The national flag of Austria has a very basic design. However, behind this design is strong symbolism. This flag is a horizontal triband of red and white. The colors were selected based on the coat of arms of the Babenberg dynasty.
These colors were selected based on a legend about Duke Leopold V. We’ll go more into detail behind this legend in the next section.
Colors of the Flag
The Austrian flag is a tricolor of red and white. The top and bottom bands are red, while the center band is white. It is thought that these colors are so significant to Austria because of the legend of Duke Leopold V. As the legend goes, the duke was fighting at the Siege of Acre when his coat was drenched in blood. His clothing underneath was unstained, and this resulted in the color combination of red, white, and red again.
It is said that after seeing this, the duke adopted the colors for his banner.
History of the Flag
The red and white tricolor has been used since the 13th century. The Habsburg dynasty used the colors read and white, although the national flag of the Monarchy at the time was black and yellow.
Later, the Austrian Navy under the rule of Emperor Joseph II had a naval ensign that used the red and white design along with a shield. When Austria-Hungary was dissolved in 1918, the flag was no longer used. The state of German Austria then adopted the triband in 1918. The design as it stands today was officially adopted by the nation on May 1, 1945.
The Austrian flag has been featured or included on multiple collector coins.