The Holy Roman Empire, which existed from 962 to 1806, was famously said by Voltaire to be neither holy, Roman nor an empire. It was an attempt to revive the Western Roman Empire, which had collapsed during the 5th and 6th centuries and replaced with by independent Germanic kingdoms. At its peak in the 12th century, the Holy Roman Empire comprised most of the territory of modern-day Germany, Austria, Switzerland, eastern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, western Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy. By the end of the medieval period, the emperor was mostly just a figurehead, with real power based at the local level, with all the emperor’s vassals being virtually independent. This flag was used from 1400 until the empire’s dissolution during the Napoleonic wars in 1806.