Greece, flag of

▪ Flag History

      national flag consisting of nine horizontal stripes of blue and white with a blue canton bearing a white cross. The flag has a width-to-length ratio of 2 to 3.

      In the 19th century Greece was under Ottoman rule, but the desire for religious freedom and cultural development led to a nationalist revolt and the proclamation of Greek independence in the 1820s. Many revolutionary flags were displayed locally, including some banners of black-white-red stripes, others of white with various traditional symbols, and some of blue incorporating saints and revolutionary slogans. In March 1822 the colours blue and white, expressing dedication to the Greek Orthodox (Greek Orthodox Church) faith, were adopted for two versions of the national flag.

      On land the flag was blue with a white cross extending to the edges, symbolizing “the wisdom of God, freedom and country.” At sea that flag served as the canton for an ensign that had five blue and four white horizontal stripes, subsequently interpreted as referring to the nine syllables in the battle cry of independence, translated as “Freedom or death.” Those two flags continue to be used, although the plain cross flag is now restricted to use by the military and for other special purposes. The greatest variation in the Greek flag relates to alterations in the shade of blue, some made unofficially and others according to law. The Bavarian dynasty that ruled Greece from 1833 to 1862 had flags of light blue, corresponding to Bavarian symbols. Later a darker blue was substituted and, in the period 1967–74 when Greece was under a military junta, a very dark blue was official. The current flag law dates from December 22, 1978.

Whitney Smith
 

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flag of Macedonia — may refer to:*Flag of Macedonia (Greece), a region of Greece *Flag of the Republic of Macedonia, a country in south eastern Europe …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of the United States — American Flag redirects here. For the Arizona ghost town, see American Flag, Arizona. Flag of Columbia redirects here. For the flag of the South American country, see Flag of Colombia. Flag of the United States of America Name …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Denmark — Name Dannebrog Use Civil and state flag and civil ensign …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of the Faroe Islands — Flag of Faroe Islands Name Merkið Use National flag and civil ensign …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Germany — Name Bundesflagge und Handelsflagge Use Civil and state flag and civil ensign …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of France — Name Tricolore Use National flag …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of England — Use Civil and state flag Proportion …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Moldova — Use National flag and ensign …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Switzerland — Name Swiss Use National flag …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Croatia — Use National flag Proportion 1:2 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”