A Region in Europe
THE FLAG OF SCANIA
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
Part 2: History of the modern Scanian Flag.
Part 3: Appendices - Questionaire about the Flag.
publication in pdf format (374kb) here.
measurements and ordinance
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
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
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
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,
Broberg, Peter: Litta blannat om flaggorna kring
Skåneland. Skånska Akademiens årsskri 1988, 108-114..
Bruhn, Helge: Dannebrog og danske Faner gennem Tiderne.
Flensborg, Peter: Möntårbogen 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
Skandinavisk Vapenrulla 1991-1992;
Thiset, A: Skaanske By- og Herredsvaaben i den danske
Tid. Historisk Tidskrift för Skåneland, 1, 1903, 333 -
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 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.
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
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.
The Scanian pennant has an upper red
field and a lower yellow field. Cross pennants cannot be used.
Torn, dirty and sunbleached flags
should not be used.
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
The flag must never touch the
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'
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
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)
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:
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?
What did you think of this new
addition? What did it remind you of?
Did you think it was an attractive
regional symbol, or perhaps an expression of Scanian separatism, vanity or
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?
How would you like it if all of
Scania's municipalities flew the Scanian and the Swedish flags side by
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?
Who are primarily using the
Scanian flag? Scanians in the dispersion, "real Scanians" in Scania, or
... ? Does age or social class play a role?
Have there been or are there
geographic differences with respect to the use of the Scanian flag?
Would you say that historically
knowledgeable individuals feel that a flag that represents our own Scanian
history is natural?
Why do you think it is flying?
What does it signify?
When did you notice that people
started to use the Scanian flag and the Scanian colours in advertisements
for Scanian products? Please give examples!
Who was the first to use and who
has most consistently used the Scanian colours?
Why do you think that these
colours are used to a much greater extent in these contexts than the
Have you seen or heard about the
Scanian flag outside of Scania, in the rest of Sweden, in Denmark, Norway,
Finland or another country?
If yes, when, where and in what
Do you think that the Scanian flag
is a well-known symbol also outside of the Scanian provinces?
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?
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
Does Scania, which previously was
a part of Denmark, has its own language, culture and a well-defined
Does the same apply to the Sami
people of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia? The Gotlanders, Värmlanders,
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
Flag of Scania
Published and copyright by Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid
Research by Sven-Olle Olsson, Ph.D.
Translation from Swedish: Ingrid E Clenman, Canada