Freistaat Bayern Trucker Hat
The geographic region and Free State of Bavaria (German: Freistaat Bayern (help·info)), with an area of 70,553 km² (27,241 square miles) and almost 12.5 million inhabitants, forms the southernmost and geographically largest state of Germany. Its capital is Munich.--------------Due to their long independence (until 1871), Bavarians have always maintained a strong national identity. Some features of the Bavarian culture and mentality are remarkably distinct from the rest of Germany. A prevalent perception among other Germans is that Bavarians see Bavaria as the most important part of Germany. A common play on words "It's nice to be a Preiss, but it's higher to be a Bayer" lampoons the Bavarian sense of superiority. Its name in German, "Freistaat Bayern" means simply "the free state of Bavaria." However, many Germans sarcastically refer to Bavaria as "Frei statt Bayern" which literally means "Free instead of Bavaria," implying that Bavarians view themselves as a separate country, or at least culturally superior to the rest of Germany. Noteworthy differences (especially in rural areas, less significant in the major cities) can be found.