This is meant as satire!
Putin is once again try to stir up trouble by commenting that Germany & China are heading for superpower status while Britain & France are declining. Maybe it's a cynical attempt to stoke tension between France & Germany in light of German sanctions against Russia for the poisoning of political opponent Navalny? The rise of Germany to superpower status means there's a need for some legitimacy through symbolism in my mind.
People have commented that Germany is the true power behind the European Union, and in many ways it does resemble the old Holy Roman Empire only larger.. So I'm thinking, why not make the German coat of arms, the EU's coat of arms!
The Germans are already increasing their use of the Eagle (Bundesadler), their coat of arms which originates from the Roman Empire's Aquila. Now the Germans use this symbol to show that while the country of germany might be quite new, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from there the eagle comes from is not.
The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) was coined to give Charlemagne's Carolingian empire more legitimacy by making it the legitimate successor state of the original Roman empire and put him on equal footing with the Byzantines. Once the HRE had lost most of its 'Roman' (Italian & French) possessions it was re-coined as the HRE of the german nation and kept the eagle.
Now the pope legitimised German use of the Roman Aquila, by crowning Germans as Roman Emperor's, can the pope take this symbol back? If so does it now belong to the Italians? they are hardly a successor state to the Roman Empire.. why not give the symbol to the EU!
My understanding of Germany's claims to the eagle are through the lineage of legitimate successor states to the western roman empire
- Romans used the Aquila (the imperial eagle) as a symbol, until it fell (mostly to different German tribes)
- In 800, Pope Leo III (750-816) crowned Charlemagne, who was previously King of the Franks (a German tribe) as emperor of the Romans (the pope having been granted this authority I'm assuming after as the representative of the western roman empire). Charlemagne's empire contained the rump of modern France, Germany, the low countries and half of Italy and bears a striking similarity to the German *I mean European* coal and steel community which was the precursor to the European Union. He minted coins with himself as Caesar (Kaiser) but also got shared rights to the Aquila (Eagle). Both symbols were intended to provide legitimacy for Charlemagne by tracing lineage back to the Romans. His empire was split into three chunks two of which became modern France and Germany
- This could have theoretically given the French imperial eagle rights as well, but the pope crowned subsequent German Kings as 'King of the Romans', not French kings after the carolingian empire split loosely into French and German rump states. The eagle got another head to copy the Byzantine empire.
- The French had a crack when Napoleon came along and branded himself an emperor and also used the Roman aquila. His conquests also lead to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, however the Austrian Empire as the 'successor state' kept the imperial eagle symbol.. by this point the title of Kaiser had become informally hereditary to the Austrian Hapsburgs.
- Following defeat in war with Prussia, the Austrians were challenged by a new German Emperor (not a king of the Romans however). Subsequently after WWI & then WWII both of these German emperors were no more. Hitler, much like Napoleon also commandeered the imperial eagle, but much like Napoleon he didn't last long.
- Both the Germans, and the Austrians still use the eagle for their coat of arms. However in this new age of single ethnicity nation states, neither have any true 'Roman' (e.g. Italian or French) subjects, meaning their claim to the eagle lies with their claims to be successor states to the holy roman empire, a successor state of the carolingian empire, a successor of the western roman empire.
That claim is a bit weak, so I'd say if the pope had the right to bestow the eagle to the Germans, he has every right to take it back. The Romans managed to take back three imperial eagles stolen by the Germans following the battle of Teutoburg forest so it isn't without precedence. To ensure it's given to a pan-national state that can be seen as a true successor to the Romans, it makes sense that Ursula von der Leyen (president of European Commission) get's it, especially as the office holds an uncanny resemblance to the elected HRE emperor, being effectively chosen by states not by a european wide election.
So there you have it - union stars with the Reichsadler!