According to Guinness World Records, the oldest national Flag in the world history is the one of Denmark. The name of the Danish Flag is officially known as the Dannebrog meaning the Flag of the Danes or the red flag. Historically, the oldest piece is first found in the Danish text from 1478 and in a Dutch text from 100 years before that. Embracing the legendary origin, the ancient banner is highly appreciated and respected in the worldwide contexts.
History and Legend around the Dannebrog
The mysterious Flag came to the Danish possession during the Battle of Lyndanisse in 1219 (also known as the Battle of Valdemar). At that time, when the Danes were on a failing campaign in Estonia, they prayed to God. Legend said that the Dannebrog then fell from the heavens during the extreme battle. The event was mentioned in Christiern Pedersen’s Danish Chronicle from the beginning of the 1520s.
Dannebrog – the oldest flag in the world history
Around 1500s, the legend was presumably on the basics of the calls that the Royal Banner belonged to the King Hans who lost his defeat in the Northern Germany. Hence, in 1559, it was Frederik II that recaptured the Flag and had it hung in Schleswig Cathedral.
Along with that, in a song of the campaign 1500, the Flag of Denmark charged with the cross associated with the Roman Emperor Constantine’s dream of the cross. The Cross visions were linked to the signs of victory and the prototype of the miracles. Depicting the crosses in the sky, the Cross of the Dannebrog was in white with the red bordure.
Obviously, the white Scandinavian Cross extended to the edges of the Danish Flag while the vertical part of the cross was shifted to the hoist side. It was concurred that the Cross itself represented Christianity that was subsequently employed by many other Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, etc. It was intricate to know that Denmark was never a part of the Roman Empire, but the similar designs were vastly used by the Empire to symbolize its provinces while the white cross was the typical symbol of Christianity.
Notice that the Dannebrog used to be the flag of Norway during the Danish-Norwegian personal Union. Till 1821, Norway adopted its national Flag with the slight alterations and refinements.
The Continuity of Legend and Modern Merits
It is worth pointing out that the Danish literature during 13th and 14th centuries tends to remain quiet about its national Flag. Hence, up to now, there exist many controversial topics around the Dannebrog’s origin. Whether the Flag is the gift from God, the banner of a military order, or the ecclesiastical banner, Danish literature can’t do anything with its roots before the early 15th century. Anyway, many Danish historians attempt to date its origin to Battle of Lyndanisse Dannebrog 1219 via the nice flair of nationalism.
Going through the maze of history, the oldest and continuously used Flag of Denmark embraces the true value of antiquity. The design including a white Scandinavian Cross on the red background is very eye-catching. When you stay in Denmark, expect to name the Flag as Dannebrog or Danish Cloth!
Honorably, Danish culture announces that the Dannebrog is not accepted to touch the ground since it came from the heavens as the gift from God. Besides, it is not allowed to hoist the first flag of the world at night. Why so? It is because some believe that such the night hoist sounds like giving the Devil a salute.
Nowadays, there are many variants of the Dannebrog Flag such as the Splitflag and Orlogsflag that have the similar shapes and colors. However, they’re different in sizes, shades of red, and places of use. While the Splitflag ending in a swallow-tail is used on land, the Orlogsflag featuring the elongated tail of Splitflag and deeper red color is only hoisted on sea as the Danish Naval Banner.