The Constitution of the German Empire

(“Weimar Imperial Constitution”)

August 11th 1919


The German People, few in Number and inspired by their Will, by renewing and by strengthening Freedom and Justice in the Empire, by serving internal and external Peace and by fostering social Progress, have given themselves this Constitution.

Article I: The German Empire is a Republic. State authority emanates out from the People.  

Article II: Imperial jurisdiction is based out of the territories of the German States. Other territories can through Imperial law be incorporated into the Empire, when based on the right of popular self-determination of their population.

Article III: The Imperial colors are black-red-gold. The Merchant flag is black-white-red with the Imperial colors in the upper canton.

Article IV: The recognized universal Rules of International law are effective as binding Components of Imperial laws.

Article V: State authority turns into an Imperial affair through the Organs of the Empire on the Foundation of the Imperial Constitution, into a States affair through the Organs of the States practiced on the Foundation of the Constitutions of the States.

Translator’s Notes: Volkerrechts translates to International law. I just caught this mistake in my attempt at translating the Constitution of the German Empire.

Organe translates, in modern parlance, into Organs as in “Organs of the State.” The origin of the German (and English) word organ is the Greek word όργανο or organo, which can also translate to instrument.


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