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Pennant (Sweden)

Swedish flagpole pennant

Last modified: 2013-11-18 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: sweden | pennant | flagpole pennant | vimpel |
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[Pennant of Sweden] by Elias Granqvist


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About the pennant

The Swedish pennant is used on land by private citizens and companies and by civil authorities. It is not regulated in any act of law or other official statement, but has its ground in the royal pennant (see description under the text about the Personal Command Sign of H.M. the King). However, the custom is to hoist a pennant in the colours of the flag, when the flag is not flying, e.g. at night or on days when you don't celebrate anything in particular. The idea is to not leave the flag pole bare.
The traditional form of the pennant is blue over yellow. (In the last two decades, other types have become popular too, e.g. a blue pennant with a yellow cross or a pennant lengthwise parted in blue-yellow-blue; I would suppose the design with a cross is based on the Danish pennant.) Sometimes, the pennant is made with just one point fastened to the hallyard, which can turn the pennant around in the wind, so that blue or yellow can be on top.
The length of the pennant is usually between 1/4 and 1/2 of the flagpole (longer for a pennant on a flagpole going out from a facade, of course), but there are no fixed dimensions. (Pennants in the more untraditional designs are usually broader.) The pennant can sometimes be cut off vertically at the fly, to make it more sustainable in hard wheather. It is always more narrow at the fly than at the hoist though.
In Skanör in Scania, I have seen a similar pennant but which was made in the Scanian colours, red over yellow.
The Swedish word for pennant is vimpel.
Elias Granqvist, 18 October 2000


I was for three weeks in Aug '98 in a "kolonier" (cottage complex) in the outskirts of Helsingborg (but one could reach downtown on foot!), in Scania, southern Sweden. The pattern of this pennant caused a lot of "pleasent Ucrainian countryside" jokes, at least in the first days...
Almost every cottage had one flagpole, and most of them were fitted with this pennant when the owners were not in. When replaced by flags, more than half of the poles shown Scanian flags, not Swedish, but I could not see a single Scanian pennant.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 03 February 2001