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Johnny E. Balsved


Historical Time Line
of the Flag

The Chronological Survey

Listed below you will find a chronological survey covering some of the major events in the history of the Dannebrog.


The Dannebrog is mentioned for the first time in connection with the Battle at Lyndanisse on June 15, 1219.

1375 (about)

Dannebrog is illustrated for the first time in colors and mentioned as the King of Denmark's Flag. (This illustration is found at the National Library in Brussels, Belgium)

May 8, 1625

In his War Articles, King Christian the IVth issues the first known regulations for flying the flag and Colors of Command in the Navy.

May 20,1635

King Christian the IVth issues a Royal Resolution stating that Danish merchantmen must fly only the square flag.

April 9, 1731

The Royal Flag, the swallow tailed flag, is approved as the Flag of the Royal Danish Navy.

July 11, 1748

The regulations stating that merchantmen should fly only the square flag are being impressed, and that only Royal ships may fly the swallow tailed Dannebrog.

January 8, 1752

New regulations for flying the Naval Ensign are issued.


King Frederik the Vth declares that Danish merchantmen in the Mediterranean area may fly the square flag with the Royal Insignia's


The Sovereign Flag is established at the citadel Frederikshavn in Copenhagen.

July 16, 1788

The Sovereign Flag is moved from the citadel Frederikshavn to the newly established bastion SIXTUS.

August 15, 1788

The regulations for flying the Sovereign Flag and gun saluting from the SIXTUS battery are issued.

January 7, 1834

King Frederik the VIth passes a legislation, forbidding private citizens to fly the flag.

August 2, 1854

Private citizens are allowed to fly the Dannebrog.


Private yachts are allowed to fly the Naval Ensign, Orlogsflaget, with the golden letters YF (Yacht flag) in the upper left corner.


The Day of the Flag, June 15, Valdemar's Day, is named an official Flag Flying Day.

October 23, 1939

The Regulations for Flying the Flag and saluting in the Navy (receiving the Royal Assent on October 23) states that the Orlogsflag (the Naval Ensign) is a swallow tailed flag in a deep red color with a white cross.

July 25, 1948

Civilians are permitted to the fly the Colors of the semi-autonomous region of the Faroe Islands.

October 30, 1957

Civilians are permitted to the fly the Colors of the other Scandinavian countries (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).


Civilians are permitted to the fly the Colors of the United Nations.

June 6, 1985

Civilians are permitted to the fly the Colors of the semi-autonomous region of Greenland.

September 5, 1989

Civilians are permitted to the fly the Colors of the European Union.

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Fra Flaadens arkiver - Dannebrog fra kongebanner til orlogsflag og fane, by Commander s.g. Th. Bjerre, Vaabenhistorisk Selskab, Copenhagen 1958


Om Dannebrog jeg ved..., edited by Jesper Hjermind and Kristian Melgaard, Forlaget Viborg I/S, Viborg, 1995 (ISBN 87-90281-00-4)


Rigets Flag paa batteriet Sixtus 1788 - 15.8 . 1988, by H. C. Bjerg, published by the Naval Material Command, Copenhagen, 1988


Vort flag, Forlaget Codan, Copenhagen 1943

44You are also referred to the Naval Bibliography

- Do you miss a major event on this Site,
or do you hold a great story?

Are you able to contribute to the unfolding of the Danish Naval History,
please e-mail me, enclosures are welcome.
Please remember to list your sources.

You can also use the Naval Web Forum on this web-site.

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This page was last updated: July 31, 2005

This page was first published: September 16, 2001

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