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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 23:05 GMT 00:05 UK
Brothel bid bags Germany's flag
German flag flies at the Reichstag
The brothel madame said the flag would lend her business dignity
German MPs are furious that a flag from the Reichstag parliament building has been sold... to a brothel.

The madam of the bordello said she was delighted to have acquired the national symbol and would be flying it over her place of business.

The flag had been put up for sale by the government in an internet auction to help it raise funds.

Only after the winning bid had been accepted did the organisers find out who had paid the 3,350 euros ($4,020).

Christine Schmittroth, 42, made the highest offer of the 29,636 received.

The Bundestag flag does not belong above this establishment
Green party MP Christine Scheel
The German newspaper Bild ran the headline "Should the Reichstag flag be allowed to wave above a whorehouse?"

It showed a photo of two of the brothel's prostitutes - in just their knickers - saluting the flag on the roof of the establishment.

But the new owner said her building in the eastern city of Halle was a fitting home for the 6.5 by 4.5 m (21ft by 15 ft) emblem.

"The guests think it's a great idea," Ms Schmittroth said. "It's obviously an honour to have this kind of flag."

She said the new acquisition would not only lend dignity to her business, it was a patriotic gesture.


"I know that the country is massively in debt," she said.

"It's obviously a way of helping the state back on its feet, even if it's just a drop in the ocean."

But parliamentarians were not amused.

"The Bundestag flag does not belong above this establishment," Christine Scheel of the Green party told Bild.

"It is a scandal for Germany," added an unnamed MP from the conservative opposition Christian Democratic Union.

German man wants state-paid sex
05 Mar 04  |  Europe
Making sex pay
17 Jul 03  |  Europe


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