Flag of Germany

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Flag of Germany

Mensagem  Admin em Qua Nov 19, 2008 8:11 pm

The flag of Germany is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black, red and gold.

The black-red-gold tricolour first appeared in the early 19th century and achieved prominence during the 1848 revolution. The short-lived Frankfurt Parliament of 1848–50 proposed the tricolour as a flag for a united and democratic German state. With the formation of the Weimar Republic after World War I, the tricolour was adopted as the national flag of Germany. Following World War II, the tricolour was designated as the flag of both West and East Germany. The two flags were identical until 1959, when socialist symbols were added to the East German flag. Since reunification on 3 October 1990, the black-red-gold tricolour has remained the flag of Germany.

The flag of Germany has not always used black, red and gold as its colours. After the Austro–Prussian War in 1866, the Prussian-dominated North German Confederation adopted a tricolour of black-white-red as its flag. This flag later became the flag of the German Empire, formed following the unification of Germany in 1871, and was used until 1918. Black, white and red were reintroduced as the German national colours with the establishment of Nazi Germany in 1933.

The colour schemes of black-red-gold and black-white-red have played an important role in the history of Germany and have had various meanings. The colours of the modern flag are associated with the republican democracy formed after World War II, and represent German unity and freedom: not only the freedom of Germany, but also the personal freedom of the German people.

Rarely distinguishes between gold and yellow; in heraldry, they are both or. For the German flag, such a distinction is made: the colour used in the flag is gold, not yellow.

When the black-red-gold tricolour was adopted by the Weimar Republic as its flag, it was attacked by conservatives, monarchists and the far right, who referred to the colours with spiteful nicknames such as Schwarz-Rot-Gelb (black-red-yellow), Schwarz-Rot-Senf (black-red-mustard) or even Schwarz-Rot-Scheiße (black-red-shit). When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the black-white-red colours of pre-1918 Imperial Germany were swiftly reintroduced and their propaganda machine continued to discredit the Schwarz-Rot-Gold, using the same derogatory terms as previously used by the monarchists.

On 16 November 1959, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) stated that the usage of "black-red-yellow" and the like had "through years of Nazi agitation, attained the significance of a malicious slander against the democratic symbols of the state" and is now an offence. As summarised by heraldist Arnold Rabbow in 1968, "the German colours are black-red-yellow but they are called black-red-gold."

Following the declaration of the German republic in 1918 and the ensuing revolutionary period, the so-called Weimar Republic was founded in August 1919. To form a continuity between the anti-autocratic movement of the 19th century and the new democratic republic, the old black-red-gold tricolour was designated as the national German flag in the Weimar Constitution in 1919.[26] As a civil ensign, the black-white-red-tricolour was retained, albeit with the new tricolour in the top left corner.

This change was not welcomed by many people in Germany, who saw this new flag as a symbol of humiliation following Germany's defeat in World War I. In the Reichswehr, the old colours continued to be used in various forms. Many conservatives wanted the old colours to return, while monarchists and the far right were far more vocal with their objections, referring to the new flag with various derogatory names (see Gold or yellow? above). As a compromise, the old black-white-red flag was reintroduced in 1922 to represent German diplomatic missions abroad.

The symbols of Imperial Germany became symbols of monarchist and nationalist protest and were often used by monarchist and nationalist organisations (e.g. Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten). This included the Reichskriegsflagge (war flag of the Reich), which has been revived in the present for similar use. Many nationalist political parties during the Weimar period – such as the German National People's Party (see poster) and the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) – used the imperial colours, a practice that has continued today with the National Democratic Party of Germany.

On 24 February 1924, the organisation Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold was founded in Magdeburg by the member parties of the Weimar Coalition (Centre, DDP, SPD) and the trade unions. This organisation was formed to protect the fragile democracy of the Weimar Republic, which was under constant pressure by both the far right and far left. Through this organisation, the black-red-gold flag became not only a symbol of German democracy, but also of resistance to political extremism. This was summarised by the organisation's first chairman, Otto Hörsing, who described their task as a "struggle against the swastika and the Soviet star".

In the face of the increasingly violent conflicts between the communists and Nazis, the growing polarisation of the German population and a multitude of other factors, the Weimar Republic collapsed in 1933 with the Nazi seizure of power (Machtergreifung) and the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor.

Nazi Germany
3:5 Flag of the National Socialist German Workers Party (1920–45)National flag of Germany (1933–45)
3:5 Design used in the past, but now abandoned Flag of the National Socialist German Workers Party (1920–45)
National flag of Germany (1933–45)
3:5 Used jointly with the swastika flag (1933–35), then banned as "reactionary"
3:5 Design used in the past, but now abandoned Used jointly with the swastika flag (1933–35), then banned as "reactionary"

With the establishment of Nazi regime in Germany on 5 March 1933, the black-red-gold flag was swiftly scrapped: a ruling on 12 March reintroduced the old black-white-red imperial tricolour and established the flag of the Nazi Party as the two legal national flags of Germany. In 1935, one year after the death of Reich President Paul von Hindenburg and Hitler's self-elevation to the position of Führer, the dual flag arrangement ended with the exclusive use of the Nazi flag as the national flag of Germany, while the old black-white-red flag was banned as "reactionary".

The design of the Nazi flag was introduced by Hitler as the party flag in the summer of 1920: a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. In addition to the flag forming a link to Imperial Germany via its colour choice, the Nazi flag had additional meaning, according to Hitler in Mein Kampf: white for nationalism, red for socialism, and the swastika to symbolise the Aryan race. Albert Speer stated in his memoirs that "in only two other designs did he (Adolf Hitler) execute the same care as he did his Obersalzberg house: that of the Reich War Flag and his own standard of Chief of State".

An off-centred disk version of the swastika flag was used as the civil ensign on German-registered civilian ships and was used as the jack on Kriegsmarine (the name of the German Navy, 1933–45) warships.[32] Nazi ensigns had a through and through image, so the "left-facing" and "right-facing" version were each present on one side. The Nazi flag on land was right-facing on both sides while the centred-disk flag was commonly used by civilians and the German armed forces aside from the navy.

From 1933 to at least 1938, before any official swastika flag went into use, it had to take part in a ceremony where it touched the Blutfahne (blood flag), the swastika flag used by Nazi paramilitaries during the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. This lengthy ceremony took place at every Nuremberg Rally. It is unknown whether this tradition was continued after the last Nuremberg rally in 1938.

At the end of World War II, the first law enacted by the Allied Control Council abolished all Nazi symbols and repealed all relevant laws. The possession of swastika flags is forbidden in many Western countries since then, particularly in Germany.

With relations deteriorating between the Soviet Union and the United States, the three western Allies met in March 1948 to merge their zones of occupation and allow the formation of a new German nation. This was the Federal Republic of Germany, previously known as West Germany, now simply as Germany. Meanwhile, the eastern Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic, commonly known as East Germany.

During the preparation of the new constitution for West Germany, discussions regarding its national symbols took place in August 1948 during a meeting at Herrenchiemsee. Although there were objections to the creation of a national flag before reunification with the east, it was decided to proceed. This decision was primarily motivated by the proposed constitution by the eastern SED in November 1946, where black-red-gold were suggested as the colours for a future German republic.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, many East Germans cut the coat of arms out of their flags. The inspiration for this came from Romania, where this was done during the fall of Ceauşescu. The widespread act of removing the coat of arms from the East German flag implied that the plain black-red-gold tricolour was a symbol for a united and democratic Germany and, on 3 October 1990, as the German Democratic Republic was absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany, the black-red-gold tricolour became the flag of a reunified Germany. In 1998, the Foundation for the Reconciliation of the SED Dictatorship was formed. The duty of this organisation, directly responsible to the federal government, is to examine the consequences of the former East German regime. As its logo, the foundation uses this cut-out version of the East German flag.

The old black-white-red tricolour of the German Empire is still used by monarchists and those members of German royalty who long for the peaceful reintroduction of a German democratic monarchy. This use of the old flag is almost completely overshadowed by its prevalent use by the far right; since the swastika is illegal in Germany the far right have been forced to forego any Nazi flags and instead use the old tricolour – which the Nazis themselves banned in 1935. The fact that Nazi symbols are banned in some countries is the main reason why many computer games related to World War II do not feature the Nazi flag, sometimes replacing it with the anachronistic flag of pre-1918 Germany. The utilisation of the old imperial tricolour by the far right and its attempts to associate the tricolour with its antidemocratic and xenophobic ideals are strongly objected to by modern German monarchists.

In Germany, the use of the flag and other national symbols is relatively low – a reaction against the widespread use of flags by the Nazi Party, and against the nationalistic furore of the Nazis in general. The flag is used primarily by official authorities on special occasions or by citizens during international sporting events. In some states (e.g. Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein) or sub-state historical regions (e.g. Baden, Franconia) residents may prefer the use of regional flags instead of the national flag.

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which took place in Germany, public use of the national flag increased dramatically. Although this explosion in the flag's popularity was initially greeted by many Germans with a mixture of surprise and apprehension, the decades-old fear that German flag-waving and national pride was inextricably associated with its Nazi past was dismissed by the end of the tournament by Germans and non-Germans alike.



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