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Imagining a Greater GermanyRepublican Nationalism and the Idea of Anschluss$
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Erin R. Hochman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704444

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704444.001.0001

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The Search For Symbols

The Search For Symbols

The Debates about the German Flag and the Austrian Anthem

(p.48) 2 The Search For Symbols
Imagining a Greater Germany

Erin R. Hochman

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses the clash over state symbols that emerged alongside the intensive debates about the new form of government. It highlights the importance of großdeutsch nationalism in republican attempts to defend democracy and its symbolic manifestations. In the Weimar Republic, the decision by the National Assembly to replace the black-white-red imperial standard with a black-red-gold tricolor was hotly contested by those on the political right. For Austrians, the debate over state symbols focused on the national anthem. This chapter, however, moves beyond simply viewing these debates as symptoms of political fragmentation in the two countries. Through an investigation of letters and petitions sent by individuals and associations to the governments, it explores how contemporaries began self-consciously to practice what they saw as the rights and responsibilities of citizens living in democratic republics.

Keywords:   state symbols, German flag, Austrian national anthem, großdeutsch nationalism, democratic republics, democratic symbols

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