Sunday, May 23, 2010

GERMANY - Country profile




The flag of Germany is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany : black, red and gold.

The black-red-gold tricolour first appeared in the early 19th century and achieved prominence during the 1848 revolution. The short-lived Frankfurt Parliament of 1848–1850 proposed the tricolour as a flag for a united and democratic German state. With the formation of the Weimar Republic after World War I, the tricolour was adopted as the national flag of Germany. Following World War II, the tricolour was designated as the flag of both West and East Germany. The two flags were identical until 1959, when the East German flag was defaced with the coat of arms of East Germany. Since reunification on 3 October 1990, the black-red-gold tricolour has remained the flag of Germany.

The flag of Germany has not always used black, red and gold as its colours. After the Austro–Prussian War in 1866, the Prussian-dominated North German Confederation adopted a tricolour of black-white-red as its flag. This flag later became the flag of the German Empire, formed following the unification of Germany in 1871, and was used until 1918. Black, white and red were reintroduced as the German national colours with the establishment of Nazi Germany in 1933.

The colour schemes of black-red-gold and black-white-red have played an important role in the history of Germany and have had various meanings. The colours of the modern flag are associated with the republican democracy formed after World War II, and represent German unity and freedom : not only the freedom of Germany, but also the personal freedom of the German people.


Official Name:
Bundesrepublik Deutschland
local short form: Deutschland
int'l long form: Federal Republic of Germany
int'l short form: Germany
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich.

ISO Country Code: de

Capital City: Berlin
Former (transitional) Capital City: Bonn

Major Cities:
(city population)
Bremen (543 000), Dortmund (592 000), Dresden, Düsseldorf (568,000), Essen (603 000), Frankfurt (644 000), Hamburg (1.7 million), Hannover (516 000), Köln (964 000), München (1.2 million), Stuttgart (582 000)

Type: Democratic-parliamentary federal state
Founded: 1949 (Basic Law, i.e., Constitution, promulgated on 23 May 1949).
On the 3rd October 1990, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic unified in accordance with Article 23 of the FRG Basic Law.

Location: Central Europe bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea in north.
Area: 357 031 sq. km. (137 850 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Low plain in the north; high plains, hills, and basins in the center and east; mountainous alpine region in the south.
Highest mountain: Zugspitze 2 962 m.

Climate: Generally moderate continental climate without sustained periods of cold or heat, maritime climate in the North, in the South mountain climate in the Alpine regions.

Nationality: German(s)
Population: 83 million
Ethnic groups: Primarily German; Danish minority in the north, Sorbian (Slavic) minority in the east; 7.3 million foreign residents.
Religions: Protestants (27.9 million), Catholics (27.3 million); approximately 3.2 million Muslims.
Language: German, second languages: English, French, Turkish.

Natural resources: Coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land.
Agriculture products: Potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry.

Industries: Among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages; shipbuilding; textiles.

Exports partners: France 10.6%, USA 9.3%, UK 8.4%, Italy 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Austria 5.3%, Belgium 5.1%, Spain 4.9%, Switzerland 4% (2003)

Imports partners: France 9.2%, Netherlands 8.4%, USA 7.3%, Italy 6.3%, UK 6%, Belgium 4.9%, China 4.7%, Austria 4% (2003)

Currency: Euro (EUR)

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