The German Flag
Germany as we know it today has only been a united country since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and therefore the current German flag has been the official country flag only for a couple of decades. Although this makes it one of the newest world flags, the history of the German flag dates back centuries ago. The German flag has been through many changes and modifications that affected and influenced the flag German uses today.
German Flag symbolism and meaningAll world flags carry a rich history with much symbolism and meaning to citizens of their respective countries and researching flags and maps of countries around the world is fascinating. Justmaps.org and other various resources exist online when searching for current maps, flags, and fun facts.
The German flag coloursThe German flag consists of three equal sized horizontal stripes, colored black, red, and yellow from the top down. One variant of the German flag consists of the black eagle on a yellow shield placed directly in the center of the flag. The German flag colours and the eagle date back to the Roman Empire during which all three colours (and others) along with the eagle were used for various flags and banners throughout the Empire.
The German flag meaningThe decision to use black, red, and yellow is somewhat unknown although the three colours were decided on in the 19th century when Germany was the German Confederation. What these colours signified at the time is also unknown but some sources define the current flag colours as the following:
- Black as a symbol of determination
- Red as a symbol of bravery and strength
- Yellow as a symbol of generosity.
The German flag historyThe colours and design of the current German flag dates back at least to the 1800s, and the origins of the colours arguably date back centuries earlier than that when the Roman Empire ruled that part of the world. The colours black and yellow were used by Austria as a southern Germany flag throughout the history of the Roman Empire, crusades, and Napoleonic wars and red and white were used in the northern parts of Germany at the same times. The black eagle was used by the Emperor himself.
The German flag todayThe German flag was temporarily replaced with a red flag featuring a black swastika during the Nazi reign. After the fall of the Third Reich, both East and West Germany went back to using the traditional three-stripe black, red, and yellow flag although East Germany chose to add the German coat of arms to their flag before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the unification of Germany after the fall of the Wall, the coat of arms was removed and the current German flag was made the official flag of Germany.
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