National colours of Germany

The national colours of the Federal Republic of Germany are officially black, red, and gold,[1] defined with the adoption of the West German flag as a tricolour with these colours in 1949.[2] As Germany was divided into West Germany and East Germany beginning in 1949 and continuing through 1990, both Germanies retained the black, red, and gold colors on each respective flag. After German reunification in 1990, West and East Germany adopted the West German flag as the flag of the reunited Germany, therefore maintaining black, red, and gold as Germany's colors.

Black, Red, and Gold barrier cord at the German Bundestag parliament

The colours ultimately hark back to the tricolour adopted by the Urburschenschaft of Jena in 1815, representing an early phase in the development of German nationalism and the idea of a unified German state. Since the 1860s, there has been a competing tradition of national colours as black, white, and red, based on the Hanseatic flags, used as the flag of the North German Confederation and the German Empire. The Weimar Republic in 1919 opted to re-introduce the black, red, and gold tricolour. This was controversial, and as a compromise, the old flag was reintroduced in 1922 to represent German diplomatic missions abroad. As a reaction, Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold was an organization formed in 1924 representing the parties supporting parliamentary democracy, and for the remainder of the existence of the Weimar Republic, black-red-gold represented the centrist parties supporting parliamentary and black-white-red represented its nationalist and monarchist opposition.


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