The Norway flag – History, design, meaning
The Norway flag shows an asymmetrical blue cross with a white outline on a red background. The Norway flag looks nice, but its design also has a background. And so we get to the bottom of the creation of the Norway flag and find out why it is the way it is.
The symbol of the Norway flag
Some of the Norway flag comes from the colors of the Norwegian royal family. Above all, the relationship to the Denmark flag is striking. After all, the Denmark flag also has a red background and a white cross. And Norway was a Danish province between 1537 and 1814. But with special privileges.
But how does the blue cross get into the Norway flag? This is taken from the Sweden flag from the time when Norway and Sweden were united in one union.
The history of Norway is also the history of the flag
Norway was part of Denmark. At least since the 16th century. And so the Danish flag, the Dannebrog, fluttered in Norway. In 1814, Norway achieved temporary independence. And so King Christian Frederik had the Norwegian flag added to the Danish flag. This would blow until 1821. It consisted of a lion with a curved halberd.
However, complete independence only lasted until autumn 1814, when Norway had to join the personal union with Sweden. Norway was allowed to keep its own trade flag.
But from 1815 a Union flag was otherwise valid. And so Norway had the Swedish flag with a white St. Andrew’s cross on a red background in the upper left corner. The reference here was still the Danish flag.
But with the Norwegian merchant flag (lion on Dannebrog) the merchant ships had problems in the Mediterranean. Because active state piracy was carried out here. Ships with such a commercial flag were hijacked. So a new commercial flag was created especially for the Mediterranean cruises. Therefore, from 1818 the Union flag was used there as a commercial flag, which was recognized by the pirates in the Mediterranean.
Who should look through there? There were different flags depending on the water. Something basic was needed.
Norwegian parliamentarian Fredrik Meltzer prevailed in 1821 with his design of a new flag as we know it today.
But in addition to this, there were still other flags, depending on the sea area and especially with regard to the Swedish neighbor, from whom people increasingly emancipated themselves. From 1844, King Oscar I opted for Sweden and Norway to be visually equal in the common union through a combination of Norwegian and Swedish colors in the upper left corner of the flag, also known as “Liek”.
This flag has now replaced the different and confusing flags in merchant shipping. Sweden’s aversion to this draft, but also Norway’s desire for independence, led to the fact that from 01/01/1899 only the tricolor, i.e. today’s Norwegian flag, was shown. The Union symbol only survived in the war flag until 1905. In that year, the union between Sweden and Norway dissolved.
Tri – Kolore comes from the French and denotes a tri-color flag. Tri stands for three, Kolore for color.