World Facts

Which Is the Oldest Continuously Used National Flag?

The flag of Denmark is regarded as the oldest continuously used national flag.

The world's oldest continuously used flag is that of Denmark, which has been used since 1625. The flag of Denmark features a white Scandinavian cross set on a red field. This design was adopted in 1625, and a square shaped flag was adopted in 1748. The flag of Denmark is locally known as Dannebrog, which translates to "Danish cloth."

Description

Denmark's flag features the Scandinavian cross on a red field, touching the limits of the flag and the vertical arm of the cross is positioned towards the hoist side of the flag. Legislation was introduced in 1748 that defined the correct dimensions of the flag as 28:34, although and it could be extended to 28:37

History of the Flag

Kings of Denmark have used a banner with a white cross on a red field since the 14th century. Denmark was not part of the Roman Empire, and flags similar to Denmark's were common in provinces of the Roman Empire. The cross is a symbol of Christianity, and is common among flags of other Nordic countries. According to legend, the flag dropped from the sky on June 15, 1219 during the Battle of Lyndanisse, in what is present day Estonia. It is assumed that it came from God as a sign of support for the king of Denmark Valdemar II. It is also believed that the flag inspired Denmark's army to win the battle against Estonians. However, others claim the flag was given as a gift from the pope to the crusaders as an imperial war flag of the Holy Roman Empire, which was similar in color and design.

Symbolism

The red color on the Denmark flag represents fearlessness, courage, and the strength of the people of Denmark, while the white color symbolizes peace and truth. The cross featured on the flag represents Christianity, as it does on the flags of all Scandinavian countries.

Other Flags in Denmark

Some regions in Denmark have flags which are used in non-official capacities. These flags are not legally recognized in Denmark, and are often referred to as fantasy flags. The government reserves the right to recognize official and regional flags in other jurisdictions. For instance, the region of Bornholm has a non-official flag which was adopted in the 1970s. The flag features a red field with a white fimbriation on a green cross, which is similar to the flag of Norway. Other regions in Denmark that have flags which are not official include: the island of Ærø in the Baltic Sea, which adopted its flag in 1633; the Vendsyssel district, which was adopted in 1976; and the Jutland peninsula, which was adopted in 1975. However, the autonomous constituent countries which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark have official flags, such as the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

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