About the Franconia flag

The Franconian flag (German: Frankenfahne or Frankenflagge) is a symbol of Franconia, a region in North Bavaria and parts of Thuringia, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

The flag consists of two horizontal bands of equal thickness, the upper one is red, the lower one is white or heraldic silver. The Franconian Rake is usually placed in the centre. Also common is the word Franken ("Franconia") in white letters on a black field above the rake. The Franconian flag is neither a state symbol nor an emblem of sovereignty because Franconia is only a geographical or cultural region, not an administrative unit. It is used mainly on festival days or similar purposes by private individuals and clubs. On Franconia Day it may also be hoisted by the authorities. In the Franconian provinces the coat of arm of the respective province (Upper, Middle or Lower Franconia) may take the place of the Franconian Rake. The flag is also sometimes seen incorrectly with the colours reversed.

The flag takes its colours from the so-called Franconian Rake. This coat of arms first surfaced in the early 14th century on the gravestone of the Würzburg prince bishop, Wolfram Wolfskeel von Grumbach, as well as a seal for the village of Gerolzhofen. It was a symbol of Franconian ducal sovereignty, which the Wurzburg prince bishops nominally had. The field banners of the contingents of soldiers of the Franconian Circle within the Imperial Armyof the Holy Roman Empire also bore these colours. The flag was, however, not a symbol of the whole of Franconia because it was never a separate state. When, in 1835, a new Bavarian coat of arms was introduced, the officials responsible for the task ensured that the Franconian territories were recognised. They chose the Franconian Rake as the emblem of the whole of Franconia, which has since been integrated into the armorial achievement.