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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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. A new chairman of the Authority has yet to be announced.
. This occured after government proposals to add the tournament to the list of sports events which must be broadcast on free-to-air terrestrial television, to which British Sky Broadcasting, the rights holders, are objecting. Havnepoliti: This is used by the Danish harbour police. On 11 January 2006, Fintan Drury resigned as chairman of RTÉ, citing a potential conflict of interest in his role as an advisor to the organisers of the Ryder Cup golf tournament, and as chairman of a broadcaster involved in a row over broadcasting rights. 15. The new Authority will hold office for not more than three years.

DSB: This flag is used by the DSB, the state railway company (Danske Statsbaner). The other members of the Authority are Maria Killian, Patricia King, Ian Malcolm, Patrick Marron, Una Ní Chonaire, Emer Finnan, Stephen O'Byrnes and Joe O'Brien. 14. Fintan Drury, chairman of Platinum sports management, and also chairman of Paddy Power plc, was appointed chairman of RTÉ. Statens skibe: This flag is used on ships owned by the Danish State. On 29 June 2005 the Minister for Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources, appointed the members of a new RTÉ Authority, replacing the previous one appointed in June 2000. 13. Legislation on this matter is still to be published.

Postflag: This is the former flag of the Royal Danish Mail and Telegraph (Danish: Kongelig Post og Telegrafvæsen), now Post Danmark. In 2004, RTÉ and the Minister for Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources agreed that in future, RTÉ would operate under a Public Service Broadcasting Charter.It is intended that future legislation will abolish the current RTÉ legal structure and change the station into a company incorporated under the Companies' Acts, and separate its regulatory role. 12. These directives where generally reissued on an annual basis until the final one of 1993[4]. Kontreadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Rear Admiral is on board. RTÉ was now explicity banned from broadcasting statements by spokespersons of Sinn Fein, the Provisional IRA, or any other terrorist organisation banned in Northern Ireland by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. 11. In 1977, Conor Cruise O'Brien, the then Minister, issued a new directive in the form of the Broadcasting Authority Act, 1960 (Section 31) Order, 1977.

Viceadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that a Vice Admiral is on board. Following this, Collins dismissed the entire RTÉ Authority over an interview with an (unidentified on-air) source which had been the then chief of staff of the Provisional IRA. 10. In 1971, the first such directive was issued by Gerry Collins, directing RTÉ not to broadcast "any matter that could be calculated to promote the aims or activities of any organisation which engages in, promotes, encourages or advocates the attaining of any particular objectives by violent means". Admiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Admiral is on board. Under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Authority Act 1960 the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs of the day could direct RTÉ "not to broadcast any matter, or any matter of any particular class". 9. The name of the authority was changed to Radio Telefis Éireann under the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1966, and both the radio and television services became known as RTÉ in that year.

Forsvarsminister: This is the flag of the Minister of Defence. Eamonn Andrews was the first Chairman of Radio Éireann, the first director general was Edward Roth. 8. The existing Radio Éireann service was transfered to the new authority, which was also to make provision for the new television service (Télifis Éireann) which opened on 31st December 1961. Kongehusflag: This flag can be used by any member of the Danish Royal Family. In 1960, RTÉ was established (as Radio Éireann) under the Broadcasting Authority Act 1960, the principal legislation under which it operates. 7. From that date, until June 1960, the broadcasting service (2RN, then later Radio Éireann) operated as a section of the Department of Posts and Telgraphs, and those working for the service were directly employed by the Irish Government and regarded as civil servants.

Crown Prince Frederik. Broadcasting in Ireland began in 1926 with 2RN in Dublin. Tronfølgerflag: This is the flag of the Crown Prince of Denmark, currently H.R.H. For history on the broadcasting service prior to 1960, see Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and RTÉ Radio 1). 6. For details on this history of the various services see the separate articles on these services. This person remains the de facto Monarch, until the Monarch returns to Danish territory. (This section deals with the history of RTÉ as an organisation.

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. The licence fee does not fund 2FM, RTÉ Aertel, RTÉ Guide or the website rte.ie. 5. These two sources are approximately split in a 50:50 ratio. 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). RTÉ receives income from two main sources:. Queen Ingrid, and is currently not in use, since the Prince Consort, H.R.H. The Director-General heads the Executive Board of RTÉ, which comprises the companies top management and includes the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Communications and the Managing Directors of the Television, Radio, and News IBD's.

This flag was used by H.M. The RTÉ Authority appoints the Director General of RTÉ who in effect fulfils the dual role of Chief Executive and of Editor in Chief. 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. The RTÉ Irish language channel, TG4, is operated as an subsidiary of RTÉ (Serbhisí Telefis na Gaelige Teoranta) prior to its intended ultimate separation from RTÉ. This is the flag of the consort of the monarch. The RTÉ organisation is divided into six integrated business divisions (IBD's): RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio, RTÉ News, RTÉ Network, RTÉ Publishing & RTÉ Performing Groups) together with Central Shared Services (People Payments, Procurement, Treasury, IT Infrastructure, Audience Research, FOI, and Property & Site Facilities)and a Group HQ. Dronningeflag (literally: The Queen's flag). The RTÉ Authority is both the custodian of RTÉ and its regulator.

4. The members of the RTÉ Authority are appointed by the Cabinet upon the recommendation of the Minister for Communications, Marine & Natural Resources. Queen Margrethe II. RTÉ operates as a statutory corporation.Its board is known as the RTÉ Authority. It is currently used by H.M. RTÉ Network (branded as "RTÉNL") is operated through a wholly owned subsidiary company, RTÉ Network Transmission Limited,and provides transmission services for all of RTÉ's own channels and also for competing stations such as TV3 Ireland and Today FM. Kongeflag (literally: The King's Flag): This is the flag of the Monarch. RTÉ Music's slogan is RTÉ - Supporting the Arts.

3. These groups perform regularly in the National Concert Hall and The Helix in Dublin. This flag is not allowed on boats for hire. RTÉ Performing Groups supports two full-time orchestras - the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra - as well as the RTÉ Vanbergh String Quartet, RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, and RTÉ Cór na nÓg. 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. Its commercial telecoms business provides both SMS and IVR telecoms services to all of RTÉ's broadcast services and channels. Note: The Naval Flag has a darker hue than the State Flag. In addition RTÉ Publishing operates a teletext service on both RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, called RTÉ Aertel, which has news, sport, and programme support information.

Splitflag: The use of the swallow-tail flag is restricted to the Danish Government and Navy. Live streams of all of RTÉ's national radio networks are available online. 2. It operates all of RTÉ's many websites - branded as rte.ie,and providing online news, sport, and entertainment services. 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. RTÉ Publishing has four main constituent parts: Print Publishing, E-Publishing (both WEB & Teletext), Commercial Telecoms & Digital Consumer Technology Incubation.The division publishes the RTÉ Guide and sells DVDs and VHS videos of RTÉ Television programmes, and audio tapes and compact discs of RTÉ radio programmes. Any Dane can have a flagpole in the garden and use the flag according to the law. Each genre operates broadly under a Commissioning Editor, except for RTÉ News and Current Affairs which are separately structured and controlled.

Stutflag: This is the national flag of Denmark and is used by for all civilian purposes including the merchant navy. Since 2003, RTÉ has branded its television programmes under a number of a number of different genres. 1. A DAB version of at least Radio 1 will begin along the east coast of Ireland on 1 January 2006. Comparing this to the 1696 resolution one can see that both the rectangular fields and the tails have become smaller. The main difference between this and the main FM feed is the inclusion of several RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta programmes. The tails are 6/4 the length of the rectangular fields. A slightly adapted version of Radio One is broadcast on longwave, Sky Digital and Hotbird as RTÉ Europe.

The two outer fields are rectangular and 5/4 the length of the square fields. Formerly RTE operated RTÉ Radio Cork (previously Cork 89FM), a local radio service in Cork, but this closed down in the early 2000s. The two first fields must be square in form with the height of 3/7 of the flags height. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, an exclusively Irish language service, first began broadcasting in 1972. Furthermore the size and shape is corrected in this resolution to be: The cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. RTÉ 2FM is a popular music and chat channel, while RTÉ Lyric FM serves the interests of classical music and the arts. Like the National flag, no nuance is given, but in modern days this is given as 195U. Broadcasting on Radio 1 provides comprehensive coverage of news, current affairs, music, drama and variety features, agriculture, education, religion and sport, mostly in English but also some Irish.

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. Now, RTÉ has a nation-wide communications network with an increasing emphasis on regional news-gathering and input. Especially after 1870 the government generous and with little thought hand out approval to all kinds to institutions. Radio Éireann and Telefís Éireann were both renamed Radio Telefís Éireann in 1966. From the mid 1800's to 1899 another bunch of institutions and private companies also received approval to use the Splitflag. Radio Athlone became known as "Radio Éireann" in 1938. From about 1750 to early 1800's a number of ships / companies which the government has interests in, received approval to used the Splitflag. 2RN, 6CK and Athlone became known as "Radio Athlone" or "Raidio Áth Luain".

The term Orlogsflag dates from 1806 and denotes use in the Royal Danish Navy. A high power station was established in Athlone in 1932 to co-incide with the staging of the Eucharistic Congress. These numbers are the basic for the Splitflag, or Orlogsflag, today, though the numbers have been slightly altered. 6CK was established in Cork in 1927, however 6CK was mostly a relay of 2RN. The tails are the length of the flag. Regular Irish radio broadcasting began on January 1, 1926. The two outer fields are rectangular and 1½ the length of the square fields. The first voice broadcast of 2RN, the original radio callsign for Radio 1, took place on November 14, 1925 when Seamus Clandillon, the 2RN station director said, "Seo Raidió 2RN, Baile Átha Cliath ag tástáil", meaning "This is Radio 2RN, Dublin testing".

The two first fields must be square in form with the sides three times the cross width. See also: List of RTÉ television programming. 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. RTÉ introduced on-screen logos (or 'bugs') for RTÉ One and RTÉ Two in 2004. In 1696 the Admiralty presented the King with a proposal for a standard regulating both size and shape of the Splitflag. RTÉ carried the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games opening and closing ceremonies live for the first time in the history of the games together with extensive radio and television coverage of the events. It is obvious that some confusion must have existed regarding the Splitflag. In the 1990s, more competition came from satellite television, especially from Sky based in the UK.

At the same time it is now allowed the Danish East India Company to use the Splitflag when past the equator. RTÉ's approach was pragmatic, as it introduced cable television in the 1970s, initially known as RTÉ Relays, and subsequently as Cablelink, although it later sold its stake in the company, which is now known as NTL Ireland. 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. From the outset, RTÉ had faced competition from British TV channels such as those of the BBC and UTV, broadcasting from Northern Ireland, whose signal spilt over into the Republic. 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. RTÉ's TV channels are not available to Sky subscribers in Great Britain, although between 1997 and 2002, Tara Television carried a mix of RTÉ One and Two programmes before disputes with RTÉ over payment led to its closure.[3] Owing to rights issues, it would be difficult and costly for RTÉ to broadcast its channels in the whole of the UK, but it continues to express an interest in providing a similar channel to Tara. 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. The channels are also available via satellite on Sky Digital, although these are encrypted and anyone wishing to view the channels needs to obtain a Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland subscription (they are part of the Variety Mix under the new pricing system, or the Family Pack in the pre-2005 system).

Any swallow-tail flag, no matter the color, is called a Splitflag provided it bears additional markings. RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4 are also available in Northern Ireland via terrestrial overspill or on cable (coverage and inclusion on cable systems varies). Furthermore, the Orlogsflag is only described as such if it has no additional markings. Most of the broadcasts are in English, including programming imported from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. Same flag with markings has been approved for a few dozen companies and institutions over the years. Presently, both RTÉ One and RTÉ Two provide round-the-clock broadcasts seven days a week, providing comprehensive coverage of news, current affairs, sport, music, drama and entertainment. A few institutions have been allowed to fly the clean Orlogsflag. Although Irish language programmes, such as Nuacht (the news) and Léargas (insight) have been an integral part of the schedule, in 1996 a new Irish-language TV service, Teilifís na Gaeilge, since renamed TG4, began broadcasting for the first time.

There are though a few exceptions to this. The few Irish language programmes provided by RTÉ were now broadcast on Network 2, although RTÉ One now broadcasts Irish language programmes. The Orlogsflag with no markings, may only be used by the Royal Danish Navy. All sports coverage was transferred to the newly renamed channel, along with all children's programmes. The Orlogsflag is a Splitflag with a deeper red colour and is only used on sea. In the early 1980s RTÉ 2 became Network 2. The Splitflag is a Danish flag ending in a swallow-tail, it is Dannebrog red, and is used on land. The opening night featured a gala variety show from the Cork Opera House.

The Splitflag or Orlogsflag have similar specifications, but legally, they are two different flags. The new television channel went on the air on November 2, 1978. 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. As a consequence, the original RTE 2 schedule had many live relays of British programmes, however, there were also some original RTE2 programming. 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. RTÉ 2's remit was to provide alternative television. 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. In 1977 a new Fianna Fáil government came to power and as one of its many promises, the government quickly authorised a second channel to be run by RTÉ.

They also noted that the flag currently used had lengths, of the last two fields, anywhere between 7/4 to 13/6. All of RTÉ's studios at Nutley Lane, Donnybrook were equipped for colour broadcasts by 1976. Any new flag would also quickly become unlawful, due to wear and tear. The next phase was colour outside broadcasts, and the first was the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest, the first of many such productions by RTÉ. Some interested in the matter made inquires into the issue and concluded that the 6/4 length would make the flag look blunt. The first programme made in colour by RTÉ was a 7 Days documentary special called "John Hume's Derry". 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. RTÉ made its first colour transmissions in 1969.

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. The Late Late Show, which began in July 1962 and is still running as of 2006, and its original host, Gay Byrne, pioneered many of these discussions and has been credited with being a major influence in the changing social structure of Ireland. No official nuance definition of "Dannebrog rød" exists. Topics which were hitherto not discussed in Ireland, such as abortion, contraception and various other controversial topics, were now openly being discussed in television studios. The private company, Dansk Standard, regulation number 359 of 2005, defines the red colour of the flag as Pantone 186c. Television opened up a completely new world to the Irish people. The only available red fabric colour in 1748 was made of bracken root, which make a brownish red. The show, which was a countdown to the New Year, was hosted by the Chairman of the Radio Eireann Authority, Eamonn Andrews, with appearances by Patrick O'Hagan, the Artane Boys Band and Micheál Ó Hehir.

According to the regulation of June 11, 1748 the colour was simply red, which is common known today as "Dannebrog rød" ("Dannebrog red"). Following this a live concert was broadcast from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin. To the best of knowledge, this regulation has never been revoked, however it is probably no longer done. Lemass. the Knights Hospitaller). There were other messages from Cardinal d'Alton and An Taoiseach, Seán F. John (a.k.a. He went on to say that "Like atomic energy, it can be used for incalculable good but it can also do irreparable harm".

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. The opening address by President of Ireland Eamon de Valera described the benefits and disadvantages of the new medium. A somewhat curious regulation came in 1758 concerning Danish ships sailing in the Mediterranean. Telefís Éireann began broadcasting at 7:00pm on December 31, 1961. Both flags are identical. . 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").
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The proportions are thus: 3:1:3 vertically and 3:1:4.5 horizontally. General management of the organisation is in the hands of the Executive Board headed by the Director-General. The two first fields must be square in form and the two outer fields most be 6/4 lengths of those. RTÉ is a statutory body run by an authority appointed by the Irish Government. The white cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. The radio service began on January 1, 1926, while regular television broadcasts began on December 31, 1961. 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. It both produces programmes and broadcasts on television, radio and the Internet.

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. Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ; Irish for "Radio [and] Television [of] Ireland") is the national publicly-funded broadcaster of the Republic of Ireland. 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. Commercial Revenue including the sale of advertising and sponsorship. 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. This money is collected by An Post on behalf of the Minister for Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources. From Queen Margaret I and King Erik VII time we also have a case that undisputedly links Dannebrog to Denmark. All owners of television sets in the State must pay a fee of €155 in order to legally possess any piece of equipment capable of receiving television signals (not necessarily RTÉ).

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"). The television licence fee. 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. RTÉ Young Peoples Programmes mainly on RTÉ Two, including The Den. This is the earliest known undisputed colour rendering of the Dannebrog. RTÉ Sport covering the Irish sport and such foreign events as the FA Premier League and Six Nations Rugby. The text left of the coat of arms says “die coninc van denmarke” (The King of Denmark). RTÉ News & Current Affairs see RTÉ News.

On the right horn is a Danish banner. RTÉ Music all types of music, including Classical, traditional Irish and pop/rock. On page 55 verso we find the Danish coat-of-arms with a helmet on top with horns. RTÉ History documentaries on Eamon de Valera and the Irish Press, Lord Haw-Haw, Kevin O'Higgins, Women of the Goldrush and Secret Sights; and The Colony, a reality show where an Irish family will live as early 19th century colonists in New South Wales. It is now located on the Royal Library of Brussels (the "Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier"). RTÉ Factual documentaries Legal Eagles looking at the Law Library, Maybe Baby, which follows couples as they try to conceive through IVF and Desperately Seeking Surgery about cosmetic surgery. The book displays some 1700 coats-of-arms from all over Europe, in colour. RTÉ Entertainment chatshows The Late Late Show and Tubridy Tonight, and gameshows You're A Star and Winning Streak.

Most historians claim that the book was written by Geldre Claes Heinen. RTÉ Education programmes aimed at students and adults, including Read Write Now, an adult literacy aid. 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). RTÉ Drama the flagship of which is the soap opera Fair City. 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. RTÉ Diversity religion, disability, Irish language and minority programming. Efforts to trace it from Estonia back to Denmark have, however, been in vain. RTÉ Arts producing documentaries on such Irish arts figures as Seán O'Casey, John McGahern, Patrick Kavanagh, Eileen Gray, Spike Milligan and Rory Gallagher, and a weekly magazine show, The View, presented by John Kelly.

The symbol later became the coat-of-arms of the city. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta (the Irish language station targeted at the gaeltacht, the Irish language speaking community of Ireland). 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. RTÉ Lyric FM (classical music plus jazz, world music and arts). An obvious place to look for documentation is in the Estonian city of Tallinn, the site of the legendary battle. 2FM (formerly Radio 2, the RTÉ rock and pop music station). 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. RTÉ Radio 1 (music and speech based broadcasting).

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. TG4 (formerly called Teilifís na Gaeilge, "Irish language Television".TG4 is operated separately from the rest of RTÉ and its management reports directly to the Director General rather than as part of RTÉ Television.). 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. RTÉ Two (known from 1988 to 2004 as Network 2). 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. RTÉ One (launched in 1961 as Telefís Éireann, or simply RTÉ when there was just one station). 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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