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Gersau commune (Schwyz canton, Switzerland)

Last modified: 2023-08-26 by martin karner
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[Flag of Gersau] image by Pascal Gross

Split of red an blue.
The oldest depiction of the arms of Gersau is from 1605, but with the colours inverted: blue and red. Likewise in a source from 1711 the colours are depicted that way; only from 1742 on the colours have been depicted in the present order. There is no source nor story about the origins of the colours red and blue.

Gersau joined the Confederation in 1359 as an independent entity and protectorate, and in 1433 it got even imperial immediacy, becoming as a village the smallest republic of the world. After the Napoleonic era in which Gersau lost its sovereignty, it achieved independence again for about 3 years, but then the Diet of the Swiss Confederation decided to attach Gersau against its will to the Schwyz canton. The Republic of Gersau was dissolved on 1 January 1818. Its area is identical with the Gersau district.
The fountain in front of the town hall has the inscription: GERSAU BLEIBT GERSAU, EIN FREIES VOLK | EIN FREIES LAND (Gersau remains Gersau, a free people, a free land). (source, source)