Germany's colorful coalition shorthand
Foreign flags and even traffic lights are used to describe the various coalitions that emerge in German elections. Coalitions are common under Germany's proportional representation system.
Conservative black combined with transformative red is the color code when the Christian Democrats govern in a grand coalition with the Social Democrats. This 'grand coalition' government has been in power for the past eight years under Chancellor Angela Merkel.
When Bonn was still Germany's capital, individual conservatives and Greens met from 1995 in its suburban Italian Sassella restaurant. Since then, the 'Pizza Connection' has become code for speculation over further links. At regional level, Baden-Württemburg's Greens-CDU coalition has governed since 2016.
'Jamaica' option - black, yellow and green
A three-way deal between the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats, whose color is yellow did not come about at national level in 2017 after the FDP called off talks. It has been tested at a state level, however, where Schleswig-Holstein currently has a "Jamaica" government.
Black, red, green, symbolized by Kenya's flag
So far, a 'Kenyan' coalition has only emerged at the regional state level in the East, in response to a rise of the far-right AfD taking a quarter of the votes. Brandenburg and Saxony have had such a coalition government since 2019.
'Traffic light' coalition
The free-market-oriented liberal FDP, whose color is yellow, has in the past generally ruled out federal coalitions sandwiched between the Social Democrats, whose color is red, and the Greens. But a current example is Rhineland Palatinate's three-way regional state coalition based in Mainz and headed by Social Democrat Malu Dreyer.