The Symbolism of the GDR Flag

Given the nature of my recent posts, the following may surprise you.

The flag of the German Democratic Republic suddenly makes a whole lot more sense to me. Take a look:


What you have is the hammer, representing hand work. The compass represents science, and the whole thing is surrounded by civilisations other essential: food.

These are the three essential tools for what the American declaration of independence calls ‘the pursuit of happiness’.

This week I have been reading ‘Nineteen eighty-four’ by George Orwell, a man not renowned for his love of communism. But as Winston reads the book by Emmanuel Goldstein, he becomes aware of the blunt reality that advances in machinery and science cause a spread of wealth. The reality of industry is, and ever will be, that the more our understanding advances, the less laborious work will need doing. There will be enough to satisfy all, and an abundance too.

The present day class distinctions are unbalanced, because actually it isn’t right that the person lucky enough to own the means of production get’s to keep all the wealth it produces. How is it right that the young men, processing thousands of pounds of transactions at ASDA takes £50 in a day. While the managers bully their subordinates, and the board of directors, who have never done an honest days work in their lives take the biggest share.

The German Democratic Republic flag represents the goal of unity between food producers, scientists and workers. Each of them is equally essential for life, liberty and the persuit of happiness. It is actually only right that as the means of wealth production develop, the fruits thereof are properly shared amongst humanity.

4 thoughts on “The Symbolism of the GDR Flag

  1. Your final paragraph sounds like communism Chris, and that had class distinctions too. It also failed to spread the wealth equally.

    • That is correct in every way. I recently read the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, and I think he’s right about how workers are treated. Forcing that in the extreme through government didn’t work, but I think fundamentally sharing, especially when on a sensationally high profitability, would be a principle of righteousness.

  2. It would indeed Chris, but how will we get ALL governments, entrepreneurs, industrialists, etc. to understand that their greatest asset is the workforce, and treat them as they would be treated themselves. Looking at the UK government and the opposition I would guess this probably will never happen. When you look at those smug faces with their enormous sense of entitlement you can see they have never done a proper day’s work in their lives – much less at the Sharp end.

    • I don’t know on that one. I am impressed with the German system though, where work councils cause the trade union policies and the business needs to meet cooperatively. While their pay isn’t hugely different to ours, transportation and housing needs are more balanced and labour isn’t seen as skivvy work. So people’s lives aren’t as hard up.

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