This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Denmark

Danmark

Last modified: 2011-06-13 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: denmark | scandinavian cross | dannebrog | danmark | splitflag |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



[Flag of Denmark] 28:34 to 28:37 by Edward Mooney, Jr.

See also:


Dimensions of the flag

National flag: The proportions of the cross should be horizontally from hoist to the tail 12/4/21, and vertically 12/4/12.

State flag: The proportions of the flag with a swallow-tail are 24 : 8 : 30 : 45 horizontally and 24 : 4 : 24 vertically.
Mark Sensen and James Dignan, 25 September 1995, Victor Lomantsov, 16 December 2000, Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 January 2001

The proportions of the "Dannebrog" are so because Danish flag law prescribes the relative widths of each block of color, including the fimbriations, and when you add all the pieces together you get those numbers.
John Ayer 5 February 1998

The dimensions of the square is usually given as one fifth by one quarter of the height of the flag pole. However, the official decree on the flags of trade ships from 1748 is that the white cross be 1/7 of the height of the flag, the rear fields be square, and the two other fields be 6/4 of the length of the rear fields. There was a tendency to make the flag longer, and in 1893 the Ministry of the Interior stated that due to usage, no objections could be made as long as the front fields where less than 7/4 of the rear ones.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 June 2001

The proportions of the flag were 28:34 from 1748 - 1893. The modern flag has proportions of 28:37.
Christopher Southworth, 12 November 2003

In 1893, it was pointed out that no charges were to be pressed if the flag had proportions longer than 28:34, but not longer than 28:37.
Ole Andersen, 13 November 2003


Construction Sheet

[Denmark - construction sheet] by Željko Heimer

The length of the national flag was originally specified in 1748, and respecified in 1893, although at that time the older version was not cancelled.

1893 regulations

[Denmark - construction sheet] by Željko Heimer

1748 regulations

[Denmark - construction sheet] by Željko Heimer

The Regulations of 1 May 1893 set the proportions at a maximum of 28:37, but did not cancel or replace the proportions of 28:34 set on 11 July 1748.
Christopher Southworth, 25 May 2004


Flag colours

Unofficial PMS matches recommended by the Denmark-Samfundet, a private society promoting use of the flag:
-National flag (rectangular flag): Red: 185U
-War ensign (swallow tailed flag of the navy): Red 193U
Jan Oskar Engene, 10 June 1998    

I prefer the PMS 186C or PMS 485, as I like it more dark. We prefer to say that the color of the flag is the same as our mailboxes, and that color is bright red in the more dark end. The Hex numbers are: PMS 485 = #D81E05, PMS 186 = #CE1126
Lisbeth Stilling, flagmaker, Denmark, 12 April 2006

The two different red shades are approximated as Pantone 185c (for "land" use) and 195c (for naval use). As far as I can see, the dark red is used only by the flags used by the Navy - other maritime flags are of the "normal" red shade. That would mean that there are in fact two variants of some flags.
Željko Heimer, 10 June 2001

What colour (pantone if any) does the red colour in the Danish flag have? This question is answered at http://www.aakb.bib.dk/respons/svar/2000/r05384.htm with a quote from Om Dannebrog jeg ved (2 ed. 1996):

Trods en endnu manglende flaglov har man to røde farver i nationalflaget, nemlig en mørkere rød farve i orlogsflaget, benaevnt orlogsrødt, der kun brug es ombord i orlogs- og statsskibene, og en lysere variant i splitflag og de firkantede stutflag, benævnt flagrødt. Farverne benaevnes ogsaa orlogsrødt og dannebrogsrødt. Marinens anlaeg i land bruger ikke den saakaldte orlogsrøde farve, den er kun til brug ombord i skibene.

(Which more or less translates as:)
In spite of the lack of a flag law there are two red colours in the national flag, to wit a darker red colour in the naval flag, called "orlogsrødt" (naval red), which is only used on board of naval or state ships, and a lighter version in the "splitflag" (swallow-tailed flag) and the square (rectangular) "stutflag" (procession flag ), called "flagrødt" (flag red). The colors are also indicated as "orlogsrødt" and "dannebrogsrødt" (Dannebrog red). Naval sites on land don't use this naval red colour, which is only for use aboard ships.

Danmarksbog mentions that "It became customary for the State also to fly the swallow-tailed flag ashore." This suggest that you shouldn't automatically assume a naval context for the state flags. What's more, it shows only the Naval flag and the Admiral's Standard as dark, whereas the National flag, the State flag, the Royal standard, the Crown Prince's standard, the Regent's standard, the Chief of Defence's standard, the DSB flag, the postal flag, the flag for State vessels, and the revenue flag are all shown as light. 
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 June 2001

In Danish, procession flags are not really flags. We use 'flag' about cloth flown from flag poles or masts, and 'fane' about procession flags or military (or other) colours. But some of the cloth that we fly from flag poles are pennants, and they are not really flags either. We use the term 'vimpel'. In some naval contexts, 'stander' is used instead of 'vimpel'. A 'stander' is usually shorter than a 'vimpel'. Now, some of our 'flag' (plural = singular) are swallow-tailed, 'splitflag'. If they are rectangular instead, we use the term 'stutflag'.
Ole Andersen, 24 June 2001


Name of the flag

The Danish flag is called "Dannebrog", [which is] old Danish for "The Danish Cloth".
Martin Hawkins, 10 January 1999

As with many etymological questions, we have in fact two explanations for the origin of this term, and cannot know which is more correct. The Danish encyclopaedia says:

Navnet på det danske flag, Dannebrog, der betyder 'danernes fane' eller 'rødfarvet fane', forekommer første gang i en dansk tekst 1478 og i en nederlandsk tekst 100 år før; i den nederlandske våbenbog Gelre fra 1370-86 ses en rød fane med hvidt kors ved våbenet for Valdemar 4. Atterdag.
(Den Store Danske Encyklopædi, vol. 4, p. 453-4)

[The name of the Danish flag, Dannebrog, meaning 'banner of the Danes' or 'red banner', occurs first in a Danish text 1478 and in a Dutch text 100 years before; in the Dutch armorial Gelre (1370-86) a red banner with a white cross is seen next to the arms of Valdemar 4. 'Atterdag'.]
Ole Andersen, 21 April 2001