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Denmark State Flag, Naval Ensign and Jack

Last modified: 2012-03-16 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: denmark | dannebrog | splitflag |
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Danish State flag, naval ensign and jack

The Splitflag

[State Flag of Denmark] 56:107 by Željko Heimer

[State Flag of Denmark] 56:107 by Željko Heimer

A note to the figure of this flag in Album des Pavillons explains that the ships without a Royal Standard may use this flag under a masthead pennant (I guess instead of the Royal Standard to indicate the presence of the King). The bright red version is used as the state flag, the naval red is used as the naval ensign and the jack.
Željko Heimer, 10 June 2001, 25 May 2004

On a visit to Denmark I saw state ships flying a Splitflag with white crown. This makes them official Danish ships, which means, as a crew member explained, that even though the ship he sailed on was a small wooden ship, it still couldn't enter "Sweden" without asking permission in advance. I also saw the velses kuttere Svane (Swane?) and Thyra, which flew a splitflag (I think) with a crowned fouled anchor outlined in black. I was told that at one time the navy had its own sports club which used this ensign, but that it no longer existed, and now these two ships flew it.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 August 2001

According to Pedersen (1979), this ensign was proposed by the flag law commission of 1927.
Ole Andersen, 24 April 2004

Znamierowski (1999) reports "since1625". The date here is a bit earlier than 1696, but that should not mean that it is wrong. As I understand it, 1696 is when the splitflag construction was established in the same way it is now essentially. The 1625 date may be when the idea was first made but without the definitive construction.
Željko Heimer, 6 June 2004

Original Dimensions

[State Flag of Denmark] 7:17 by Željko Heimer

Based largely on 'The National Flag', Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 October 1999, and upon a partial translation of Henning Henningsen - 1969):

The first regulations on the 'Splitflag' (confining its use to the King and Battle Fleet) were issued in 1625, with the original proportions being established by a Royal Order of 1696 (no exact dates are given by either source). The official history details the 1696 proportions as being 3-1-3 for the hoist and 3-1-13 for the length - at 7:17 a substantially longer flag that in present use - with the accompanying illustration showing the tails to have been one-half the length of the flag. The current proportions were established in 1856 (again no exact date is given by the either source), and the flag was last confirmed by a Royal Resolution issued on 25 October 1939 which states that "Orlongsfaget er et splitflag af dybbrod farve med hvidt kors"
Christopher Southworth, 11 July 2004

The drawing I provide here is as shown in the documents (i.e. the indentation is "trapezoidal", not triangular as some historical sources drawn "hastily" may suggest).
Željko Heimer, 12 July 2004