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Norwegian flag of 1814

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by christopher oehler
Keywords: norway | europe | scandinavian cross | lion | dannebrog | danmark |
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[Flag of Norway, 1814]
image by Željko Heimer, 12 July 2002

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Description of the Flag

The Regent of Norway Christian Frederick (who was the Crown Prince of Denmark) declared on 27 February 1814 that the Norwegian flag was to be a red field with a white cross and the Norwegian lion facing the fly in the upper hoist corner – that is the Dannebrog with the addition of a lion. This flag was in use until a new flag was designed in 1821 – that is the Norwegian flag still in use today.
Jan Oskar Engene, 25 November 1995

Prince Christian Frederik was heir presumptive, being first cousin of the king (whom he eventually succeeded).
Klaus Ole Kristiansen, 18 December 1998

Sweden officially recognized the lion flag at Moss in the autumn of 1814. As a civil ensign, the lion flag could be used for shorter distances, as far south as Cape Finisterre in Spain. However, there was also the option of using the Swedish flag, and from 1818 the civil union ensign with the red and white canton. This was based on the union war ensign introduced in 1815. In short, the union with Sweden only affected the war ensign. Norway's right to a civil ensign was inscribed into the constitution in November 1814 and so the lion continued its life until it was retired in 1821.
Jan Oskar Engene, 20 November 2001

Dannebrog with Norwegian "badge" added in canton. The badge being, of course the lion rampant holding an axe Or bladed Argent. The lion is turned towards fly (backwards, we would say today). For the image I assumed the ratio of modern Danish flag. My interpretation of the lion is rather freely, but it seems to me as good as any.
Željko Heimer, 12 July 2002

This flag was the civil ensign from 1814 to 1821, 1814-1815 on all distances and 1814-1821 on shorter distances. To the degree that flags were used on land at this time, the flag may also be called the civil flag.
Jan Oskar Engene, 17 July 2002

Kannik says:

29. Merchant Flag 1814-21. On Feb. 27, 1814, after the union with Denmark had been dissolved, Norway adopted as her flag The Dannebrog, with the addition, in the canton, of the Norwegian lion as it was at that time. As Norway had not signed any pact with the pirate states of the Barbary Coast, this flag did not protect their ships in the Mediterranean. It was therefore only used in "more immediate foreign waters," i.e., north of Cape Finisterre in Spain.
Ole Andersen, 18 July 2002