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When did Germany start using their current flag (Black, red and yellow)?
Does it pre-date the wars? If so, why did they never use it during the wars (you only ever see the swastika and the eagle) and if not, what was the national flag of Germany during the wars?
asked in german flag

jeannebaxter answers:

Flag adopted 9th May 1949, as civil ensign 14th Aug 1950


Outside the Green Party headquarters in Berlin, there's a big banner that would be unexceptional in any other country but here is both provocative and perhaps a sign of a new confidence. It's not the slogan "Nazis? No thanks!" that causes heads to swivel but the logo of a swastika being dumped in a dustbin.

Why is this significant? Ever since 1945, the swastika has been banned in Germany. Even on children's model aeroplanes. Last week a court in Stuttgart went a stage further. A man was fined more than 7,000 euros for selling anti-Nazi badges that showed a swastika with a line through it, as in a traffic sign.

He is going to appeal and the government is considering whether to amend the law. The Greens hope to provoke a debate but some Germans strongly argue that the symbol is still too uncomfortable to be seen, whatever the meaning or context.

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Reactionary answers:

The red flag with the swastika in a circle on white background was only used by Hitler. After WW2 Both parts of Germany used black , red , gold and East Germany superimposed the workers' symbols. It is unclear why this should be but I'm working on it. Such things are a bit of a sensitive issue in Germany and at the moment, the 'Liberal' party is trying to get the courts to ban the 'National' party - it looks a bit Nazi to me.

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