The complete text

"The Red and Yellow Cross Flag, History and Stories Told"

Sven-Olle R Olsson, Ph.D. Malmö

Publisher and Copyright: Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid - The Foundation for the Future of Scania.1993.

Due to the size of this publication, it has been divided into three parts:
Part 1: Foreword - Historical Beginnings.
Part 2: History of the modern Scanian Flag.
Part 3: Appendices.

Part 3

Flag measurements and ordinance

The Scanian flag with the measurements of the Dannebrog

(The Old Danish flag) (see Appendix 5)

In all discussions about flags, it is almost exclusively the colours and patterns on the cloth that are discussed. It is extremely seldom that the proportions of a flag are mentioned. As scouts, we were taught that the Swedish flag has these measurements: Height: 4-2-4 (10) and length: 6-2-10.5 (18.5). This makes for a long and narrow flag.

The Old Danish flag, however, has these measurements: Height: 6-2-6 (14) and length 6-2-10.5 (18.5), which makes for a flag that is more square in shape. The measurements of the Dannebrog are fairly unique within the realm of flags. In the days of Valdemar Atterdag, the flag was a perfect square just like the Swiss flag, a so called heraldic flag, and then in the Flag Ordinance of 1748 its size was increased somewhat: 6-2-6 (14) and length: 6-2-9 (17). Current Dannebrog measurements stem from the Flag Ordinance of 1926 (14-18.5).

The Scanian Flag

During its existence, the Scanian flag has not had any fixed measurements. In recent years, the measurements of the Swedish flag have been employed. This is inappropriate for Scania, which is an Old Danish heartland. Therefore, the The Foundation for Scania's Future decided to register the Scanian flag with new measurements in the Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register (see Appendix 5). Dr. Jan Raneke, heraldic expert, has provided assistance in this matter. It was obvious that the measurements of the new Scanian flag should reflect the measurements of the Dannebrog for historical reasons. It was not obvious, however, that these measurements should be the same as those of the modern Dannebrog. Instead, the measurements of the historical flag from 1748 were chosen, as it was the first Danish flag with fixed measurements (14 x 17). Consequently, the Scanian flag has now been officially registered.

Thus, anyone can now raise the new cultural and historical symbol of Scania. The flag has roots that go back a long time in Danish history and probably extends far backwards in time to the Catholic Archdiocese of Lund, common to Denmark and the Nordic countries following the Viking Age. This new cultural symbol is politically neutral and can be used in all cultural, tourist, representative and personal situations.

The purpose of the efforts of the Foundation for Scania's Future for a historically based design and the official registration in the Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register, of both the flag and the coat of arms, was to produce a neutral cultural and local flag that can serve as a regional national symbol.

As it happens, there is no other common symbol for Scania, since there were only official provincial and county coat of arms for the provinces of Skåne (Malmöhus and Kristianstad counties), Blekinge, Halland.

In August, the Foundation for Scania's Future also sent out a specially printed edition of the Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register to all municipalities in Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, encouraging the use of the Scanian flag alongside the Swedish national flag. Flag symbols are of great importance. Today, events are quickly progressing towards a regional Europe. Everywhere regional and national cultural symbols are brought forward not least highlighted by their flag symbols.

The cultural region of Scania, the old East Denmark, with its own language and unique history and culture, is one of Europe's regional nations. Thus, Scania should be seen together with its red and yellow cross flag, as a unifying symbol in all contexts both within and outside of Scania.


This pamphlet about the history of Scania's flag is a first attempt to gather what is known about the flag. Unfortunately, much of the information about its early history is not documented in written sources. This does not necessarily mean that they are missing, but could instead be due to the fact that nobody has searched for them before. The result is that I was forced to include all manner of hearsay, which I will leave as is until they are either documented or rejected. Research in the field has not yet reached such an advanced stage that it is possible to evaluate the different sources yet. I have therefore chosen to present the material as it is today with all its shortcomings, and will subsequently proceed towards a thorough evaluation when more information has been gathered.


Symbols registered in the Scandinavian Arms Scroll 1992 by the Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid

The Flag of Scania


FLAG: In a red field a yellow cross, a cloth with the 3-1-3 format in height and 3-1-4.5 in length

The Scanian Flag derives its origin to a symbol, which was carried by the Nordic Church, for which the Archbishop of Lund was primeas. The diocese of Lund, which included the provinces of Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm, was identical with the territory of Scania in which the Scanian Law was in force. The diocese of Lund was also the area of the Archbishop of Lund.

The church flag, which was red with a yellow cross, received its secular counterpart in the Erik of Pomerania union banner, adopted in 1430. This was yellow with red cross with the colors reversed compared to the Nordic church.

Historically, we can associate Nordic symbolism with the colors red and yellow. In the modern era, in the 1870s, the flag was relaunched in Lund as the Scanian flag as a modern regional flag. It has been in use since then and is currently used in sports, culture, business, advertising, etc..

The modern Scanian flag rests on a historical base and is linked to Scania's historical background. The starting point for the design and dimensions of today's flag has been the measure, which was applied to the old Danish flag during the time when Scania was linked to the Danish kingdom. Dannebrog has since undergone several dimension changes. The Scania flag as well as the Scanian 'Panther' are registered as the cultural and native symbol of the region by Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid.


Scanian Arms Symbol

SVR 432/92

SHIELD: In the red field a heraldic Scanian panther of gold.

South Scanian rune stone monuments from the Viking and early Middle Ages in Tullstorp and Hunnestad reflects the spread of the Germanic animal symbolism.

The animals on these rune stones are very similar to medieval fable animal, which in heraldic terminology is known as Panther. The Panther often spurts fire through the mouth and nostrils, it is horned and has hind legs like a lion, while the front legs are similar to the eagle. Other variants exist as this Scanian Panther, which is also unique. The Panther has a continuity in Scanian pictorial tradition which is evident in the following information about a Scanian medieval lineage used the panther in its shield. Magnus Scanong de Scania has in his seal from 1285 an image of a panther-like animal.

If there is a connection to the more recent prominent Danish dynasty with a panther is unclear. This was sporadically prevailing in Scania and Scanian clans. The Scania Panther must therefore be derived from the runic animals which have undergone a heralding process and intends to be a symbol of historical and historically knowledgeable Scanians. It now has more officially resumed as the Scanian Panther symbol and at least since 1975 been widely used as a symbol, among others the Scanian Academy.


The Flag Ordinance

  1. The flag is a yellow cross on a red background, on a cloth measuring 3-1-3 high and 3-1-4.5 long, according to SVR (Scandinavian Coat of Arms Register) 431/92. The colours are a clear red and a clear yellow.
  2. The size of the flag shall be in reasonable proportions to the length of the flagpole. The height of the flag should be approximately 1/5 of the length of the flagpole. When the flagpole is located on a building, the flag should be of a larger size. Flags on the facade of buildings should cover approximately half of the length of the pole.
  3. When the flag is at half-mast, it must hang at least along half of the pole and not more than 2/3 of the pole.
  4. The Scanian pennant has an upper red field and a lower yellow field. Cross pennants cannot be used.
  5. Torn, dirty and sunbleached flags should not be used.
  6. The flag is raised at 8 AM and lowered no later than 8 PM. If the sun rises after 8 AM and sets before 8 PM, the flag is raised and lowered when the sun rises and sets. During the summer, the times are 9 AM and 9 PM. The flag should never be raised after sunset.
  7. The flag must never touch the ground.
  8. A worn flag must always be burned.

Flag Days in Scania

IIn Scania one should basically follow the Swedish official flag days and one's own conscious. Among the Danish official flag days there is particularly one flag day that should be observed. The Valdemar Day on the 15th of June. A Scanian Flag Ordinance will eventually be published.

Official Flag Days in Sweden

  • Jan 1 New Year's Day
  • Jan 28 The King's name-day
  • March 12 The Crown Princess' name-day
  • Easter Sunday
  • April 30 The King's birthday
  • May 1
  • Whitsun Sunday
  • June 6 Sweden's National Holiday and The Day of the Swedish Flag
  • Midsummer Day
  • July 14 The Crown Princess' birthday
  • August 8 The Queen's birthday
  • September Day of national elections to Parliament (regular elections: third Sunday in Sept. every four years)
  • October 24 United Nations' Day
  • November 6 Gustav Adolf Day
  • December 10 The Nobel Day
  • December 23 The Queen's birthday
  • December 25 Christmas Day

Official Flag Days in Denmark:

  • 1 januari: Nytårsdag
  • 23 mars: Dronning Ingrid
  • 9 april: Besaettelsen 1940 (Halv stang til kl. 12.02)
  • 16 april: Dronning Margrethe II
  • 27 april: Prinsesse Carol Math
  • 29 april: Prinsesse Benedikte
  • 5 maj: Danmarks befrielse
  • 26 maj: Kronprins Frederik
  • 5 juni: Grundlovsdag
  • 7 juni: Joachim
  • 11 juni: Prins Henrik
  • 15 juni: Valdemarsdag
  • 25 december: 1 juledag
  • Langfredag (halv stang)
  • 1 påskedag
  • Kristi Himmelfartsdag
  • 1 pinsedag

List of reference literature

  • Assarsson, David: Det skånska problemet. Credos Förlag, Stockholm 1923.
  • Andersson, Per: Nordiska korsflaggor. Bokförlaget Draking, Mjölby 1992.
  • Bartholdy, Nils: Dannebrogskorsets form og visionære baggrund. HeraldiskTidskrift 64, 1991.
  • Bendixen, Kirsten: Denmarks Money. The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen 1967.
  • Broberg, Peter: Litta blannat om flaggorna kring Skåneland. Från Skånska Akademiens årsskrift 1988, 108-114.
  • Bruhn, Helge: Dannebrog og danske Faner gennem Tiderne. Köbenhavn 1949.
  • Flensburg, Peter: Möntårbogen 1977, Gentofte 1977.
  • Klinge, Matti: Finlands blåvita färger. Schildts, Keuru 1988.
  • von Konow, Jan: Svenska flaggan, När? Hur? och Varför? Atlantis, Stockholm 1986.
  • Kälde, Bengt Olof: Series Archiepiscoporum Upsaliensis AD MCMLXXXV. Heraldisk Tidskrift, 35, 1977.
  • Kälde, Bengt Olof: Svenska Kyrkans heraldik. Heraldisk Tidskrift, 35, 1977.
  • Kälde, Bengt Olof: Uppsala ärkestifts vapen. Ärkestiftet 1987/88. Uppsala 1987.
  • Lindsay Galbreath, Donald: Papal Heraldy. Heraldy Today. London 1972.
  • Neubecker, Ottfried: Das Kreuz als Christliches und Staatliches Symbol. Genealogica & Heraldica, Copenhagen 1980.
  • Thiset, A: Skaanske By- og Herredsvaaben i den danske Tid. Historisk Tidskrift för Skåneland, 1, 1903, 333 - 362.
  • Traetteberg, Hallvard: Unionsvåpen. Kulturhistoriskt lexikon för nordisk medelålder.
  • Åberg, Alf: Historik. Den svenska flaggan. I boken Flaggan och fanan, utgiven av Stiftelsen Sveriges Nationaldag och Svenska Flaggans Dag 1986, 9 - 17.

Please let the Scanian Flag fly on your flagstaff!

Why not use both the Swedish and the Scanian flags!

Or Scanian, Swedish and Nordic!

Stiftelsen Skånsk Framtid, 1993

End part 3