Meaning of the Flag
The flag of Germany has a simple design and the symbolism behind it is fairly straightforward. The three colored bands represent the national colors of Germany. These national colors date back to the republican democracy proposed in the mid-1800s to symbolize unity and freedom. At the time of the Weimar Republic, these colors represented the centrist, democratic and republican parties.
Colors of the Flag
The flag of Germany features horizontal bands of equal sizes. The top band is black, the center band is red and the bottom band is yellow. These represent the national colors of the nation. The country also has a state flag which has the same design of three horizontal bands with the addition of the country’s national emblem located in the center.
History of the Flag
German’s first flags date back to the Holy Roman Empire, when a black eagle on a gold background was the design that was used. The flag was first used during the 14th century, and the design was modified slightly in the 15th century and flown through the 19th century. The first flag that was closest to modern design was first flown in 1918. This was during the Weimar Republic period. This actually caused some strife among some Germans, as some people saw it as a symbol of defeat following World War I. Some flags continued to use the previous colors of black, white and red.
When the Nazis took over power in Germany in the 1930s, there were two national flags that were officially recognized. The first was a flag of black, white and red bands. The second featured a swastika symbol. After World War II, a new flag was designed. The C-Pennant was designed in red, white and blue. When Germany divided in the late 1940s, there were several different flags put into use. It was in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down that the black, red and gold flag was became the flag of a reunified country in 1990 before being modified to the current flag that flies today.
There are several national holidays when governmental buildings fly the flag. This includes the national day of mourning, German Unity Day, Europe Day, International Workers’ Day and Basic Law Day.
There is also a vertical variation of the nation’s flag.
Vertical flags are not lowered when flags are required to be flown at half-staff. Instead a black ribbon is attached to the staff or the end of the crossbeams.