Vessels sailing under the German country flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The Germany country flag is colored by three equal horizontal bars colored black, red and gold from top to bottom, respectively. This flag was originally adopted in 1848. It has subsequently remained unchanged since 1949, when it was permanently restored after a series of changes related to political upheaval. The colors represent determination (black), Hardiness and bravery (red) and generosity (gold).