A Region in Europe




The complete text

"The Red and Yellow Cross Flag, History and Stories Told"

by Sven-Olle R. Olsson, Ph.D., Malmö.
English translation: Ingrid E. Clenman., Malmö

Publisher and copyright:
Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid - The Foundation for the Future of Scania.1993.


Due to the size of this publication, it has been divided into three parts:

Part 1: Foreword - Historical Beginnings.
Part 2: History of the modern Scanian Flag.
Part 3: Appendices - Questionaire about the Flag.

The whole publication in pdf format (374kb) here.



Flag measurements and ordinance

The Scanian flag with the measurements of the Dannebrog
(The Old Danish flag) (see Appendix 5)

In all discussions about flags, it is almost exclusively the colours and patterns on the cloth that are discussed. It is extremely seldom that the proportions of a flag are mentioned. As scouts, we were taught that the Swedish flag has these measurements: Height: 4-2-4 (10) and length: 6-2-10.5 (18.5). This makes for a long and narrow flag.

The Old Danish flag, however, has these measurements: Height: 6-2-6 (14) and length 6-2-10.5 (18.5), which makes for a flag that is more square in shape. The measurements of the Dannebrog are fairly unique within the realm of flags. In the days of Valdemar Atterdag, the flag was a perfect square just like the Swiss flag, a so called heraldic flag, and then in the Flag Ordinance of 1748 its size was increased somewhat: 6-2-6 (14) and length: 6-2-9 (17). Current Dannebrog measurements stem from the Flag Ordinance of 1926 (14-18.5).

The Scanian Flag
During its existence, the Scanian flag has not had any fixed measurements. In recent years, the measurements of the Swedish flag have been employed. This is inappropriate for Scania, which is an Old Danish heartland. Therefore, the The Foundation for Scania's Future decided to register the Scanian flag with new measurements in the Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register (see Appendix 5). Dr. Jan Raneke, heraldic expert, has provided assistance in this matter. It was obvious that the measurements of the new Scanian flag should reflect the measurements of the Dannebrog for historical reasons. It was not obvious, however, that these measurements should be the same as those of the modern Dannebrog. Instead, the measurements of the historical flag from 1748 were chosen, as it was the first Danish flag with fixed measurements (14 x 17). Consequently, the Scanian flag has now been officially registered.

Thus, anyone can now raise the new cultural and historical symbol of Scania. The flag has roots that go back a long time in Danish history and probably extends far backwards in time to the Catholic Archdiocese of Lund, common to Denmark and the Nordic countries following the Viking Age. This new cultural symbol is politically neutral and can be used in all cultural, tourist, representative and personal situations.

The purpose of the efforts of the Foundation for Scania's Future for a historically based design and the official registration in the Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register, of both the flag and the coat of arms, was to produce a neutral cultural and local flag that can serve as a regional national symbol.

As it happens, there is no other common symbol for Scania, since there were only official provincial and county coat of arms for the provinces of Skåne (Malmöhus and Kristianstad counties), Blekinge, Halland.

In August, the Foundation for Scania's Future also sent out a specially printed edition of the Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register to all municipalities in Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, encouraging the use of the Scanian flag alongside the Swedish national flag. Flag symbols are of great importance. Today, events are quickly progressing towards a regional Europe. Everywhere regional and national cultural symbols are brought forward not least highlighted by their flag symbols.

The cultural region of Scania, the old East Denmark, with its own language and unique history and culture, is one of Europe's regional nations. Thus, Scania should be seen together with its red and yellow cross flag, as a unifying symbol in all contexts both within and outside of Scania.


  • David Assarsson Det skånska problemet. Credos förlag, Stockholm 1923.

  • Andersson, Per: Nordiska korsflaggor. Bokförlaget Draking, Mjölby 1992.

  • Bartholdy, Nils: Dannebrogskorsets form og visionaere baggrund. Heraldisk Tidskrift 64, 1991.

  • Barthold, Nils G: Dannbrog - legende og virkelighed. 1219 Dannebrog og Estland, Roskilde Museum Forlag, 1992, 6-16

  • Bendixen, Kirsten: Denmarks Money. The National Museum of Denmark, Köpenhavn 1967

  • Biörnstad, Arne: Svenska flaggans bruk, Fataburen 1967, 43-56.

  • Broberg, Peter: Litta blannat om flaggorna kring Skåneland. Skånska Akademiens årsskri 1988, 108-114..

  • Bruhn, Helge: Dannebrog og danske Faner gennem Tiderne. Köbenhavn 1949.

  • Flensborg, Peter: Möntårbogen 1977, Gentofte 1977.

  • Klinge, Matti: Finlands blåvita färger. Schildts, Keuru 1988.

  • von Konow, Jan: Svenska flaggan, När? Hur? och Varför?. Atlantis, Stockholm 1986.

  • Kälde, Bengt Olof: Series Archiepiscoporum Upsaliensis AD MCMLXXXV. Heraldisk Tidskrift, 35, 1977.

  • Kälde, Bengt Olof: Svenska Kyrkans heraldik. Heraldisk Tidskrift, 35, 1977.

  • Kälde, Bengt Olof: Uppsala ärkestifts vapen. Ärkestiftet 1987/88. Uppsala 1987.

  • Lindsay Galbreath, Donald: Papal Heraldy. Heraldy Today. London 1972.

  • Neubecker, Ottfried: Das Kreuz als Christliches und Staatliches Symbol.

  • Genealogica & Heraldica, Copenhagen 1980.

  • Skandinavisk Vapenrulla 1991-1992; Monitorförlaget

  • Thiset, A: Skaanske By- og Herredsvaaben i den danske Tid. Historisk Tidskrift för Skåneland, 1, 1903, 333 - 362.

  • Traetteberg, Hallvard: Unionsvåpen. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medelålder.

  • Åberg, Alf: Historik. Den svenska flaggan. I boken Flaggan och fanan, utgiven av Stiftelsen Sveriges Nationaldag och Svenska Flaggans Dag 1986, 9 - 17.


The Flag Ordinance

  1. The flag is a yellow cross on a red background, on a cloth measuring 3-1-3 high and 3-1-4.5 long, according to SVR (Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register) 431/92. The colours are a clear red and a clear yellow.

  2. The size of the flag shall be in reasonable proportions to the length of the flagpole. The height of the flag should be approximately 1/5 of the length of the flagpole. When the flagpole is located on a building, the flag should be of a larger size. Flags on the facade of buildings should cover approximately half of the length of the pole.

  3. When the flag is at half-mast, it must hang at least along half of the pole and not more than 2/3 of the pole.

  4. The Scanian pennant has an upper red field and a lower yellow field. Cross pennants cannot be used.

  5. Torn, dirty and sunbleached flags should not be used.

  6. The flag is raised at 8 AM and lowered no later than 8 PM. If the sun rises after 8 AM and sets before 8 PM, the flag is raised and lowered when the sun rises and sets. During the summer, the times are 9 AM and 9 PM. The flag should never be raised after sunset.

  7. The flag must never touch the ground.

  8. A worn flag must always be burned.


Official Flag Days in Sweden:

  • Jan 1 New Year's Day

  • Jan 28 The King's name-day

  • March 12 The Crown Princess' name-day

  • Easter Sunday -

  • April 30 The King's birthday

  • May 1 -

  • Whitsun Sunday -

  • June 6 Sweden's National Holiday and The Day of the Swedish Flag

  • Midsummer Day -

  • July 14 The Crown Princess' birthday

  • August 8 The Queen's birthday

  • September Day of national elections to Parliament (regular elections: third Sunday in Sept. every four years)

  • October 24 United Nations' Day

  • November 6 Gustav Adolf Day

  • December 10 The Nobel Day

  • December 23 The Queen's birthday

  • December 25 Christmas Day


Official Flag Days in Denmark

  • Jan 1 New Year's Day

  • March 23 Queen Ingrid

  • April 9 Occupation 1940 (half mast until 12.02)

  • April 16 Queen Margrethe II

  • April 27 Princess Carol Math

  • April 29 Princess Benedikte

  • May 5 Liberation of Denmark

  • May 26 Crown Prince Frederik

  • June 5 Constitution Day

  • June 7 Joachim

  • June 11 Prince Henrik

  • June 15 Valdemar's Day

  • December 25 Christmas Day

  • Easter Friday (half mast)

  • Easter Sunday

  • Ascension Day

  • Whitsun Sunday

This pamphlet about the history of Scania's flag is a first attempt to gather what is known about the flag. Unfortunately, much of the information about its early history is not documented in written sources. This does not necessarily mean that they are missing, but could instead be due to the fact that nobody has searched for them before. The result is that I was forced to include all manner of hearsay, which I will leave as is until they are either documented or rejected. Research in the field has not yet reached such an advanced stage that it is possible to evaluate the different sources yet. I have therefore chosen to present the material as it is today with all its shortcomings, and will subsequently proceed towards a thorough evaluation when more information has been gathered.

With respect to recent history, from 1870 until today, everybody who has any experience or any memory associated with the flag can assist. This is because even here important pieces of the puzzle are missing particularly with respect to the time before 1960.

We would be very grateful if you could answer the following questions in writing:

  1. When and in what circumstances did you hear about the Scanian flag for the first time? When and in what circumstances did you see a Scanian flag for the first time?

  2. What did you think of this new addition? What did it remind you of?

  3. Did you think it was an attractive regional symbol, or perhaps an expression of Scanian separatism, vanity or self-satisfaction?

  4. Is it a good unifying symbol for all of Scania, a supplement to the provincial coat of arms as the flags of Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm?

  5. How would you like it if all of Scania's municipalities flew the Scanian and the Swedish flags side by side?

  6. What is your opinion of the fact that the measurements of the Scanian flag today are more reminiscent of the Dannebrog than of the Swedish flag?

  7. Who are primarily using the Scanian flag? Scanians in the dispersion, "real Scanians" in Scania, or ... ? Does age or social class play a role?

  8. Have there been or are there geographic differences with respect to the use of the Scanian flag?

  9. Would you say that historically knowledgeable individuals feel that a flag that represents our own Scanian history is natural?

  10. Why do you think it is flying? What does it signify?

  11. When did you notice that people started to use the Scanian flag and the Scanian colours in advertisements for Scanian products? Please give examples!

  12. Who was the first to use and who has most consistently used the Scanian colours?

  13. Why do you think that these colours are used to a much greater extent in these contexts than the actual flag?

  14. Have you seen or heard about the Scanian flag outside of Scania, in the rest of Sweden, in Denmark, Norway, Finland or another country?

  15. If yes, when, where and in what circumstances?

  16. Do you think that the Scanian flag is a well-known symbol also outside of the Scanian provinces?

  17. Do you feel that people in Blekinge, Halland and on Bornholm should recognise the Scanian flag as their symbol to the same extent as in Scania?

  18. What do you think about regional flags? Should the flag be a cultural and national Scanian flag or a regional and geographical flag?

How should different cultural groups within a state show their symbols in the form of flags, e.g.:

  1. Does Scania, which previously was a part of Denmark, has its own language, culture and a well-defined territory?

  2. Does the same apply to the Sami people of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia? The Gotlanders, Värmlanders, Bohuslanders?

A heartfelt Thank you for your cooperation.

Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid - The Foundation for Scania's Future P.O.B. 93 S-240 30 Marieholm Email:

  • Please fly the Scanian flag!

  • Why not both Scanian and Swedish flags!

  • Or the Scanian, Swedish and Nordic flags!

  • Or together with the flag of any other country in which you live!

The Flag of Scania
Published and copyright by Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid
Research by Sven-Olle Olsson, Ph.D.
Translation from Swedish: Ingrid E Clenman, Canada




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