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Flag of Denmark

The Dannebrog. This version, known as the Stutflag, is used for civilian purposes. Proportions: 28:37

The national flag of Denmark, the Dannebrog, is red with a white Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side. The cross design of the Danish flag was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. During the Danish-Norwegian personal union, the Dannebrog was also the flag of Norway and continued to be, with slight modifications, until Norway adopted its current flag in 1821.

The royal Danish yacht is named after the flag.

The legendary origin of the flag

The legend of the flag is very popular among Danes, but most consider it to be a legend though a beautiful one. The legend says that during the Battle of Lyndanisse, also known as the Battle of Valdemar (Danish: "Volmerslaget"), near Reval (Tallinn) in Estonia, on 15 June 1219, the flag fell from the sky during a critical stage, resulting in Danish victory.

Dannebrog falling from the sky during the Battle of Lyndanisse, 15 June, 1219. Painted by Christian August Lorentzen in 1809. Original located on Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark

No historical record supports this legend. The first record of the legend dates from more than 300 years after the campaign, and the first record connects the legend to a much smaller battle, though still in Estonia; the battle of Fellin (Viljandi) in 1208. Though no historical support exists for the flag story in the Fellin battle either, it is not difficult to understand how a small and unknown place is replaced with the much grander battle of Reval from the Estonia campaign of King Valdemar II.

This story originates from two written sources from the early 16th century.

The first is found in Christiern Pedersen's "Danske Krønike", which is a sequel to Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, written 1520-1523. It is not mentioned in connection to the campaign of King Valdemar II in Estonia, but in connection with a campaign in Russia. He also mentions that this flag, falling from the sky during the Russian campaign of King Valdemar II, is the very same flag that King Eric of Pomerania took with him when he left the country in 1440 after being deposed as King.

The second source is the writing of the Franciscan monk Petrus Olai (Peder Olsen) of Roskilde, from 1527. This record describes a battle in 1208 near a place called "Felin" during the Estonia campaign of King Valdemar II. The Danes were all but defeated when a lamb-skin banner depicting a white cross falls from the sky and miraculously leads to a Danish victory. In another record by Petrus Olai called "Danmarks Tolv Herligheder" (Twelve Splendours of Denmark), in splendour number nine, the same story is re-told almost to the word, however a paragraph has been inserted correcting the year to 1219.

Whether or not these records describe a truly old oral story in existents at that time, or a 16th century invented story, is not currently determined.

Some historians believe that the story by Petrus Olai refers to a source from the first half of the 15th century, making this the oldest reference to the falling flag.

The continuation of the romantic legend

The story of the original flag has a continuation that many Danes are not aware of.

According to tradition, the original flag from the Battle of Lyndanisse was used in the small campaign of 1500 when King Hans tried to conquer Dithmarschen (in western Holstein in north Germany). The flag was lost in a devastating defeat on 17 February 1500. In 1559, King Frederik II recaptured it during his own Dithmarschen campaign. In the capitulation terms it is stated that all Danish banners lost in 1500 were to be returned.

One of Hans Knieper’s heroic paintings of Danish kings from 1585. King Erik Menved storming a castle. Note the two Danish flags. Original located on Kronborg Castle.

This legend is found in two sources, Hans Svanning's History of King John from 1558-1559 and Johan Rantzau's History about the Last Dithmarschen War, from 1569. Both claims that this was the original flag, and consequently both writers knew the legend of the falling flag. In 1576, the son of Johan Rantzau, Henrik Rantzau, also writes about the war and the fate of the flag. He notes that the flag was in a poor condition when returned.

Sources from Dithmarschen, written shortly after the battle of 1500, do mention banners, including the Royal banner, being captured from the Danes, but there is no mention of Dannebrog or the "original" flag. It is quite plausible that the king’s personal banner as well as the leading banner of the army were both lost, as the battle was led by the King himself. However, it is more questionable if he indeed was carrying the "original" flag.

In a letter dated 22 February 1500 to Oluf Stigsøn, King John describes the battle, but does not mention the loss of an important flag. In fact, the entire letter gives the impression that the lost battle was noting more than an "unfortunate affair".

An indication that we are dealing with multiple flags, are the 1570 writings of Niels Hemmingsøn regarding a bloody battle between Danes and Swedes near the Swedish town of Uppsala in 1520. He writes that the "Danish head banner" ("Danmarckis Hoffuitbanner") was nearly captured by the Swedes. It was saved only by the combined efforts of the banner-carrier Mogens Gyldenstierne, taking multiple wounds, and a young man coming to his rescue. This young man was Peder Skram. This "Danmarckis Hoffuitbanner" was probably nothing short of the "Banner of the Realm'" (Rigsbanner), the Dannebrog.

This is however not the end of the story. A priest and historian from Dithmarschen, Johan Neocorus, wrote in 1598 that the banner captured in 1500, was brought to the church in Wohrden and hung there for the next 59 years, until it was returned to the Danes as part of the peace settlement in 1559. Henrik Rantzau states in his writing of 1576 that the flag was brought to Slesvig city and placed in the cathedral, following its return.

A historian from Slesvig, Ulrik Petersen (1656-1735), wrote in the late 17th century that the flag hung in Slesvig cathedral till about 1660 until it simply crumbled away, thus ending its more than 400-year-old story.

Historically, it is of course impossible to prove or disprove that these records speak of the same flag. If the flag of 1208 or 1219 ever existed. Many of these legends are apparently built on earlier ones.

Other theories of the origin of the flag

Other origin theories have been put forth in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The Danish flag from the front page of Christiern Pedersen’s version of Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, 1514. Full frontpage can be seen here.

Theories of the origin of the flag, #2

The Danish historian Caspar Paludan-Müller in 1873 in his book "Sagnet om den himmelfaldne Danebrogsfane" put forth the theory that it is a banner sent by the Pope to the Danish King to use in his crusades in the Baltic countries. Other kings and lords certainly received such banners.

One would though imagine that if this story was true, some kind of record ought to exist of the event and presumably Danish historians would not have failed to mention it in some way. Being granted a banner by the Pope would have been a great honour, but despite the many letters of the popes relating to the crusades, none of them mentions granting a banner to a King of Denmark. On the other hand, the letter in question might simply have been lost.

Theories of the origin of the flag, #3

A similar theory was suggested by Danish explorer, adventurer and Captain Johan Støckel in the early 20th century. He suggested that it was not a pope banner to the King but a pope banner to the Churchly legate in the North, more specifically to archbishop Andreas Sunesøn, which he - without the knowledge of the King – brought with him on the King's crusade in the Baltic countries, in an effort to make the army take on a Christian symbol (over the king's symbol) and thereby strengthen the power of the church.

It is unlikely that the very fair and loyal archbishop would do such a thing behind the king's back. Moreover, it is unlikely that the pope would send such a banner, given the fact that they already had one, namely the banner of the Knights Hospitaller (Danish: "Johanitterne").

Theories of the origin of the flag, #4

A theory brought forth by the Danish historian Adolf Ditlev Jørgensen in 1875 in his book Danebroges Oprindelse, is that the Danish flag is the banner of the Knights Hospitaller. He supports his theory with that the order came to Denmark in the latter half of the 12th century and during the next centuries spread to major cities, like Odense, Viborg, Horsens, Ribe and their headquarters in Slagelse, so by the time of the Baltic crusade, the symbol was already a known symbol in Denmark.

Furthermore he claims that Bishop Theodorik, already a part initiator of the order in Livonia, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, had the idea of starting a similar order in Estonia and that he was the original instigator of Bishop Albert of Buxhoeveden inquiry to King Valdemar II in 1218, that set the whole Danish participation in the Baltic crusades in motion.

In the contemporary writing of the priest Henry of Livonia from Riga it is said that Bishop Theodorik was killed during the 1219 battle, as the enemy stormed his tent, thinking it was the King's tent. Adolf Ditlev Jørgensen explains that it was Bishop Theodorik who carried the flag, well planted outside his tent, thus as an already well-known Knights Hospitaller symbol in Livonia, the enemy thought this was the King's symbol and mistakenly stormed Bishop Theodorik tent. He claims that the origin of the legend of the falling flag comes from this confusion in the battle.

Adolf Ditlev Jørgensen does not give an explanation how the white Maltese cross on red of the Knights Hospitaller, found its way to the Danish flag of 1219, given the fact that in that time it was a white cross on black. The Knights Hospitaller is a monk-order and used black dresses. The white on red warrior-cloak cannot be traced until later.

Theories of the origin of the flag, #5

The Danish church-historian L. P. Fabricius put up yet another theory. It is explained in his study of 1934, titled "Sagnet om Dannebrog og de ældste Forbindelser med Estland'". In this study he put the location to 1208 Fellin and not the Battle of Lyndanisse in 1219, based on the earliest source available about the story.

He says in this theory that it might have been Archbishop Andreas Sunesøn's personal ecclestical banner or perhaps even the flag of Archbishop Absalon. That is based on his tireless efforts to expand Christianity to the Baltic countries and that under his initiative and supervision several smaller crusades had already been conducted in Estonia. The banner would then already be known in Estonia. He repeats the story about the flag being planted in front of Bishop Theodorik's tent which the enemy mistakenly attacks believing it to be the tent of the King.

All these theories centre on two battles in Estonia, whether it is in Fellin (1208) or Lyndanisse (1219), and thus try to explain the origin in relation to the tale brought forth over 300 years after the event.

Theories of the origin of the flag, #6

A much different theory is briefly discussed by Fabricius and elaborated more by Helga Bruhn in a book from 1949. She claims that it is neither the battle nor the banner that is central to the tale, but rather the cross in the sky. Similar tales of appearances in the sky at critical moments, particularly of crosses, can be found all over Europe.

Bruhn mentions a battle (also mentioned by Fabricius) taking place on September 10, 1217 between Christian knights and Moor warriors on the Iberian Peninsula near the castle Alcazar, where it is said that a golden cross on white appeared in the sky, to bring victory to the Christians. Likewise an almost identical Swedish tale from the 18th century about a yellow cross on blue appearing in 1157 during a Swedish battle in Finland. Probably a later invention to counter the legendary origins of the Danish flags, but never the less of the same nature. The English flag, the Saint George's Cross is also claimed to have appeared in the sky during a critical battle, in this case in Jerusalem during the crusades.

The similarities to the legends is obvious. In Spain, the colours of the Pope appears in the sky, in Finland the Swedish colours. In Estonia it is the Danish colours, and in Jerusalem the English colours. Basically, these are all variations of the same legend.

Since King Valdamar II was married to the Portuguese princess, Berengaria, it is not unthinkable that the origin of the story, if not the flag, was the Spanish tale or a similar tale, which again might have been inspired by an even older legend.

Earliest recorded use of the flag

One of the seals of Erik VII, 1398. Note the Dannebrog banner in the coat of arms

Danish literature of the 13th and 14th centuries remains suspiciously quiet about the national flag. Whether the flag has its origins in a divine sign, a banner of a military order, an ecclesiastical banner, or perhaps something entirely different, Danish literature is no help before the early 15th century.

However, several coins, seals and images exist, both foreign and domestic, from the 13th to 15th centuries and even earlier, showing flags similar to the Dannebrog. In the 19th and early 20th century, these images were used by many Danish historians, with a good flair of nationalism, trying to date the origins of the flag to 1219. However, if one examines the few existing foreign sources about Denmark from the 13th to 15th centuries, it is apparent that, at least from foreign point of view; the national symbol of Denmark was not a red-and-white banner but the royal coat of arms (three blue lions of a golden shield.) This coat of arms remains in use to this day.

An obvious place to look for documentation is in the Estonian city of Tallinn, the site of the legendary battle. In Tallinn, a coat-of-arms resembling the flag is found on several buildings and can be traced back to the middle of the 15th century where it appears in the coat-of-arms of the "Die Grosse Gilde", a sort of merchant consortium which greatly influenced the city's development. The symbol later became the coat-of-arms of the city. Efforts to trace it from Estonia back to Denmark have, however, been in vain.

The national Coat of Arms of Estonia, three blue lions on a golden shield, is almost identical to the Coat of Arms of Denmark, and its origin can be traced directly back to King Valdemar II and Danish rule in Estonia 1219-1346.

Earliest undisputed link

Page 55 verso in the Dutch book Wapenboek Gelre. Displaying the earliest known undisputed colourized image of Dannebrog

The earliest source that indisputably links the red flag with a white cross to a Danish King, and to the realm itself, is found in a Dutch register of coats-of-arms “Wapenboek Gelre”, written between 1340 and 1370 (some sources say 1378 or 1386). Most historians claim that the book was written by Geldre Claes Heinen. The book displays some 1700 coats-of-arms from all over Europe, in colour. It is now located on the Royal Library of Brussels (the "Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier").

On page 55 verso we find the Danish coat-of-arms with a helmet on top with horns. On the right horn is a Danish banner. The text left of the coat of arms says “die coninc van denmarke” (The King of Denmark). This is the earliest known undisputed colour rendering of the Dannebrog.

This image has been used to acknowledge a previously disputed theory that the cross found in Valdemar Atterdag's coats of arms located in his Danælog seal ("Rettertingsseglet") from 1356 is indeed the cross from the Danish flag.

This image from "Wapenboek Gelre" is near identical found in an old coats of arms book from the 15th century now located in the National Archives of Sweden, ("Riksarkivet")

From Queen Margaret I and King Erik VII time we also have a case that undisputedly links Dannebrog to Denmark. The royal seal of King Erik VII from 1398 - the first combined coat of arms found in Denmark - shows the flag twice; the cross that separates the four coats-of-arms is the cross of the Dannebrog and the coat of arms representing Denmark show the three lions holding a Dannebrog banner.

Origin and meaning of "Dannebrog"

From King's banner to National flag

Laws and flag variations

Denmark does not have a specified flag law, but various regulations and rules spread out over many documents, from King Christian IV's time till today, can be found. The quest to unite them into a specified flag law have been brought forth many times, especially in the 20th century, but it never amounted to anything.

National flag

The size and shape of the coufhordie flag ("Koffardiflaget") for merchant ships is given in the regulation of June 11, 1748, which says: A red flag with a white cross with no split end. The white cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. The two first fields must be square in form and the two outer fields most be 6/4 lengths of those.

The proportions are thus: 3:1:3 vertically and 3:1:4.5 horizontally. This definition are the absolute proportions for the Danish national flag to this day, for both the civil version of the flag, "Stutflaget", as well as the merchant flag ("Handelsflaget"). Both flags are identical.

A somewhat curious regulation came in 1758 concerning Danish ships sailing in the Mediterranean. These had to carry the King's cypher logo in the center of the flag, to distinguish them from Maltese ships, due to the similarity of the flag of the Order of St. John (a.k.a. the Knights Hospitaller). To the best of knowledge, this regulation has never been revoked, however it is probably no longer done.

According to the regulation of June 11, 1748 the colour was simply red, which is common known today as "Dannebrog rød" ("Dannebrog red"). The only available red fabric colour in 1748 was made of bracken root, which make a brownish red. The private company, Dansk Standard, regulation number 359 of 2005, defines the red colour of the flag as Pantone 186c. No official nuance definition of "Dannebrog rød" exists.

During the next about 150 years nobody paid much attention to actually abide fully to the proportions of the flag given in the 1748 regulation, not even the government. As late as 1892 it was stated in a series of regulations that the correct lengths of the two last fields in the flag were 6/4. Some interested in the matter made inquires into the issue and concluded that the 6/4 length would make the flag look blunt. Any new flag would also quickly become unlawful, due to wear and tear. They also noted that the flag currently used had lengths, of the last two fields, anywhere between 7/4 to 13/6.

So in May 1893 a new regulation to all chiefs of police, stated that the police should not intervene, if the two last fields in the flag were longer than 6/4 as long as these did not exceed 7/4, and provided that this was the only rule violated.

This regulation is still in effect today and thus the legal proportions of the National flag is today anywhere between 3:1:3 width / 3:1:4.5 length and 3:1:3 width / 3:1:5.25 length.

That some confusion still exists in this matter can be seen from the regulation of May 4, 1927, which once again states that Danish merchant ships have to fly flags according to the regulation of 1748.

Splitflag

The Splitflag - the Danish State Flag. Proportions: 56:107 The Orlogsflag - the Danish Naval Flag. Proportions: 56:107

The Splitflag or Orlogsflag have similar specifications, but legally, they are two different flags. The Splitflag is a Danish flag ending in a swallow-tail, it is Dannebrog red, and is used on land. The Orlogsflag is a Splitflag with a deeper red colour and is only used on sea.

The Orlogsflag with no markings, may only be used by the Royal Danish Navy. There are though a few exceptions to this. A few institutions have been allowed to fly the clean Orlogsflag. Same flag with markings has been approved for a few dozen companies and institutions over the years.

Furthermore, the Orlogsflag is only described as such if it has no additional markings. Any swallow-tail flag, no matter the color, is called a Splitflag provided it bears additional markings.

The first regulation regarding the Splitflag dates from 27 March, 1630, where King Christian IV orders that Norwegian "Defensionskibe" (merchants ships with guns) may only use the Splitflag if they are in war-service under Denmark. In 1685 an order, distributed to a number of cities in Slesvig, says that all ships must carry the Danish flag, and in 1690 all merchants ships is forbidden to use the Splitflag, with the exception of ships sailing in the East Indies, West Indies and at the coast of Africa. In 1741 it is re-stated that the regulation of 1690 is still very much in effect, that merchants ships may not use the Splitflag. At the same time it is now allowed the Danish East India Company to use the Splitflag when past the equator.

It is obvious that some confusion must have existed regarding the Splitflag. In 1696 the Admiralty presented the King with a proposal for a standard regulating both size and shape of the Splitflag. In the same year a Royal resolution defines the proportions of the Splitflag, which in this resolution is called Kongeflaget (the King's flag), as follows: The cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. The two first fields must be square in form with the sides three times the cross width. The two outer fields are rectangular and 1½ the length of the square fields. The tails are the length of the flag.

These numbers are the basic for the Splitflag, or Orlogsflag, today, though the numbers have been slightly altered. The term Orlogsflag dates from 1806 and denotes use in the Royal Danish Navy.

From about 1750 to early 1800's a number of ships / companies which the government has interests in, received approval to used the Splitflag. From the mid 1800's to 1899 another bunch of institutions and private companies also received approval to use the Splitflag. Especially after 1870 the government generous and with little thought hand out approval to all kinds to institutions.

In royal resolution of October 25, 1939 for the Danish Navy, it is stated that the Orlogsflag is a Splitflag with a deep red ("Kraprød" or "dybrød") colour. Like the National flag, no nuance is given, but in modern days this is given as 195U. Furthermore the size and shape is corrected in this resolution to be: The cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. The two first fields must be square in form with the height of 3/7 of the flags height. The two outer fields are rectangular and 5/4 the length of the square fields. The tails are 6/4 the length of the rectangular fields.

Comparing this to the 1696 resolution one can see that both the rectangular fields and the tails have become smaller.

Who may use what?

1. Stutflag: This is the national flag of Denmark and is used by for all civilian purposes including the merchant navy. Any Dane can have a flagpole in the garden and use the flag according to the law. When the flag is not hoisted, for instance during darkness, a long narrow version called a vimpel or a wider version called a stander can be flown.

2. Splitflag: The use of the swallow-tail flag is restricted to the Danish Government and Navy. Note: The Naval Flag has a darker hue than the State Flag. Private yachts and motor boats are allowed to use the Naval Flag with the letters Y.F.(for Yacht Flag) superimposed in the upper canton. This flag is not allowed on boats for hire.

3. Kongeflag (literally: The King's Flag): This is the flag of the Monarch. It is currently used by H.M. Queen Margrethe II.

4. Dronningeflag (literally: The Queen's flag). This is the flag of the consort of the monarch. The main difference from the flag of the monarch is that this version of the royal coat-of-arms lacks the supporters, two wild men. This flag was used by H.M. Queen Ingrid, and is currently not in use, since the Prince Consort, H.R.H. Prince Henrik uses a special flag with a his personal coat of arms in the centre (originally, he used a flag with a crowned "H" in the centre).

5. Rigsforstanderflag: This flag is used by the leading member of the Royal Family when the Queen is abroad, and shows that the person currently assumes the constitutional duties of the Monarch. This person remains the de facto Monarch, until the Monarch returns to Danish territory.

6. Tronfølgerflag: This is the flag of the Crown Prince of Denmark, currently H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik.

7. Kongehusflag: This flag can be used by any member of the Danish Royal Family.

8. Forsvarsminister: This is the flag of the Minister of Defence.

9. Admiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Admiral is on board.

10. Viceadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that a Vice Admiral is on board.

11. Kontreadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Rear Admiral is on board.

12. Postflag: This is the former flag of the Royal Danish Mail and Telegraph (Danish: Kongelig Post og Telegrafvæsen), now Post Danmark.

13. Statens skibe: This flag is used on ships owned by the Danish State.

14. DSB: This flag is used by the DSB, the state railway company (Danske Statsbaner).

15. Havnepoliti: This is used by the Danish harbour police.

Flag days



References

  • Dannebrog - Vort Flag, Lieutenant Colonel Thaulow, Forlaget Codan, Copenhagen 1943
  • Dannebrog, Helga Bruhn, Forlaget Jespersen og Pios, Copenhagen 1949
  • Danebrog - Danmarks Palladium, E. D. Lund, Forlaget H. Hagerups, Copenhagen 1919
  • DS 359:2005 ’Flagdug’, Dansk Standard, 2005

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. Although good in animation, the stories seem to lack substance and fails to keep the attention of the viewers.
. The series follows the Bratz through their adventures in high school while working on their magazine (the real Bratz magazine hit newsstands as well: $54.90 for 13 issues) and fighting off Burdine's interns, the twins Kirstee and Kaycee, who the Bratz refer to collectively as the "Tweevils". Havnepoliti: This is used by the Danish harbour police. The show features Yasmin, Cloe, Sasha, and Jade as the main characters. 15. In September 2005 a computer animated series based on the Bratz line of dolls began airing on 4Kids TV.

DSB: This flag is used by the DSB, the state railway company (Danske Statsbaner). Featuring the voices of Wendie Malick as the antagonist Burdine Maxwell, Tia Mowry as Sasha, Soleil Moon Frye as Jade, Olivia Hack as Cloe, Lacey Chabert as Kirstee, and Kaley Cuoco as Kaycee. 14. The subsequent Twiins releases moved away from this theme (Nona is the center of attention while Tess is the free spirit who does things her way; Valentina is a stylish fashion designer and Oriana is an edgy rock musician), though both new sets recycled the angel and devil keychains first included with Phoebe and Roxxi, to the dismay of some collectors. Statens skibe: This flag is used on ships owned by the Danish State. When the first set of Twiins was released, Phoebe and Roxxi looked exactly the same, though Phoebe was presented as the "Good Girl" and Roxxi was the "Lil' Devil," reflecting the somewhat hackneyed theme of good twin/evil twin. 13. Other issues include Jade from the Style It collection, whose alternate shirt featured a Chinese take-out box with a Japanese flag on it; Sasha, a dark-skinned character, was said on early boxes to be interested in hip-hop music, potentially supporting a stereotype of African-Americans.

Postflag: This is the former flag of the Royal Danish Mail and Telegraph (Danish: Kongelig Post og Telegrafvæsen), now Post Danmark. As of this writing, May Lin has yet to appear in another Bratz collection, and is probably unlikely to be produced ever again. 12. On top of that, her name is misspelled; a more appropriate spelling would have been something like "Meilin" or "Mei-lin." This made it appear that the design team had not properly researched appropriate names for the doll (as they had for Kumi, who was introduced as a kimono doll) and merely picked a name that would be perceived to be Japanese by the general public (and thereby perpetuating misconceptions about the Chinese and Japanese cultures being one and the same), which did not sit well with more cognizant collectors. Kontreadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Rear Admiral is on board. May Lin sparked a bit of controversy because her name is Chinese, yet the doll was portrayed as Japanese. 11. Bratz fans appreciate that the dolls feature characters of many ethnicities, most of no specific background, and that each is given her own name and set of clothing and accessories, instead of the long-time practice of doll manufacturers making their blonde and African-American dolls variants of the same character.

Viceadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that a Vice Admiral is on board. Others still are just glad to see their older children still finding dolls relevant in their lives; some parents even enjoy collecting Bratz themselves. 10. Others also praise the Bratz for breaking down female stereotypes reinforced by many other dolls, such as the fairy-tale princess or bride. Admiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Admiral is on board. On the other hand, since Bratz have natural leg lengths, large hips, and very modest chests, some parents are happy to see that dolls with what they perceive to be a more realistic body image are becoming popular. 9. In actuality, the fabric piece under the Bratz Babyz' skirts (as well as those of the regular and Lil' Bratz) is merely functional, preventing the skirts from riding up over the hips of the doll.

Forsvarsminister: This is the flag of the Minister of Defence. The Bratz Babyz were not immune to complaints, either, especially the "Babyz Night Out" fashion pack, the "Brattoo Parlor" playset, and the fact that the Big Babyz wear something under their skirts that looks like a thong. 8. They also took issue with the accessories that appeared to be champagne bottles and glasses and called for MGA to recall or otherwise remove the dolls from the market. Kongehusflag: This flag can be used by any member of the Danish Royal Family. The group complained that the dolls sent a negative message "forcing" young girls to grow up too soon, while allegedly promoting the idea of sneaking out of the house to go on blind dates with complete strangers. 7. An opaque window showing the Boyz' feet would clue which Boyz doll it was, especially during the quest for the exclusive Bryce doll, available in only 1 of every 24 boxes.

Crown Prince Frederik. The dolls were packaged with a Bratz girl on the left (Cloe, Yasmin, Jade, Meygan or Nevra) and matched with a mystery Boyz doll behind the door on the right side of the box. Tronfølgerflag: This is the flag of the Crown Prince of Denmark, currently H.R.H. The parental group Dads and Daughters was outraged by the release of the Bratz Secret Date collection. 6. [1]. This person remains the de facto Monarch, until the Monarch returns to Danish territory. Others have claimed that each of the Bratz seem to have very shallow personalities of their own, with only superficial things such as clothes differentiating one from another.

Rigsforstanderflag: This flag is used by the leading member of the Royal Family when the Queen is abroad, and shows that the person currently assumes the constitutional duties of the Monarch. Some say that Bratz dolls' bodies look like those of anorexic women. 5. They also claim the commercials show 11-year-olds wearing lots of makeup and scantily clad and insist that the Bratz are at least partially responsible for the moral decay of today's youth (Such as "Above all else, BE BEAUTIFUL!", a line found on the website). Prince Henrik uses a special flag with a his personal coat of arms in the centre (originally, he used a flag with a crowned "H" in the centre). Some parents have criticized the Bratz for being "unrealistic" and claim they promote materialism and consumerism. Queen Ingrid, and is currently not in use, since the Prince Consort, H.R.H. Bratz Boyz.

This flag was used by H.M. Bratz Girlz. The main difference from the flag of the monarch is that this version of the royal coat-of-arms lacks the supporters, two wild men. A list of past and current Bratz doll names:. This is the flag of the consort of the monarch. The DVD, Rock Angelz, was released in September 2005 and showcased the Bratz in a computer-animated adventure as they started up their own fashion magazine. Dronningeflag (literally: The Queen's flag). The third person adventure game allowed the player to customize one of the Bratz girls while following them around the world to investigate stories for Bratz Magazine.

4. The videogame of the same name was released on various gaming platforms. Queen Margrethe II. The single "So Good" reached #14 on the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart and #23 on the UK Singles Chart the same year. It is currently used by H.M. The CD, Rock Angelz, reached #79 on the US Billboard 200 in 2005, credited to Bratz Rock Angelz. Kongeflag (literally: The King's Flag): This is the flag of the Monarch. Many tie-in products were also released, including boomboxes, CD towers, guitars, and fashion accessories.

3. Bratz Cloe, Yasmin, Jade, Sasha, and Roxxi (sold exclusively with the Rock Angelz Concert Stage) were dressed in 70's inspired rock attire, and each girl had a guitar and a mini CD single including 2 songs (one character exclusive song and the other 'So Good' the lead single). This flag is not allowed on boats for hire. During fall 2005, MGA released their flagship collection, Bratz Rock Angelz. Private yachts and motor boats are allowed to use the Naval Flag with the letters Y.F.(for Yacht Flag) superimposed in the upper canton. In August of 2004, a straight to video animated movie, Bratz, the video: Starrin & Stylin', was released. Note: The Naval Flag has a darker hue than the State Flag. In addition to the dolls, the Bratz line includes playsets, vehicles, accessories, Lil Bratz, the Bratz Babyz, plush Petz, ("Catz", "Dogz" and "Foxz"), collectible posters and a video game.

Splitflag: The use of the swallow-tail flag is restricted to the Danish Government and Navy. To date, Yasmin, Cloe, and Meygan have been made as Big Bratz. 2. Introduced in 2003 with Yasmin and adding a member of the Bratzpack annually, the limited edition dolls come with a certificate of authenticity and are dressed in fall/winter fashions showcasing the girl's passion for fashion. When the flag is not hoisted, for instance during darkness, a long narrow version called a vimpel or a wider version called a stander can be flown. A special collector's edition called Big Bratz features 2 foot tall versions of the Bratz. Any Dane can have a flagpole in the garden and use the flag according to the law. 2005 collections include Sportz (each Bratz girl dressed for her favorite sport, with coordinating accessories), I-Candy (neon, candy colored outfits and matching painted legs), Live In Concert/ Space Angelz Pop Stars (out-of-this-world space suits, headsets, anime eyes and wild matching make-up; included with the dolls was the CD single "Bein' Who We Are"), Treasures! ("Rogue Vogue" pirate style, complete with a treasure chest), DynaMite (vinyl catsuits and stiletto boots reminiscent of The Matrix or Charlie's Angels), Rock It! (boys only), Step Out! (celebrating the Bratz 5th anniversary and included a rubber bracelet; proceeds helped benefit the Step Out 2 Help Out foundation), Step Off! (the Boyz dressed in repeat Funk Out! fashions), Birthday Bash (80's inspired party dresses and leggings, plus a doll-sized gift bag/box), Campfire (warm winter camping gear and furry boots), Midnight Dance (a goth-esque collection with capes and detailed masks), Hollywood Style (dressed for a Hollywood premiere in repeat Bratz formal fashions), Wild Wild West (which included cowboy boots, cowboy hats, denim and suede inspired looks and big belt buckles), and Rock Angelz (the flagship line for the year).

Stutflag: This is the national flag of Denmark and is used by for all civilian purposes including the merchant navy. The Ooh La La dolls also included a matching pot of lip gloss for the owner. 1. Ooh La La featured the return of Kumi, and the dolls in the series were dressed in berets, houndstooth and floral prints, jewel tones, and painted-on gloves and stockings. Comparing this to the 1696 resolution one can see that both the rectangular fields and the tails have become smaller. Fabulous saw the return of Tiana, and the wardrobe included fur coats, bra tops, miniskirts, and snakeskin boots. The tails are 6/4 the length of the rectangular fields. Two lines which were not officially part of the Bratz World series, but carry on the Bratz World theme are Fabulous, a Las Vegas-inspired line, and Ooh La La, which is set in Paris.

The two outer fields are rectangular and 5/4 the length of the square fields. Each doll came with a pet; the girls each had a dog, and the boys each had a cat. The two first fields must be square in form with the height of 3/7 of the flags height. Punks had the Bratz dressed in London punk-culture attire, including studded and buckled vinyl jackets, wild hair colors and styles, and dark makeup contrasting with paler skin tones. Furthermore the size and shape is corrected in this resolution to be: The cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. Tokyo A-Go-Go Bratz had anime-style eyes, Tokyo-inspired fashions, wildly colored, micro-braided hair, and "cyberpet" companions. Like the National flag, no nuance is given, but in modern days this is given as 195U. The Bratz World concept has taken the dolls to Tokyo, in the Tokyo-A-Go-Go collection, and London in the Punkz (boys only) and Pretty n' Punk line, with themed fashions and playsets to match.

In royal resolution of October 25, 1939 for the Danish Navy, it is stated that the Orlogsflag is a Splitflag with a deep red ("Kraprød" or "dybrød") colour. Other dolls released through the years include collectible keychains, ornaments, accessories and make-up. Especially after 1870 the government generous and with little thought hand out approval to all kinds to institutions. Collectible posters have been included with the Bratz since 2001, and collectible cards were introduced during 2004. From the mid 1800's to 1899 another bunch of institutions and private companies also received approval to use the Splitflag. A variety of Bratz Head Gamez fashion heads were sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, and a gift set complete with one body, four heads and four separate fashion looks was released to the general market. From about 1750 to early 1800's a number of ships / companies which the government has interests in, received approval to used the Splitflag. The unique Head Gamez line moved the Bratz' snap-on feature one step further by allowing the consumer to customize their own Bratz by snapping the Bratz head on and off a specially designed body.

The term Orlogsflag dates from 1806 and denotes use in the Royal Danish Navy. 'Real' eyelashes first appeared in the Girls Nite Out collection, then again in the Wild Wild West collection and on Holiday Katia. These numbers are the basic for the Splitflag, or Orlogsflag, today, though the numbers have been slightly altered. Budget lines include I-Candy and Hollywood Style, which feature the Bratz in one outfit with minimal accessories. The tails are the length of the flag. Each collection has brought in new shoe styles and accessories (Bratz with pierced ears began with the release of Funk Out! and the new "ring" accessory was introduced in the Step Out! line). The two outer fields are rectangular and 1½ the length of the square fields. The basic lines such as Flaunt It!, Xpress It!, Funk Out! and Step Out! feature the Bratz with two complete mix and matchable outfits.

The two first fields must be square in form with the sides three times the cross width. Every year, the Bratz collections include a "basic" line, at least one or two budget collections, and at least two or three feature collections. In the same year a Royal resolution defines the proportions of the Splitflag, which in this resolution is called Kongeflaget (the King's flag), as follows: The cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. New members of the Bratzpack to debut in 2006 include Lilee (the 2006 Sweet Heart) and Leah (Midnight Dance wave 2). In 1696 the Admiralty presented the King with a proposal for a standard regulating both size and shape of the Splitflag. Character May Lin was only produced once, as a special collector doll wearing a kimono as part of the Tokyo-A-Go-Go collection. It is obvious that some confusion must have existed regarding the Splitflag. Oriana and Valentina were later joined by their identical triplet sister, Sierrna, in a special "Triiiplets" set.

At the same time it is now allowed the Danish East India Company to use the Splitflag when past the equator. Three sets of "Twiins" Roxxi and Phoebe, Tess and Nona, and Oriana and Valentina have also joined the Bratz Pack. In 1741 it is re-stated that the regulation of 1690 is still very much in effect, that merchants ships may not use the Splitflag. Over the course of the lines that followed, Meygan (who "moved away" for a while and then came back), Dana, Fianna, Nevra, Tiana, Kumi, Felicia, Katia, and Kiana have joined the "Bratz Pack," most of whom were introduced either with playsets or as collector's edition dolls. In 1685 an order, distributed to a number of cities in Slesvig, says that all ships must carry the Danish flag, and in 1690 all merchants ships is forbidden to use the Splitflag, with the exception of ships sailing in the East Indies, West Indies and at the coast of Africa. The original 8 characters were Yasmin (based on CEO Isaac Larian's own daughter, Jasmin), Sasha, Cloe and Jade. The first regulation regarding the Splitflag dates from 27 March, 1630, where King Christian IV orders that Norwegian "Defensionskibe" (merchants ships with guns) may only use the Splitflag if they are in war-service under Denmark. Bratz dolls are characterized by an oversized head with large eyes and lips, a small body and shoes that snap on and off.

Any swallow-tail flag, no matter the color, is called a Splitflag provided it bears additional markings. . Furthermore, the Orlogsflag is only described as such if it has no additional markings. They are created in both sexes, "Bratz Boyz" having followed Bratz "girls" shortly after the girl dolls entered the toy market. Same flag with markings has been approved for a few dozen companies and institutions over the years. Bratz is the name of a line of 9.5 inch dolls produced by MGA Entertainment, starting at the end of 2001. A few institutions have been allowed to fly the clean Orlogsflag. Zack, (?) (Alek's twin) He has brown hair and green eyes.

There are though a few exceptions to this. Alek, (?) (Zack's twin) He has brown hair and green eyes. The Orlogsflag with no markings, may only be used by the Royal Danish Navy. Iden, (?) He has golden brown hair. The Orlogsflag is a Splitflag with a deeper red colour and is only used on sea. Bryce, (?) He has blonde hair with green eyes. The Splitflag is a Danish flag ending in a swallow-tail, it is Dannebrog red, and is used on land. Koby, "The Panther" He has brown hair with fair skin.

The Splitflag or Orlogsflag have similar specifications, but legally, they are two different flags. Cameron, "The Blaze" He has blonde hair with blue eyes. That some confusion still exists in this matter can be seen from the regulation of May 4, 1927, which once again states that Danish merchant ships have to fly flags according to the regulation of 1748. Eitan, "The Dragon" He has Black hair with blonde streaks. This regulation is still in effect today and thus the legal proportions of the National flag is today anywhere between 3:1:3 width / 3:1:4.5 length and 3:1:3 width / 3:1:5.25 length. Dylan, "The Fox" He has brown hair with dark skin. So in May 1893 a new regulation to all chiefs of police, stated that the police should not intervene, if the two last fields in the flag were longer than 6/4 as long as these did not exceed 7/4, and provided that this was the only rule violated. Cade, "The Viper" He has dark brown hair and brown eyes.

They also noted that the flag currently used had lengths, of the last two fields, anywhere between 7/4 to 13/6. Lilani, "Sweet Swan" (Kiani's sister) She has brown hair and brown eyes. Any new flag would also quickly become unlawful, due to wear and tear. Kiani, "Prankster Parrot" (Lilani's sister) She has brown hair and blue eyes. Some interested in the matter made inquires into the issue and concluded that the 6/4 length would make the flag look blunt. Diona, "Sparkley" (Ciara's twin) She has raven hair and a beauty spot. As late as 1892 it was stated in a series of regulations that the correct lengths of the two last fields in the flag were 6/4. Ciara, "Spunky" (Diona's twin) She has raven hair and a beauty spot.

During the next about 150 years nobody paid much attention to actually abide fully to the proportions of the flag given in the 1748 regulation, not even the government. Lela, "Vogue" (Krysta's twin) She has light blonde hair and brown eyes. No official nuance definition of "Dannebrog rød" exists. Krysta, "Shine" (Lela's twin) She has light blonde hair and brown eyes. The private company, Dansk Standard, regulation number 359 of 2005, defines the red colour of the flag as Pantone 186c. Lilee, (?) She has blonde hair and gray eyes. The only available red fabric colour in 1748 was made of bracken root, which make a brownish red. Leah, (?) She has brown hair with green eyes.

According to the regulation of June 11, 1748 the colour was simply red, which is common known today as "Dannebrog rød" ("Dannebrog red"). Kiana, (?) She has black hair and dark skin. To the best of knowledge, this regulation has never been revoked, however it is probably no longer done. Katia, (?) She has raven hair and brown eyes. the Knights Hospitaller). Siernna, "Kickin' Kool-ala" (Oriana and Valentina's triplet) She has Light Brown Hair, with Blonde Highlights. John (a.k.a. Valentina, "Pretty Pup" (Siernna and Oriana's triplet) She has Light Brown Hair, with Blonde Highlights.

These had to carry the King's cypher logo in the center of the flag, to distinguish them from Maltese ships, due to the similarity of the flag of the Order of St. Oriana, "Punk Skunk" (Valentina and Siernna's triplet) She has Light Brown Hair, with Blonde Highlights. A somewhat curious regulation came in 1758 concerning Danish ships sailing in the Mediterranean. Felicia, (?) She has brown hair with dark skin. Both flags are identical. Nona, "Star" (Tess' twin) She has brown hair and brown eyes. This definition are the absolute proportions for the Danish national flag to this day, for both the civil version of the flag, "Stutflaget", as well as the merchant flag ("Handelsflaget"). Tess, "Solo" (Nona's twin) She has brown hair and brown eyes.

The proportions are thus: 3:1:3 vertically and 3:1:4.5 horizontally. May Lin, (?) She has black hair. The two first fields must be square in form and the two outer fields most be 6/4 lengths of those. Kumi, "Lucky Bug" She is Japanese with black hair. The white cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. Tiana, (?) She has black hair. The size and shape of the coufhordie flag ("Koffardiflaget") for merchant ships is given in the regulation of June 11, 1748, which says: A red flag with a white cross with no split end. Roxxi, "Spice" (Phoebe's twin) She has dark red hair.

The quest to unite them into a specified flag law have been brought forth many times, especially in the 20th century, but it never amounted to anything. Phoebe, "Sugar" (Roxxi's twin) She has dark red hair. Denmark does not have a specified flag law, but various regulations and rules spread out over many documents, from King Christian IV's time till today, can be found. Nevra, "Queen B" She has brown hair and coffe colored skin. The royal seal of King Erik VII from 1398 - the first combined coat of arms found in Denmark - shows the flag twice; the cross that separates the four coats-of-arms is the cross of the Dannebrog and the coat of arms representing Denmark show the three lions holding a Dannebrog banner. Fianna, "Fragrance" She has golden brown hair and tan skin. From Queen Margaret I and King Erik VII time we also have a case that undisputedly links Dannebrog to Denmark. Dana, "Sugar Shoes" She has dark brown hair and blue eyes.

This image from "Wapenboek Gelre" is near identical found in an old coats of arms book from the 15th century now located in the National Archives of Sweden, ("Riksarkivet"). Meygan, "Funky Fashion Monkey" She has red hairand green eyes. This image has been used to acknowledge a previously disputed theory that the cross found in Valdemar Atterdag's coats of arms located in his Danælog seal ("Rettertingsseglet") from 1356 is indeed the cross from the Danish flag. Yasmin, "Pretty Princess" She has brown hair and a beauty spot. This is the earliest known undisputed colour rendering of the Dannebrog. Sasha, "Bunny Boo" She has brown hair and dark skin. The text left of the coat of arms says “die coninc van denmarke” (The King of Denmark). Jade, "Kool Kat" She has jet black hair and brown eyes.

On the right horn is a Danish banner. Cloe, "Angel" She has light blonde hair and blue eyes. On page 55 verso we find the Danish coat-of-arms with a helmet on top with horns. It is now located on the Royal Library of Brussels (the "Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier"). The book displays some 1700 coats-of-arms from all over Europe, in colour.

Most historians claim that the book was written by Geldre Claes Heinen. The earliest source that indisputably links the red flag with a white cross to a Danish King, and to the realm itself, is found in a Dutch register of coats-of-arms “Wapenboek Gelre”, written between 1340 and 1370 (some sources say 1378 or 1386). The national Coat of Arms of Estonia, three blue lions on a golden shield, is almost identical to the Coat of Arms of Denmark, and its origin can be traced directly back to King Valdemar II and Danish rule in Estonia 1219-1346. Efforts to trace it from Estonia back to Denmark have, however, been in vain.

The symbol later became the coat-of-arms of the city. In Tallinn, a coat-of-arms resembling the flag is found on several buildings and can be traced back to the middle of the 15th century where it appears in the coat-of-arms of the "Die Grosse Gilde", a sort of merchant consortium which greatly influenced the city's development. An obvious place to look for documentation is in the Estonian city of Tallinn, the site of the legendary battle. However, if one examines the few existing foreign sources about Denmark from the 13th to 15th centuries, it is apparent that, at least from foreign point of view; the national symbol of Denmark was not a red-and-white banner but the royal coat of arms (three blue lions of a golden shield.) This coat of arms remains in use to this day.

In the 19th and early 20th century, these images were used by many Danish historians, with a good flair of nationalism, trying to date the origins of the flag to 1219. However, several coins, seals and images exist, both foreign and domestic, from the 13th to 15th centuries and even earlier, showing flags similar to the Dannebrog. Whether the flag has its origins in a divine sign, a banner of a military order, an ecclesiastical banner, or perhaps something entirely different, Danish literature is no help before the early 15th century. Danish literature of the 13th and 14th centuries remains suspiciously quiet about the national flag.

Since King Valdamar II was married to the Portuguese princess, Berengaria, it is not unthinkable that the origin of the story, if not the flag, was the Spanish tale or a similar tale, which again might have been inspired by an even older legend. Basically, these are all variations of the same legend. In Estonia it is the Danish colours, and in Jerusalem the English colours. In Spain, the colours of the Pope appears in the sky, in Finland the Swedish colours.

The similarities to the legends is obvious. The English flag, the Saint George's Cross is also claimed to have appeared in the sky during a critical battle, in this case in Jerusalem during the crusades. Probably a later invention to counter the legendary origins of the Danish flags, but never the less of the same nature. Likewise an almost identical Swedish tale from the 18th century about a yellow cross on blue appearing in 1157 during a Swedish battle in Finland.

Bruhn mentions a battle (also mentioned by Fabricius) taking place on September 10, 1217 between Christian knights and Moor warriors on the Iberian Peninsula near the castle Alcazar, where it is said that a golden cross on white appeared in the sky, to bring victory to the Christians. Similar tales of appearances in the sky at critical moments, particularly of crosses, can be found all over Europe. She claims that it is neither the battle nor the banner that is central to the tale, but rather the cross in the sky. A much different theory is briefly discussed by Fabricius and elaborated more by Helga Bruhn in a book from 1949.

All these theories centre on two battles in Estonia, whether it is in Fellin (1208) or Lyndanisse (1219), and thus try to explain the origin in relation to the tale brought forth over 300 years after the event. He repeats the story about the flag being planted in front of Bishop Theodorik's tent which the enemy mistakenly attacks believing it to be the tent of the King. The banner would then already be known in Estonia. That is based on his tireless efforts to expand Christianity to the Baltic countries and that under his initiative and supervision several smaller crusades had already been conducted in Estonia.

He says in this theory that it might have been Archbishop Andreas Sunesøn's personal ecclestical banner or perhaps even the flag of Archbishop Absalon. In this study he put the location to 1208 Fellin and not the Battle of Lyndanisse in 1219, based on the earliest source available about the story.. It is explained in his study of 1934, titled "Sagnet om Dannebrog og de ældste Forbindelser med Estland'". Fabricius put up yet another theory.

P. The Danish church-historian L. The white on red warrior-cloak cannot be traced until later. The Knights Hospitaller is a monk-order and used black dresses.

Adolf Ditlev Jørgensen does not give an explanation how the white Maltese cross on red of the Knights Hospitaller, found its way to the Danish flag of 1219, given the fact that in that time it was a white cross on black. He claims that the origin of the legend of the falling flag comes from this confusion in the battle. Adolf Ditlev Jørgensen explains that it was Bishop Theodorik who carried the flag, well planted outside his tent, thus as an already well-known Knights Hospitaller symbol in Livonia, the enemy thought this was the King's symbol and mistakenly stormed Bishop Theodorik tent. In the contemporary writing of the priest Henry of Livonia from Riga it is said that Bishop Theodorik was killed during the 1219 battle, as the enemy stormed his tent, thinking it was the King's tent.

Furthermore he claims that Bishop Theodorik, already a part initiator of the order in Livonia, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, had the idea of starting a similar order in Estonia and that he was the original instigator of Bishop Albert of Buxhoeveden inquiry to King Valdemar II in 1218, that set the whole Danish participation in the Baltic crusades in motion. He supports his theory with that the order came to Denmark in the latter half of the 12th century and during the next centuries spread to major cities, like Odense, Viborg, Horsens, Ribe and their headquarters in Slagelse, so by the time of the Baltic crusade, the symbol was already a known symbol in Denmark. A theory brought forth by the Danish historian Adolf Ditlev Jørgensen in 1875 in his book Danebroges Oprindelse, is that the Danish flag is the banner of the Knights Hospitaller. Moreover, it is unlikely that the pope would send such a banner, given the fact that they already had one, namely the banner of the Knights Hospitaller (Danish: "Johanitterne").

It is unlikely that the very fair and loyal archbishop would do such a thing behind the king's back. He suggested that it was not a pope banner to the King but a pope banner to the Churchly legate in the North, more specifically to archbishop Andreas Sunesøn, which he - without the knowledge of the King – brought with him on the King's crusade in the Baltic countries, in an effort to make the army take on a Christian symbol (over the king's symbol) and thereby strengthen the power of the church. A similar theory was suggested by Danish explorer, adventurer and Captain Johan Støckel in the early 20th century. On the other hand, the letter in question might simply have been lost.

Being granted a banner by the Pope would have been a great honour, but despite the many letters of the popes relating to the crusades, none of them mentions granting a banner to a King of Denmark. One would though imagine that if this story was true, some kind of record ought to exist of the event and presumably Danish historians would not have failed to mention it in some way. Other kings and lords certainly received such banners. The Danish historian Caspar Paludan-Müller in 1873 in his book "Sagnet om den himmelfaldne Danebrogsfane" put forth the theory that it is a banner sent by the Pope to the Danish King to use in his crusades in the Baltic countries.

Other origin theories have been put forth in the late 19th and early 20th century. Many of these legends are apparently built on earlier ones. If the flag of 1208 or 1219 ever existed. Historically, it is of course impossible to prove or disprove that these records speak of the same flag.

A historian from Slesvig, Ulrik Petersen (1656-1735), wrote in the late 17th century that the flag hung in Slesvig cathedral till about 1660 until it simply crumbled away, thus ending its more than 400-year-old story. Henrik Rantzau states in his writing of 1576 that the flag was brought to Slesvig city and placed in the cathedral, following its return. A priest and historian from Dithmarschen, Johan Neocorus, wrote in 1598 that the banner captured in 1500, was brought to the church in Wohrden and hung there for the next 59 years, until it was returned to the Danes as part of the peace settlement in 1559. This is however not the end of the story.

This "Danmarckis Hoffuitbanner" was probably nothing short of the "Banner of the Realm'" (Rigsbanner), the Dannebrog.. This young man was Peder Skram. It was saved only by the combined efforts of the banner-carrier Mogens Gyldenstierne, taking multiple wounds, and a young man coming to his rescue. He writes that the "Danish head banner" ("Danmarckis Hoffuitbanner") was nearly captured by the Swedes.

An indication that we are dealing with multiple flags, are the 1570 writings of Niels Hemmingsøn regarding a bloody battle between Danes and Swedes near the Swedish town of Uppsala in 1520. In fact, the entire letter gives the impression that the lost battle was noting more than an "unfortunate affair". In a letter dated 22 February 1500 to Oluf Stigsøn, King John describes the battle, but does not mention the loss of an important flag. However, it is more questionable if he indeed was carrying the "original" flag.

It is quite plausible that the king’s personal banner as well as the leading banner of the army were both lost, as the battle was led by the King himself. Sources from Dithmarschen, written shortly after the battle of 1500, do mention banners, including the Royal banner, being captured from the Danes, but there is no mention of Dannebrog or the "original" flag. He notes that the flag was in a poor condition when returned. In 1576, the son of Johan Rantzau, Henrik Rantzau, also writes about the war and the fate of the flag.

Both claims that this was the original flag, and consequently both writers knew the legend of the falling flag. This legend is found in two sources, Hans Svanning's History of King John from 1558-1559 and Johan Rantzau's History about the Last Dithmarschen War, from 1569. In the capitulation terms it is stated that all Danish banners lost in 1500 were to be returned. In 1559, King Frederik II recaptured it during his own Dithmarschen campaign.

The flag was lost in a devastating defeat on 17 February 1500. According to tradition, the original flag from the Battle of Lyndanisse was used in the small campaign of 1500 when King Hans tried to conquer Dithmarschen (in western Holstein in north Germany). The story of the original flag has a continuation that many Danes are not aware of. Some historians believe that the story by Petrus Olai refers to a source from the first half of the 15th century, making this the oldest reference to the falling flag.

Whether or not these records describe a truly old oral story in existents at that time, or a 16th century invented story, is not currently determined. In another record by Petrus Olai called "Danmarks Tolv Herligheder" (Twelve Splendours of Denmark), in splendour number nine, the same story is re-told almost to the word, however a paragraph has been inserted correcting the year to 1219. The Danes were all but defeated when a lamb-skin banner depicting a white cross falls from the sky and miraculously leads to a Danish victory. This record describes a battle in 1208 near a place called "Felin" during the Estonia campaign of King Valdemar II.

The second source is the writing of the Franciscan monk Petrus Olai (Peder Olsen) of Roskilde, from 1527. He also mentions that this flag, falling from the sky during the Russian campaign of King Valdemar II, is the very same flag that King Eric of Pomerania took with him when he left the country in 1440 after being deposed as King. It is not mentioned in connection to the campaign of King Valdemar II in Estonia, but in connection with a campaign in Russia. The first is found in Christiern Pedersen's "Danske Krønike", which is a sequel to Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, written 1520-1523.

This story originates from two written sources from the early 16th century. Though no historical support exists for the flag story in the Fellin battle either, it is not difficult to understand how a small and unknown place is replaced with the much grander battle of Reval from the Estonia campaign of King Valdemar II. The first record of the legend dates from more than 300 years after the campaign, and the first record connects the legend to a much smaller battle, though still in Estonia; the battle of Fellin (Viljandi) in 1208. No historical record supports this legend.

The legend says that during the Battle of Lyndanisse, also known as the Battle of Valdemar (Danish: "Volmerslaget"), near Reval (Tallinn) in Estonia, on 15 June 1219, the flag fell from the sky during a critical stage, resulting in Danish victory. The legend of the flag is very popular among Danes, but most consider it to be a legend though a beautiful one. . The royal Danish yacht is named after the flag.

During the Danish-Norwegian personal union, the Dannebrog was also the flag of Norway and continued to be, with slight modifications, until Norway adopted its current flag in 1821. The cross design of the Danish flag was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. The national flag of Denmark, the Dannebrog, is red with a white Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side. DS 359:2005 ’Flagdug’, Dansk Standard, 2005.

Hagerups, Copenhagen 1919. Lund, Forlaget H. D. Danebrog - Danmarks Palladium, E.

Dannebrog, Helga Bruhn, Forlaget Jespersen og Pios, Copenhagen 1949. Dannebrog - Vort Flag, Lieutenant Colonel Thaulow, Forlaget Codan, Copenhagen 1943.

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