THE NATIONAL FLAG

OF GREECE

 

The national flag of Greece consists of nine horizontal stripes of equal width – five blue and four white, which alternate. The upper hoist-side corner contains a blue canton that stretches along the first five stripes and contains a white cross. The flag is hung on a white flagstaff, at the top of which lies a white cross.

HISTORY

The first land flag was square in shape, with a white cross on a blue background. The marine flags resembled the current national flag more closely, the only difference for merchant marine flags being the reversal of colors in the corner containing the cross. The flag of the merchant ships was eventually merged with that of the navy in 1828, as a recognition for their participation in the Greek War of Independence.

The national flag has been modified several times without being radically altered, mostly as a result of regime changes. In 1833, the Bavarian coat of arms was added to the flags of the army and the navy, and remained until the overthrow of King Otto in October of 1862. With the arrival of King George I in 1863, the crown was introduced into the flags and remained there until the regime change in 1924.

THE FLAG TODAY

Today, the war flag for the navy is identical to the national one. For the army and the air force, on the other hand, it is a rectangular flag consisting of a white cross that divides a blue background into four equal parts. In the center of the cross, the flag of the army bears a picture of Saint George, while the flag of the air force bears a picture of Archangel Michael.