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Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)

Antifaschistische Aktion

Last modified: 2020-07-04 by pete loeser
Keywords: anti-fascist action | antifaschistische aktion |
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[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 1 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

On this page: See also:

Introduction

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Irmage sent by Santiago Tazón, 24 May 2002

This extreme-left political group is part of a wider movement all across European Union countries. It is connected with radical communist and anarchist groups. Based on red and black colours, as anarchist groups like Spanish CNT and others.
Santiago Tazón, 24 May 2002

Anti-Fascist Action - often abbreviated to Antifa - has emerged in late 1980's as a network of local far-left groups dedicated to struggle against the rise of far-right extremism, which was especially boosted after the unification of Germany in 1990, provoking the reaction from the other end of political spectrum. The name these groups took was originally introduced in 1932 by the Communist Party of Germany after the League of Red Front Fighters, its original armed wing, was banned. This Anti-Fascist Action was also banned in 1933, some of its groups surviving underground until 1945, when they re-emerged under a variety of names, including the original one, only to fade away shortly afterwards. The current bearers of this name are thus not directly descended from their predecessors, but share their name and goals, and use the symbols derived from theirs.
From Germany, this movement has spread to other countries, such as France, which face the same political problems. [1, 2]
Tomislav Todorovic, 1 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Description of the flag

The main flag of Anti-Fascist Action is red, charged with the logo: a white disk charged with a red and a black flag, within a black border charged with the words ANTIFASCHISTISCHE at the top and AKTION at the bottom, inscribed in white, the whole device fimbriated white. This logo is modernized version of the device created in 1932 by Max Keilson and Max Gebhard, members of the Association of Revolutionary Visual Artists of Germany (Assoziation revolutionärer bildender Künstler Deutschlands), an organization affiliated with the Communist Party of Germany [1, 2, 3].
The earliest photos of the flag which can currently be found online date from 2002, the place and exact date not being specified [4, 5]. More recent photos date from Magdeburg, on 2009-01-17 [6], Rathenow, on 2009-04-18 [7] and Cologne, on 2009-05-09 [8]. The flag was also photographed in Dresden, on 2010-02-13 [9], Frankfurt, on March 2011 [10] and Cottbus, on 2012-10-30 [11]. One of latest photographs dates from 2017-06-14 and was taken in Neumünster [12].
The flag use has spread to other countries as well, with the original inscription kept unchanged regardless of the fact that German is not a native language there. In Cyprus, some fans of AC Omonia Nicosia football club were photographed with it in December 2012 [13]. In Ireland the flag was photographed at football matches in Dublin, on 2012-06-04 and Belfast, on 2013-04-05 [14], The flag was used again in Cork on 2014-09-18, during the vigil for Pavlos Fyssas, a Greek anti-fascist rapper who was murdered the day before in Athens by an ultra-rightist [15, 16]. In New York City, the flag was used in the demonstrations on 2016-04-13 [17] and in London, UK, in the protests on 2017-01-04 [18].
Tomislav Todorovic, 1 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Variants of the flag

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 1 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

On this variant of the AFA flag, the logo is usually a bit larger, lacks the white fimbriation and inscription is in a different typeface. One of its earliest photos was taken in Wunsiedel, Bavaria in 2005 [19]. It was photographed again in Gera on 2007-06-23 [20] and in Karlsruhe, in November 2012 [21]. One of the latest photos dates from 2017; while the text it accompanies is about an event in Munich in October that year, the photo might have been taken earlier and elsewhere, for there is no specification of place and time in its caption [22].
This flag was also used abroad, most notably in Northern Ireland, in Belfast in August 2008 [23] and in Derry City on 2013-08-02 [14].
(Also note that the photo above also displays this variant flag as an evidence of its use as early as of 2002.)
Tomislav Todorovic, 1 June 2018

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 16 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

The flag with red field may also bear the logo with with reversed colors of two flags. It was photographed at the anti-racist demonstration in London on 2017-03-18 [64]. There is currently no online sources to verify its use in Germany, but the use of inscriptions in German language is what determines it as a German flag, just like the other similar flags used in countries where German is not a native language.
Tomislav Todorovic, 16 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Anarcho-Syndicalist flag variants

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 2 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

The Anti-Fascist Action logo also appears on red-black diagonal flag, as used by the Anarcho-Syndicalists. This seems to be used extremely rarely in Germany, for none of its photos were found online so far, except at the websites of two online shops based in Germany [24, 25]. The only currently found two photos of its use were taken in London, on 2013-04-13, at the Thatcher Death Party, celebration of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death by her extreme opponents [26, 27].
Tomislav Todorovic, 2 June 2018

A photo of this flag was shot in Hamburg on 2015-09-12 at the demonstration organized as the reaction to an ultra-rightist rally which was planned for the same day, although it eventually did not take place, while this counter-demonstration did [65]. While its use in Germany is thus verified, still this currently remains its only example, so it indeed seems to be used extremely rarely.
Tomislav Todorovic, 16 June 2018

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 2 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

More frequently, red-black diagonal flag appears with reversed colors of two flags in the logo. This was photographed in Berlin, on 2011-12-10 [28] and on 2015-05-09 [29], and in Bielefeld, on 2016-11-05 [30]. The flag is also used abroad, e.g. in Dublin, on 2013-09-21 [31], Sydney, on 2015-12-12 [32] and London, on 2017-03-18 [33] on 2018-05-06 [34].
Tomislav Todorovic, 2 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Variants with black field

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 3 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

Anti-Fascist Action also uses its logo on black flag of Anarchism. These flags are used about as frequently as those with red field. Considering by the frequency of its appearing on the photos found online, the variant with the logo as used in the flags with red field (i.e. black flag behind the red one) is the least frequently used one; its only photos which can currently be found are from Neumünster, on 2017-03-10 [35] and Berlin, on 2017-09-09 [36].

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 3 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

The flag with reversed colors of the flags in the logo is used much more frequently. In Berlin, it appeared on 2008-11-12 [37], on 2014-04-30 [38] and on 2015-04-24 [39]. In January 2014, the flag appeared at the Pirate Party convention in Bochum [40]. In Kleve, it was photographed on 2016-04-01 [41] and in Hamburg, on 2017-07-06 [42]. In Neumünster, the flag was used on 2017-08-14 at the vigil for Heather Heyer, anti_fascist activist from the USA who was killed at the rally in Charlottesville two days earlier [43]. In Munich, flag with the inscription in a different typeface was used on 2018-04-28 [44].
This flag is also much used abroad. In Moscow, several photos were shot shortly before the photographed man, anti-Nazi activist Ivan Khutorskoy, was murdered on 2009-11-16 [45, 46]. In the USA, the flag was used at the protests in Washington, DC on 2017-01-25 [47] and in Philadelphia, on 2017-07-02 [48]. In Australia, it was photographed in Sydney, 2017-05-07 [49].
Tomislav Todorovic, 3 June 2018

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 4 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

On flags with black field, a variant of logo is sometimes used with both flags in black. This was photographed in Berlin on 2011-01-15 [50] and in Cologne on 2014-11-02 [51]. A good photo of the flag, however lacking the information about the date and place of taking, was taken by mid-August 2014 [52]. In Bitterfeld, it was photographed on 2015-05-10 [53, 54] and in Clausnitz, in February 2016 [55]. A rare example of its use abroad is from Russia, the photo having been made at an unspecified location in early 2018 [56].
Tomislav Todorovic, 4 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Variant with modified logo

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 4 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

A rare variant of the flag with red field has both flags in red, as well as the border bearing the inscription; The flags are also larger, so that they are conjoined with the red border, and their staffs point towards the hoist, unlike seen in all previously described variants of the logo; the last of these features may have been introduced under the influence of the 1930's logo of the Anti-Fascist Action [1, 2], although the flags' shape is basically the same as in all other cases. This flag was seen in Bitterfeld, on 2015-05-10 [53, 54] and in Neumünster, on 2017-04-27 [57].
Tomislav Todorovic, 4 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Variants with the 1930's logo

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 5 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

The 1930's logo of the Anti-Fascist Action [1, 2] also sometimes appears on modern flags (#5 and #5a). There, the shape of two flags in center is different and they are conjoined with the ring bearing the inscriptions into a single shape, which is is the same color as the flag field. In case of the red flag, the color shade is darker that on the flags bearing the modern logo. For the photos which are currently available online [58, 59], time and place of making are not revealed, but the dating of the texts they accompany reveals that the flag is in use since at least 2014.

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 5 June 2018; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

The same logo also appears on black flags. The earliest time of their use which is currently recorded online is July 2017, the photo originating from Düsseldorf [60]. The flag was seen again in Neumünster on 2017-11-03 [61] and in the Berlin borough of Pankow, on 2018-05-08 [62, 63].
Tomislav Todorovic, 5 June 2018

[See all footnoted sources below]


Variants with modified logos
Solid black on a red disc

[Anti-Fascist Action (Germany)] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 29 April 2019; derived from the SVG drawing of the logo from Wikimedia Commons

Another variant, even less frequently used, has a further modified logo: the inscriptions and flags are all in black on a red disc, within a border composed of eight black cicrular segments, on red field. Photos have been found in at least two places. See one example taken in Hamburg on 2013-12-21 [66].
While the logo looks off-center, its position, set close to the hoist, reveals that the flag was meant to have the ratio of 1:1, but was originally made without a sleeve, so the hoist portion was eventually sewn into one, as is frequently done with home-made flags, neglecting the damage thus done to the flag design.
Tomislav Todorovic, 29 April 2019

[See all footnoted sources below]


Sources:

[1] Antifaschistische Aktion - Wikipedia page.
[2] Jacobin magazine website.
[3] Association of Revolutionary Visual Artists at Wikipedia.
[4] Antifaschistisches Infoblatt website - article from 2002-06-12.
[5] Antifaschistisches Infoblatt website - article from 2002-10-13.
[6] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Magdeburg, 2009-01-17.
[7] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Rathenow, 2009-04-18.
[8] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Cologne, 2009-05-09.
[9] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Dresden, 2010-02-13.
[10] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Frankfurt, March 2011:.
[11] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Cottbus, 2012-10-30.
[12] Antifa Neumünster blog - entry on 2017-06-14.
[13] Antifa Versand micro-blog at Tumblr - post on 2012-12-12.
[14] Anti-Fascist Action Ireland at Facebook - Irish Football photo album.
[15] Anti-Fascist Action Ireland at Facebook - Photo album of vigils for Pavlos Fyssas in Ireland.
[16] Murder of Pavlos Fyssas at Wikipedia
[17] Berlin Journal website - News report on 2016-04-15.
[18] Alamy photo archive - Photo from London, on 2017-01-04.
[19] Antifaschistisches Infoblatt website - article from 2005-12-24.
[20] Anti-Facsist Action Gera at Indymedia - News report on 2007-06-23.
[21] Autonomous Antifa Karlsruhe blog - entry on 2012-11-10.
[22] Junge Freiheit magazine website - article from 2017-10-21.
[23] Antifa Versand micro-blog at Tumblr - post on 2012-08-06.
[24] Roter Shop.
[25] linke-t-shirts.de online shop.
[26] 123rf photo archive - Photo from Trafalgar Square, London, on 2013-04-13.
[27] Wessex Solidarity website.
[28] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Berlin, 2011-12-10.
[29] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Berlin, on 2015-05-09.
[30] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Bielefeld, on 2016-11-05.
[31] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Dublin, on 2013-09-21.
[32] The Sydney Morning Herald website.
[33] International Report - Bigotry and Fascism website.
[34] Getty Images photo arhcive - Photo from London, on 2018-05-06.
[35] Facebook - Antifaschistische Aktion Neumünster.
[36] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Berlin, on 2017-09-09.
[37] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Berlin, 2008-11-12.
[38] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Berlin, on 2014-04-30.
[39] Getty Images photo arhcive - Photo from Berlin, on 2015-04-24.
[40] Flaschenpost online magazine - news report on 2014-01-05.
[41] AfD- Watch Kleve/Goch blog - entry on 2016-04-01.
[42] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Hamburg, on 2017-07-06.
[43] Anti-Fascist Action Neumünster blog - entry on 2017-08-14.
[44] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Munich, on 2018-04-28.
[45] Lonsdale.de website.
[46] The Original Skinhead Patagonia blog - entry on 2016-11-16.
[47] Art Killing Apathy website. (image)
[48] Breitbart.com website.
[49] Alamy photo archive - Photo from Sydney, on 2017-05-07.
[50] Focus magazine website. (large image)
[51] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Cologne, 2014-11-02.
[52] Bavarian Broadcasting website - news report on 2014-08-15.
[53] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Bitterfeld, 2015-05-10.
[54] Flickr - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Bitterfeld, 2015-05-10.
[55] Deutschland Braucht Uns website.
[56] Website of Kebele Community Co-operative - Bristol, United Kingdom.
[57] Anti-Fascist Action Neumünster - Photo added on 2017-04-27.
[58] Info-portal for Anti-Fascist Culture and Politics from Mecklenburg-West Pomerania - The history of the Anti-Fascist Action - A Historical Outline.
[59] Info-portal for Anti-Fascist Culture and Politics from Mecklenburg-West Pomerania - News Report from Rostock on 2016-12-18.
[60] NRW.direkt website.
[61] Anti-Fascist Action Neumünster - Photo added on 2017-11-03.
[62] North-East Antifascists website - announcement of the 2018 commemoration of victory over Fascism, Pankow, Berlin.
[63] Flickr - Photo album from the 2018 commemoration of victory over Fascism, Pankow, Berlin.
[64] Getty Images photo archive - Photo from London, on 2017-03-18.
[65] Der Freitag weekly newspaper website.
[66] Flickr website - Photo of Anti-Fascist Action flag, Hamburg, 2013-12-21.


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