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Norwegian Flag

Norwegian Flag (Miscellaneous)

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Tags: norway (20 pics), flag (34 pics)

The flag of Norway is red with an indigo blue Scandinavian cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark. The proportions of the national flag are 22:16 (width to height), its colour elements having widths of 6:1:2:1:12 and heights of 6:1:2:1:6. The proportions of the state flag are 27:16, or 6:1:2:1:6:11 horizontally and 6:1:2:1:6 vertically.

The red colour shall be PMS 032 U and the blue PMS 281 U in the Pantone system. This approximates to the RGB values #EF2B2D (red) and #002868 (blue).


A depiction originally from ca 1370 (649 years ago) of a Nordic king holding the flags of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
The national and merchant flag of Norway (1844-1899), with the Norway and Sweden union badge, the "herring salad".It is difficult to establish what the earliest flag of Norway looked like. During ancient times countries did not fly flags. Kings and other rulers flew flags, especially in battle. Saint Olav used a serpent within a white mark at the Battle of Nesjar. Prior to this the raven or dragon was used. Magnus the Good used the same mark as Saint Olav. Harald Hardråde used the raven banner. This flag was flown by various Viking chieftains and other Scandinavian rulers during the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries CE. Inge used a red lion on gold. Sverre used an eagle in gold and red. The earliest known flag which could be described as a national flag of Norway is the one used today as the Royal Standard. Eirik Magnusson used a flag described as a golden lion with axe and crown on red from 1280 (739 years ago) and this was since regularly the flag of Norway and of the King of Norway.

The flag is based on the Coat of Arms and was originally only a flag for the ruler of Norway (as it is today). It was later also used on ships and on fortresses until it was gradually phased out during the 17th and 18th centuries. Its earliest certain depiction is on the seal of duchess Ingebjørg in 1318 (701 years ago). Around 1500 (519 years ago) it became the custom for ships to fly the flag of their home country to identify their nationality. At least as late as 1698 (321 years ago) the lion banner was flown over Akershus Fortress. The "Norwegian lion" was placed in the colours of all the Norwegian regiments in 1641 (378 years ago). In 1748 (271 years ago) a decree stated that the Dannebrog should be the only legal merchant flag.

From about the 16th century until 1814 (205 years ago) Norway used the same flag as Denmark, as it was in union with that country. In 1814 (205 years ago) independent Norway adopted the Danish flag with the Norwegian lion in the canton or the upper square at the hoist. This flag was in use until 1821 (198 years ago). Later in 1814 (205 years ago) Norway was united with Sweden and in 1815 (204 years ago) a common flag for both states was introduced, the Swedish flag with a white cross on a red background in the canton. This design was used for government flags and for merchant ships beyond Cape Finisterre. A distinctive Norwegian Flag was designed in 1821 (198 years ago) by Fredrik Meltzer, a member of the parliament (Storting). It was adopted by both chambers of the Storting on May 11 and May 16, respectively. However, the king refused to sign the flag law, but approved the design for civilian use by royal order in council on Jul. 13, 1821 (198 years ago). The design is the same as in the present flag. But as the constitution of 1814 (205 years ago) explicitly stated that the war flag was to be a union flag, the common flag (Swedish with a canton signifying Norway) was used by the armies and navies of both states until 1844 (175 years ago).

Until 1838 (181 years ago) the Norwegian Flag was only used in Northern waters, as Norway had no treaty with the Barbary pirates of North Africa and had to fly the Swedish or union flag for protection. In 1844 (175 years ago) a union badge combining Norwegian and Swedish colors was placed at the hoist of both countries' flags. The badge was popularly called Sildesalaten ("the herring salad") from its resemblance to a herring salad. Initially, the union flag was popular in Norway, since it clearly denoted the equal status of the two united states. As the union with Sweden became less popular, the Norwegian parliament abolished the union badge from the national (merchant) and state flags in 1898 (121 years ago). Although the law was not approved by the King, it became effective since it had been passed by three consecutive Stortings. The "pure" flag was first flown in 1899 (120 years ago), but the union badge had to be kept in the war flag. At the dissolution of the union in 1905 (114 years ago), it was removed from the navy flag as well. Sweden kept it in all flags until 1905 (114 years ago).



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