The flag of Germany has three equal horizontal bands displaying our national colours black, red and gold. Additionally, each German state has its own state flag.
The colours black, red and gold have been a symbol in German history since the Middle Ages. Although a German flag was not always common during the centuries, emperors of the Holy Roman Empire used a golden shield with a black eagle with a red beak and red claws.
After the end of the Holy Roman Empire and the Napoleonic Wars the colours black, red and gold represented the desire for an united Germany and freedom for all citizens.
The use of the German flag is not very common in my country.
65 after the terror of the Nazi regime many Germans still feel apprehensive about showing too much national pride. Who can forget the pictures of large gatherings with flying flags which was an important part of nationalistic furore and Nazi propaganda?
Therefore, the national flag is mostly used on public building, by the authorities on the official flag days, or if the Federal Minister of the Interior announces a special event to fly the flag.
The use of the flag of Germany by the general public is rare and usually reserved for international sporting events.
The 2006 Soccer World Cup, held in Germany, was a big exception. For four weeks the entire country turned into a sea of black-red-gold flags as we celebrated a wonderful sport event together with international guests.
Since then flying the tricolour has been reduced to the official flag days again.