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The state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has two coats of arms. They differ not only in appearance, but also in their use.
The large state coat of arms is used by the state parliament and the supreme authorities. It displays a shield divided into four segments. The upper right and lower left fields as seen by the bearer contain bull’s heads on a gold background. The bull’s heads represent the former Mecklenburg Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The red griffin on a silver background in the upper left field stands for Vorpommern. In the fourth field, the Brandenburg eagle refers to the historically close ties between Pommern and Brandenburg.
The small state coat of arms is used by minor state authorities. It is divided into two. From the bearer’s point of view, which is authoritative for describing coats of arms, the Mecklenburg bull’s head is located in the right half over a golden background. It is flanked on the left half of the coat of arms by the red Pommern griffin on a silver background.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s state flag is a colourful one: it consists of longitudinal stripes in the colours ultramarine, white, yellow, white and vermilion. The colours symbolise the union of Mecklenburg and Vorpommern to form today’s federal state. Blue, red and yellow are the colours of the Mecklenburg part, whilst blue and white have officially been the colours of the Prussian province of Pommern since 1882. The colour combination of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state flag is also reminiscent of the blue, white and red of old Mecklenburg sea flags and the white and red of many Hanseatic cities.
Apart from the state flag, the state authorities also use a service flag. It additionally displays the two heraldic animals of the Mecklenburg bull and the Pomeranian griffin. The historic flags of the regions of Mecklenburg and Vorpommern are also shown on official occasions.
The use of the state symbols is regulated in the state’s law on state emblems. The large state coat of arms is used by the state parliament and its president and also the state prime minister und the ministries. Various institutions such as the state constitutional court and the ombudsman are entitled to use the large state coat of arms.
The small state coat of arms is used by the minor state authorities. The right to make use of a coat of arms includes authority to use it in seals and letterheads and on printed matter and official signs. The small coat of arms is used to label service clothing for public service employees.
The state parliament flies the state flag and the flags of Mecklenburg and Vorpommern on official occasions. State agencies or municipalities fly the flag on days determined by the interior ministry. Institutions, associations and organisations in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern may use the state logo. Written approval from the Regional Marketing body is required.