National Flag of Austria
According to aceinland, the national flag of Austria is composed of three horizontal stripes in equal width. The top stripe is red, the middle stripe is white, and the bottom stripe is red. The colors of the Austrian flag are derived from the colors of the coat of arms of the Babenberg dynasty, which ruled Austria during the 12th and 13th centuries. The colors have been used since 1191 when Duke Leopold V raised his banner at the Battle of Acre during the Third Crusade. Red and white were also chosen as they are traditional colors for imperial flags in Europe.
The current design for Austria’s flag was adopted on May 1st, 1945 and was officially codified by law on June 30th, 1945. It was designed to replace a previous version that had been in use since 1869. This previous version featured a black-gold-red tricolor design with an eagle at its center. This design was used during both World Wars but was banned by Allied forces after World War II due to its association with Nazi Germany’s rule over Austria from 1938 to 1945.
The current Austrian flag features a centered coat of arms with a gold background and two symbols representing Austria’s federal states; one symbol is a black eagle representing Lower Austria while the other symbol is a red panther representing Upper Austria. The coat of arms also includes an escutcheon featuring seven silver stars that represent each one of Vienna’s districts as well as all other federal states in Austria. In addition, there are two golden branches – one palm branch on each side – that represent peace and victory respectively.
Presidents of Austria
The President of Austria is the head of state and is elected by a direct popular vote. The current President of Austria is Alexander van der Bellen, who was sworn into office in 2017. Before his election, he was the leader of the Green Party from 1997 to 2008 and served as a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2017. His term will end in 2024.
Previous Presidents include Heinz Fischer, who served from 2004 to 2016, Thomas Klestil from 1992 to 2004, Kurt Waldheim from 1986 to 1992, Rudolf Kirchschlaeger from 1983 to 1986, Rudolf Kirchschlaeger from 1974 to 1983, Franz Jonas from 1965 to 1974, Adolf Schaerf from 1957 to 1965 and Karl Renner who served as both President and Chancellor during World War II.
The role of the President is largely ceremonial but they are also responsible for appointing members of the government including the Federal Chancellor. The President also has the power to dissolve Parliament if there is a political deadlock or crisis. Despite this power they rarely use it as their role is primarily symbolic and they are expected to be impartial when it comes to politics.
Prime Ministers of Austria
The Prime Minister of Austria is the head of government and is appointed by the President of Austria. The current Prime Minister is Sebastian Kurz, who has been in office since 2017. His party, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), formed a coalition with the Freedom Party (FPÖ) in December 2017.
Previous Prime Ministers include Christian Kern from 2016 to 2017, Werner Faymann from 2008 to 2016, Alfred Gusenbauer from 2007 to 2008, Wolfgang Schüssel from 2000 to 2007 and Viktor Klima from 1997 to 2000.
The role of the Prime Minister is to lead the government and oversee its operations and policies. They are also responsible for appointing ministers and other members of the government as well as forming alliances between political parties in order to form a majority in Parliament. The Prime Minister also has the power to dissolve Parliament if there is a political deadlock or crisis. Despite this power they rarely use it as their role is primarily executive and they are expected to be impartial when it comes to politics.