Flag of Austria

The flag of Austria (German: Flagge Österreichs) has three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red. The Austrian triband is based on the coat of arms of the Babenberg dynasty, recorded in the 13th century. It may have seen use in flags from about the 15th century, alongside the black-and-yellow colours of the House of Habsburg and other insignia of the Holy Roman Empire. It was adopted as a naval ensign in the 18th century, and as national flag in 1918.

Austria
Flag of Austria
UseCivil flag, civil and naval ensign
Proportion2:3
Adopted1945
DesignA horizontal triband of red (top and bottom) and white.
Flag of Austria (state)
Variant flag of Austria
UseState flag and ensign, war flag
Proportion2:3
DesignA horizontal triband of red (top and bottom) and white defaced with the Coat of arms of Austria at its centre.

History

Origins

Frederick II, Duke of Austria
19th century draft of the seal of Duke Frederick II

The flag traces back to the coat of arms of the medieval Babenberg dynasty, a silver band on a red field (in heraldry: Gules a fess Argent). The origin of the Bindenschild has not been conclusively established, it possibly derived from the Styrian margraves of the Otakar noble family, who themselves may have adopted the colours from the descendants of the Carinthian duke Adalbero (ruled 1011–1035), a scion of the House of Eppenstein extinct in 1122. However, the Babenberg margrave Leopold III of Austria (1095–1136) had already been depicted with a triband shield in 1105.

When the last Otakar Duke Ottokar IV of Styria died in 1192, the Styrian duchy was inherited by the Babenberg duke Leopold V of Austria according to the 1186 Georgenberg Pact. According to the 18th-century historian Chrysostomus Hanthaler, his grandson Duke Frederick II of Austria (1230–1246), nicknamed the "Quarrelsome" or the "Warlike", the last of the Babenberg dynasty, designed a new coat of arms in red-white-red after his accession—an attempt to prevail against reluctant local nobles and to stress his autonomy towards Emperor Frederick II. The triband is first documented in a seal on a deed issued on 30 November 1230, confirming the privileges of Lilienfeld Abbey. The medieval chronicler Jans der Enikel reports that the duke appeared in a red-white-red ceremonial dress at his 1232 accolade in the Vienna Schottenstift.

The Babenberg family colors developed to the coat of arms of their Austrian possessions. After the dynasty had become extinct with Frederick's death at the 1246 Battle of the Leitha River, they were adopted by his Přemyslid successor King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Upon the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld the colours were assumed by the victorious House of Habsburg and gradually became the coat of arms of the dynasty's Hereditary Lands within the Habsburg Monarchy.

Legend

Herzog Leopold V. Babenberg
Duke Leopold V (left of centre, kneeling) receives the red-white-red banner from Emperor Henry VI, from the Babenberger Stammbaum, Klosterneuburg Monastery, c. 1490.

According to legend, the flag was invented by Duke Leopold V of Austria as a consequence of his fighting during the Siege of Acre. After a fierce battle, his white surcoat was completely drenched in blood. When he removed his belt, the cloth beneath remained unstained, revealing the combination of red-white-red. So taken was he by this singular sight that he adopted the colors and scheme as his banner.[1] The incident was documented as early as 1260, though it is highly unlikely.

In fact, the war flag of the Holy Roman Empire during the Crusades was a silver cross on a red field quite similar to the later Austrian arms. This ensign was used by the Austrian capital Vienna from the late 13th century onwards.

Habsburg Monarchy

Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian Empire (used c. 1700–1867)

Since the days of Rudolph of Habsburg and the 1283 Treaty of Rheinfelden, the combination of red-white-red was widely considered to be the Austrian (later also Inner Austrian) colours used by the ruling Habsburg dynasty. However, the black-yellow flag was used as the national flag (in a modern sense) of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, the later Austrian Empire and the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary, sometimes even for the entire empire as well, until 1918. These were the family colours of the Imperial House of Habsburg, and were themselves in part derived from the banner of the Holy Roman Empire.[2]

Beginning in the reign of Emperor Joseph II, the Austrian, later Austro-Hungarian Navy used a naval ensign (Marineflagge) based on the red-white-red colours, and augmented with a shield of similar colours. Both of these flags became obsolete with Austria-Hungary's dissolution in 1918, and the newly formed rump state of German Austria adopted the red-white-red triband as its national flag.

Austrian flag coin

The Austrian flag has been the main motif of many collector coins. One of the most recent examples is the 20 euro Post War Period coin, issued by the Republic of Austria on 17 September 2003. The obverse of this coin shows the Austrian coat of arms flanked by the Austrian flag and the European Union flag.

The flag of Austria
2003 Austria 20 Euro The Post-War Period front
The Post-War Period Silver Coin

See also

References

  1. ^ Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Richard Jenkins (editors) 2007, Flag, Nation and Symbolism in Europe and America, Routledge, ISBN 0-203-93496-2 (pp. 19–20)
  2. ^ Volker Preuß. "National Flaggen des Österreich-Ungarn" (in German). Retrieved 2004-11-03.

External links

Austria at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships

Austria will compete at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, China between July 16 and 31, 2011.

Austria at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships

Austria is competing at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain between 19 July and 4 August 2013.

Austria at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships

Austria competed at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia from 24 July to 9 August 2015.

Austria at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships

Austria is scheduled to compete at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary from 14 July to 30 July.

Austria at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics

Austria competed at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, United Kingdom, 4–13 August 2017.

Banner of arms

A banner of arms is a type of heraldic flag which has the same image as a coat of arms, i.e. the shield of a full heraldic achievement, rendered in a square or rectangular shape of the flag.The term is derived from the terminology of heraldry but mostly used in vexillology. Examples of modern national flags which are banners of arms are the flags of Austria, Iraq, and Switzerland.

The banner of arms is sometimes simply called a banner, but a banner is in a more strict sense a one of a kind personal flag of a nobleman held in battle.

Coat of arms of Austria

The current coat of arms of Austria has been in use, in various forms, by the Republic of Austria since 1919. Between 1934 and the German annexation in 1938, Austria used a different coat of arms, which consisted of a double-headed eagle (one-party corporate state led by the clerico-right-wing Fatherland Front). The establishment of the Second Republic in 1945 saw the return of the original (First Republic) arms, with broken chains added to symbolise Austria's liberation.

Flag of Latvia

The national flag of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas karogs) was used by independent Latvia from 1918 until the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its use was suppressed during Soviet rule. Shortly before regaining its independence, Latvia re-adopted on 27 February 1990 the same red-white-red flag.

Though officially adopted in 1923, the Latvian flag was in use as early as the 13th century. The red colour is sometimes described as symbolizing the readiness of the Latvians to give the blood from their hearts for freedom and their willingness to defend their liberty. An alternative interpretation, according to one legend, is that a Latvian leader was wounded in battle, and the edges of the white sheet in which he was wrapped were stained by his blood. The white stripe may stand for the sheet that wrapped him. This story is similar to the legend of the origins of the flag of Austria.

Flag of Lebanon

The flag of Lebanon (Arabic: علم لبنان‎) is formed of two horizontal red stripes enveloping a horizontal white stripe. The white stripe is twice the height ( width ) of the red ones (ratio 1:2:1)—a Spanish fess. The green cedar (Lebanon Cedar) in the middle touches each of the red stripes and its width is one third of the width of the flag.

Flags of the Holy Roman Empire

The Flag of the Holy Roman Empire was not a national flag, but rather an imperial banner used by the Holy Roman Emperor; black and gold were used as the colours of the imperial banner, a black eagle on a golden background. After the late 13th or early 14th century, the claws and beak of the eagle were coloured red. From the early 15th century, a double-headed eagle was used.

In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte declared the First French Empire. In response to this, Emperor Francis II of the Habsburg dynasty declared his personal domain to be the Austrian Empire and became Francis I of Austria. Taking the colours of the banner of the Holy Roman Emperor, the flag of the Austrian Empire was black and gold. Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, with Napoleon forcing the empire's dissolution in 1806. After this point, these colours continued to be used as the flag of Austria until 1918.

The colours red and white were also significant during this period. When the Holy Roman Empire took part in the Crusades, a war flag was flown alongside the black-gold imperial banner. This flag, known as the "Saint George Flag", was a white cross on a red background: the reverse of the St George's Cross used as the flag of England. Red and white were also colours of the Hanseatic League (13th–17th centuries). Hanseatic trading ships were identifiable by their red-white pennants and most Hanseatic cities adopted red and white as their city colours (see Hanseatic flags). Red and white still feature as the colours of many former Hanseatic cities such as Hamburg or Bremen.

In northern Italy, during the conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in the 12th to 14th centuries, the armies of the Ghibelline (pro-imperial) communes adopted the war banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (white cross on red) as their own, while the Guelph (anti-imperial) communes reversed the colours (red cross on white). These two schemes are prevalent in the modern civic heraldry of northern Italian towns and remains a revealing indicator of their past factional leanings. Traditionally Ghibelline towns like Pavia, Novara, Como, and Asti continue to display the Ghibelline cross. The Guelph cross can be found on the civic arms of traditionally Guelph towns like Milan, Vercelli, Alessandria, Reggio, and Bologna.

Glossary of vexillology

Flag terminology is the nomenclature, or system of terms, used in vexillology, the study of flags, to describe precisely the parts, patterns, and other attributes of flags and their display.

Jolanta Ogar

Jolanta Ogar (born 28 April 1982, in Brzesko) is a Polish competitive sailor. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the Women's 470 class with team-mate Agnieszka Skrzypulec. They finished in 12th place. Since October 2014 she competes under the flag of Austria together with her Austrian teammate Lara Vadlau. Together they were successful at the 470 World Championships in La Rochelle in 2013 (silver medal) and in 2014 in Santander (gold medal).

In October 2014 Jolanta Ogar and Lara Vadlau were rewarded with the Austrian "Team of the Year 2014" award.

List of Austrian flags

This is a list of flags used in Austria. For more information about the national flag, visit the article Flag of Austria.

List of flags by color

This is a list of flags by color. Each section below contains any flag that has any amount of the color listed for that section.

Military Order of Maria Theresa

The Military Order of Maria Theresa (German: Militär-Maria-Theresien-Orden, Hungarian: Katonai Mária Terézia-rend, Czech: Vojenský řád Marie Terezie, Polish: Wojskowy Order Marii Teresy, Slovene: Vojaški red Marije Terezije, Croatian: Vojni Red Marije Terezije) was the highest military honour of the Habsburg Monarchy, Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire.

National flag

A national flag is a flag that represents and symbolizes a country. The national flag is flown by the government of a country, but can usually also be flown by citizens of the country. A national flag is designed with specific meanings for its colours and symbols. The colours of the national flag may be worn by the people of a nation to show their patriotism, or related paraphernalia that show the symbols or colours of the flag may be used for those purposes.

The design of a national flag may be altered after the occurrence of important historical events. The burning or destruction of a national flag is a greatly symbolic act.

Outline of Austria

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Austria:

Austria – landlocked sovereign country located in Central Europe. It borders both Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The capital is the city of Vienna on the Danube River.

State flag

There are two separate meanings for the term of state flag in vexillology; either the flag of the government of a sovereign state, or the flag of an individual subnational state.

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