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Colors of the Dane's
Flying the Flag
The people of Denmark, the Dane's, proudly claim, not only that Denmark is the oldest Kingdom of the World, but also that they fly the oldest flag of the World.
The Danish national symbol, the flag, is red with a white cross. Officially, it is named the Dannebrog.
The Dannebrog is most likely one of the oldest flags in the world.
According to legend, the Dannebrog descended from the skies during a battle in Estonia on June 15, 1219.
This is a part of the Danish national heritage.
Only three other flags in the world carry an official name, i.e. the Stars and Stripes, the Union Jack and the Tricolor'en.
Anyway, the Danes are one of the peoples of this world being able to grow radish in the national colors.
You will be able to read more of the history of the Danish colors on the following pages.
Generally speaking, the Danes have three official flags. The Dannebrog as the normal swallow-tailed flag, the square flag and the Naval Ensign, who has a different darker red color.
The swallow-tailed flag is only authorized for use by governmental and public institutions. All others including the merchant nay and private are to use the normal square flag.
Orlogsflaget, the Naval Ensign, is only flying on board ships of the Royal Danish Navy.
A number of organizations, companies etc. have by royal resolution been a allowed to use one of the flags with the special insignia, normally incorpo-rated in the upper left square of the flag.
The Danish Sovereign Flag
For centuries the flag has been the symbol of the King; the national sign of sovereignty.
Later on, the Danish flag placed on the bastions in front of the Kronborg Castle became a symbol to which foreign ships had to fire a salute, when entering Danish waters.
Sovereign Flag flying from
Holmen in Copenhagen.
The Danish Sovereign Flag has since 1788 been flying on the SIXTUS bastion in Copenhagen.
Banner or Flag
The Banner, or the Standard, was in ancient days the primary way of showing the Colors.
The Banner was the symbol of the King.
Later on, one could see the Flag flying from His Majesty's ships.
The Navy and the Colors
The Navy and the Colors have always been closely related. Main parts of the day to day job of the Navy was to fly the colors, or more exactly demonstrating the sovereignty.
Today's flag provide a very useful means of identification and the traditions surrounding Naval flags remain firmly part of the life of the Royal Danish Navy.
This page was last updated: May 3, 2006
This page was first published: September 16, 2001