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Greece: History of the national flag

Part 2. 1828-1970

Last modified: 2014-12-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: greece |
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[Ensign 1828]         [Flag 1828]

Flags of Greece, 1828-1970
Left, flag used at sea and on the coast - Image by Željko Heimer, 11 October 2001
Right, flag used on land - Image by Miles Li, 25 December 2008

See also:

The two Greek national flags

According to the book Hellenic flags [k7k97], Greece had from 1828 to 1970 had two national flags. The cross and stripes flag was used outside the country, including at the coast, whereas the plain cross flag was used inside.
The flag used at sea and on the coast had nine horizontal stripes, in turn blue and white, and a white cross on a blue square field in canton. This flag is today the Greek national flag.
The former flag of the merchant navy was abolished in 1828, when it was decided that merchant ships would henceforth use the same flag as the Navy.

Roy Stilling & Norman Martin, 26 February 2000

Flags of the Kingdom of Greece (1832-1924; 1935-1970)

The use of the two national flags of Greece shown above remained unchanged from 1832 to 1970. However, additional flags with a crown were used by the Kingdom of Greece. For official purposes Greek flags flown on land should have coloured crowns, as opposed to naval flags which had yellow crowns.
The adoption date of these flags is unknown and they were most probably not used during the First Republic (1924-1935). All these flags were abolished in 1970.

[War ensign]

War ensign - Image by Tom Gregg, 27 December 2004, after Flaggenbuch [neu92]

The war ensign was the civil ensign with a yellow crown placed in the middle of the cross.

[War flag]

State and war flag - Image by Miles Li & Joe McMillan, 25 December 2008

. The state and war flag was the flag used on land with a crown placed in the middle of the cross.

[Naval ensign]

Naval ensign - Image by Željko Heimer, 27 December 2004

The naval ensign was prescribed in 1858 by Royal Decree. It is similar to the national flag used at sea, with the Wittelsbach arms added in the middle of the cross. It was probably changed when the Oldenburg dynasty succedeed the Wittelsbach dynasty


Naval jack - Image by Tom Gregg, 27 December 2004, after Flaggenbuch [neu92]

The naval jack was a square version of the war flag.

Ivan Sache, Tom Gregg & Miles Li, 25 December 2008

Erroneous flag


Erroneous Greek flag - Image by António Martins & Tom Gregg, 10 September 2005

A US flag chart (1858) shows for Greece what seems to be an mistaken version of the state and war flag of the period, with the cross offset to the hoist and in its core the Bavarian coat of arms as in the naval ensign of the period. These are misrepresented as a crosshatch of three pales and three fesses, azure on argent.

António Martins, 10 September 2005

Unidentified flag

[Unidentified flag]

Unidentified flag - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 October 2009

The National Historical Museum in Athens shows a square blue flag with a white Greek cross and a golden crowned "O" letter in the middle. Uncaptioned, this flag is placed in the "Independence War" section of the Museum; however, it was post probably used during the reign of King Otto (Othon) 1832-1862 as it bears his royal cypher.

Nozomi Karyasu & Jan Mertens, 14 November 2009