The "Deutschlandlied" was initially unable to compete successfully against other songs. After 1871 the Prussian royal anthem "Heil dir im Siegerkranz" ("Hail to Thee in Victor's Laurels"), which had been designated the imperial anthem, was sung wherever Emperor William I appeared. Not until around the turn of the century did Hoffman's song become popular.
In 1922, in a speech marking the third anniversary of the Weimar constitution, Reich President Friedrich Ebert publicly proclaimed the "Deutschlandlied", although the term "national anthem" was not yet used on that day. In his speech, Friedrich Ebert stated: "Unity and right and freedom - in times of internal fragmentation and oppression, this triad from the poet's song voiced the longing of all Germans; may it now accompany us on our arduous path to a better future."
After the end of World War II, the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany had difficulty reaching a decision on a national anthem. In contrast to the federal flag, no provision was made for an anthem in the Basic Law. Not until 1952 was an arrangement reached. In a letter dated 29 April 1952, Federal Chancellor Dr. Konrad Adenauer asked the Federal President, Prof. Dr. Theodor Heuss, to "designate the song by Hoffmann and Haydn the national anthem. At state functions the third verse should be sung." President Heuss gave his consent in a response dated 2 May 1952, after his prior attempt to initiate a new anthem had proved unsuccessful.
After the reunification of Germany, in an exchange of letters in August 1991, Federal President Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker and Federal Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl designated the third verse of the "Deutschlandlied" the national anthem.
Unity and Rights and Freedom
For the German Fatherland
Let us all strive for that
Brotherly with heart and hand
Unity and Rights and Freedom
Are the foundation for happiness
Bloom in the glow of happiness
Bloom German Fatherland
|Flag Date of Adoption||9 May 1949|
The federal flag consists of three horizontal stripes of equal width, black at the top, red in the middle and gold at the bottom; the proportion of the hoist (width) to the fly (length) of the bunting shall be 3:5. The federal flag may also be displayed in the form of a banner. The banner shall consist of three vertical stripes of equal width, black at the left, red in the middle and gold at the right.
Flags shall be displayed on the following days:
27 January - Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism
1 May - Labor Day
5 May - Europe Day
23 May - Anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law<
17 June - Anniversary of 17 June 1953
20 July - Anniversary of 20 July 1944
3 October - Day of German Unity
Second Sunday before the first Sunday in Advent
Day of National Mourning
As specifically scheduled:
Day of the elections to the German Bundestag
Day of the elections to the European Parliament
It is generally believed the colors come from the uniforms of the Lützow Free Corps, comprised mostly of university students, that formed during the end of the struggle against the Napoleonic occupation of much of Germany.