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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The German Weimar colours ‘Schwarz -Rot - Gold’

 Exactly 21 years back on October 3, 1990, German Democratic Republic (DDR) or more popularly known as East Germany merged with Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany)  making it a uniform one country and one flag – the Weimar colours ‘Schwarz - Rot - Gold’.

 As you all certainly know, the colours of the German flag are black, red and gold. They derived from the uniform of “Hunters of Lutzow” who wore black coats with red seams and golden buttons, dated from the German raising against Napoleon-I, in the War of Liberation in 1813-14. This colour combination became associated with German Republican ideals. 
Students marching at Warburg Castle, 1817.
The unit ‘Hunters of Lutzow’ was officially founded in February 1813 as Königlich Preußisches von Lützow (Royal Prussian Free Corps von Lützow). It was  consisted mostly of students and academics from all over Germany who had volunteered to fight against Napoleon I of France.

Procession  to Hambach Castle, 1832

In 1848, the first German Federal Parliament congregated and elected the Weimar colours as German National Colours.

GERMAN EMPIRE (1872 -1918)
Because of  dominant role of Prussia (which had a black & white flag ) and the “Hanse-cities”, Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck (which had a red & white flag) in the following decades, the German flag was changed to ‘Black - White - Red ’, known as 'Bismark colours' in 1892, and were in use till 1919.
However, after the end of World War-I, the original ‘Black, Red & Gold ’ flag was re-introduced for Weimer Republic (1918 - 1933).

After the end of World War I, the original black, red and gold coloured flag was re-introduced.

Third Reich (1933 - 1945) during Hitler regime the 'Hakenkreuz' bearing a Swastika was adopted as National flag.
With the collapse of Third Reich after World War-II,
all Swastika flags disappeared by order of the occupying powers
Upon foundation of German Federal Republic in 1949, the Weimar colours “Schwarz-Rot-Gold” were re-adopted as National flags
Flag of ‘DDR’ East Germany
 1959 - 1989
In order to make a distinction with the West German flag,
DDR’s state emblem was superimposed on Weimar colours. The flag came into disuse in 1990 in favour of unified German colours.

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