Archive for the ‘Celtic’ Category

Olden Flags

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Mini Patch of the saltire, the St Andrew's flag of Scotland

Mini Patch of the Saltire, the St Andrew's flag of Scotland.

Mini Patch of the Dannebrog (the flag of Denmark)

Mini Patch of the Dannebrog (the flag of Denmark)

So we’ve been busy adding new designs of our popular Mini Patches; putting up images of some that we hadn’t scanned yet; updating others, as we’ve greatly improved the quality of some. Of the five new images we put up today, (also, Italy, Mexico and the Netherlands), these two have some things in common that gave me pause to consider.

The Saltire, Scotland’s national flag – not to be confused with the Lion Rampant, but more about that some other day – is considered one of the oldest flags in the world. Long story about why it’s called the Cross of St Andrew. Another long story about a vision of this cross in the sky (not Skye) and how it turned the tide for a battle against whom, Dear Reader? Why the Vikings of course. Which is a nice segue to our next patch, that of the Dannebrog – the national flag of Denmark. That’s of course where a lot of those pesky (depending on your persuasion) Vikings originated.

Of course those lusty fellows weren’t flying this flag – more about their Raven flag some other day – but that’s the one that most Danes fly today – most of the time. Not much talk today about the story behind the cross on this one, like other Scandinavian (and one some consider almost Scandinavian) flags; or of the rather different shaped flags those northern folk sometimes fly. The point we’re trying hard to get to today is that Denmark is probably the oldest continuing reigning monarchy in the world, going all the way back to good old king Canute or Knut or Cnut Sweynsson.

Think Canute ever crossed paths with the Saltire? Probably not, but it’s fun to speculate. Ah, vexillology! Ya gotta love it. Well, we do.