Last modified: 2017-01-28 by rob raeside
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image by Giuseppe Bottasini, 21 June 1996
Austria-Hungary is often referred to as black-yellow monarchy.
Željko Heimer, 1 December 1995
The black-yellow bicolor was not widely used. It dates from the 1700's
to 1915, but most Austro-Hungarian flags changed in 1915. It is not clear
if the modified flags were used from 1915-1918.
Norman Martin, 11 October 2001
This flag was and remains the colors and banner the Habsburg-Lorraine
Stan Brin, 19 March 2003
The black-yellow colours were "Landesfarben" (or were they called
Reichsfarben?) of the Hapsburg Monarchy before the dualization in 1867 and
afterwards they remained the dynastic colours. Up to the end of Austria-Hungary
there was no concept of the "national flag" as we know it today. The closest
thing to the modern flag was the civil merchant ensign, used on the ships but that ensign was not (or was not meant to be) used on land.
Each of the halves of the Austria-Hungary had its own flag (Austrian and
Hungarian) while some of the lands (notably Croatia, probably also Bohemia
and a few others) insisted (and at various times succeeded) to fly their own
flags on land. The black-yellow decorations in form of flags in the dynastic
colour were then used (only?) on special occasions (like imperial visits, I
remember seeing some photos where these are used, as usual in the region, as
long hanging flags on the lamp posts and similar, together and beside the
similar "local" flags). The state offices (post offices, railway buildings
etc.) used the "local" flags (Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian... as
appropriate) on their buildings and the black-yellow flag was not usually
hoisted on those.
However, according to some reports (of which I can only remember a reference from a Croatian movie, so it may not be quite authentic), the black-yellow flags were used in Dalmatia for flagging on land for holidays (just as the national flag would be used today). I do not know how often this was and if it was regulated somehow. Also, it may be possible that the use of the black-yellow flag on land was regulated differently in different parts of the Monarchy.
Zeljko Heimer, 20 September 2007