The Merkel rhombus: How a hand gesture became a brand

The Merkel rhombus: How a hand gesture became a brand

Hands clasped in front of the stomach, thumbs and fingertips touching to form a diamond shape — Angela Merkel’s “rhombus” hand gesture has become almost as famous as the German chancellor herself.

© AXEL SCHMIDT Angela Merkel’s ‘rhombus’ hand gesture has its own Wikipedia page and even its own emoticon, ”

It has its own Wikipedia page and even its own emoticon, “”, and the German leader has been immortalised adopting the pose at London’s famous Madame Tussauds waxworks museum.

And with Merkel about to bow out of politics following an election this month closing the door on her 16 years in power, the hand gesture has been catapulted to the spotlight once again after a candidate from a rival party adopted it on a magazine cover.

© Tobias SCHWARZ The gesture has been likened to a bridge, a protective roof, and even a sign made between Illuminati members

Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor candidate, used the gesture in a photo shoot for the Sueddeutsche Zeitung magazine — part of his strategy to position himself as the true Merkel continuity candidate, as opposed to Armin Laschet, the challenger from Merkel’s party.

© Tobias SCHWARZ Merkel is about to bow out of politics following an election this month closing the door on her 16 years in power

This claim on Merkel’s legacy prompted a backlash from the CDU and even from Merkel herself, who was at pains to point out that there were “enormous differences” between herself and Scholz, the frontrunner in the polls ahead of the September 26 vote.

In a debate in parliament, Laschet told Scholz: “You can’t go around making rhombus signs and talking like Saskia Esken” — the co-leader of the SPD, who represents the left wing of the party.

After all, the rhombus gesture has become the veteran chancellor’s signature.

– ‘Love of symmetry’ –

The “Merkel-Raute”, as it is known in German, made its first appearance during a photo shoot for Stern magazine in 2002.

Then head of the Christian Democrats (CDU) but still three years away from being elected as chancellor for the first time, Merkel “didn’t know what to do with her hands”, photographer Claudia Kempf later recalled.

“She let them hang down next to her, which made her look a bit exposed, or she joined them together. I said to her, ‘You look too much like a pastor’s daughter’,” the photographer told the Rheinische Post newspaper in 2009.  

A few months before German elections in 2013, Merkel offered her own explanation of how the gesture had come about.

“It’s about the question of where to put your arms,” said the trained physicist, adding that the rhombus also showed “a certain love of symmetry”.

– ‘Personality cult’ –

At the time of that interview, Merkel was campaigning for a third term in office. 

The whole parliament comes up for renewal in German federal elections, but her party had decided on a very personalised campaign.

A billboard 70 metres wide by 20 metres tall (230 feet by 66 feet) was erected near Berlin’s central station featuring a giant image of the Merkel rhombus, made up of over 2,000 photographs of hands, with the slogan “Germany’s future in good hands”.

The SPD slammed what they called an “empty personality cult” around Merkel, while the Greens lamented: “If this is politics, we have fallen very low.”

But the woman affectionately nicknamed “Mutti” (mummy) won the election by a wide margin a few weeks later, with the Merkel rhombus becoming “probably one of the most recognisable hand gestures in the world”, according to  Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

The gesture has also been likened to a bridge, a protective roof, and even a sign made between Illuminati members to identify themselves.

“I believe the Merkel rhombus was initially adopted unconsciously,” Jochen Hoerisch, a communications specialist at the University of Mannheim, told AFP.

“But once it had been noticed by the public it was then consciously used by the chancellor as a brand.”


Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Group of 17 missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti

A group of 17 missionaries, including five children, have been kidnapped by an armed criminal gang in Haiti. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Rodrigo Abd/AP The group – 16 ... Read more »

First-generation Echo Show 8 at LOWEST PRICE in Amazon's pre-Black Friday sale

BLACK Friday is now only a month away, and Amazon has just launched a shock device sale, with savings running as high as 45%. Amid panicked talk of supply issues ... Read more »

Prince William reveals Earthshot Prize winners in global bid to tackle climate crisis

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: WPA/Getty Images Celebrities have joined Prince William in London for the inaugural awards ceremony of his Earthshot Prize, an ambitious environmental program aimed at ... Read more »

President Higgins pays tribute to Márie Mhac an tSaoi and Brendan Kennelly

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to the two Irish poets who died over the weekend, Márie Mhac an tSaoi and Brendan Kennelly. Mr Higgins said Brendan Kennelly was a ... Read more »

The rise of bike-jacking: How cyclists became the latest target of London's violent moped gangs

© REUTERS People cycle in Richmond Park, with the city skyline in the background, in London On a dry, unseasonably warm evening, still light enough to get home before dark, ... Read more »

No 10 denies Boris and Carrie Johnson broke lockdown rules at Christmas

© Anadolu Agency via Getty Images boris-carrie Downing Street has denied Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie broke lockdown rules to have a close friend stay over during the Christmas ... Read more »

Law student died only weeks after calling his GP about a lump on his neck

© Provided by City AM The family of law student David Nash believe there were missed opportunities to spot a treatable infection which led to his death because he was ... Read more »

Sir David Amess killing: ‘MP killer's phone call key to probe'

© Getty Images sirdavidamessmptribute181021 Counter-terrorism police were on Monday focusing on a phone call made by suspect Ali Harbi Ali moments after the fatal stabbing of Tory MP Sir David ... Read more »

Temperatures to be ‘well above' average for October but set to drop from Friday

Don’t change to the winter duvet just yet as the beginning of this week will see daytime and night time temperatures at “well above average” for October. There’s a mixed ... Read more »

Ho Ching congratulates Singaporeans on beginning to change trajectory of increases in new COVID cases

© The Independent Singapore Singapore — Has the country turned the corner in battling the increase of Covid infections? Madam Ho Ching, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, ... Read more »

HSE is encouraging all children aged 2-17 to get free nasal flu vaccine

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is asking parents of all children aged two to 17 to get the nasal spray flu vaccine. Children are twice as likely to get the ... Read more »

Are Premium Bonds worth holding? This is Money podcast

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo Premium Bonds are probably Britain’s best loving savings product but are they worth holding? The savings lottery delivers 100% government-backed protection, a ... Read more »

Sir David Amess, Jo Cox and the knotty problem of local constituency security

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that they are treating the attack that killed Conservative MP Sir David Amess on October 15 as terrorism. A 25-year-old man was arrested at the ... Read more »

600 potential jurors to show up for Ahmaud Arbery trial

This combination of booking photos provided by the Glynn County, Ga., Detention Center, shows, from left, Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. On Friday, Oct. ... Read more »

Continued coordinated policy response to combat COVID-19 is critical to overcome health crisis: IMF

Observing that a continued coordinated policy response to fight COVID-19 including through vaccines is critical to overcome the ongoing health crisis, a top IMF official has said that addressing the ... Read more »

Officer injured while investigating ‘suspicious incident' in Hollywood, police say

An officer was injured during an altercation with a suspect in a Hollywood residential neighborhood, police said. The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday when officers were investigating a “suspicious ... Read more »

Schools to reopen for students of classes 1 to 5 in Karnataka, announcement soon: CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said schools will reopen for students of classes 1 to 5 in the state and the government will soon make an announcement in ... Read more »

Delhi, Tamil Nadu lead India's transition to electric cooking with 17% adoption: CEEW study

In Delhi and Tamil Nadu, 17 per cent families are using some form of electric cooking or eCooking, as per an independent study released by the Council on Energy, Environment ... Read more »

For sale: a £3m Cotswolds retreat next door to Princess Anne

Keepers is a former gamekeeper’s lodge and boathouse on the edges of Gatcombe Park At about 8pm on 20 March 1974, a man named Ronnie Russell was on his way ... Read more »

States brace for intense weather; Char Dham yatra halted temporarily as IMD issues alert for heavy rains

Several states are witnessing extremne weather events as a low pressure has been formed under the influence of a cyclonic circulation over Gangetic West Bengal and neighbourhood. According to the ... Read more »

Explainer-What is the "metaverse"?

Visitors are pictured in front of an art installation which will be converted into NFT and auctioned online at Sotheby’s, in Hong Kong LONDON (Reuters) – Facebook said on Monday ... Read more »

Laguna Beach Has a Way of Rejuvenating All Types of Travelers — Here's Where to Go for Your Perfect Trip

© Provided by Travel + Leisure Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel For many, 2021 meant the return of a version of “normal.” Trips were rebooked, weddings celebrated, and vaccines ... Read more »

Hungary's new opposition PM candidate wants stronger ties with EU

© Reuters/BERNADETT SZABO Opposition candidate for prime minister Peter Marki-Zay waits at the election headquarters in Budapest By Gergely Szakacs BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary should strengthen ties with the European ... Read more »

EasyJet Holidays slashes prices on last-minute winter sun – with breaks from £169pp

AS the evenings get darker and the temperature start to drop in the UK, it’s only natural to dream of a sunny escape. And without our usual dose of summer ... Read more »

Malala sends letter to Taliban one month after girls' school ban

© Christophe PETIT TESSON Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai survived a Pakistani Taliban assassination attempt at 15 in her country’s rural northwest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot ... Read more »

'Vaping may help you quit smoking' - FDA approves sale of some e-cigarettes

© Provided by CapeTalk – After being sold for more than 15 in the US, some e-cigarettes have finally been given approval by the FDA – The National Council Against ... Read more »

Situation tense as interdict is granted to stop taxi violence in Joburg CBD

© Provided by 702 After violence flared up again over routes between the Nancefield Dube West Association and the Witwatersrand African Taxi Association over the weekend, the Gauteng government has ... Read more »

Analysis-Central banks and governments in eastern Europe at odds amid inflation

By Gergely Szakacs © Reuters/BERNADETT SZABO FILE PHOTO: People walk in a shopping street in downtown Budapest BUDAPEST (Reuters) – A surge in price growth in eastern Europe has opened ... Read more »

BFS-Schätzung zeigt Erholung bei Hotelübernachtungen

© KEYSTONE/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT Die Schweizer Hotellerie hat im September ihre Erholung fortgesetzt. Die Übernachtungszahlen stiegen gemäss einer ersten Schätzung des Bundesamts für Statistik (BFS) um rund 23 Prozent. Vor allem ... Read more »

Democrat in key Virginia governor race hanging on by a thread in further blow for ailing Biden administration

Democrat in key Virginia governor race hanging on by a thread in further blow for ailing Biden administration – Carlos Bernate /Bloomberg Barack Obama is hitting the campaign trail in ... Read more »

20 things every child should do before the age of 16

Medieval Gothic Whitby Abbey at sunset, Whitby, North Yrokshire, England – Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo When you reflect on your own experience of school, what do you remember ... Read more »

Congress faces key deadlines that could determine Democrats' fate in 2022 midterms

The House and Senate face an onslaught of deadlines key to fulfilling members' campaign promises and keeping the government afloat as they return from recess this week. Why it matters: ... Read more »

French Covid vaccine that UK ditched has 'stronger immune response' than AstraZeneca

© GETTY French Valneva vaccine The Government was due to purchase some 100 million doses of the vaccine earlier this year, but the deal was terminated citing an alleged breach ... Read more »

Richard Madeley criticised for commenting on Duchess of Cambridge's figure: 'Tiny, tiny waist'

Watch: Richard Madeley upsets viewers with comment on Duchess of Cambridge's figure. Richard Madeley has caused a stir with Good Morning Britain (GMB) viewers after making a remark about the ... Read more »

Criticised by Anwar as ‘arrogant', Khairy stands by firm stance on anti-vaxxers

© Provided by Malay Mail Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks at a press conference at the Health Ministry in Putrajaya, September 24, 2021. — Bernama pic KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 ... Read more »

Democrats Swarm Virginia Governor Race to Blunt Ex-Carlyle CEO

(Bloomberg) — Democrats concerned by the tight race for Virginia governor are rushing to bolster Terry McAuliffe’s campaign in a state that could set the national momentum for the critical ... Read more »

German reporters protest nixing of probe into tabloid editor

FILE – In this March 11, 2009 file photo, the headquarters of Axel Springer AG, the publisher of Germany’s biggest newspaper BILD, are pictured in Berlin, Germany. BILD chief editor ... Read more »

Thousands of migrant workers in Kashmir moved to secure locations, hundreds flee

© Reuters/DANISH ISMAIL Indian migrant workers wait inside a railway station to board trains to their home states, on outskirts of Srinagar By Fayaz Bukhari SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Indian ... Read more »

Where you can get free check-ups breast cancer awareness month in the UAE

© Motivate Publishing Breast Cancer Early breast cancer detection can save countless lives and the UAE’s taking all the steps to help with this. As October is dedicated to raising ... Read more »

Prosecution: Zahid knew from day one, gave orders for charity funds' misuse for credit card bills but later blamed ‘scapegoat'

© Provided by Malay Mail Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 18, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara KUALA LUMPUR, Oct ... Read more »