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Greece: Dubious flags

Last modified: 2003-11-22 by
Keywords: cross (white) | error |
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Red and white flag (1822)

[Red and white Greek flag]by Santiago Dotor

According to Carr [car 61]:

"The first national flag of Greece, adopted in 1822, was red with a white cross, and it is generally believed that the change to light blue and white was made when Otto of Bavaria (the son of Louis I) became King of Greece in 1832, light blue and white being the colours of his family.
There is some reason to believe, however, that light blue and white were used in the wars against Turkey some time before the Bavarian prince ascended the throne."

Santiago Dotor, 14 March 2003

It is a fact that the first King of Greece, Otto, was Bavarian and because the Bavarian colours were blue and white, this has lead to an incorrect conclusion by some that the origin of the Greek colours are to be found here. The Greek colours were already determined in 1822, ten years before before the Bavarian Prince ascended the Greek throne.

Yannis Natsinas & Andre van de Loo, 14 March 2003


Flags shown in Colton's Delineation of Flags of All Nations (1862)

[Greek national flag, 1862?]by Ivan Sache

Captioned: #142. Greece.
Blue field with a decentered white cross and arms in the 'middle' of the cross. The arms look like a Bavarian lozengy shield with a crown. These arms are logical because the Oldenburg dynasty replaced the Wittelsbach one in 1862, the year Colton's work was published.

[Greek merchant flag, 1862?]by Ivan Sache

Captioned: #143. Greek Merchant.
Flag similar to the current Greek national flag, but with a rectangular canton.

Both flags seem to be erroneous.

Source: Colton's Delineation of Flags of All Nations (1862), colour plate reproduced in Znamierowski [zna99])

Ivan Sache, 10 March 2001

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