Sunday, October 3, 2010
Never seen a Reichskriegsflagge before.
Going for a walk the other day, I came across this flag flying on the front of an otherwise unremarkable house on an otherwise unremarkable side street. I did a double take as most houses I see don't fly anything other than the odd Canadian flag, and certainly not something so unusual or potentially controversial.
I knew it was German but had a slight doubt as to from when. The flag, judging from its crispness and creases, is a new one. As near as I can figure, given the thickness of the black stripes, it is a reproduction of the German Reichskriegsflagge of 1903-1918, but it's not a totally accurate representation. For example, the orb and scepter are completely wrong compared to the example on Wikipedia. More like an earlier German Empire version. One thing is for sure, it isn't the German civilian national flag of the time. It is the military colours which German Imperial units and ships would have flown.
Asking around, my friend Peter let me in on something that I didn't know about. Today, October 3rd, 2010, is the day that Germany finally finishing repaying its war debt to the Allies. That's the debt from World War One which ended 92 years ago. It was a massive debt, and it can be argued that it was one of the main contributing reasons for WWII starting so soon after the end of WWI. But to be still paying it nearly 100 years later was really surprising and something I had no idea about.
Given that being the case, it makes some sense for a German household knowing their history to fly it this week. But it's still different randomly seeing a foreign (formerly enemy) military flag on a pole in front of a house.
Posted by Mike Wood at 22:35