World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Norway Mean?

The Norwegian flag features a Scandinavian Cross.

The flag of Norway was adopted in the 19th century, and it is made of a red background and has a blue cross superimposed on a white cross so that the white cross outlines the blue color (the Scandinavian cross). The flag has a proportion of 11:8 for width to the length. The colors of the flag of Norway ARE believed to have been influenced by the flags of the US, Britain, and France with the colors associated with independence and liberty. The cross is common among the Scandinavian countries and represents the link with other Scandinavian countries.

A Brief History Of The Flag

The flag currently in use was adopted in 1821 and was designed by Fredrik Meltzer, who was a Danish member of parliament. The Norwegian flag owes its origins to the old monarchy that used to have their flag. However, by the 1500s ships from the region started flying the flag on the masts as a way of identifying themselves, back then the flag was red with a silver halberd and a golden lion as the emblems. For a period that lasted from the 16th century to circa1814, Norway used the same flag as Denmark owing to the union that the two countries had at the time. When Norway finally became a separate state from its Scandinavian neighbors in 1821, the current flag became the official state flag.


Like most flags around the world, each color and symbol on the Norwegian flag bears meaning to the people. The Nordic cross represents Christianity which is the man religion in the whole region. The white and red colors represented the union that Norway had with Denmark. The Blue color that makes up the cross represents Norway's union with Sweden before they gained autonomy, a symbolism that expresses their love for peace and amicable relations with each other. The combination of the three colors was something they borrowed from the France where the colors represent liberty

Flag Traditions

The flag is hoisted during festivals, and special occasions and the affair is often accompanied by the singing of the national anthem or a bugle call. The Norwegian army has a particular bugle call they use for lowering or hoisting the flag called flaggappell which translates to “attention to the flag.” After lowering, the flag is rolled up into a cylindrical shape and tied up carefully to ensure creases do not form.

Laws Regarding The Flag Of Norway

Some laws describe how, when, and where the flag can be hoisted. All state-owned property and public institutions have the flag as well as the ordinary citizens who may wish to have it on their property. Between October and March, the flag is hoisted at 08:00. Between November and February, it is hoisted at 09:00 and pulled down at sunset but not later than 21:00 hours. These laws do not necessarily apply to how the ordinary people use the flag, but most citizens choose to observe them still. At no time is the flag allowed to come into contact with the ground or wrapped on any part of the body past the waist going down. During the hoisting people in the vicinity are required to stand still as a sign of respect.

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