THE FLAG OF GREECE
The pattern and colors of the Greek
Flag haven't changed a lot since the Revolution of the Greek Nation in
1821. Many people wonder why the founders of the Hellenic Democracy have
chosen the symbols, patterns and colors that appear on the National Flag
of Greece. It is difficult to reveal the true intentions of the people
responsible for the selection of the flag.
THE DESIGN AND PATTENS OF THE
The striped flag has been in use since
1822, and was approved in 1833. The nine stripes are said to stand for
the nine syllables of the Greek patriots' motto "Eleutheria e Thanatos"
meaning "Freedom or Death".
FREEDOM OR DEATH
Freedom or Death" was the motto
during the years of the Hellenic Revolution against the Ottoman Empire
in the 19th century [There are claims that the number of lines reflects
the number of letters in the greek word for Freedom which equals 9]. This
word stirred the heart of the oppressed Greeks, it created intense emotions
and inspired them to fight and gain their freedom after 400 years of slavery.
The line pattern was chosen because
of their similarity with the wavy sea that surounds the shores of Greece.The
interchange of blue and white colors makes the Hellenic Flag on a windy
day to look like the Aegean Pelagos (Aegean Sea). Only the quaint islands
The Greek Square Cross that rests
on the upper left-side of the flag and occupies one fourth of the total
area demonstrates the respect and the devotion the Greek people have for
the Greek Orthodox Church and signifies the important role of Christianity
in the formation of the modern Hellenic Nation. During the dark years
of the Ottoman rule, the Greek Orthodox Church helped the enslaved Greeks
to retain their cultural characteristics: the Greek language, the Byzantine
religion and generally the Greek ethnic identity, by the institution of
the Crypha Scholia (hidden schools). The Crypha Scholia were a web of
schools that operated secretly throughout Greece and were committed in
transmitting to the Greeks the wonders of their ancestors and the rest
of their cultural heritage. Today, Christianity is still the dominant
religion among Greeks. Therefore the existence of the Cross is justified.
THE COLORS OF THE FLAG
Blue and White! These two colors symbolize
the blue of the Greek sea and the whiteness of the restless Greek waves!
According to the mythic legends, the Goddess of Beauty, Aphrodite emerged
from these waves. In addition, it reflects the blue of the Greek sky and
the white of the few clouds that travel in it. There are some who suggest
that the blue and white symbolizes the similar color of the clothing (vrakes)
of the Greek sailors during the Greek War of Independence.
Flag adopted 22 December 1978, coat
of arms adopted 7 June 1975.
Description: Nine horizontal stripes, alternatively blue and white, and
a white cross on a blue square field in canton.
Use: on land, civil, State and war flag, at sea, civil, State and war
Colour approximate specifications: Blue: Pantone 286 c / CMYK (%) C 100
- M 60 - Y 0 - K 5
Unofficial alternative flag
The simple white-cross-on-blue flag
dates from 1822, and was used as an alternative national flag, but only
in land, not at sea (although the jack is very similar). Only the striped
flag was used at sea. From June 1975 until December 1978 the plain cross
flag was used as the only national flag. The situation is now reversed,
and the striped flag is now the only official national flag, although
the cross flag can still be seen in unofficial use.
Shade of the national flag
There is no officially prescribed shade
of blue for the Greek flag according to the 1978 law. The 1969 law that
abolished the plain cross flag did not specify a particular shade either,
but it did provide that all flags should conform with "prototype"
flags lodged with two government departments. The shade of blue on the
prototypes was, probably, very dark hence the very dark shade of flags
made in 1970- 1975. A lighter shade of blue is used nowadays (by convention,
presumably) but sill not as light as United Nations Organization blue.
Coat of arms
flag with white cross throughout. Width of the cross is 1/5 of the hoist.