The Story Behind the Greek Flag — Greek City Times


The Greek flag also called Γαλανόλευκη (galanolefki) or Κυανόλευκη (kyanolefkilisten)), the national flag of Greece consists of a white cross on a blue background in the upper left corner of the banner, with nine equal horizontal bands of blue alternating with white.

The cross represents Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the official religion of the nation of Greece and Cyprus. The flag always follows a ratio of 2:3. Officially there is no designated shade of blue, although many flags tend to feature dark or royal blue.

On the national flag of Greece there are 9 blue and white stripes. This number of stripes on the flag was not just a random number. Some people believe that the number of stripes is due to the nine Muses (inspiring goddesses of literature, science and the arts in Greek mythology).

The number of stripes on the “blue and white” may also be for the best known belief which is that there are 9 programs in the phrase “ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ” which translated into English means “freedom or death”.

This phrase was adopted during the revolution against the Ottoman Empire and symbolized and still inspires determination against tyranny defying the fear of death as the Greeks did in 1821.

Another important fact about the flag of Greece is that it took its final design and colors on December 22, 1978. Since then, the Greek flag proudly flies on the sacred rock of the Acropolis in Athens.

In fact, during the Ottoman occupation and the early years of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829), many flags were used by different people, with several featuring mottos, emblems, and even saints.

However, before the creation of this flag in the early 1820s, there were other flags to symbolize the Greek nation. The flag of the 1769 uprising, with a blue cross on a white background, was particularly popular.

This design was widely used in the battles of the Greek Revolution of 1821. It was in this flag that the leaders of 1821, such as Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis, vowed to fight for liberation.

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Such a flag is kept today at the monastery of Agia Lavra in Kalavryta, where the Revolution was first declared. Such a flag also stands above the Historical Museum of Athens, the building of the ancient Greek parliament.

But in an effort to rally the nation under a central administration, the Greeks chose the version of the flag we know today, which dates back to 1822, a year after the new state declared independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821.

The flag is of course also met and greeted in the home of every Greek person – whether in Greece or in any other country in which the person resides.

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Greek Independence Day celebration in Sydney Australia.


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