With relations deteriorating between the Soviet Union and the United States, the three western Allies met in March 1948 to merge their zones of occupation and allow the formation of what became the Federal Republic of Germany, commonly known as West Germany. Meanwhile, the eastern Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic, commonly known as East Germany. During the preparation of the new constitution for West Germany, discussions regarding its national symbols took place in August 1948 during a meeting at Herrenchiemsee. Although there were objections to the creation of a national flag before reunification with the east, it was decided to proceed. This decision was primarily motivated by the proposed constitution by the eastern SED in November 1946, where black-red-gold were suggested as the colors for a future German republic.
In 1955, the inhabitants of the French-administered Saar Protectorate voted to join West Germany. Since its establishment as a separate French protectorate in 1947, the Saar had a white Nordic cross on a blue and red background as its flag. To demonstrate the commitment of the Saar to be a part of West Germany, a new flag was selected on 9 July 1956: the black-red-gold tricolor defaced with the new coat of arms, also proposed on this day. This flag came into force on 1 January 1957, upon the establishment of the Saarland as a state of West Germany.
On the centenary of the Berlin March days in March 1948, the second People's Congress was convened in Berlin. It should be seen as German People's Council on the reorganization of the entire state in addition to the drafting of a constitution creating a national flag for the state of the German Democratic Republic. The choice was between three flags, one red, another black-white-red, and the last option black-red-gold. The proposal to introduce the red flag, was quickly discarded. As a sign of communist and the international labor movement this flag was rejected even the November Revolution of 1918 (and beyond) by the bourgeoisie. As in Germany, the decision should fall in favor of the black, red and gold flag of the Weimar Republic. Against this flag but was initially the Soviet Union. As a symbol of the Weimar Republic they remember times of weakness, to crises and unemployment. Thus, the black-white-red flag remained. It goes back to the National Committee for a Free Germany. The committee was established on 12 and 13 June 1943 under Soviet leadership took the old Reich flag. The flag should be seen as signs of the struggle against the fascist Nazi regime are evaluated in Adolf Hitler and the swastika flag.
At the Third People's Congress 1949, set up by the Soviet occupation in 1948 brought Mayor of East Berlin Friedrich Ebert yet again, the proposal for the black-red-gold flag a. His application was approved on 30 May 1949 and put into effect on 7 October 1949 Law on state emblem and flag from September 26, 1949.
Thus, the German Democratic Republic and West Germany the same national flag, the German Democratic Republic, however, led only in the first ten years of its existence. During this time the Federal Republic competed in color with the identical design of the GDR. On October 1, 1959 the GDR added their national emblem, "hammer and compass surrounded by a garland of corn" in the flag as so as to create a distinction to the flag of the Federal Republic. The emblem was a symbol of the alliance of between workers, farmers, and intelligence.
The public presentation of this officially as a "Soviet zone flag" designated by the Federal Republic flag was, however, viewed by the end of the 1960s as a breach of the Constitution and disruption of public order in the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin and basically prevented by police action. Even when hoisting the flag of the German Democratic Republic abroad there were stereotyped to West German protests. It was only on July 22, 1969 ordered the federal government (Grand Coalition), that the police everywhere should take more action against the use of the flag and coat of arms of the GDR.
Since the GDR had not yet been recognized under international law, it started to be in 1968 in sporting contests, such as in Olympic Games, teams with athletes from both parts of Germany. The Olympic Committee of the GDR refused to compete under the flag of the Federal Republic, and the Olympic Committee of Germany lasted until the very last moment on, no changes in the black-red-gold flag carry. Ultimately yet succeeded yet an agreement. They sat on the red stripes of black, red and gold flag of the Olympic rings in white. As part of the international recognition of the GDR by the United Nations and the recognition of the sovereignty of the GDR by West Germany, two separate teams with two separate flags took part after 1972.
With the introduction of the new national flag in 1959 a new merchant flag was introduced. Before the GDR led the black-red-gold flag without coat of arms as merchant flag. The new merchant flag to a smaller state emblem is in the upper corner. 1973 this merchant flag was again abolished and replaced by the national flag, the order was National and merchant flag.
After the political turning point in 1989 in the GDR drew up the working group "New Constitution of the GDR," the Round Table a new constitution and proposed a new national flag. They should continue to be striped black-red-golden, but show instead of the State Emblem the presentation of the motto Swords to ploughshares. The other political events with the reunification ending existence of the GDR did not let the Constitution and therefore the new flag to take effect.
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