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Kugelmugel (Austria)

Last modified: 2017-09-04 by rob raeside
Keywords: austria | kugelmugel | vienna |
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image by Olivier Touzeau, 2 August 2017

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Description of the flag

The Republic of Kugelmugel is a micronation located at the Prater in Vienna, Austria. The Republic declared independence in 1976, after disputes between artist Edwin Lipburger and Austrian authorities over building permits for a ball-shaped house which he erected at the Landesstraße 4091 in Katzlesdorf, Lower Austria in 1971. In 1979, Lipburger was arrested and sent to jail for ten weeks.

In June 1982, the house was moved into the Prater park, near the Hauptallee, and enclosed by eight barbed-wire fences. The house has the only address within the proclaimed Republic, that being "Antifaschismusplatz 2" ("Anti-Fascism Square" No. 2), which has since been officially adopted by the city of Vienna. Lipburger died in January 2015, but the Republic officially holds a population of over 650 non-resident citizens. Nowadays, the Republic is administered by Vienna's government and used as a tourist attraction.

The flag of Kugelmugel can be seen in a article published in the Wiener Zeitung on 2007, May 15th,entitled "Kugel-Republik kontra Hauptstadt"n by journalist Mathias Ziegler. The photograph is labelled "Generalvolksanwalt" Lipburger in seiner Republiks-Kugel.

The flag is pinkish red with a large white disk in the middle, on which are the full arms of the Republic: an Austrian-style stylized eagle in black in white with an escutcheon gules, a bar argent with the black silhouette of Mr.Lipburger overimposed.

The flag was published in Royaumes d'aventure by Bruno Fuligni.
Olivier Touzeau, 2 August 2017

State Emblem

Several photographs [1,2] show the "state emblem", being a silhouette of Lipburger in black on a white circle, usually put on a red square. It is used on "embassy" signs as well as on general signs.

The state emblem was originally reported as "state arms" in Flag Bulletin [5], however without the red field on which it is currently shown. The same article [5] reports and shows a sketch of the flag as being a hanging flag, ratio 32:15, showing on a light blue field a disk with Lipburger's face in black-and-white, surrounded by a narrow white ring. The explanation given by Lipburger to the author of the article was: "light blue reflects the spirit of his philosophy whose center, the Kugel, is symbolized by the disk on the flag". The effigies of Lipburger on the arms and the flag are very much different. During a court sentence against Lipburger, his sympathizers waved the flag before the court [5]; I guess, this was a different, smaller and horizontal
version of the flag, though.

image by Christian Kretowicz, 14 October 2009

Unfortunately, the author of the Flag Bulletin article does not disclose his sources, except for the casual mentioning of a personal encounter with Lipburger. The exact depiction of the flag with an exact-looking ratio implies that he has actually seen (and probably photographed) the flag.

[5] Guarghias, AG (1993) The Rolling Republic of Kugelmugel. Flag Bulletin 150 (XXXII:1): pp. 57-61.

M. Schmöger, 14 October 2009

Border Signs

image by Christian Kretowicz, 14 October 2009

The state emblem is also shown on "border signs", which are horizontally divided white-red-white with the emblem in the central red stripe [3,4]. My putative interpretation of this design would be:
- "inverted" Austrian colours, i.e. instead of red-white-red
- reference to the white/red chevrons used at the border post, as frequently done on other border posts.
Olivier Touzeau
, 2 August 2017