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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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. Not all Witches (people who practice witchcraft) consider themselves Wiccan or Neopagan, and vice versa.
. Psychology and medical research have shown that beliefs have an effect on one's perception of reality, and that beliefs and perception appear to effect behaviorial and other quantifiable physical changes; one well known example is the placebo effect. Havnepoliti: This is used by the Danish harbour police. For neopagans who take a purely psychological approach to witchcraft, the power of a ritual is in the way its symbolism speaks to the unconscious mind. 15. Thus, to affect change on a higher, spiritual level, a practitioner may employ rituals and symbolism that speak to the 'lower' mind.

DSB: This flag is used by the DSB, the state railway company (Danske Statsbaner). A common theme amongst philosophies that describe three aspects of self is the idea that the unconscious acts as an intermediary between the consciousness and the superconsciousness. 14. It differs from Starhawk's model in that it assigns a place for the physical body in and of itself as part of a "whole" human being's spiritual existence. Statens skibe: This flag is used on ships owned by the Danish State. This is also similar to the Eastern Christian trichotomy of the Greek words σώμα (soma), ψυχή (psyche), and νους (nous), wherein the soma is the living body, psyche is the "mind" as we normally use the term, and nous is the faculty capable of apprehending the Divine. 13. Many similar models exist in the fields of psychology and magic, such as the ego, id and superego of Freud, or the Qabalistic concept of three parts of the self, being the Ruach (intellect and ego), the Nephesch (body, lower instinct and subconscious) and the Neschamah (the highest divine self).

Postflag: This is the former flag of the Royal Danish Mail and Telegraph (Danish: Kongelig Post og Telegrafvæsen), now Post Danmark. Wiccan author Starhawk, in her book Spiral Dance, describes these as the Talking Self (the conscious mind), the Younger Self (the unconscious mind) and the Higher Self (the soul, also called the Divine Self); the unconscious (Younger Self) is non-verbal and does not understand speech, but understands and responds to symbolism. 12. Many neopagan witches subscribe to a model of three parts of the self, or three aspects of consciousness. Kontreadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Rear Admiral is on board. Others believe instead that the power of witchcraft comes about primarily through psychological and psychosomatic effects, rather than any divine or paranormal means. 11. This view also implies ethical considerations, for harming another is, at a certain level, harming oneself.

Viceadmiral: Used on a ship to indicate that a Vice Admiral is on board. Some subscribe to the idea that all of reality is at some level interconnected, forming a single universal 'self' or 'oneness', and that by becoming conscious of this connection people can directly influence things around them. 10. Their belief is sometimes very similar to the belief of Christians in prayer, that the Divine will acknowledge and grant answers to a ritual given in a Deity's name. Admiral: Used on a ship to indicate that an Admiral is on board. Some neopagans believe that witchcraft should be used for good, and eschew any evil usages (See the Wiccan Rede and the Rule of Three (Wiccan)). 9. Of these three categories the thakatha is almost exclusively female, the sangoma is usually female, and the inyanga is almost exclusively male.

Forsvarsminister: This is the flag of the Minister of Defence. The inyanga's job is to heal illness and injury and provide customers with magical items for everyday use. 8. The inyanga is often translated as "witch doctor" (though many Southern Africans resent this implication, as it perpetuates the mistaken belief that a "witch doctor" is in some sense a practitioner of witchcraft). Kongehusflag: This flag can be used by any member of the Danish Royal Family. She also practices some degree of medicine. 7. The sangoma is a diviner, somewhere on a par with a fortune teller, and is employed in detecting illness, predicting a person's future (or advising them on which path to take), or identifying the guilty party in a crime.

Crown Prince Frederik. The thakathi is usually translated into English as "witch", and is a spiteful person who operates in secret to harm others. Tronfølgerflag: This is the flag of the Crown Prince of Denmark, currently H.R.H. In Southern African traditions, there are three classifications of somebody who uses magic. 6. Combining Roman Catholic beliefs and practices and traditional West African religious beliefs and practices are several syncretic religions in the Americas, including Voudun, Obeah, Candomblé, and Santería. This person remains the de facto Monarch, until the Monarch returns to Danish territory. The term witch doctor, often attributed to African inyanga, has been misconstrued to mean "a healer who uses witchcraft" rather than its original meaning of "one who diagnoses and cures maladies caused by witches".

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. African Christians typically accept Christian dogma as do their counterparts in Latin America and Asia. 5. Africans have a wide range of views of traditional religions. 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). See also: Christian views on witchcraft. Queen Ingrid, and is currently not in use, since the Prince Consort, H.R.H. Several references on these subjects include Ellen Cannon Reed's book "The Witches Qabala: The Pagan Path and the Tree of Life", "The Hebrew Goddess", by Raphael Patai, and the forthcoming book "Magickal Judaism: Blending Pagan and Jewish Practice", by Jennifer Hunter.

This flag was used by H.M. These individuals and groups either borrow from existing Jewish magical traditions or reconstruct rituals based on Judaism and NeoPaganism. 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. (See "The Witches Qabalah", in the list of references below.) These practitioners tend to identify with Judeo-Paganism (also known as Jewish Paganism), and/or practice Jewitchery, or Jewish Witchcraft. This is the flag of the consort of the monarch. Some Neopagans study and practice forms of magery based on a syncretism between classical Jewish mysticism and modern witchcraft. Dronningeflag (literally: The Queen's flag). Since the Enlightenment, most Jewish people have abandoned a belief in the Kabbalah, although it is currently becoming popularized by some Jewish groups such as Chabad-Lubavitch and Jewish Renewal.

4. It should be noted that some Orthodox Jews study Kabbalah (Jewish esoteric mysticism) which contains magical elements; however, their practices use terminology that varies greatly from witchcraft. Queen Margrethe II. For instance, Rabbi Rabbah created a person and sent him to Rabbi Zera, and Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Oshaia studied every Sabbath evening together and created a small calf to eat (Sanhedrin 65b). It is currently used by H.M. However, some of the Rabbis practiced magic themselves. Kongeflag (literally: The King's Flag): This is the flag of the Monarch. The one who creates the illusion of picking cucumbers should not be condemned, only the one who actually picks the cucumbers through magic.

3. Rabbis of the Talmud also condemned magic when it produced something other than illusion, giving the example of two men who use magic to pick cucumbers (Sanhedrin 67a). This flag is not allowed on boats for hire. According to Traditional Judaism, it is acknowledged that while magic exists, it is forbidden to practice it on the basis that it usually involves the worship of other gods. 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. Jewish law views the practice of witchcraft as being laden with idolatry and/or necromancy; both being serious theological and practical offenses in Judaism. Note: The Naval Flag has a darker hue than the State Flag. There is some debate, however, as to whether the word used in Galatians and Revelation, Pharmakeia, is properly translated as "sorcery", as the word was commonly used to describe malicious use of drugs as in poisons, contraceptives, and abortifacients.

Splitflag: The use of the swallow-tail flag is restricted to the Danish Government and Navy. Supposing that the belief in witchcraft were held to be an idle superstition, it would be strange that the suggestion should nowhere be made that the evil of these practices only lay in the pretending to the possession of powers which did not really exist. 2. The prohibitions of sorcery in the New Testament leave the same impression (Galatians 5:20, compared with Revelation 21:8; 22:15; and Acts 8:9; 13:6). 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. From Leviticus 20:27: "A man or woman in whom there is a pythonical or divining spirit, dying let them die: they shall stone them: Their blood be upon them", we should naturally infer that the divining spirit was not believed to be a mere imposture. Any Dane can have a flagpole in the garden and use the flag according to the law. However, the witch responds with shocked surprise at the manifestation, denoting that the witch had actually expected something different -- presumably either nothing real at all or a lying ("familiar") spirit.

Stutflag: This is the national flag of Denmark and is used by for all civilian purposes including the merchant navy. The whole narrative of Saul's visit to the witch of En Dor (I Samuel 28) implies belief in the reality of the witch's evocation of the shade of Samuel. 1. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".) Many bible scholars have noted that in the original hebrew the word "M'khasephah"(translated in the King James as "witch") means "someone who malevolently uses spoken curses to hurt people", which the modern Wiccan Rede specifically forbids of its practitioners to do. Comparing this to the 1696 resolution one can see that both the rectangular fields and the tails have become smaller. (See Deuteronomy 18:11-12; Exodus 22:18, "wizards thou shalt not suffer to live" - A.V. The tails are 6/4 the length of the rectangular fields. In the Bible references to witchcraft are frequent, and the strong condemnations of such practices which we read there do not seem to be based so much upon the supposition of fraud as upon the "abomination" of the magic in itself.

The two outer fields are rectangular and 5/4 the length of the square fields. In modern Hindi, a witch is called chudail or Daayan, and is greatly feared even today as a potential harm by many of the illiterate villagers. The two first fields must be square in form with the height of 3/7 of the flags height. One of the four holy Vedas of the Hindus, the Atharva Veda, itself contains semi-magical incantations, chiefly against such sorcerors meaning harm to the Aryan peoples. Furthermore the size and shape is corrected in this resolution to be: The cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. In the Vedic Age, witches were recognized and called yoginīs (masc.: yogin), and wrongful magic was called abhichāra. Like the National flag, no nuance is given, but in modern days this is given as 195U. It is there prescribed,.

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. It will be sufficient to quote a short section from the Code of Hammurabi (about 2000 B.C.). Especially after 1870 the government generous and with little thought hand out approval to all kinds to institutions. Both in ancient Egypt and in Babylonia it played a conspicuous part, as existing records plainly show. From the mid 1800's to 1899 another bunch of institutions and private companies also received approval to use the Splitflag. The belief in witchcraft and its practice seem to have been widespread in the past. From about 1750 to early 1800's a number of ships / companies which the government has interests in, received approval to used the Splitflag. See for example:.

The term Orlogsflag dates from 1806 and denotes use in the Royal Danish Navy. Powers typically attributed to European witches include turning food poisonous or inedible, flying on broomsticks, casting spells, and creating fear and local chaos. These numbers are the basic for the Splitflag, or Orlogsflag, today, though the numbers have been slightly altered. Present-day beliefs about the witches of history attribute to them elements of the folklore witch, the charmer, the cunning man or wise woman, the diviner and the astrologer. The tails are the length of the flag. The long-term result of this amalgamation of distinct types of magic-worker into one is the considerable present-day confusion as to what witches actually did, whether they harmed or healed, what role (if any) they had in the community, whether they can be identified with the "witches" of other cultures and even whether they existed as anything other than a projection. The two outer fields are rectangular and 1½ the length of the square fields. The important distinction is that there are records of the populace reporting alleged witches to the authorities as such, whereas cunning folk were not so incriminated; they were more commonly prosecuted for accusing the innocent or defrauding people of money.

The two first fields must be square in form with the sides three times the cross width. When a person was known to be a witch, the populace would still seek to employ their healing skills; however, as was not the case with cunning-folk, members of the general population would also hire witches to curse their enemies. 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. In addition, it appears that much of the populace was willing to approach either of these groups for healing magic and divination. In 1696 the Admiralty presented the King with a proposal for a standard regulating both size and shape of the Splitflag. Records from the Middle Ages, however, make it appear that it was, quite often, not entirely clear to the populace whether a given practioner of magic was a witch or one of the cunning-folk. It is obvious that some confusion must have existed regarding the Splitflag. Such "cunning-folk" did not refer to themselves as witches and objected to the accusation that they were such.

At the same time it is now allowed the Danish East India Company to use the Splitflag when past the equator. Girdle-measurers specialised in diagnosing ailments caused by fairies, while magical cures for more mundane ailments, such as burns or toothache, could be had from charmers.). 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. (Other folk magicians had their own purviews. 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. Toad doctors were also credited with the ability to undo witchcraft. 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 term "witch doctor" was in use in England before it came to be associated with Africa.

Any swallow-tail flag, no matter the color, is called a Splitflag provided it bears additional markings. In England, the provision of this curative magic was the job of a witch doctor, also known as a cunning man, white witch, or wise woman. Furthermore, the Orlogsflag is only described as such if it has no additional markings. These can be found in Bacchanalias, especially in the time when they were led by priestess Paculla Annia (188-186). Same flag with markings has been approved for a few dozen companies and institutions over the years. According to the scholar Max Dashu, the concept of medieval witch contained many of its elements even before the emergence of Christianity. A few institutions have been allowed to fly the clean Orlogsflag. This idea is commonplace in pre-Christian religions and is a logical consequence of belief in magic.

There are though a few exceptions to this. The Church did not invent the idea of witchcraft as a potentially harmful force whose practitioners should be put to death. The Orlogsflag with no markings, may only be used by the Royal Danish Navy. Other rulers such as King Coloman of Hungary declared that witch-hunts should cease because witches do not exist. The Orlogsflag is a Splitflag with a deeper red colour and is only used on sea. This denial was accepted into Church law until it was reversed in later centuries as the witch-craze gained force. The Splitflag is a Danish flag ending in a swallow-tail, it is Dannebrog red, and is used on land. In 820 the Bishop of Lyon and others repudiated the belief that witches could make bad weather, fly in the night, and change their shape.

The Splitflag or Orlogsflag have similar specifications, but legally, they are two different flags. The emperor Charlemagne decreed that the burning of supposed witches was a pagan custom that would be punished by the death penalty. 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. Boniface declared in the eighth century that belief in witches is unchristian. 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. St. 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. Down through history, the Catholic Church and European society have not always been obsessed with hunting witches and blaming them for bad occurrences.

They also noted that the flag currently used had lengths, of the last two fields, anywhere between 7/4 to 13/6. The witches or wizards addicted to such practices were alleged to adjure Jesus and the sacraments, observe "the witches' sabbath" - performing infernal rites which often took the shape of a parody of the Mass or the offices of the Church - pay Divine honour to the Prince of Darkness, and in return receive from him preternatural powers. Any new flag would also quickly become unlawful, due to wear and tear. Traditional European witchcraft beliefs, such as those typified in the confessions of the Pendle Witches, commonly involve a diabolical pact or at least an appeal to the intervention of the spirits of evil[3]. Some interested in the matter made inquires into the issue and concluded that the 6/4 length would make the flag look blunt. In place of the old Pagan magic methodology, the Church placed a Christian methodology involving saints and divine relics — a short step from the old Pagan techniques of amulets and talismans. 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. While Christianity competed with Pagan religion, this concern was paramount, only lessening in importance once Christianity was the dominant religion in most of Europe.

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. [2] The advent of Christianity suggests that potential Christians, comfortable with the use of magic as part of their daily lives, expected Christian clergy to work magic of a form superior to the old Pagan way. No official nuance definition of "Dannebrog rød" exists. The characterization of the witch, rather than being a caricature of a Pagan priestess, developed over time. The private company, Dansk Standard, regulation number 359 of 2005, defines the red colour of the flag as Pantone 186c. The familiar witch of folklore and popular superstition is a combination of numerous influences. The only available red fabric colour in 1748 was made of bracken root, which make a brownish red. This is an oversimplification and presumes that a recognizable folklore figure must derive from a single historical precedent (a female, maligned magic-worker).

According to the regulation of June 11, 1748 the colour was simply red, which is common known today as "Dannebrog rød" ("Dannebrog red"). Popular neopagan beliefs suggest that witches were female shamans who were made into malicious figures by Christian propaganda. To the best of knowledge, this regulation has never been revoked, however it is probably no longer done. The characterization of the witch in Europe is not derived from a single source. the Knights Hospitaller). Most people would call male witches sorcerers, wizards, or warlocks; however, modern self-identified witches and Wiccans continue to use the term witch for all who practice witchcraft. John (a.k.a. Colloquially, the term witch is applied almost exclusively to women, although in earlier English the term was applied to men too.

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. [1]. A somewhat curious regulation came in 1758 concerning Danish ships sailing in the Mediterranean. Many neo-pagan sources assert that because the root wik- is associated with words meaning "to bend", the original meaning of the word was "one who bends the natural order" (by using magic). Both flags are identical. Other possible connections include the Old English wigle (divination), the Proto-Germanic *wikkjaz (necromancer), the Gothic weihs (holy), and the English words victim (in its original meaning for someone killed in a religious ritual) and wicked. 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"). Low German contains wicker (soothsayer).

The proportions are thus: 3:1:3 vertically and 3:1:4.5 horizontally. Contraction of witega ('wise man, prophet') is possible. The two first fields must be square in form and the two outer fields most be 6/4 lengths of those. That the word derives directly from Old English is hard to doubt, but the origins of the Old English words are more problematic. The white cross must be 1/7 of the flags height. The origins of the term witch are highly disputed. 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. Methods are many and differ from witch to witch.

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. Sometimes quite simple and mundane actions can constitute the physical casting of a spell, and it is a common belief amongst modern witches that the intention behind the actions is at least as important as the actions themselves. 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. Spells can be cast by many methods, including meditation, burning of candles, chanting or reciting incantations, performing physical rituals and making herbal preparations. 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. Probably the most obvious characteristic of a witch is their ability to cast spells. From Queen Margaret I and King Erik VII time we also have a case that undisputedly links Dannebrog to Denmark. Necromancy, the conjuring of the spirits of the dead, is also regarded as a typical witchcraft practice; the Biblical 'Witch' of Endor is supposed to have performed it, and it is among the witchcraft practices condemned by Aelfric.

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"). Witchcraft practices (in the common, malefic sense) are typically forbidden by law where belief in them exists (as well as being hated and feared by the general populace) while 'folk magic' is tolerated or even accepted wholesale by the people, even if the orthodox establishment objects to it. 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. Many neopagan witches identify with this concept, and profess strong ethical codes that prevent them from attempting magic on someone without that person having requested it or at least given permission. This is the earliest known undisputed colour rendering of the Dannebrog. There has also existed in popular belief the concept of white witches and white witchcraft, which is strictly benevolent. The text left of the coat of arms says “die coninc van denmarke” (The King of Denmark). The folk magic used to identify or protect against witches is often indistinguishable from that used by the witches themselves.

On the right horn is a Danish banner. Folk magic of a more benign and socially acceptable sort may then be employed to turn the malevolence aside, or identify the supposed witch so that punishment may be carried out. On page 55 verso we find the Danish coat-of-arms with a helmet on top with horns. Where witchcraft is believed to have the power to influence the body or possessions, witches can become a credible cause for disease, sickness in animals, bad luck, sudden death, impotence and other such misfortunes. It is now located on the Royal Library of Brussels (the "Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier"). Many examples can be found in ancient texts, such as those from Egypt and Babylonia. The book displays some 1700 coats-of-arms from all over Europe, in colour. The concept of a magic-worker influencing another person's body or property against his or her will was clearly present in many cultures before the introduction of monotheism, as there are traditions in both folk magic and religious magic that have the purpose of countering witchcraft or identifying witches from those times.

Most historians claim that the book was written by Geldre Claes Heinen. Some modern commentators, especially neopagan ones, consider the malefic nature of witchcraft to be a Christian projection. 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). Practices to which the witchcraft label have been historically applied are those which influence another person's body or property against his or her will, or which are believed, by the person doing the labeling, to undermine the social or religious order. 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. A great deal of confusion and conflict has arisen from attempts by one group or another to canonize their particular definition of the term. Efforts to trace it from Estonia back to Denmark have, however, been in vain. Recently, witchcraft has taken on a distinctly positive connotation among Wiccans and other Neopagans as the ritual element of their religious beliefs.

The symbol later became the coat-of-arms of the city. Such accusations are a counterpart to blood libel of various kinds, which may be found throughout history across the globe. 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. In the modern Western world, witchcraft accusations have often accompanied the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria. An obvious place to look for documentation is in the Estonian city of Tallinn, the site of the legendary battle. Accusations of witchcraft were frequently combined with other charges of heresy against such groups as the Cathars and Waldensians. 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. Throughout this time, the concept of witchcraft came increasingly to be interpreted as a form of Devil worship.

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. Under the monotheistic religions of the Levant (primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), witchcraft came to be associated with heresy, rising to a fever pitch among the Catholics, Protestants, and secular leadership of the European Late Medieval/Early Modern period. 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. On occasion such accusations have led to witch hunts. 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. Belief in witches of this sort have been common among the indigenous populations of the world, including Africa, Asia and the Americas. Danish literature of the 13th and 14th centuries remains suspiciously quiet about the national flag. This use of the term is most often found in accusations against individuals who are suspected of causing harm in the community by way of supernatural means.

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. If the community accepts magical practice in general, then there is typically a clear separation between witches (in this sense) and the terms used to describe legitimate practitioners. Basically, these are all variations of the same legend. Witchcraft is also used to refer, narrowly, to the practice of magic in an exclusively inimical sense. In Estonia it is the Danish colours, and in Jerusalem the English colours. Such religions consider their own ritual practices to be not at all magical, but rather simply variations of prayer. In Spain, the colours of the Pope appears in the sky, in Finland the Swedish colours. According to some religious doctrines, all forms of magic are labeled witchcraft, and are either proscribed or treated as superstitious.

The similarities to the legends is obvious. Members of some religions have applied the term witchcraft in a pejorative sense to refer to all magical or ritual practices other than those sanctioned by their own doctrines, though this has become less common, at least in the Western world. 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. Depending on the values of the community, witchcraft in this sense may be regarded with varying degrees of suspicion and hostility, or with ambivalence, being neither intrinsically good nor evil. Probably a later invention to counter the legendary origins of the Danish flags, but never the less of the same nature. Sometimes witchcraft is used to refer, broadly, to the practice of magic, and has a connotation similar to sorcery. 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. Each culture has its own particular body of concepts dealing with magic, religion, benevolent and harmful spirits, and ritual; and these ideas do not find obvious equivalents in other cultures.

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. Used with entirely different contexts, and within entirely different cultural references, it can take on distinct and often contradictory meanings. She claims that it is neither the battle nor the banner that is central to the tale, but rather the cross in the sky. Witchcraft is viewed differently in different cultures around the globe. A much different theory is briefly discussed by Fabricius and elaborated more by Helga Bruhn in a book from 1949. The term witchcraft (and witch) is a controversial one with a complicated history.

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. A witch is a (sometimes specifically female) person who engages in witchcraft. 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. Witchcraft, in various historical, religious and mythical contexts, is the use of certain kinds of supernatural or magical powers. The banner would then already be known in Estonia. flying ointments. 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. witchcraft trials.

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. witchhunts. 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.. Malleus Maleficarum. It is explained in his study of 1934, titled "Sagnet om Dannebrog og de ældste Forbindelser med Estland'". Use of poppets. Fabricius put up yet another theory. Astrology, reading of horoscopes.

P. Divination - by tarot, runes, etc. The Danish church-historian L. Healing. The white on red warrior-cloak cannot be traced until later. Chanting mantras. The Knights Hospitaller is a monk-order and used black dresses. Conducting séances; using ouija boards.

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. Seeing auras. He claims that the origin of the legend of the falling flag comes from this confusion in the battle. The manipulation of energy. 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. Talking to plants. 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. Meditation.

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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