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Free Democratic Party (Germany)

Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP)

Last modified: 2006-08-26 by jarig bakker
Keywords: fdp |
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[Free Democratic Party new flag] 3:5; image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002
used since 2002

See also:

Introduction to the FDP

The FDP (Freie Demokratische Partei, Free Democratic Party), although being a liberal party, has always been more or less a mixture of more left-liberal (for civic rights) and right-liberal (nationalistic) attitudes. Especially in the 1950's there were several attempts to make the FDP a forum for decidedly right-wing politics (perhaps something like the Austrian FPÖ). This also could be seen in its political symbolism. With the SPD-FDP coalition 1969-1982 the left-liberals became more prominent in the party, and even before that decidedly right-wing members left the party, at least in part joining the 1964-founded NPD. Today the FDP maintains a position in the middle of the political positions, forming coalitions with the CDU as well as with the SPD in certain Länder.

The FDP was founded in 1948 and in 1949 it joined the federal coalition under Chancellor Adenauer, where it remained (except for a short opposition period 1957-1961) until 1966, when it went into opposition for another three years. During 1969-1982 it was part of the SPD-FDP coalition, from 1982-1998 part of the CDU-CSU-FDP coalition under Chancellor Kohl. Since 1998 it is in federal opposition. Although remaining the third or fourth largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag, the FDP constantly lost support in the Länder and now it is only represented in five out of 16 Länder parliaments. Especially in the new Länder (former German Democratic Republic) the FDP is very weak, in spite of its unification with the former East German parties LDPD and NDPD.
Marcus Schmöger, 31 Mar 2001

New FDP Flag

The Freie Demokratische Partei/Die Liberalen (FDP) has a new logo. Note the blue stripe in the bottom. I'm not sure if the flags have changed in the same way.
Santiago Tazon, 10 Oct 2002

The new FDP flag shows the new logo, however there are already several variants available, depending on the manufacturer and depending on the demands of the local party branches.

At this webpage is the "Querformatflagge" (horizontal flag); size is 150x250cm (top)
Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002

New vertical FDP Flag

[Free Democratic Party new vertical flag] 5:2; image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002
Flag used since 2002

At this webpage is the vertical variant ("Hochformatflagge"); size is 300x120cm.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002

New FDP paperflag

[Free Democratic Party new paperflag] 3:5; image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002
Flag used since 2002

At this webpage is the new variant of the paper flag, that is slightly different from the horizontal textile flag.

They also sell the old paper flags (with the old logo) at this webpage - I'm not sending a new gif for this one, as it is not much different from the FDP flag already shown at FOTW.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002

New FDP variant flag

[Free Democratic Party new variant flag] 3:5; image by Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002
used since 2002

There is another manufacturer for FDP public relations with slightly different flags. You can find the textile flag and paper flag, respectively, at this webpage and this one.
Marcus Schmöger, 19 Nov 2002

The old FDP-flag (c.1969-2002)

[Free Democratic Party, variant 1 (Germany)] 1:2 [Free Democratic Party, variant 2 (Germany)] 1:2 - images by Marcus Schmöger, 31 Mar 2001
Used since c.1969

The flags used in the 1950's and their symbolism went out of use in the 1960's, according to Rabbow 1970. Since 1966 and even more since 1972 the FDP uses mainly the colours yellow and blue, now widely recognized in Germany as the FDP colours. Since 1969 the FDP uses the writing 'F.D.P.' (with dots) as its main symbol. This is also used on flags, in at least two variants. One is simply 'F.D.P.' and beneath 'Die Liberalen' [The Liberals] in blue on a yellow background. The other variant is the same on a white background with two yellow horizontal stripes near the top and bottom ('Israeli' pattern). The use of these flags is limited, though. I just found one recent event, when a flag of the second type was used. This was a demonstration against right extremism last year in Hamburg, where FDP followers also took part. During FDP meetings of several kinds one can at least see small paper flags of both variants. These were also available on the FDP website, but are gone now.

Sources: Rabbow 1970; Rabbow 1965; FDP-Bundesvorstand, Die Liberalen unter dem Vorsitz von Theodor Heuss und Franz Blücher, Sitzungsprotokolle 1949-1952, Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf; Brochure Wahlkampf und Werbung: Ein Leitfaden für die Wahlkampfleiter, Propagandisten und Redner der Partei, 1953; Photo of a demonstration in Hamburg in 2000, found in Internet; FDP website ; Election posters at Friedrich Naumann Foundation website
Marcus Schmöger, 31 Mar 2001