, 22 Apr 1998
In the "Fifth Report of the Saar Basin Governing Commission", published in The League of Nations Official Journal, we find some information relating to the arms and flag of the Saar during the League of Nations period from 1920 to 1935.
The Governing Commission introduced arms and flag for the Saar to "emphasize the political autonomy of the Saar Territory." It is explained that "The arms combine the arms of the four principal towns of the Territory."
Further, the English language version of the text explains that "The colour of the field of the coat-of-arms of the Territory was chosen from the three colours of the Saar-flag, black, white and blue (arranged in horizontal stripes, the black in the lower portion, the blue in the upper portion)."
This suggests that the flag was the primary symbol from which the colours of the arms were taken. However, the French language text states: Les couleurs du champ des armes du Territoire ont donné les trois couleurs du drapeau de la Sarre indicating the opposite.
Source: League of Nations Official Journal, Vol. 1, 1920, pp. 65-66.
Further details on the arms are found in the Annex to the report:
"At its Meeting on July 21st, 1920, the Governing Commission decided that the Coat of Arms of the Saar Basin Territory should be as follows:
- First. Sable, a rowel argent debruising two mallets of the same.
- Second. Argent, a rose gules.
- Third: Argent, a sun rising or.
- Fourth. Azure, a lion argent between four crosses of the same."
Source: League of Nations Official Journal, Vol. 1, 1920, pp. 78.
Note also that the date reported is a bit earlier than the adoption date given in our pages. Probably the first date is the date of adoption, whereas the second, later date is the date of publication.
Jan Oskar Engene, 9 Dec 2004
The charges of the 1st quarter modified the city arms of St. Ingbert. the 2nd quarter displayed the arms of the former St. Johann city. The 3rd quarter displayed the city arms of Saarlouis without chief. The 4th quarter displayed the lion from the city arms of Saarbrücken.
Source: Roman Klimeš: "Symbole des Saarlands 1920 bis heute", published in Flaggenkurier No.35, pp.17-26, Berlin 2012
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Mar 2020
Further, on page 79 an illustration labelled Stempel der Regierungskommission des Saargebiets (Seal of the Governing Commission of the Saar Territory) is provided. In addition to the arms, the seal bears the inscription Regierungskommission des Saargebiets and "13.2.1920". The seal is flanked by two torches.
Jan Oskar Engene, 9 Dec 2004
back to Saarland main page click here.