Nordic Cross flag

Nordic Cross flag
Nordic flags. From left to right respectively; the flag of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
A selection of Nordic flags used in Northern Europe: Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Åland Islands, Finland.

The Nordic Cross Flag, Nordic Cross, or Scandinavian Cross is a pattern of flags usually associated with the flags of the Scandinavian countries of which it originated. All of the Nordic countries except Greenland have adopted such flags. The cross design, which represents Christianity,[1][2][3] is depicted extending to the edges of the flag with the vertical part of the cross shifted to the hoist side, rather than centred on the flag. All Scandinavian flags may be flown as gonfalons as well.

The first flag with the design was the Danish Dannebrog; thereafter, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and some of their subdivisions used this as inspiration for their own flags. The Norwegian flag was the first Nordic cross flag with three colours. Though the flags share this pattern, they have individual histories and symbolism.

Some of the flags in this list do not have official status. Also, note that flag proportions may vary between the different flags and sometimes even between different versions of the same flag.


Flags of the Nordic countries

Note that most of these flags are historical or have not been officially adopted and their use remains limited.






Autonomous regions

Flags of Germany

Nordic flags in Germany were historically used to allude to the nation's Norse heritage and Nordic origins. Nordic flag designs very similar to Denmark's, Sweden's, and Norway's national flags were proposed as Germany's national flags in both 1919 and 1948, after World War I and World War II, respectively. Today, the Nordic cross is a feature in some city and district flags or coats of arms.

Flags of the United Kingdom

Many locations in Scotland and England were colonized by Norwegian and Danish settlers and viking raiders during the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. Several locales, particularly in the Scottish islands, have flags or have had flag proposals based on the Nordic cross as a recognition of this Scandinavian heritage.


Former and unofficial flags (Scotland)

Flag proposals and unofficial flags (England)

Flags of the Baltic states

Many territories around the Baltic Sea have begun using Nordic cross flags. Sometimes this is done to bolster the locality's association with the Scandinavian states (and, as with the proposed flags of Latvia and Estonia, to assert a Baltic identity over a long-standing affiliation with the Russian sphere of influence.)

Flags of ethnic or linguistic groups

Flags elsewhere that feature the Nordic Cross or similar design

Flags of Brazilian municipalities

Flags of Football Clubs

Flag of Santos F.C., Brazil.

Non-Nordic Cross flags of areas associated with the Nordic countries

Although different, the offset of the circles and the lines are reminiscent of the Nordic cross flags.

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ Jeroen Temperman. State Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 88. Retrieved 2007-12-31. "Many predominantly Christian states show a cross, symbolising Christainity, on their national flag. The so-called Scandinavian crosses or Nordic crosses on the flags of the Nordic countries–Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden–also represent Christianity." 
  2. ^ Carol A. Foley. The Australian Flag: Colonial Relic or Contemporary Icon. William Gaunt & Sons. Retrieved 2007-12-31. "The Christian cross, for instance, is one of the oldest and most widely used symbols in the world, and many European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Greece and Switzerland, adopted and currently retain the Christian cross on their national flags." 
  3. ^ Andrew Evans. Iceland. Bradt. Retrieved 2007-12-31. "Legend states that a red cloth with the white cross simply fell from the sky in the middle of the 13-century Battle of Valdemar, after which the Danes were victorious. As a badge of divine right, Denmark flew its cross in the other Scandinavian countries it ruled and as each nation gained independence, they incorporated the Christian symbol." 
  4. ^ Kunstavisen
  5. ^
  6. ^ In 1844, German nationalists in the two duchies of Holstein and Schleswig created a blue-white-red tricolour as a symbol for independence which began to see widespread use. In 1845, Denmark responded by outlawing all other flags than the Danish one shown here. This ban was enforced as long as Denmark controlled the two duchies (Holstein and Lauenburg: effectively until 1863, in Schleswig effectively until early 1864.) Use of the Danish flag was in turn outlawed by the secessionist administration that claimed both provinces 1848-1851.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Southern Cross Flag — Southern Cross Flags are flags which depict the Southern Cross. Southern Cross is the English name of Crux Australis, a constellation visible in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also depicted in coats of arms of various countries and sub national… …   Wikipedia

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

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

  • Nordic Flag Society — Flag of the Nordisk Flaggsallskap or Nordic Flag Society [1]. The Nordic Flag Society is an association of Nordic vexillologists. It has an official name in the languages of all the five countries in which its activities are principally based:… …   Wikipedia

  • Nordic countries — Norden redirects here. For other uses, see Norden (disambiguation). Nordic countries Norden (Danish)/(Norwegian)/(Swedish) Pohjola …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Norway — See also: List of flags of Norway Flag of Norway Use Civil flag and ensign …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Finland — Infobox flag Name = Finland Type = National Nickname = Flag of the Republic of Finland Use = 100100 Proportion = 11:18 Adoption = 1918 Design = Sea blue Nordic cross on white field Nickname2 = The State flag of the Republic of Finland Use2 =… …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of the Nordic Council — National flag infobox Name = Nordic Council Article = Use = 110000 Symbol = Proportion = 2:3 Adoption = 1984 Design = Silhuette of a stylised, white swan against a blue circle on a white field Type = Designer = Kyösti Varis Type = Nickname =… …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Orkney — The new official [ The Orcadian] ] Orkney Community Flag was the winner of a public flag consultation [ id=6645 tt=orkneyv2 Orkney Islands Council] ] in… …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Shetland — The flag of Shetland was designed by Roy Grönneberg and Bill Adams in 1969. It was unofficially created to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the transfer of the islands from Norway to the Kingdom of Scotland and the 500 years before as part of …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

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

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.