flag mania in germany

siebzehnter juni

back in germany the first thing to notice was the presence of national flags. “Schwarz Rot Gold” is as omnipresent as the star spangled banner in October 2001 in the US. This time it’s about soccer. Most of the country is delighted that the german team seams to have survived the first round. And that there are three soccer games a day. At a decent time in day.

It’s nice to see this happy kind of flag waving. When I grew up the national flag was something that only pretty right wing people would be seen around. And those are particular disgusting in Germany. There was simply no positive identification with the country.

The 17th of June used to be a holiday: “The day of the german unity”. As long it did not exist the western side devoted one day or mourning and speeches to this thing that we all thought would never be a reality again. It was kind of like a tombstone.

Germans love flags. Not only during those dark days between 33 and 45. The market for advertisement on flags is supposed to be 100 Million Euros a year. (according to the Suedeutsche Zeitung). Commercials in cinemas were 86 Million Euros in 2005. There are easy 20 minutes of commercials before the movie starts.

Der Spiegel writes in its usual way about the flagststyria 2006:
First they find a CDU politician for a stupid quote: “Die ganze Stadt soll ein schwarz-rot-goldenes Fahnenmeer sein.” Basically somebody wanted to make flags mandatory for public buildings until the end of the worldcup.
Then they go on how all those flags are made in China. That not enough will arrive since till the end of the tournament, they claim that aircargo would be too expensive. Then they go on that the car flags that had not been seen in Europe before would be made for 17 cents (too high) and would be sold for 5 US$. They also say that they not really survive the Autobahn. Which is probably true. If they would employ a pocket calculator they could see that even in their way to conservative 30 to margin for something that weights less than 10 grams. it took 3 minutes of googling to find that it would cost you 0.16 US$ to ship those flags to Frankfurt by air. That would explain why there was never any shortage on car flags in the US after 9/11.

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