New Chancellor dishonores flag, what would happen where you live?


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Last weekend there were elections in Germany and as the first results were presented the newly elected chancellor* (somewhat similar to president in other countries) dishonoured the German flag by ripping it out of another's hand and putting it away. After that she shakes her head disapprovingly at the other guy.

What would happen where you live if the newly elected president did this in front of running TV cameras?

In Germany nobody even took notice of the incident. But around here patriotism is seen as something bad because of what our great-grandparents did during WWII.

So what do you think about this? And how would people in other countries react in such a case?

If you are interested:

*her party got the most votes and thus she will be the one leading the government i.e. the chancellor.


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In the UK , probably some vague tut-tutting in the press, but noone would care, really.

The British are patriotic, but not too fussed as a rule about the flag, outside of a minority who eill either be right-wing or former military types. The flag is a symbol of the patriotism, certainly - but the flag is not generally seen as a avatar of that patriotism, unlike in the USA (Although , lets be honest, the union jack is a rather nice design, artisitically speakin) ....so disrespecting the flag isnt really seen as much of a problem.

If you suggest the British reduce the size of their custard cream biscuits or criticise roast beef dinners, and you'll be in a world of trouble, though !


you have said that patriotism looked down on because of Germany past so I don't think she was disrespecting the flag as much as she was toning down the patriotism. Which could be that she does not want the unhealthy "I am the leader and the country" connotations.

Here in the USA that act would be huge both sides throwing mud at the other. I would respect a president who toned down the patriotism a little. there as been a trend to make patriotism mean what every you want it to in the USA usual to push a political or social agenda rather then just meaning that you love your country.

Shadow Lodge

In the US the party the president belonged to would try to play it off as "not a big deal" and the opposing party would flip out and try to drown the president's party in a litany of abuse and accusations.


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If you dont mind a little theorising /philosophy:

Flag waving/respect is linked to nationalism - nationalism is a concept (and a relatively modern one too!) to try and get large groups of people to follow a group of leaders into battle -phyically, financially,philosophically - against other nations without much debate.

So, I'd theorise that leaders with an confrontational overseas policy (and both parties in the US have this) will promote patriotism and national identity: those who seek a more concilatory approach will de-emphasise it.

"Its us versus them" = flag waving nationalism
"We want to play well with others" = de-emphasise the flag.

Thats not intended as a criticism of either policy,by the way. Just that flag waving is productive in some political approaches (the war on terror), counterproductive in others (federalising europe). American foreign policy is definitely in an era the last 70 years where it sees other countries as either "for or against" them , whereas Germany and the Uk tend to work on a more concillatory approach (fringe right-wing politics aside).

Going back a couple of hundred years when Germany and the UK had more confrontational foreign policies, "the flag" was seen differently. I dont think patriotism has waned per se, merely the way it is expresssed to outsiders , and by extention, the attitude to flags.


A couple of hundred years back, say, around 1700 or so, there was no British Empire. Germany did not exist.


Misspoke, I meant late 1800s, prussia, bismark, british empire and all that. But hopefully you get my point :-)


Yeah. Still think it's worth noticing that this whole british empire idea isn't too terribly old. Of course, then you get into Spain and Portugal...


I have to say I was upset when I saw it. Generally I'm rather contrary to nationalism and am not very patriotic but when seeing this I, and some others, thought that she would rather wave an European or American flag, as much as she's been brown nosing in those two directions.

I have not been a fan of her before, but now I really hate her guts.

Shadow Lodge

Sissyl wrote:
A couple of hundred years back, say, around 1700 or so, there was no British Empire.

It's 2013. "Couple Hundred Years Back" is 1800, not 1700.

And you'd be incorrect either way. The First British Empire, according to Wikipedia, lasted from 1583–1783. The Second British Empire, the one more people (at least in my admittedly limited American experience) would be familiar with I imagine, went from 1783–1815 and extended into the "Imperial Century" of 1815–1914, in which it was heavily eroded by the growth of the US and independence of many of its colonies before being fully broken by World War I.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ahem.

Union FLAG.

The Union Jack is when it's on a ship.


Chemlak wrote:

Ahem.

Union FLAG.

The Union Jack is when it's on a ship.

Don't know if this is correct but Wikipedia states the following on this:

Wiki wrote:
The terms Union Jack, Union Flag, British Flag are all historically correct for describing the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom. Whether to call it the "Union Jack" or the "Union Flag" is a matter of debate by many. According to the Flag Institute, the vexillological organisation for the United Kingdom, "the national flag of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories is the Union Flag, which may also be called the Union Jack."[4] The Institute also notes: It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea.

Bolding mine.


Sissyl wrote:
Yeah. Still think it's worth noticing that this whole british empire idea isn't too terribly old. Of course, then you get into Spain and Portugal...

I used the British Empire and Germany as examples merely as they were the two that had been mentioned up to that point... Comments could have applied to the Spanish, the Portugese, the French, etc..etc..

Of course, I've no idea of the Mongol Empire had a flag....

(Now I have a vision of Eddie Izzard dressed as Ghengis Khan...."do you have a flag?")


Orthos, if someone said "a couple hundred years ago", I would think 1700 before 1800. Yes, you are right about the British Empire, it's the latter one people think of.

To answer the thread: Merkel is more and more becoming a problem for Europe as a whole. She is consistently without ideals or principles. She changes her decisions after what is most profitable right now. She is untrustworthy. To have such a person at the rudder of something as failed, corrupt and messy as the EU is pathetic and downright dangerous. Someone said the only way to understand her was to include her 35 years of life in the DDR, which makes some kind of sense.

I think you are right in that she would have preferred an American or EU flag be waved.

Liberty's Edge

Umbranus wrote:
Chemlak wrote:

Ahem.

Union FLAG.

The Union Jack is when it's on a ship.

Don't know if this is correct but Wikipedia states the following on this:

Wiki wrote:
The terms Union Jack, Union Flag, British Flag are all historically correct for describing the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom. Whether to call it the "Union Jack" or the "Union Flag" is a matter of debate by many. According to the Flag Institute, the vexillological organisation for the United Kingdom, "the national flag of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories is the Union Flag, which may also be called the Union Jack."[4] The Institute also notes: It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea.
Bolding mine.

Funny thing... If you take the stripes off the US flag and put it on a ship, it's also the Union Jack.

Shadow Lodge

Sissyl wrote:
Orthos, if someone said "a couple hundred years ago", I would think 1700 before 1800.

Yeah, just letting you know you're off on that. Time marches on and all. =)


Hm, I'm honestly not sure if what we're seeing in the video is a disrespecting of the flag. While I don't know exactly what's going on, it looks like a situation that could be easily missinterpreted.

In any case, around here -Chile- it would cause a good bit of annoyance if the president -or any authority, for that matter- showed a lack of respect for the flag, the shield, the anthem, or any national symbol. They are part of the national identity, and as such perceived as belonging to everyone, so disrespecting them would be the same as insulting someone's family.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Saw the video not really sure what the fuss is about. Also would hardly call it ripping it from someone else's hand.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbranus wrote:
Chemlak wrote:

Ahem.

Union FLAG.

The Union Jack is when it's on a ship.

Don't know if this is correct but Wikipedia states the following on this:

Wiki wrote:
The terms Union Jack, Union Flag, British Flag are all historically correct for describing the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom. Whether to call it the "Union Jack" or the "Union Flag" is a matter of debate by many. According to the Flag Institute, the vexillological organisation for the United Kingdom, "the national flag of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories is the Union Flag, which may also be called the Union Jack."[4] The Institute also notes: It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea.
Bolding mine.

I bow to your superior search-fu. Not that I searched at all.

Shadow Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
Orthos, if someone said "a couple hundred years ago", I would think 1700 before 1800.

Couple = 2.

2013 - 200 = 1813.

Sovereign Court

The one and only true emperor is of course ...

Spoiler:
Julius Caesar


Sissyl wrote:
To answer the thread: Merkel is more and more becoming a problem for Europe as a whole. She is consistently without ideals or principles. She changes her decisions after what is most profitable right now. She is untrustworthy.

If only more Germans would see this and vote accordingly...


Orthos wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
A couple of hundred years back, say, around 1700 or so, there was no British Empire.

It's 2013. "Couple Hundred Years Back" is 1800, not 1700.

And you'd be incorrect either way. The First British Empire, according to Wikipedia, lasted from 1583–1783. The Second British Empire, the one more people (at least in my admittedly limited American experience) would be familiar with I imagine, went from 1783–1815 and extended into the "Imperial Century" of 1815–1914, in which it was heavily eroded by the growth of the US and independence of many of its colonies before being fully broken by World War I.

It was WWII that finished off the British Empire - national bankrupcy, more or less, plus the US/USSR grabbing the top spots on the world stage with very little room for Glorious Albion to manoeuvre independently. Most colonies didn't become independent until the 50s/60s, India and Israel/Palestine aside; in terms of land mass occupied, the British Empire was probably larger than ever after WWI, seeing as many of Germany's former colonies got gobbled up by the UK.

Whether disrespecting the Union flag would prove controversial would kind of depend on who was doing it, needless to say. Tory prime minister? Probably not - a few paleoconservative grumbles. Labour prime minister? Murdoch press/Daily Mail would dine out on it for weeks. Prominent Muslim? Take cover.

I see the English flag, or one of the regional flags, flown almost as often as I do the Union Jack these days. Might not mean much.

There's the British Republican flag, too. Somewhat uncommon.


Stereofm wrote:
The one and only true emperor is of course ... ** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:

Julius Caesar was only a Dictator. Augustus was the first Emperor.


Orthos wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
A couple of hundred years back, say, around 1700 or so, there was no British Empire.

It's 2013. "Couple Hundred Years Back" is 1800, not 1700.

And you'd be incorrect either way. The First British Empire, according to Wikipedia, lasted from 1583–1783. The Second British Empire, the one more people (at least in my admittedly limited American experience) would be familiar with I imagine, went from 1783–1815 and extended into the "Imperial Century" of 1815–1914, in which it was heavily eroded by the growth of the US and independence of many of its colonies before being fully broken by World War I.

Ninja'ed by LL

No the British Empire was at its teritorial height in 1939 and was recovering very well from WWI and the depression. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa were self governing but were still part of the empire... Victory in WWI had given the British Empire large sections of the German overseas empire, in the pacific and Africa as well as parts of the oil rich Middle East, that had belonged to the Ottomans.

It was WWII that ended the empire in its current form... Bankrupted by fighting by themselves (all of the Empire included) and having to pay to be the arsenal of democracy, and post war being pressured to give independence (quite rightly) to those colonies that wanted it, that the empire diminished. The Suez Crisis was the b$~*$ slap from the US that put the British and French in their places.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah that was a typo, sorry guys.


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Orthos wrote:
Yeah that was a typo, sorry guys.

There is no "Sorry guys" when it comes to typos on the Internet.

Now hurry through that door. We're behind schedule on sausage production. Do try and remove any metalic bits on you, though speed takes priority.

<Scribbles on a notebook>

What have you eaten today? For classification. We pride ourselves on the taste of our sausages.


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The previous Conservative government encouraged flag waving to the point of stupidity...

Bogans (rednecks, trailer trash,) took it extremes.... They would tie the flag around their necks like a superman cape at sporting events, and memorial services. I was at several music festivals (around the time of the Cronulla riot) where some Bogans were making non AngloCeltic people kiss the flag.

The scum even co-opted the Southern Cross... When you raise the Southern Cross on your flag without the Union Flag (UK flag) you are supposed to be signalling your defiance of Authority an support for workers rights. The bogans were getting as a tattoo and making it a right wing if you don't like my country leave it statement.

To me there are only two reasons you should be draped in the flag - you died in service to your country or you have won a gold at the Olympics your name is Cathy Freeman and you are holding the Australian an Aboriginal flag to symbolise unity an harmony.

Liberty's Edge

Wearing the US flag or anything close enough to be recognizable as one is a federal crime, albeit an unpunishable one.


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The 8th Dwarf wrote:

The previous Conservative government encouraged flag waving to the point of stupidity...

Bogans (rednecks, trailer trash,) took it extremes.... They would tie the flag around their necks like a superman cape at sporting events, and memorial services. I was at several music festivals (around the time of the Cronulla riot) where some Bogans were making non AngloCeltic people kiss the flag.

The scum even co-opted the Southern Cross... When you raise the Southern Cross on your flag without the Union Flag (UK flag) you are supposed to be signalling your defiance of Authority an support for workers rights. The bogans were getting as a tattoo and making it a right wing if you don't like my country leave it statement.

To me there are only two reasons you should be draped in the flag - you died in service to your country or you have won a gold at the Olympics your name is Cathy Freeman and you are holding the Australian an Aboriginal flag to symbolise unity an harmony.

Well said 8th. I cringe every time I see a bogan with a Southern Cross tattoo, or a ute with a big ol' Southern Cross sticker on the rear window, since I know I'd be fairly safe making an assumption about them being a redneck, bigoted and generally unpleasant person.


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Administrator Kroft wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Yeah that was a typo, sorry guys.

There is no "Sorry guys" when it comes to typos on the Internet.

Now hurry through that door. We're behind schedule on sausage production. Do try and remove any metalic bits on you, though speed takes priority.

<Scribbles on a notebook>

What have you eaten today? For classification. We pride ourselves on the taste of our sausages.

You don't want me in there. You don't know where or what I've been.


Tinkergoth wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:

The previous Conservative government encouraged flag waving to the point of stupidity...

Bogans (rednecks, trailer trash,) took it extremes.... They would tie the flag around their necks like a superman cape at sporting events, and memorial services. I was at several music festivals (around the time of the Cronulla riot) where some Bogans were making non AngloCeltic people kiss the flag.

The scum even co-opted the Southern Cross... When you raise the Southern Cross on your flag without the Union Flag (UK flag) you are supposed to be signalling your defiance of Authority an support for workers rights. The bogans were getting as a tattoo and making it a right wing if you don't like my country leave it statement.

To me there are only two reasons you should be draped in the flag - you died in service to your country or you have won a gold at the Olympics your name is Cathy Freeman and you are holding the Australian an Aboriginal flag to symbolise unity an harmony.

Well said 8th. I cringe every time I see a bogan with a Southern Cross tattoo, or a ute with a big ol' Southern Cross sticker on the rear window, since I know I'd be fairly safe making an assumption about them being a redneck, bigoted and generally unpleasant person.

I was at the Big Day Out the year of all that stupidness, I was looking for a toilet that wasn't one big pool of urine and vomit... I took a wrong turn and ended up behind the arena I turned a corner and sprung a couple "going for gold" the bogan had had a little bit of class he had spread out his Australian flag for the girl to lay on....

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a post and reply. Please revisit the messageboard rules.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a post and reply. Please revisit the messageboard rules.

Bummer I missed something naughty...

Scarab Sages

Umbranus wrote:
So what do you think about this? And how would people in other countries react in such a case?

I think you only have to look at the youtube comments, to see why she doesn't want to encourage a new wave of blind allegiance to flag-waving nationalism.

The people posting there prove her point for her.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:

The previous Conservative government encouraged flag waving to the point of stupidity...

Bogans (rednecks, trailer trash,) took it extremes.... They would tie the flag around their necks like a superman cape at sporting events, and memorial services. I was at several music festivals (around the time of the Cronulla riot) where some Bogans were making non AngloCeltic people kiss the flag.

The scum even co-opted the Southern Cross... When you raise the Southern Cross on your flag without the Union Flag (UK flag) you are supposed to be signalling your defiance of Authority an support for workers rights. The bogans were getting as a tattoo and making it a right wing if you don't like my country leave it statement.

To me there are only two reasons you should be draped in the flag - you died in service to your country or you have won a gold at the Olympics your name is Cathy Freeman and you are holding the Australian an Aboriginal flag to symbolise unity an harmony.

Well said 8th. I cringe every time I see a bogan with a Southern Cross tattoo, or a ute with a big ol' Southern Cross sticker on the rear window, since I know I'd be fairly safe making an assumption about them being a redneck, bigoted and generally unpleasant person.
I was at the Big Day Out the year of all that stupidness, I was looking for a toilet that wasn't one big pool of urine and vomit... I took a wrong turn and ended up behind the arena I turned a corner and sprung a couple "going for gold" the bogan had had a little bit of class he had spread out his Australian flag for the girl to lay on....

Ooooh, classy. Yeah, Soundwave last year had hordes of people wearing Australian flag morphsuits... because nothing says pride in your country like wearing a skintight spandex suit printed with the flag and rubbing your junk all over the inside of it (morphsuits not being designed to be worn over underwear).


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I find it impossible to imagine something like that (the video) happening in the United States. Only two, small flags, on the podium at the swearing in ceremony? I think not.


Snorter wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
So what do you think about this? And how would people in other countries react in such a case?

I think you only have to look at the youtube comments, to see why she doesn't want to encourage a new wave of blind allegiance to flag-waving nationalism.

The people posting there prove her point for her.

I did read them but I don't believe they are right.

Someone who treats our flag like that should not represent us.


If Merkel doesn't like the German flag, it's because she doesn't respect the concept of Germany as a nation. I see no other reason for it that makes sense. If she didn't want neonazis and the dregs of patriotic sludge to "take over" the flag, it would be her job to affirm that it's a symbol of ALL Germans. We had that question in Sweden, too, and the politicians and the media did what they could to answer the challenge by showing the flag as a symbol for all of us. Within a few years, the entire debate had disappeared, and people used the flag without feeling ashamed.

That she doesn't even try speaks volumes. Any high-up here not showing respect to the flag would become a pretty big story, I think, even though, as you say, it's an outdated symbol for days past.


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As much as German politicians fail in their job I have high hopes that, some day in the future, people here in Bavaria realize that they are better off without the rest of Germany and we become a free sovereign country.
I for my part already tried to support it be voting for the Bavarian party in the recent state elections.

One day the Free State of Bavaria will be free again.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

I find it impossible to imagine something like that (the video) happening in the United States. Only two, small flags, on the podium at the swearing in ceremony? I think not.

It was not the swearing ceremony, it was just the election party after it was clear that the conservative party (the CDU) had (once again - sigh) won the election. Obviously, she found flag-waving at that occasion inappropriate - which it might be, as it is an election party from her party (a party party?), not anything official. The guy she takes it from is Hermann Gröhe, who is secretary general of the conservative party. What it shows clearly is that Merkel rules the CDU, which is nothing new either.

Generally, germans are more prone to flag-weaving since the soccer world championship in Germany in 2008, which was a peaceful party for the most part. Overall, the flag is shown much less than in the US. Open patriotism is viewed with some suspicion over here, it is put close to an extreme right-wing mindset by many people.

To be honest, I don´t see the point in being a patriot - by chance, I´m born in Germany. So what? What is the point in being proud of the uncontrollable circumstances of ones birthplace? If something special is achieved by germans in any way, that can be something to be proud of, maybe. I´m proud of my two degrees, yes. But that has nothing to do with me being a german.


The idea is that since it's a democracy, and there are good things about living in Germany, you are partly responsible for some of it just because you have partaken in the democratic process. Every country has crap laws here and there, there is always a measure of corruption... but if we never celebrate the good things about democracy, it's not going to last long.


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Sissyl wrote:

If Merkel doesn't like the German flag, it's because she doesn't respect the concept of Germany as a nation. I see no other reason for it that makes sense. If she didn't want neonazis and the dregs of patriotic sludge to "take over" the flag, it would be her job to affirm that it's a symbol of ALL Germans. We had that question in Sweden, too, and the politicians and the media did what they could to answer the challenge by showing the flag as a symbol for all of us. Within a few years, the entire debate had disappeared, and people used the flag without feeling ashamed.

That she doesn't even try speaks volumes. Any high-up here not showing respect to the flag would become a pretty big story, I think, even though, as you say, it's an outdated symbol for days past.

Neonazis over here use the old german/prussian colors for the most part (red, white and black), which were used by the Nazis for their swastika flag also. The black/red/gold flag was used by the Weimarer Republik (1919-1933), and it were the revolutionary colors of the 19th century - "from the black thralldom through bloody (red) battles to the golden light of freedom".

From what I know, most Neonazis deride the present german flag.


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Gingerbreadman wrote:

As much as German politicians fail in their job I have high hopes that, some day in the future, people here in Bavaria realize that they are better off without the rest of Germany and we become a free sovereign country.

I for my part already tried to support it be voting for the Bavarian party in the recent state elections.

One day the Free State of Bavaria will be free again.

Oh yeah! I´m all for it, because we (the others) would no longer need to hear how much better everything is in Bavaria, and how much Bavaria chafes under the rest of Germany. Then Seehofer can introduce his Autobahn fee for all foreigners all he wants. Good riddance, I say.


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Sissyl wrote:
The idea is that since it's a democracy, and there are good things about living in Germany, you are partly responsible for some of it just because you have partaken in the democratic process. Every country has crap laws here and there, there is always a measure of corruption... but if we never celebrate the good things about democracy, it's not going to last long.

I basically agree - but with Kohl reigning 16 years and Merkel now aspiring to 12 years, this is damaging to democracy IMO. I do like the US law that a president may only serve 2 times. The way Merkel treats the NSA affair (by basically ignoring it as much as possible and sending her paladins to the front if absolutely necessary) shows that the democracy is damaged already.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBCkm9-LvRg (Some slightly nsfw language.)


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Democracy is in bad shape all over the place. It is nothing new. A case could be made that it always has been. To me, that makes it feel even more important to pay attention to the good parts of it.


I like the 2 terms rule as well. It's a pity they didn't have that in place when we were picking and choosing bits and pieces of other peoples constitutions. I think that leaders go stale if they are in too long.

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