Before we discuss what the Holy Roman Empire flag represents, it is important to establish that it was never a national flag. It was never used or symbolized as their national flag.

It was more of a banner for the empire, which should be an imperial authority. The flag has a black eagle made on it with its wings widespread. It is used in two different backgrounds, white and gold.

It is highly important to understand that because the flag represents the prevailing emperor as well, with every new emperor or after every succession, amendments to the flag had to be made. This had to be done to have the best representation of the emperor.

The Holy Roman Empire flag symbolizes several things. These have been discussed one by one in great detail down below:

Double Headed Eagle:

The twin halos tend to represent the authority and the power that God had bestowed upon the current emperor. The double-headed eagle also shows the imperial power given to the prevailing ruler of the Roman Empire.

It was not until the 14th century that the eagle on the flag became double-headed. This was done to shed light on the activities and moves made by the Byzantine Empire when they were trying to take over the Roman Empire.

They were their worst enemies. At that point, some of the banners had a halo effect on the double-headed eagles, and some did not.

Yellow/Gold Background:

The yellow background used in the Roman Empire Flag was there because the prominent religion at that point was Catholicism. Yellow color is usually associated with that. The yellow background used also represents the emperor of that time.

White Background:

Sometimes, instead of the yellow background, the double-headed eagle was made on the white background, which was also used to represent the empire that they had.

Representation of the Old Flag

Before having a yellow flag with a double-headed eagle made on it, the Holy Roman Emperor had a white glad about a red cross on it. This flag represented the Hanseatic League.

This was because the hanseatic ships were identified by their red and white color. That is where they adopted the symbolism of their flag.

Sooner or later, they encountered war, and in order to call in a truce, they showed a flag that had a white cross on a red background. This flag, however, could not survive for a long time. During a bombing raid, this flag was completely destroyed.

 Within the Roman Empire, the imperial cities which were then free had different flags. However, they used bits and pieces of the original flag as well. Earlier, a cross was also used because it used to represent the most prominent religion of that time in the empire, which was Christianity.


There were several Christian states in the Holy Roman Empire. Interesting is the fact that this Red Cross was there even before the 1200 century.

The flag of the Holy Roman Empire has a deep-rooted cause and history associated with it, which is very hard to miss out on. If you have any more details regarding the Holy Roman Empire flag, do share them with us in the comment section given below.



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