Awesome reply. Thanks. :) - Warning though. It will probably get a wall of text reply as well since you brought up antifa movements. :p
Waving a flag or singing a national anthem has nothing to do with fascism. It's ridiculous. Fascism isn't a flag or a song. It's an ideology. You can love your country, you can be for equality, you can be for freedom of speech, you can sing your anthem etc. and still be a left winger. I am. I have voted for our Socialist party in the past, but I still love my country and don't mind saying so, I still use the flag and I still sing the anthem. I vote left wing exactly because I love my country and see that as what's best for my country. If I didn't love my country, why would I care what was best for it? Why would I even bother voting? I could just move if things got too bad..
Being a left winger is a political thing to me. It's not a scare-tactic to keep others afraid or ashamed to love their country, wave their flags, sing their songs etc. Silencing others, controlling what they're "allowed" to say etc. is borderline-fascist methods. Calling yourself anti-fascist doesn't mean you can't even be 'fascistoid' yourself. I mean, North Korea call themselves Democratic ffs. lol
I can agree with the antifa movements about plenty of things all over Europe I'm sure, but sometimes they just go too far for me to want to be involved with them in any way. Being anti-fascist is all well and good, but they seem to see 'fascism ghosts' all over the place. Maybe there's just less fascism to be against than they expected, so now they're making up their own fascist enemies to fight and silencing others in the process, which kinda makes them some of the most fascist-like groups in a lot of situations in my opinion.
Since I'm a left winger I've been invited to all sorts of anti-Nazi, anti-fascism, anti-Islam-critic etc. events and marches, but I've never wanted to go. I may not like or agree with those people, but they still have the same freedom of speech as I do. I value freedom of speech much higher than some non-existent "freedom to not be offended". I wish the antifa movement would do the same.
I understand why Germans don't want to risk offending others with their flags, their songs etc. but I've never met an anti-German in my life. Not one. It seems like the German-imagined problem is way bigger than the actual real-life problem.
Surely it should be up to the "victims" if they're offended by something, shouldn't it? Offense is taken. Not given. You can't offend someone unless they actually find it offensive.
Germany invaded Denmark (To use my own example.), occupied us for 5 years and left us in a miserably poor state after the war. Was that bad? Yes, of course it was, but no one with a brain blames Germany/Germans of today. We see Germans, German cars, German flags etc. all the time here in Denmark today and no one cares. Well, we do care I suppose. It's great for our economy, so keep coming please. ;)
If your "victims" are not offended by the flag, why on earth should the German people be? The thought of "Nazi" doesn't even cross my mind when I see a German flag just like I don't think of slavery when I see an American flag or of the massacres in China during WWII when I see the Japanese flag.
If I saw hundreds of German flags somewhere, I wouldn't assume it to be a Nazi rally or whatever. I would assume a bunch of Germans were celebrating something. That's how our flag is used here in Denmark. The meaning isn't fascism or nationalism. It's celebration.
http://satwcomic.com/evil-flag is pretty spot on I think. That's how the German attitude often looks to us here in Scandinavia.
For the same reason I would have no problem waving the German flag, the American flag, the Swedish flag or whatever. I associate flags with celebration. If I was in Germany when you won the World Cup, I would have found the biggest fucking flag in Germany to run around with. lol
I can understand the whole "being surrounded" fear from the past, but I don't really get why it's still there today. Who exactly are those enemies you're so worried about invading your country? From my experience, Germany seems pretty popular today. It seems to be fairly well liked. Instead of seeing it as 'surrounded by enemies', maybe you should think of it as 'being surrounded by friends'. That's a good thing I would think? :)