GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

The First German Rifle Club Festival in Gotha (1861)
The tradition of rifle associations dates back to the Middle Ages, when town dwellers united to protect themselves from the nobility. At the first German rifle club festival, held in Gotha in 1861, various clubs merged to form the General German Rifle Association. Here, the black, red, and gold flag of the German Republic, which waves from the town hall, signals the national democratic attitude of the participants and gestures towards the historical roots of these popular festivals. Reproduction of a print from the Illustrierte Zeitung, Leipzig, 1861.