Flensburg (Danish: Flensborg, Low Saxon: Flensborg, North Frisian: Flansborj) is an independent town in the North of the German state Schleswig-Holstein. Flensburg is the centre of the region Southern Schleswig. After Kiel and Lübeck it is the third largest town in Schleswig-Holstein.
The nearest larger towns are Kiel (86 km south) and Odense in Denmark (92 km northeast).
Flensburg's city centre lies about 7 km from the Danish border.
In Germany, Flensburg is known for
- the nationwide database of traffic violators
- its beer Flensburger Pilsener, also called "Flens"
- the center of the Danish national minority in Germany
- the greeting Moin
- the large erotic mail-order companies Beate Uhse and Orion
- its handball team SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Flensburg is situated in the north of the German state Schleswig-Holstein, on the German-Danish border. After Westerland on Sylt it is Germany's northernmost town. Flensburg lies at the innermost tip of the Flensburg Fjord, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Flensburg's eastern shore is part of the Angeln peninsula.
Clockwise from the northeast, beginning at the German side of the Flensburg Fjord, the following communities in Schleswig-Flensburg
district and Denmark
's Region Syddanmark
all border on Flensburg:
Glücksburg (Amt-free town), Wees (Amt Langballig), Maasbüll, Hürup, Tastrup and Freienwill (all in Amt Hürup), Jarplund-Weding, Handewitt (Amt Handewitt), Harrislee (Amt-free community) and Aabenraa Municipality on the Danish side of the Flensburg Fjord.
The town of Flensburg is divided into 13 communities, which themselves are further divided into 38 statistical areas. Constituent communities have a two-place number and the statistical areas a three-place number.
The communities with their statistical areas:
- 01 Altstadt (Old Town) Lies somewhat down towards the sea rather than right downtown.
- 011 St. Nikolai
- 012 St. Marien
- 013 Nordertor
- 02 Neustadt (New Town)
- 03 Nordstadt
- 031 Kreuz
- 032 Galwik
- 033 Klues
- 04 Westliche Höhe
- 041 Stadtpark
- 042 Marienhölzung
- 043 St. Gertrud
- 044 Friedhof
- 05 Friesischer Berg
- 051 Exe
- 052 Museumsberg
- 053 Friedenshügel
- 06 Weiche
- 061 Sophienhof
- 062 Schäferhaus
- 07 Südstadt
- 071 Martinsberg
- 072 Rude
- 073 Peelwatt
- 08 Sandberg
- 081 Achter de Möhl
- 082 Adelbylund
- 083 Sünderup
- 09 Jürgensby
- 091 St. Johannis
- 092 St. Jürgen
- 093 Jürgensgaard
- 094 Sender
- 10 Fruerlund
- 101 Blasberg
- 102 Bohlberg
- 103 Hof
- 11 Mürwik
- 111 Stützpunkt
- 112 Osbek
- 113 Wasserloos
- 114 Friedheim
- 115 Solitüde
- 12 Engelsby
- 13 Tarup
Flensburg had been founded at the latest by 1200 at the innermost end of the Flensburg Fjord
settlers. In 1284, its town rights were confirmed and the town quickly rose to become one of the most important in the Duchy of Schleswig
. Unlike Holstein
, however, Schleswig did not belong to the German Empire. Flensburg was not a member of the Hanseatic League
, but it did maintain contacts with this important trading network.
Historians presume that there were several reasons for choosing this spot as a townsite:
- Shelter from heavy winds
- Trade route between Holstein and North Jutland (namely the Hærvejen or Ochsenweg, a name for a series of roads between Schleswig-Holstein and Jutland, possibly dating from the Bronze Age)
- Trade route between North Frisia and Angeln (Angelbovej)
- A good herring fishery
Herrings, especially kippered, were what brought about the blossoming of the town's trade in the Middle Ages. They were sent inland and to almost every European country.
On 28 October 1412, Queen Margaret I of Denmark died on board a ship in Flensburg Harbour of the Plague.
From time to time plagues such as bubonic plague, caused mainly by rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis – a parasite found on brown rats), "red" dysentery and other scourges killed a great deal of Flensburg's population. Lepers were strictly isolated, namely at the St.-Jürgen-Hospital (Helligåndshspital, built before 1290), which lay far outside the town's gates, where the St. Jürgen Church is nowadays. About 1500, syphilis also appeared. The church hospital "Zum Heiligen Geist" ("To the Holy Ghost") stood in Große Straße, now Flensburg's pedestrian precinct.
A Flensburger's everyday life was very hard, and the old transportation routes were bad. The main streets were neither paved nor lit at night. When they got too bad, citizens had to make the dung-filled streets passable with wooden pathways. Only the few upper-class houses had windows.
In 1485, a great fire struck Flensburg. Even storm tides beset the town at times.
Every household in the town kept livestock in the house and the yard. Townsfolk furthermore had their own cowherds and a swineherd.
Early modern times
After the Hanse
fell in the 16th century, Flensburg was said to be one of the most important trading towns in the Scandinavian
area. Even as far away as the Mediterranean
and the Caribbean
, Flensburg merchants were active. The most important commodities, after herring, were sugar
and whale oil
, the latter from whaling
off Greenland. Only the Thirty Years' War
put an end to this boom time as the town was becoming Protestant
and thereby ever more German culturally and linguistically, while the neighbouring countryside remained decidedly Danish.
In the 18th century, thanks to the rum trade, Flensburg had yet another boom. Cane sugar was imported from the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands) and refined in Flensburg. Only in the 19th century, as a result of industrialization, was the town at last outdone by competition from nearby cities such as Copenhagen and Hamburg.
The rum blended in Flensburg then became a secondary industry in West Indian trade, and as of 1864 no longer with the Danish West Indies, but rather with Jamaica, then ruled by the British. It was imported from there, blended, and sold all over Europe. There is nowadays only one active rum distillery in Flensburg, "A. H. Johannsen".
History as a German town
Between 1460 and 1864, Flensburg was, after Copenhagen, the second biggest port in the Kingdom of Denmark, but passed to the Kingdom of Prussia
after the Second Schleswig War
in 1864. There is still, however, a considerable Danish community in the town today. Some estimates put the percentage of Flensburgers who belong to it as high as 25%; other estimates put that percentage much lower. The SSW
political party representing the minority usually gains 20-25% of the votes in local elections. Before 1864, more than 70% belonged to the minority, witnessed even today by the great number of Danish surnames in the Flensburg telephone directory
(Asmussen, Claussen, Jacobsen, Jensen, Petersen,
etc.). The upper classes and the learnéd at that time, however, were German, and since 1864, the German language
has prevailed in the town.
On 1 April 1889, Flensburg became an independent city (kreisfreie Stadt) within the Province of Schleswig-Holstein, and at the same time still kept its status as seat of the Flensburg district. In 1920, the League of Nations decided that the matter of the German-Danish border would be settled by a vote. As a result of the plebiscite, and the way the voting zones were laid out, some of Flensburg's northern neighbourhoods were ceded to Denmark, whereas Flensburg as a whole voted with a great majority to stay in Germany.
In return for this great pro-German majority, the town of Flensburg was given a great event hall, the "Deutsches Haus", which was endowed by the government as "thanks for German loyalty".
During the Second World War, the town was left almost unscathed by the raids that laid other German cities waste. However, in 1943, 20 children died when their nursery school was bombarded, and shortly after the war ended, an explosion at a local munitions storage site claimed many victims.
In 1945, Admiral Karl Dönitz, who was briefly President of Germany once Adolf Hitler had appointed him his successor and then killed himself, fled to Flensburg with what was left of his government where they were arrested and unseated at the Navy School in Mürwik by British troops. Flensburg was thereby, for a few weeks, the seat of the last Reich government, and also Germany's capital.
Since the Second World War
After the Second World War, the town's population broke the 100,000 mark for a short time, thereby making Flensburg a city (Großstadt
) under one traditional definition. The population later sank below that mark, however.
In the years after the Second World War, there was in South Schleswig, and particularly in Flensburg a strong pro-Danish movement connected with the idea of the "Eider Politics". Their goal was for the town, and indeed all or most of Schleswig – the whole area north of the river Eider – to be united with Denmark. In the years following 1945, Flensburg's town council was dominated by Danish parties, and the town had a Danish mayor.
The town of Flensburg profited from the planned location of military installations. Since German Reunification, the number of soldiers has dropped to about 8,000. Since Denmark's entry into the European Economic Community (now the European Union), border trade has played an important role in Flensburg's economic life. Some Danish businesses, such as Danfoss, have set up shop just south of the border for tax reasons.
In 1970, Flensburg district was expanded to include the municipalities in the Amt of Medelby, formerly in Südtondern district, and in 1974 it was united with Schleswig district to form the district of Schleswig-Flensburg, whose district seat was the town of Schleswig. Flensburg thereby lost its function as a district seat, but it remained an independent (district-free) town.
Until the middle of the 19th century Flensburg's municipal area comprised a total area of 2 639 ha. Beginning in 1874, however, the following communities or rural areas (Gemarkungen
) were annexed to the town of Flensburg:
|| Area added in ha |
|| Süder- and Norder-St. Jürgen
| 27 July 1875
|| Hohlwege and Bredeberg
| 1 December 1900
| 1 April 1909
| 1 April 1910
|| Twedt, Twedterholz/Fruerlund and Engelsby
|| part of Kluesries Forest (incl. open waters)
| 26 April 1970
| 10 February 1971
|| demerger of Wassersleben Beach
| 22 March 1974
|| Sünderup and Tarup
Population figures are for respective municipal areas through time. Until 1870, figures are mostly estimates, and thereafter census results (¹) or official projections from either statistical offices or the town administration itself.
|| Population figure
| 1 December 1875 ¹
| 1 December 1890 ¹
| 1 December 1900 ¹
| 1 December 1910 ¹
| 16 June 1925 ¹
| 16 June 1933 ¹
| 17 May 1939 ¹
| 13 September 1950 ¹
| 6 June 1961 ¹
| 27 May 1970 ¹
| 30 June 1975
| 30 June 1980
| 30 June 1985
| 27 May 1987 ¹
| 30 June 1997
| 31 December 2003
| 31 December 2004
¹ Census results
The Danish minority in Flensburg and the surrounding towns run their own schools, libraries and Lutheran churches from which the German majority is not excluded. The co-existence of these two groups is considered a sound and healthy symbiosis.
In Denmark, Flensburg seems to be mainly associated with its duty-free shops where, amongst other things, spirits, beer and candy can be purchased at cheaper prices than in Denmark. Currently the duty free shops are able to sell canned beer to Scandinavians without paying deposits as long as the beverage is not consumed in Germany.
However, owing to the vagaries of the money markets, the bargains are not as great as they once.
The town council was led for centuries by two mayors, one for the north town (St. Marien) and the other for the south town (St. Nikolai and St. Johannis). The council members and the mayors were chosen by the council itself, that is, retiring officials had their successors named by the remaining councillors in such a way that both halves of the town had as many members. These councillors usually bore the title "Senator".
This "town government" lasted until 1742 when the "northern mayor" was made the "directing mayor" by the Danish King. From this position came what was later known as the First Mayor. The second mayor simply bore the title "mayor" ("Bürgermeister"). After the town had been ceded to Prussia, the mayors were elected by the townsfolk as of 1870, and the First Mayor was given the title Oberbürgermeister, still the usual title in German towns and cities. During the Third Reich, the town head was appointed by those who held power locally at the time.
In 1945, after the Second World War, a twofold leadership based on a British model was introduced. Heading the town stood foremost the Oberbürgermeister, who was chosen by town council and whose job was as chairman of council and the municipality. Next to him was an Oberstadtdirektor ("Higher Town Director") who was leader of administration. In 1950, when Schleswig-Holstein brought its new laws for municipalities into force, the title Oberbürgermeister was transferred (once again) to this latter official. At first, and for a while, he was chosen by council. Since that time, the former official has been called the Stadtpräsident ("Town President"), and is likewise chosen by council after each municipal election. However, since 1999, the Oberbürgermeister has been chosen directly by the voters as once before.
The first directly elected Oberbürgermeister Hermann Stell died on 4 May 2004 of a stroke. On 14 November of the same year, the independent candidate suggested by the CDU Klaus Tscheuschner was elected to replace Stell with 59% of the vote. Since the last municipal election in 2003, Hans Hermann Laturnus has been Flensburg's Stadtpräsident.
Represented on Flensburg town council are the CDU, the SPD, the South Schleswig Voter Federation (Südschleswigscher Wählerverband) and the Greens.
Coat of arms
Flensburg's coat of arms shows in gold above blue and silver waves rising to the left a six-sided red tower with a blue pointed roof breaking out of which, one above the other are the two lions of Schleswig and Denmark
; above is a red shield with the silver Holsatian nettle leaf on it. The town's flag is blue, overlaid with the coat of arms in colour.
The lions symbolize Schleswig, and the nettle leaf Holstein, thus expressing the town's unity with these two historic lands. The tower recalls Flensburg's old town rights and the old castle that was the town's namesake (Burg means "castle" in German). The waves refer to the town's position on the Flensburg Fjord.
The coat of arms was granted the town by King Wilhelm II of Prussia in 1901, and once again in modified, newly approved form on 19 January 1937 by Schleswig-Holstein's High President (Oberpräsident)
Flensburg maintains partnerships with the following towns:
Economy and infrastructure
West of Flensburg runs the A 7
Autobahn, leading north to the Danish border, whence it continues as European route E45
. Furthermore, Federal Highways (Bundesstraßen
) B 200 and B 199 pass through the municipal area.
Also west of the town lies the Flensburg-Schäferhaus airport.
Local transport is provided by several buslines such as "Aktiv Bus GmbH" and "Allgemeinen Flensburger Autobus Gesellschaft" (AFAG) along with others. They all operate within an integrated fare system within the Flensburg transport community (Verkehrsgemeinschaft Flensburg). They also all subscribe to the Schleswig-Holstein tariff system whereby anyone travelling from anywhere in Schleswig-Holstein or Hamburg may use Flensburg buses free to connect with their final destinations. It works both ways, of course, and a rider boarding any bus in Flensburg need only name his destination anywhere in Schleswig-Holstein or Hamburg, pay his fare, and travel all the way to that destination on the one ticket.
Flensburg's main railway station has lain since 1929 south of the Old Town. From there, trains run on the mainline joining Hamburg, Neumünster and Fredericia, among them some InterCity connections as well as trains serving the line running to Eckernförde and Kiel. Another stop for regional trains to Neumünster is to be found in Flensburg-Weiche. The stretch of line to Niebüll has been out of service since 1981, efforts to open it again notwithstanding. The secondary line to Husum and the lesser lines to Kappeln and Satrup no longer exist. Even the tramway, which opened in 1881 to horse-drawn trams, was electrified in 1906 and at one point ran four lines was replaced with buses in 1973.
In Flensburg, the "Flensburger Tageblatt", from the Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag
publisher) is published daily, as is the bilingual (German and Danish) Flensborg Avis
. There are also two weekly advertising flyers, "MoinMoin" (named for a common regional greeting) and "Wochenschau" (roughly "A Look at the Week") as well as an illustrated town paper ("Flensburg Journal"), the Flensburg "campus newspaper" and a town magazine ("Partout"). Norddeutscher Rundfunk
(NDR) runs one of its oldest studios right near the Deutsches Haus. Flensburg is the site of a number of radio transmission
facilities: on the Fuchsberg
in the community of Engelsby, Norddeutscher Rundfunk runs a transmission facility for VHF
and medium wave
. A cage aerial
is mounted on a 215 m-high guyed, earthed steel-lattice mast. This transmitter is successor to the Flensburg transmitter through which the announcement of Germany's surrender was broadcast on 8 May 1945
. From the broadcasting tower on the Fuchsberg come the programmes og Norddeutscher Rundfunk
and Danmarks Radio
. From the broadcasting tower at Flensburg-Freienwill come the countrywide VHF radio programmes of R.SH, delta radio, Deutschlandfunk
. Flensburg has no local transmitter of its own. Schleswig-Holstein's state broadcasting laws only allow transmitters that broadcast statewide. From 1993 to 1996, "Radio Flensburg" tried to establish a local Flensburg radio station by using a local transmitter just across the border in Denmark. It had to be shut down, however, owing to the Danish transmitter's own financial problems. From October 2006 Radio Flensburg broadcast as an [Internetradio] over the web. The "Offener Kanal" ("Open Channel") shows programmes made by local citizens seven days a week, mostly in the evenings, and can also be seen on cable television.
Flensburg is home to the following institutions:
- Handwerkskammer Flensburg ("Handicraft Chamber")
- IHK Flensburg ("Chamber of Industry and Trade")
- Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (government office in charge of road traffic)
- University of Flensburg with about 4,000 students; founded in 1946 as a Pedagogical College, raised to university in 1994. Unlike the University of Kiel, however, it is not a full university – theology, medicine, law and some other programmes are not offered here. The college does, however, have the right to confer doctorates.
- Fachhochschule Flensburg, a Fachhochschule with more than 3,000 students; in 1886 a royal steamship machinist school was established, out of which developed a ship's engineers' school. From this grew the Fachhochschule for Technology, which was converted into the current Fachhochschule Flensburg in 1973, at which time the economics programme was also introduced.
- Marineschule Mürwik (naval school), the future officers of the German Navy are trained here.
- Flensburger Volkshochschule (German)
- Voksenundervisningen (Danish)
Also on hand in Flensburg is a complete range of training and professional schools, including a number of Danish ones. Flensburg is home to Schleswig-Holstein's Central State Library, a university library, a town bookshop and the Danish Central Library for South Schleswig. The last named offers not only intensive courses in Danish, but also, with its "Slesvigsk samling" collection, a vast repository of unique material about the border area's history and culture. Flensburg has an extensive town archive. The Danish minority's archive is housed at the Danish Central Library.
Culture and sightseeing
- Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landestheater (at the Stadttheater) and Symphony Orchestra
- Niederdeutsche Bühne der Stadt Flensburg ("Low German Stage of the city of Flensburg")
- Det Lille Teater (Danish theatre)
- Theaterwerkstatt Pilkentafel (Theatre Workshop)
Archives and libraries
- Town Archive, very comprehensive collection, at the town hall
- Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig, with archive of the Danish minority and Schleswig book collection
- Town library
- State Central Library and Zentrale Hochschulbibliothek (Central College Library)
- Museumsberg – Museum for artistic and cultural history.
- Schifffahrtsmuseum – Museum for shipping and shipbuilding.
- Rummuseum – History of the "Rum Town" of Flensburg.
- Naturwissenschaftliches Museum – Animal and plant worlds of northern Schleswig-Holstein.
- Museumshafen – Private initiative for maintaining old traditional working boats mainly from the Baltics (Segelschiffe).
- Museumswerft – Shipbuilding (sail) of bygone centuries. The place also has a children's boatyard.
- Fischereimuseum – Initiative of the fishery association, lies on the old Fischery harbour.
- Phänomenta – For experiencing and understanding nature and technology.
- Salondampfer "Alexandra" – Passenger Steamer built 1908. The "Alexandra" regularly makes small trips in the Flensburg Förde (Bay)
- Klassische Yachten Flensburg – Classic Yacht Harbour. Private Initiative to present classic yachts typical for the Baltics.
- Gerichtshistorische Sammlung – a collection of legal history at the Flensburg State Court.
- Bergmühle – Association for maintaining the historic windmill from 1792.
- Johannesburger Heimatstube – Documents, pictures and writings from East Prussia.
Flensburg has a well preserved Old Town with many things to see from centuries gone by. Characteristic is the row along the waterfront. Three of the four old town cores are found along this north-south axis. The building boom in Imperial times led to a partial rebuilding of the Old Town, but without destroying its structure, and rather leading to notable expansion of the town. Virtually unscathed in the Second World War, Flensburg, like other places in Germany, adopted a policy of getting rid of old buildings and building anew in the style of the times. This trend was limited in Flensburg by a lack of money, but before the policy was finally stopped in the late 1970s, countless old buildings had been demolished in the north and east Old Town to be replaced by newer structures. Despite great losses, Flensburg still comes across as having a compact, well preserved Old Town in the valley with good additions to what was built in the founders' time on the surrounding heights.
- Johanniskirche, town's oldest church, 12th century
- Marienkirche, High Gothic, Baroque additions, tower from 1885, well decorated
- Nikolaikirche, Gothic main church, famous organ design by Hinrich Ringeringk
- Heiliggeistkirche (Helligåndskirken), former chapel of the Hospital zum Heiligen Geist
- Franziskanerkloster, ruins from 1263
- Nordertor, a gate, and the town's landmark
- Kompagnietor another gate, built in 1602, shipping company and harbour gate
- Alt-Flensburger Haus, where the Eckener brothers' parents lived, Norderstraße 8
- Flensborghus, a former orphanage, today seat of the Danish minority, Norderstraße 76
- Many merchants' houses running from the main streets Holm-Große Straße-Norderstraße, the town's greatest architectural attraction
- Südermarkt 9 (market) with the town's oldest house
- Nordermarkt (market) with the Schrangen (market hall) and Neptunbrunnen (fountain)
- Rote Straße with nice craftsmen's houses
- Jürgenstraße with the Gängeviertel ("Warren Neighbourhood", ie with very dense building and narrow streets), former suburb.
- Oluf-Samson-Gang, picturesque lane with little half-timbered houses, Flensburg's historic red light district.
- Row of warehouses
- Pontoon bridge
- Scanty ruins of the town wall, at the Nikolaikirche and at the Franciscan monastery
- Bergmühle and Johannismühle (mills)
- Deutsches Haus, gathering and event hall in the town core
- Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway Station), completed in 1929
- Town Hall, seventeen-floor cube from 1964, in 1997 totally renovated, popularly known as the "Umzugskarton" ("Moving Carton")
- Altes Gymnasium, built in 1914, Flensburg's oldest Gymnasium (school)Gymnasium, founded in 1566 as "Gymnasium trilingue" (Latin, Greek, Hebrew)
- Duborg Skolen, Flensburg's Danish Gymnasium, as well as other school buildings
- Walzenmühle (Flensburg) Business complex with mostly IT companies including Athena IT-Group and Servage Hosting
- West Indies Warehouse
- Gertrudenkirche, church in the Ramsharde (former neighbourhood where Neustadt now stands), folded after the Reformation, graveyard maintained until 1822
- Jürgen-Hospital, abandoned after the Reformation, the new St. Jürgen-Kirche stands there today
- Old Town Hall, 15th century, demolished in 1883
- Government building, appellate court and house of the estates, from 1850 to 1864 political centre of the Duchy of Schleswig, gave way to a department store in 1964
- Speicher Johannisstraße 78 (warehouse), bombed in 1945
- Town fortifications
- Flensburg Fjord
- Old Cemetery, parkland with noteworthy grave markers from the 19th century
- Christiansenspark, remnant of a very big landscape park
- Volkspark in the town's east end
- Marienhölzung (Danish Frueskov), woods in the town's west end
- May/June: Rumregatta (yearly)
- May/June: Danske Årsmøder (yearly)
- June/December: Campusfete (twice yearly)
- June: Rote-Straße-Fest (yearly)
- July: Dampf-Rundum (every two years)
- July/August: Flensburger Hofkultur (yearly summer cultural programme)
- August: Flensburger Tummelum (Old Town Festival) (every two years)
- October: Apfelfahrt des Museumshafen (yearly)
- October: "Flensburg Shortfilmfestival" (yearly)
- December: Christmas market (yearly)
The town of Flensburg has bestowed honorary citizenship upon the following persons, named here in chronological order:
- 1851: Friedrich Ferdinand Tillisch, Minister for the Duchy of Schleswig
- 1857: Christian Rönnekamp, salesman and shipowner
- 1867: Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, Prussian King's Governor
- 1872: Karl von Wrangel, General
- 1895: Otto Fürst von Bismarck, Reich Chancellor
- 1911: Friedrich Wilhelm Selck, Commercial Councillor
- 1917: Heinrich Schuldt, Town Councillor
- 1924: Dr. Hugo Eckener, Aviation pioneer
- 1930: Dr. Hermann Bendix Todsen, Oberbürgermeister
- 1999: Beate Uhse, Pilot and businesswoman
Sons and daughters of the town
- Lütke Nannens (1497–1574), Franciscan monk and critic of the Reformation.
- Johan Lorentz (about 1610–1689), Danish composer.
- Georg Waitz (1813-1886), Historian.
- Hans Christiansen (1866–1945), artistic craftsman and Art Nouveau founder.
- Elvira Madigan (1867–1889), tragic Danish circus performer.
- Hugo Eckener (1868–1954), pioneer of German Zeppelin aviation.
- Emmy Hennings (1885–1948), writer and dadaist
- Hans von Luck (1911-1997), army colonel and author the book Panzer Commander
- Rolf Boysen (born 1920), actor.
- Dieter Thomas Heck (born 1937), television moderator and singer.
- Kay Nehm (born 1941), jurist and Generalbundesanwalt (≈Federal Prosecutor General).
- Jutta Lampe (born 1943), actress.
- Marion Maerz (born 1946), hit singer
- Andreas Delfs(born 1959), Conductor
- Dorothea Röschmann (b. 1967), Opera soprano
- Kim Frank (b. 1982), actor
- Echt (popular about 1997–2001), five-man music group.
- Stina (1992-), really super cool girl.
Theodor Mommsen, Germany's first Nobel Prize winner for literature, lived long in Flensburg.