National Flag of Norway

Country: Kingdom of Norway

Proportions: 8:11

Norwegian Flag Description:
The flag of Norway has a red background with a blue 'Scandinavian cross' on it. The Scandinavian cross is outlined by white stripes. The vertical stripe of the cross isn't centered; instead it's based on the left side of the flag.

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Norwegian Flag Meaning:
The colors of the Norwegian flag are believed to have been influenced by the flags of France, the United States and Britain and are considered the colors of liberty and independence. The cross is common to most Scandinavian flags, and represents Norway's link to the other Scandinavian countries.

Norwegian Flag History:
The Norwegian flag was first adopted on July 17, 1821 and is based on the Danish flag, with a blue cross placed within the white cross of the Danish flag. Norway was ruled by Denmark from the mid-15th century until 1814, when it joined a union with Sweden until 1905. The Norwegian flag had an emblem representing the Norway-Sweden union from 1844 until 1898, when the government re-introduced the Norwegian flag, minus the Union symbol. A 1905 Norwegian referendum voted overwhelmingly to end the country's union with Sweden.

Interesting Norwegian Flag Facts:
The flag of 1821 was an idea of Frederik Meltzer's, a Danish Member of Parliament. He got the idea of adding a blue cross to the Danish flag during a session of parliament. The discussion was how the flag could represent Norway's past association with Denmark and its union with Sweden. We can assume the red and white came from the Danish flag and the blue from the Swedish flag. The red, white and blue color combination was appealing to Parliament because it represented the colors of liberty, as in the flags of France, the USA, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. A rumor that Frederik Meltzer's young son Gerhard created the idea behind the Norwegian flag is false.

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