Origin of the coats of arms of German federal states

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The origins of the coats of arms of German federal states covers the historical context for the current arms of the German länder.

After the end of the Third Reich, Germany had lost significant parts of its territory and was divided into four occupation zones. Several former states were split between two or more of these zones. The historical state of Prussia, which spread over more than half the territory of Germany, was officially abolished by the Allies; and several new states were formed from its former lands while other parts were annexed by Poland or the USSR.

Some of these states were direct successors of former states, although the former borders changed; others were new constructions. In some cases parts of former states were declared states; in other cases, parts of different states formed a new state. Only the historic city-states of Hamburg and Bremen survived the end of the Third Reich without significant changes of their territory.

The Federal Republic was joined by the Saarland in 1957 and by five states of the former German Democratic Republic in 1990. Each of these states adopted new arms upon joining the federation, by combining the centuries-old coats of the former states (or ruling houses) from whose territories they were formed.

Breakdown of arms and historical versions[edit]

Coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg[edit]

Coat of arms of Bavaria[edit]

Coat of arms of Berlin[edit]

Coat of arms of Brandenburg[edit]

Coat of arms of Bremen[edit]

Coat of arms of Hamburg[edit]

Coat of arms of Hesse[edit]

Coat of arms of Lower Saxony[edit]

Coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern[edit]

Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westphalia[edit]

Coat of arms of Rhineland-Palatinate[edit]

Coat of arms of Saarland[edit]

Coat of arms of Saxony[edit]

Coat of arms of Saxony-Anhalt[edit]

Coat of arms of Schleswig-Holstein[edit]

Coat of arms of Thuringia[edit]