The purely political nature of the purchase is shown by the fact that the Princes of Liechtenstein never visited their new principality for almost 100 years!
The Coat of Arms of the Princes of Liechtenstein, and therefore the country, are purely dynastic. The first quarter shows the Arms of Silesia (a crowned Eagle with a 'Shamrock Moon' on its breast); the second the Arms of the Kuenring family (very similar to Saxony); the third the Arms of the Duchy of Troppau (parted red and white); and the fourth the Arms of the County of Rietberg (a crowned 'Virgin Eagle' with the head and breasts of a woman). The base of the Arms is occupied by the Hunting Horn of the Duchy of Jägerndorf. The Arms of the Princely House itself are quite simply the colours of the House - yellow and red - and are placed on an Inescutcheon. The whole shield is surrounded by a purple or red mantle with ermine lining and gold fringes and tassels. The whole is ensigned by the Princely Hat.The Arms are sometimes used alone and thus form the Lesser Arms of Liechtenstein. When shown alone, the Arms are usually ensigned by the Princely Hat as shown to the right.
There is apparently, therefore, no differencing of the Arms with Labels or ducal Quarterings. But that is largely the German tradition where family members share the same Coat of Arms State authorities, offices, departments and State institutes.
- The country of Liechtenstein.
- The State/Government Flag.
- The Ruling Prince (and therefore, presumably, other members of the Liechtenstein Royal Family).
- The Ruling House of Liechtenstein or old Flag of Liechtenstein.
Between the purchase of what became Liechtenstein by the Ruling Princes, in 1719, and 1764, the Flag of Liechtenstein reflected the livery colours of the Liechtenstein Family, namely yellow over red, which is still seen on the dynastic Inescutcheon on the Coat of Arms.
In 1764 Prince Joeph Wenzel approved the use of blue over red which had been used unofficially and are said to represent blue skies and red home fires. This Flag was granted official status as a national flag with the new Constitution of October 1921.
However, a problem was stumbled upon in 1936 at, of all places, the Berlin Olympic Games, as the Flag of Haiti was identical! The Government decided to add the gold Princely Hat to distinguish Liechtenstein as a principality and this change was officially adopted on 24th June the following year. A peculiarity of the Princely Hat is that, whichever way the Flag is flown (and there is a tradition within Central Europe for flying flags vertically as well as the traditional way, horizontally) the Princely Hat is always the right way up.
The second Flag is that of the Government, a State Flag, and replaces the gold Princely Hat with a full representation of the Coat of Arms at the centre.
The third Flag is that of the Ruling Prince and therefore, presumably, the Royal Family. It shows the State Flag with a yellow/gold Border from the colours of the Family House.
The fourth and final Flag is the old Flag of Liechtenstein, used from 1719 to 1764, and a Standard of the dynamic Family Colours.