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The Sovereign Flag

The Sixtus Bastion

On April 2, 1801 during the Battle of Copenhagen the Danish Crown Prince Frederik, the later King Frederik the 6th, viewed part of the battle from the SIXTUS bastion.

The flag flying on this bastion is the Kingdom of Denmark's Sovereign flag, in Danish "Rigets Flag".

This bastion is to day the eastern part of Naval Station Copenhagen, and in the summertime one will see the Royal Yacht moored just opposite.

This bastion is also the one salute-firing arriving vessels into the Port of Copenhagen.

The Sovereign Flag

The Danish Sovereign Flag

The Danish Sovereign Flag flying from the SIXTUS bastion in Copenhagen.
(Photo: Johnny Balsved)

The Flag flying at Elsinore Castle in Northern Zealand was originally the national symbol of sovereignty, and foreign ships passing had to salute this flag.

In 1784  a bastion was established at the Citadel Frederikshavn in Copenhagen. This became the flag that foreign ships would have to salute, when entering Copenhagen, in order to show their respect to the sovereignty of the Danish King.

In 1788 the Sovereign Flag was moved from the Citadel to the SIXTUS bastion, just on the opposite side of the harbor. The move was made by a royal decree issued on July 16, 1788.

The rules of flying the flag and salute-firing were issued on August 15, 1788

It is important to point out, that even placed on Naval ground, this flag has no particular relations to the Royal Danish Navy.

The swallow tailed DANNEBROG...

The swallow tailed DANNEBROG.

It is the the Kingdom of Denmark's Sovereign Flag.

Navy personnel are just responsible for the raising and lowering of the flag.

From Sunrise to Sunset

Normal rules for flying the flag in Denmark state that the flag is raised at sunrise, however not before 8 o'clock in the morning, and it is lowered at sunset.

The Sovereign Flag is always flying from sunrise to sunset.

The flag is only on half mast on Good Friday and by special orders from the Admiral Danish Fleet.

By direct order from King Christian Xth the Sovereign Flag was lowered to half mast in February 1941, when the Danish Government was forced to hand over 6 torpedo boats to the German Occupation Forces.

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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

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This page was last updated: November 1, 2006

This page was first published: September 16, 2001

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