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Faroe Islands

Føroyar, Færøerne

Last modified: 2003-07-12 by edward mooney jr.
Keywords: scandinavian cross | faroe | faeroe |
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[Flag of the Faroe Islands] by Mark Sensen, 27 November 1995

See also:

Description of the flag

The flag of the Faroe Islands is a red Scandinavian cross, fimbriated blue.
Mark Sensen, 27 November 1995

The horizontal dimensions of the flag are 6:1:2:1:12, the vertical ones 6:1:2:1:6.
Mark Sensen, 26 September 1995

The construction sheet is equal to that of the Norwegian flag (6+1+2+1+6):(6+1+2+1+12). A note in Album des Pavillons (2000) explains that the Danish national flag may also be flown. I am not sure what that means - it may be that it is flown instead of the civil ensign by vessels registered in Faroes, or it is appropriate to use the Dannebrog as a courtesy flag, or it is appropriate for state offices to use Dannebrog instead and so on?
Zeljko Heimer, 12 June 2001

About dimensions in Scandinavian flags

[Scandinavian Cross dimensions]
by Edward Mooney, Jr. 1999-12-20

Scandinavian crosses are measured by the width of the color, as shown in the diagram above. In the case of the Faroe Islands, horizontally there are 6 units of white, 1 unit of blue, 2 units of red, 1 unit of blue, and 12 units of white. Vertically the flag has 6 units of white, 1 unit of blue, 2 units of red, 1 unit of blue and 6 units of white.

See also: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden
Edward Mooney, Jr. 20 December 1999

History of the flag

The flag of the Faroes was first made by Faroese students in Copenhagen and later brought to the Faroes where it was first hoisted 22 June 1919. About a decade, in 1931, later it came into common but unofficial use. When Denmark was occupied by German forces in April 1940, British troops took the islands and a need to distinguish the ships of the Faroes from those of occupied Denmark occurred. On 25 April 1940 British authorities approved the flag as the ensign of the Faroes. With the Home Rule Act of 23 March 1948 the flag was finally recognized as the national flag of the Faroes. 25 April has been made Flag Day. The flag carries the name Merkid, meaning the sign or banner. The dominant white colour is said to represent the pure sky as well as the foam of the waves breaking against the coasts of the islands, red and blue are both colours found in traditional Faroese headdress. At the same time the colours are those of the flags of Norway and Iceland. The proportions are 6-1-2-1-6 (hoist), 6-1-2-1-12 (fly).

From the Faroes Islands' web site:

"Another important characteristic of [the island of] Suduroy is the making of the very first flag. The flag "Merkid" was composed by two students, Jens Olivur Lisberg and Emil Joensen, in 1919, and since 1955 has been stored in the church in Fámjin, where it can still be seen."

Visit the Faroe Islands' web site

Sven Tito Achen: "The Flag of the Faroes", The Flag Bulletin, Vol XVII, No 5, 1978, pp. 144-157
Jonathan Wylie: The Faroe Islands: Interpretations of History, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1987, pp. 166-167
Jan Oskar Engene, 22 October 1995

On 5 June 1959 the present lighter blue was authorized. Before it had the same shade of blue as Norway.
Mark Sensen, 23 October 1995