Right-wing extremists use the Reich War Flag as a symbol of identification. Interior Minister Seehofer has now praised the initiative of some federal states to ban the flag. At the next conference of interior ministers one could talk about a uniform approach.
The debate initiated by some federal states about a ban on the Reich war flag in public space met with a positive response from Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. “The Federal Minister of the Interior welcomes it when the federal states exhaust their legal possibilities to prevent the Reich war flag from being shown in public,” said his spokesman for the dpa news agency.
Seehofer therefore wanted to propose to put the topic on the agenda of the federal and state governments’ conference of interior ministers planned for December – “with the aim of a nationwide uniform approach”.
Bremen went ahead with a ban
The Bremen Interior Authority was the first to decide last week to ban the flags, which are used by Reich citizens and members of right-wing extremist groups at rallies, from the public. According to the Bremen decree, “their use in public regularly represents a lasting impairment of the requirements for an orderly civic coexistence and thus a danger to public order”.
The police in the state of Bremen can now confiscate the flags and impose a fine of up to 1000 euros.
Other federal states interested in regulation
There are similar considerations in Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann spoke out on Tuesday for a nationwide ban on the Reich flag and the Reich war flag. He also suggested that the interior ministers of the federal states should discuss how a ban could be enforced.
The so-called Reichskriegsflagge in black-white-red was used in several variants from 1871 in changing parts of the army. Already in the Weimar Republic it served as a recognition signal for monarchist, reactionary and anti-republican groups.
The use of the red, black and white Reich war flag introduced by the National Socialists in 1935, with a swastika emblazoned in the middle, is forbidden nationwide.
In one of the other historical versions, the Reich war flag can only be secured under special circumstances. According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, this is the case, for example, “when the flag is the focal point of a specific threat”. The black-white-red flag of the Empire is generally allowed.
Reich flags last came into public focus at the end of August, when demonstrators occupied the stairs of the Reichstag building in Berlin on the sidelines of the protests against the federal government’s corona protective measures.