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Ellás - Hellenic Republic, Ellinikì Dhimokratìa

Last modified: 2002-05-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: greece | ellas | europe | cross (blue) | cross (white) | jack | civil ensign |
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[Flag of Greece]by Zeljko Heimer

Flag adopted 22 December 1978, coat of arms adopted 7 June 1975.
Description: Nine horizontal stripes, alternatively blue and white, and a white cross on a blue square field in canton.
Proportion: 2:3
Use: on land, civil, State and war flag, at sea, civil, State and war ensign.

Colour approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Blue: Pantone 286 c / CMYK (%) C 100 - M 60 - Y 0 - K 5

On this page:

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Origin and meaning of the flag

The striped flag has been in use since 1822, and was approved in 1833. The nine stripes are said to stand for the nine syllables of the Greek patriots' motto"Eleutheria e Thanatos" meaning "Freedom or Death".

Paul Adams, 19 June 1995

Unofficial alternative flag

[Alternative Flag of Greece]by Ivan Sache

The simple white-cross-on-blue flag dates from 1822, and was used as an alternative national flag, but only in land, not at sea (although the jack is very similar). Only the striped flag was used at sea.

From June 1975 until December 1978 the plain cross flag was used as the only national flag. The situation is now reversed, and the striped flag is now the only official national flag, although the cross flag can still be seen in unofficial use.

Paul Adams, 19 June 1995

Proportion of the national flag

On 18 August 1970 the proportion was changed from 2:3 to 7:12.

[1970-1978 Greek flag]by Mark Sensen

On 22 December 1978, the proportion was reverted to 2:3.

Jaume Ollé, 15 December 1999

Shade of the national flag

There is no officially prescribed shade of blue for the Greek flag according to the 1978 law. The 1969 law that abolished the plain cross flag did not specify a particular shade either, but it did provide that all flags should conform with "prototype" flags lodged with two government departments.
The shade of blue on the prototypes was, probably, very dark hence the very dark shade of flags made in 1970- 1975. A lighter shade of blue is used nowadays (by convention, presumably) but sill not as light as United Nations Organization blue.

Yannis Natsinas, 14 November 2000

Coat of arms

[Coat of arms of Greece]by Zeljko Heimer



[Greek Jack]by Zeljko Heimer

Blue square flag with white cross throughout. Judging from Album des Pavillons [pay00], width of the cross is 1/5 of the hoist.

Zeljko Heimer, 10 October 2001

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