Monday, July 7, 2014

Flag of the Faroe Islands

It has been sugguested by some of the readers that I go into a bit more detail when honoring a flag, here, so you ask and you shall receive. The purpose of this blog is 1/2 historical use and 1/2 flag design, so we shall go into both.

 Today I am featuring my all time favorite national flag, the flag of the Faroe Islands.  In its home country is is referred to as " Merkið" which means "the banner" or "the mark".  The design of the flag incorporates a red Nordic cross, which is offset to the left. The red cross is fimbrated azure and is set on a white field. The flag design closely resembles that of the Norwegian flag, with the fimbriated cross. The flag ratio is usually 16:22 or 8:11.  White symbolizes the creators of the flag, the foam of the sea and the pure, radiant sky of the Faroe Islands, while the old Faroese blue and red colours are reminiscent of other Scandinavian and Nordic flags; representing the Faroe Islands' bonds with other Nordic countries.  Historically, the blue colour of the Faroese flag has changed. When the flag was officially recognized by Danish authorities in 1948, the blue was described as "dark blue", and shared the same color pallet as the Norwegian flag.  However, in the Faroese flag law of 1959, the blue was described as "azure" - a much lighter colour. Finally, a step back to a darker blue was taken on 29 December 1998 when the Faroese Parliament specified the flag's colours in the Pantone system. Blue was to match PMS 300, red PMS 032. Red was, by the way, first described as "high red" in 1948, then as "fagurreyður" ("fair red"?) in 1959.

The modern Faroese flag was devised in 1919 by Jens Oliver Lisberg and others while they were studying in Copenhagen. The first time Merkið was raised in the Faroe Islands was on 22 June that year in Fámjin (a village along the coastline coastline on the western side of Suðuroy, the southern­most island in Faroe Islands) on the occasion of a wedding. On 25 April, 1940, the British occupation government approved the flag for use by Faroese vessels. 25 April is still celebrated as Flaggdagur and it is a national holiday. With the Home Rule Act of 23 March, 1948, the flag was recognized by the Danish Government as the national flag of the Faroes. The original copy of the flag is displayed in the church of Fámjin in Suðuroy.

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