Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Note on Flags - Repost

Minenwerfer is a band that has tried to convey the music of the First World War (1914-1918), and the interesting themes, topics, and history of that war. One of the original inspirations of this was due to the First World War being overshadowed by the second, and that the trenches could bring to life an intense war atmosphere that could be adequately expressed in Black Metal.

Unfortunately, we have decided to retire a few of our flags that we use for our live stage show, due to being misunderstood. Although we are retiring these flags I would like to give historical context to these flags, and why we had used them as a part of our stage set up. We would like to dispel any rumors of NS connotations from the band due to the use of flags. They were meant to convey the historical era reflected in our lyrics, but unfortunately in our post-WWII world, many of these symbols have been hijacked by racist scum. Here lies a short explanation of the flags we used on stage, what they are/were, and why we are retiring a few.

As a reference guide here is a basic German flag guide: List of German Flags
A more in-depth explanation of German historical flags: Comprehensive Flag Guide

Imperial War Flag (Reichskreigsflagg) 1867-1918 (Version 1903-1918)

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This is the Imperial War Flag used throughout World War I. There are a few similar versions of it that date back to the North German Confederation in 1867, but this was the final evolution of the flag. We used this flag to represent the German Empire (1871-1918). It had no racist connotations, but in our post-WWII era it has been hijacked by right-wing organizations and racists since flags bearing swastikas have been banned in Germany and many other places throughout Europe. Unfortunately, because of this our original intentions for the use of this flag have been misunderstood. It was never used in WWII and was never a Nazi flag at any time. The flag fell out of use after the establishment of the Weimar Republic. The last real use was during a 1920 attempt to overthrow the republic, known as the the Kapp Putsch. This flag was used by monarchist (i.e. NOT Nazis) during this revolt. Despite this, we would not like to have any notion that we sympathize with these right-wing racist organizations, and have retired the flag from our stage set up.

Marine Jack (Kriegsschiffsgösch) (1867-1918)

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Another flag that has it's historical roots from the North German Confederation. It is mainly known as the naval flag of Imperial Germany. Much like the Imperial Reichskriegsflagg its original meaning has been tarnished due to right-wing organizations. This flag was not used during WWII. It was used briefly in 1933-1935 by Nazis in a different version in which the Iron Cross was off-centered. They later commissioned their own naval jack with swastikas, which went on to be used in WWII. Unfortunately, this is another flag we have decided to retire.

National and merchant flag (National- und Handelsflagge)

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While this flag was not used on stage by us, we had hoped to use it at some point. This flag basically has the same story as the naval jack. Use by racist organizations have made it so we are unable to use this flag. It is sad that it's historical meaning has been erased by these ignorant bigots. When we eventually reach a point in which our lyrical concepts revolve around the North German Confederation, we will unfortunately not be able to use this flag.


The following are flags that we plan on continuing to use, or plan on using at some point in the future when our lyrical concepts reflect that point in history. These flags have no racist connections whatsoever. If you disagree, please leave a rebuttal statement and explanation, so we can reconsider.

Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1918) (Version 1891-1918)

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Prussia is a former state of Germany, and at one point the largest and most powerful. It has a long, interesting, and rich history. After the collapse of the German Empire in 1918, Prussia became a free state. Prussia had various flags pre-1918, that would also be a great addition to our stage show. We currently use this flag, and see no reason to change that. This flag has no racist connotations, and isn't used by right-wing racists in modern day. The most that could be said for it is that those that believe the monarchy should still be ruling may have a connection to it presently. I would safely say, no one takes them seriously.

More on the various flags of Prussia can be found here: History of Prussian Flags

Flag of the Holy Roman Empire (1430–1806 Version)

Flag of the Holy Roman Empire 1200–1350

These are flags of the Holy Roman Empire. These are just two of the main designs among many. Neither have racist connections. For use when our lyrics reflect medieval warfare.

Flag of the Teutonic Knights

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Teutonic Knights Grand Master (1198)

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These are also just a few of many flags of the Teutonic Knights. Also for use when our lyrics convey medieval warfare.

For a look at various Prussian, Holy Roman Empire, and Teutonic Knights flags look here: Various Pre-1805 Flags

Austrian Flags

Flag of the House of Habsburg (Austrian Empire) (1720-1918) (Not common after 1867)

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For use when lyrical concepts deal with Napoleonic Wars, War of the Austrian Succession, Austro-Prussian war, etc.

Flag of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1867-1918

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Flag of the duel monarchy from 1867 up to WWI.


From here on out, listing more flags that we plan on using would be tedious. We also have plans to use various French flags in the future, and so on. I hope this blog may have been somewhat educational, and I hope it dispels any notion of NS sympathies. It's sad that ignorance, and bigotry, has shadowed an interesting and lively history.

To end this blog, I would once again reiterate that Minenwerfer has no political ideology. We do not support Nazism, Fascism, Neo-Nazism, Crypto-Fascism, racism, or anything related. We also do not want to alienate potential fans that may be ignorant of our intentions, and jump to the conclusions that we support these ideologies. Even if we did mention these things in our lyrics, it wouldn't mean that we condoned the actions.

This being said, war is evil, brutal, filthy, destructive and brings out the worst in mankind. That's why it's our topic of choice.

- Feldmarschall Kriegshammer

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