The colors of the new home jersey for the coming football season have left second division club Holstein Kiel in need of explanation. While the basic color of the jersey should represent the blue of the water, the other colors dark blue, white and red symbolize the Schleswig-Holstein flag, the club explained at the presentation.

But users on social media saw black in the dark blue and thus the color combination of the controversial imperial flag, black-white-red.

Holstein Kiel defended itself against this representation. “At this point we would like to (but) make it clear that we distance ourselves from any form of racism or right-wing ideas. The colors of our jersey are blue, white and red: the colors of Schleswig-Holstein,” the club wrote on Twitter. This is also clearly visible in the original.

The black, white and red imperial flag was the flag of the German Empire between 1871 and 1919, and from 1892 it was also the official national flag of the Empire. The National Socialists took over the colors again from 1933. The flag is often used as a symbol by right-wing extremists and Reich citizens.