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The German flag has undergone many changes to arrive at the horizontal tricolor version represented today. Currently the flag consists of three equal horizontal stripes: black, red and gold. The colors first appeared in the early 19th century and became largely popular during the 1848 revolution. The flag has been used after World War I and World War II with the only changes coming when socialist symbols were added to the flag of East Germany. After reunification the flag remained the symbol of Germany.
In the past the flag has consisted of black, white and red stripes as well as the infamous swastika used by the Nazi's prior to and during World War II. As the swastika and other Nazi symbols have been made illegal in Germany, some far right groups use black, white and red flag in its place, which is an irony as the Nazi party itself banned the use of the black, white and red flag in 1935. The tri-colors are also legitimately used by monarchists and members of German royalty, but often this use is overshadowed by the more publicized ulterior uses of the flag.