Although the German national flag was initially designed all the way back in 1832, it wasn’t used consistently. The original flag represented liberalism and democracy, so it was suppressed in the 1850s. The tricolor was reintroduced in 1919, banned again during the Nazi regime, and was readopted once again in 1949 in West Germany. The flag was accepted by East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This simple design of the German national flag features three horizontal stripes of color. The top stripe is black, the middle stripe is red, and the bottom stripe is yellow.
Black and gold were the traditional colors of the Holy Roman Emperor’s flag around the tenth century. It featured an eagle that at one point had red accents, which is why the German flag today contains these three important colors.
These colors were also present on German soldiers’ uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars, which is where the meaning tied to each color comes from. The saying goes, “Out of the blackness of servitude, through bloody battles, to the golden light of freedom.”
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