Sophocles’ Antigone has been studied intensely for more than two thousand years, but it was especially Hegel’s allegorical use of this tragedy in several of his works (first and foremost the Phenomenology of Spirit) that added yet another fascinating facet to its possible reading: the birth of the legal order and therewith a constitutional system from the conflict between two normative orders. In this contribution, I interpret the dialectic structure of Antigone in a manner in which each normative position – both Antigone’s and Creon’s – are equally justified and thereby antithetic in the ethical world of the Greek polis. It is therefore only by transcending this tragic conflict between the human and the divine orders that we can transform necessary externalities (‘fate’) into a process of a legal status which eventually allows individuals to become the authors of the law itself and thus to guarantee their freedom. I denote this reading of Hegel’s Antigone as ‘symmetrical’, since it accepts both positions – Antigone’s divine law and Creon’s human law – as equal and makes freedom and justice only possible through the law. This means that an ‘asymmetrical’ reading, giving prevalence to either position (for instance, found in Goethe or Habermas) and localizing freedom and justice beyond the law, can never effectively result in a legal status that would allow individual persons to become legal persons.My principal argument consequently is that only a symmetrical view of this normative conflict can justifiably be regarded as making a constitutional order possible in the first place. It is feasible only in a dynamic-genealogical fashion (ie, by constantly generating this order through conflict and the transcending of this conflict through mutual recognition) that concurrently also respects individuals as particular individuals, not just as formal equals among equals, by allowing them to realize their personalities and to find themselves through the arts, science, and philosophy. This is more than a merely formal or negative constitution which recognizes every person as equal and free, but disregards their particularities; this is a material and positive constitution that can guarantee both equality and self-actualization. Such a constitutional order guarantees an identity of universal laws and individuality, and accordingly offers individuals a solution to the conflicting ethical orders of the ancient polis in which they would otherwise remain trapped.