AUSTRIA SINCE 1918
 


 

NATIONAL & STATE FLAGS
 

The collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1918 cut its German-speaking heartland adrift. The immediate sequel was the proclamation of a Republic of German Austria (Republik Deutschösterreich) that aspired to unite with Germany. But this was disallowed by the victorious Allied powers and in 1919 a Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich) was proclaimed instead. The new state was a shadow of its former self, with a population of just six and a half million—the German-speaking subjects of Bohemia and other former Habsburg territories being excluded. In the postwar period Austria was beset by economic problems and political instability. As in Germany, paramilitary organizations arose on both the Left and the Right. An Austrian branch of the Nazi Party was established in the early 1920s and its growing influence was a major factor in the March 1933 coup that suppressed the Republic. All parties of the Right except the Nazis joined together in the Fatherland Front (Vaterländische Front). All other parties including the Nazis, were banned. Austria was tranformed into an authoritarian Federal State (Bundesstaat Österreich) with Engelbert Dollfus as chancellor. This "Austrofascist" regime lasted until 1938, when the Anschluß united Austria to the German Reich.

In 1945 Austria was separated from Germany and the the Republic was reestablished. Thought the country was occupied for a time by the victorious Allies, Austria was treated more as a liberated than a defeated country and most of its postwar political figures had an anti-Nazi background. The country's recovery was greatly assisted by American aid both public and private.
The Austrian State Treaty (1955) brought the occupation to an end and Austria was proclaimed to be fully independent and perpetually neutral, a status that the country has maintained since then though it is now a member of the European Union. Modern Austria is a federal republic consisting of nine states.



 

REPUBLIC OF GERMAN AUSTRIA •  1918-19
 

 

Provisional National Flag


The flag adopted by the Republic of German Austria was that of the former Austrian Crown Lands, minus the crowned coat of arms.
 

REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA •  1919-33


 

National Flag & Civil Ensign  •  National- und Handelsflagge


 

State Flag & Ensign  •  Bundesdienstflagge


The Republic of Austria adopted the plain red-white red flag as its national flag and civil ensign. With the coat of arms of the state added it was the flag for government authorities on land and water. The black eagle was crowned with a civic crown, bore on its breast a shield striped in the national colors and held in its talons a sickle and hammer symbolizing the peasants and workers of Austria.

 

FEDERAL STATE OF AUSTRIA  •  1933-38

 

National Flag & Civil Ensign  •  National- und Handelsflagge
 

 

State Flag & Ensign  •  Bundesdienstflagge
 


Variant Flags of the Fatherland Front (Vaterländische Front)

Flag Used 1933-36


Flag Used 1936-38


Under the authoritarian Federal State, the Austrian national flag was unchanged but the state flag bore a modified coat of arms: the eagle was double headed, each head was surrounded by a golden nimbus, and the hammer and sickle were deleted. A flag was also introduced for the Fatherland Front and it was  authorized to be flown together with the national and state flags, but only within the state borders. It was based on the national flag and displayed the VF emblem, the so-called crutch-cross (Kruckenkreuz). In 1936 a white-green chevron was added at the hoist in compliment to the Home Guard (Heimatschutz), a right-wing paramilitary organization, whose colors they were. All these flags were abolished in 1938 when the Anschluß united Austria to Germany.

 

REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA SINCE 1945

 

National Flag & Civil Ensign  •  National- und Handelsflagge

 

State Flag & Ensign  •  Bundesdienstflagge

 

FLAGS OF THE AUSTRIAN FEDERAL STATES

 

Burgenland 

 

Catinthia (Kärnten)

 

Lower Austria (Niederösterreich)

 

Salzburg

 

Styria (Steiermark)

 

Tyrol (Tirol)

 

Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)

 

Vienna (Wien)

 

Vorarlberg


In 1945 the restored Republic of Austria readopted the flags used between 1919 and 1933. The state coat of arms was modified, however, the eagle being given manacles with a broken chain to symbolize Austria's liberation. The flags of the federal states (
Bundesländer) were adopted from 1945 onward and like the Austrian flag they come in two versions, with and without the state coat of arms. Most are similar and some are identical to those used in the late Habsburg period, for instance that of Upper Austria.
 



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