Flag of Greece

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The flag is one of the most important state symbols that every country, region and many cities have. Most often, the national flag is a cloth of a certain size and shape (usually a rectangle), with a certain color and pattern. Each symbol has a certain history and each has a certain meaning.

This is what the flag of Greece looks like:

Флаг Греции
Flag of Greece

History of the flag

The familiar Greek flag was not finally adopted until 1978. Until then, it was often changed and used unofficially.

The Greek symbol has a rather long and complex history.

The main dates of the change of colors and symbols of the Greek flag:

  • According to legends, the prototype of the modern Greek flag appeared in 1807. At that time, the priest Niphon raised a white and blue cloth, which symbolized the freedom and rebirth of Greece after four hundred years of the Ottoman yoke;
  • After Greek independence, in 1822, the Greeks adopted a light blue flag with the addition of a white cross;
  • From 1832 to 1863 the Greek flag due to the change of rulers slightly changed its light stripes then to darker ones, and then back to light ones;
  • In 1863 the light blue color of the cloth was changed to dark blue.

During this period three different kinds of the Greek flag were officially authorized. The national flag was a blue flag with a white cross, and in the center of the cross was an image of a royal crown. The national symbol used by the Greeks looked much the same as the national flag, the only difference being the absence of the crown on it. In other states, in ports and on ships the Greeks used a cloth consisting of 9 blue and white stripes, in the upper left corner of which was located a blue square with a white cross.

Флаг Греции
Flag of the Kingdom of Greece (1862-1924, 1935-1941 and 1944-1970)
  • In 1923, Greece had its only official flag, a nine-striped flag;
  • During the battles fought from 1945 to 1949, a red circle was added to the middle of the white cross, with a triangle inscribed inside;
  • In 1944, the multiple flag system was returned;
  • In 1970, the symbol adopted in 1963 as the national flag was made official;
  • In 1975, a blue cloth with a white cross on it became the official flag established by the Greek government. However, the use of the nine-striped flag as the unofficial flag continues;
  • In 1978, a symbol is adopted, which is the only official one to this day.
Флаг Греции
The Royal Flag of Greece used at sea and abroad (1863-1924 and 1935-1973)
Государственный флаг при «чёрных полковниках»
The national flag under the “black colonels”

Flag description

Today, the symbol of Greece is a cloth with alternating white and blue stripes. In the upper left corner is a blue square with a white cross inscribed inside.

The top and bottom stripes of the flag are always blue only.

Flag colors

Despite the fact that the Greek symbol often changed its appearance – its basic hues have always been about the same (white, blue, blue). The modern Greek flag has only 2 colors – white and blue.

Meaning of colors and symbols of the flag

There are many different interpretations of the colors and symbols of the Greek flag.

Virtually all agree that white is the color of purity and hope, while blue has several meanings:

  • Some consider blue to be the color of freedom, so important to the Greek people.
  • There is an opinion that blue is the color of the sea. And those who look for the interpretation in Greek mythology say that Aphrodite emerged from the abyss of blue water with white sea foam.
  • One popular interpretation is the meaning of blue as the sky over Greece, and white as the clouds on it.

The exact shade of blue is not approved in Greece, so sometimes the cloth of the national symbol may be depicted in blue. The Greek government is comfortable with this.

The white cross on the flag is a sign of pure Greek Orthodoxy.

It is also no coincidence that there are nine stripes on the Greek flag. However, opinions differ as to why there are nine:

  • Some believe there are nine stripes because the Greek word for “freedom” has nine letters;
  • Others believe that nine stripes on the flag because the slogan during the liberation of the Greeks from the Ottoman yoke was the phrase “freedom or death,” which has nine syllables in Greek.

In addition to the listed values, 9 is the number of Greek Muses, who are the goddesses of science and enlightenment.

The flag of each country has a great and interesting history behind it. Behind each color and symbol there is a certain meaning that is dear to the people. The Greek flag is no exception. Despite its long history of formation, for 41 years the flag has been unchanged.

General information about Greece

Official language Greek
Capital Athens
Territory 131 957 km2
Population 10 741 165 people
Currency euro
Phone Code +30

Map of Greece

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