Lahm, who ended his glorious playing career with Bayern Munich's Bundesliga title win last season, was given the honour at the DFB's Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday.
"It is a huge honour for me to stand alongside players I have always admired and respected enormously for their achievements," Lahm, who played 113 times for Germany, 53 as captain, said. "As captain, I always saw myself as a representative of the team, and so I also accept this award on behalf of all my team-mates without whom I would never have come so far. Together, we achieved very special successes.
'Duty and commitment'
"This award means not only pride for me, but also duty and commitment, a commitment to preserving football's reputation in Europe and maintaining the game as a leading light in the world of sport."
Watch: Thanks for the memories, Philipp Lahm!
Lahm also played over 300 Bundesliga matches for his hometown club Bayern, winning eight top-flight titles, six DFB Cups and the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League among other trophies, to earn himself a place among the greats of German football.
Löw high praise
"It was hugely enriching to be able to work with you as a player and as a person," said Germany boss Joachim Löw, who watched Lahm lift the World Cup in Brazil three years ago and his highly fancied to lead his country to back-to-back global crowns in Russia next summer.
The esteem Lahm is held in both inside Germany and beyond its borders makes him ideal for the role of ambassador for his country's UEFA EURO 2024 candidacy. With the April 2018 deadline for final bids to be submitted to UEFA, Lahm's appointment will give added impetus to Germany's bid.
Walter, Seeler, Beckenbauer, Matthäus, Wiegmann, Prinz, Klinsmann. I'm very proud to be named among all these honorary Captains of the German national soccer team. Thank you, @DFB 👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/6TBfSg5v7k— Philipp Lahm (@philipplahm) 8 December 2017
EURO 2024 bid role
"At the 2006 World Cup, I experienced for myself how a tournament in your own country can capture the imagination of people," explained Lahm, who was part of Klinsmann's side that finished third on home soil more than a decade ago.
"Germany presented itself as a welcoming, modern country and a good organiser. I'm sure that EURO 2024 can also be an event people in Germany and Europe can enjoy and get behind together. So, I will do my utmost to ensure we succeed again."