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Ottfried Neubecker, Ph.D.

 photograph of Neubecker (circa 1980)


Born Otto Friedrich Neubecker, 22 March 1908 (Berlin, Germany); earned doctorate 1931 (dissertation:  Das deutsche Wappen 1806-1871); served as advisor on symbols to the German government, professor at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Mainz; worked as a heraldic designer and consultant for Pro Heraldica and numerous other businesses; lived in Berlin, Wiesbaden, and Stuttgart; was the world's leading vexillologist of the mid-20th century; died 8 July 1992.


  • Wrote scores of vexillological and heraldic articles and many major books including Die deutschen Farben (1929), Historische Fahnen (1932), Fahnen and Flaggen (1939), Flaggenbuch (1939), and Heraldry:  Sources, Symbols and Meaning (1976).
  • Created an extensive library of books and documentation on flags, heraldry, orders and regalia, uniforms, general symbolism, and seals and lectured widely on those subjects.
  • Discriminated against under the Nazi regime because his wife was Jewish, for years Neubecker was unable to have his name appear on books he authored; having safely transferred his collection by mail to West Germany after World War II, he fled Soviet-occupied Berlin.
  • Served as president of FIAV (1973-1981) and as its secretary general (1981-1983), founded the German heraldic society Wappen-Herold, edited its journal Der Tappert, and was active in other professional associations and conferences.



Neubecker color

arms of Saxe-Meiningen (watercolor by Neubecker at age 11)



MOTTO:  Tandem Bona Causa Triumphat (in the end the good cause triumphs).

THE NEUBECKER COLLECTION:  Neubecker's vexillological collections currently belong to the Flag Research Center (except for illustrated flag cards owned by the Flag Institute); his heraldic and other collections were acquired by Pro Heraldica.

MORE ABOUT NEUBECKER:  Sven Tito Achen, "Ottfried Neubecker at 75," The Flag Bulletin, No. 100; "The Life and Times of Ottfried Neubecker," Flagmaster, No. 72; No. 152 of The Flag Bulletin (devoted entirely to the Neubecker collection).

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