Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dannebrog - Flag of Denmark

The flag of Denmark might look like a dry subject. What might be interesting in a red flag with the white Scandinavian cross on it, very similar in terms of shape with all the other nordic countries flags? You will be surprised, it is the oldest flag in the world that is still used by an independent country. And looking back in history for its origin you can find a lot of legends, many theories and the fog of the years that passed and eroded the material evidences.

The legend says that Dannebrog fell from the heaven, turning a fight that Danish army was almost loosing into a spectacular victory. No meter it was Battle of Lyndanisse in 1219, Fellin (Viljandi) in 1208 or a campaign in Russia, the symbol of the flag given by God himself to the Danish king Valdemar II makes a great romantic legend. And as result, a superstition states that the flag should never touch the ground due to its celestial origin. Some historians are suggesting a more credible explanation: the flag was given by the Christian church to either the king or the Archbishop Andreas Sunesøn to be used in the Crusades in an attempt to strength the power of Christianity by using the cross symbol. A final theory would link the Danneborg to the Knights Hospitaller who came in Denmark in 12th century, spreading to the major cities and making their banner the symbol of Danish army.

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