The Alsatian Flag its origin and all its symbol!

Today, an article on the Alsatian flag! All about the rich cultural and economic history of the Alsace region, but also and more particularly. The region but also the history of its flag, understand what it really represents, as well as its symbol for Alsatians.

The symbolism of the Alsatian flag

You should know that Alsace has historically two flags:

  • The administrative flag used by most local authorities. It consists of the arms of Upper and Lower Alsace.
  • The flag “Rot un Wiss ”, also called historical flag which, for its part, uses the traditional colors of Alsace.

The official Alsatian flag was adopted on May 5, 1948 by the prefects of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. His coat of arms is proposed by the heraldry Robert louis, as well as the curator of the national archives of France, Jacques Meurgey de Tupigny.

But in 2003, the regional council will officially adopt a second flag, of older inspiration, based on the coat of arms of Alsace from the 17th century, it is this flag that we find the most, as on my flags .Fr.

It is a coat of arms merging the coats of arms of Upper Alsace and Lower Alsace. This flag, designed as the model of Union Jack British, merges the symbols of the entities it represents. It was created under the Holy Empire and then adopted by the French regime by the intendant of Alsace.

Symbolically it is made up of red and white, colors of the Counts of Werd to which are added 6 yellow crowns, symbols of the Habsburg dynasty from Alsace.

The white band, meanwhile, adorned on both sides with white lace, is the symbol of the Counts of Werd who reigned over the northern part of the region. This symbol is found on the coat of arms of the city of Strasbourg, the colors being reversed.

The flag of Rot a Wiss (which translates from Alsatian to red and white) is made up of the two typical colors of Alsace and dates back to the 11th century with Gerhard d’Alsace, Duke of Lorraine. This flag developed after the annexation of the region and part of Lorraine by the German Empire in 1871 and symbolizes the difference within the Empire but also the protest.

In the Alsatian hymn “Elsässisch Fàhnelied ”, the latter is expressly named and is an integral part of the major symbols of Alsace today.

Alsace and its history

City of Alsace by night, with typical half-timbered houses

The Alsace region is located in the east of France, it borders with the countries of Germany and Switzerland. Namely that the inhabitants of this region are called the Alsatians.

More precisely, Alsace is located between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine. Located in the region of Rhine Europe, Alsace is at the heart of the “blue banana”: the economic center of Europe from London to Milan. The most important of the five great Alsatian agglomerations is Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

Historically known as the administrative region of Alsace, it merged in 2015 with the regions of Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form the Grand Est region.

It is a land situated culturally and historically between France and Germany and therefore has the Germanic language (Germanic and Francic).

With a strong identity, Alsace is however a cosmopolitan region, mixed and with strongly diversified religious denominations.

The region was previously subdivided into three entities: Upper Alsace, Lower Alsace and the Republic of Mulhouse. The latter will be attached to France, under military constraint, in 1798.

Alsace was made French under Louis XIV, in the middle of the 17th century. It will be very active during the French Revolution, cradle of The Marseillaise and seeing the birth of many revolutionary generals such as Kleber, Westermann, Rapp or Amey.

The implication of the Alsatians later in the affair of Captain Dreyfus will seal the attachment of this region to the French Republic.

After the defeat of the war of 1870, the region, and part of Lorraine, was annexed by the German Empire. The two regions will then be designated by the Third Republic as the “Lost provinces” and, following the Great War, they returned to France in 1919.

Alsace will then be annexed again by Nazi Germany in 1940 during World War II before finally becoming French again in 1945 when the Allies won.

This complex history of the region explains the local particularities, as in Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin, where many areas are governed by local law, which differs from general French law.

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